Stress or fatigue: is glucose really helpful for concentration?

Health myths: does glucose promote concentration?
Whether at school, in the lecture hall or in the office: Almost all people have to do a lot of intellectual work. Especially when tricky tasks or even important exams are pending, some resort to glucose, because it is supposed to promote concentration. But is that really true?

Can glucose promote concentration?
Some people who struggle with fatigue, stress or difficulty concentrating at work, at university or at school often resort to glucose. This is seen as food for the brain and is said to provide energy and promote concentration. But is that really true? Yes and no. Dietitian Susanne Kupczyk from the Interdisciplinary Metabolism Center at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin explains in a message from the dpa news agency that the assumption is basically "already correct". "But it's more about carbohydrates", which are all broken down into glucose in the body. "The brain then takes its part."

Energy is provided quickly
According to experts, our brain uses 20 percent of the total energy that we metabolize from the food we eat and burns 20 grams of glucose a day. Since glucose cannot be stored in the brain like in the muscles, it depends on a stable blood sugar level. If this drops, concentration and thinking abilities decrease. If we take simple sugar, for example in the form of chocolate or glucose sweets, this will cause the blood sugar level to skyrocket. Accordingly, energy is provided faster. "But it is also used up quickly and you get to a low performance level," explains Kupczyk.

Completely unsuitable for children
According to the dietitian, it would be better to eat four to six small meals with complex carbohydrates (whole grains, rice, potatoes or noodles) spread over the day during stress - this prevents the low performance. For some people, glucose is not recommended anyway, other experts say. The consumer advice center writes on its website: "The property of glucose to get into the blood quickly can be useful for top athletic performance." But: "It is completely unsuitable for children who play because it only provides" empty "calories and because of it rapid processing and the resulting fluctuations in blood sugar can trigger cravings. "(ad)

Author and source information

Video: How sugar affects the brain - Nicole Avena (January 2022).