Don’t look to sugar for the afternoon ‘rush’

Don’t look to sugar for the afternoon ‘rush’

Do you see yourself in this scenario? It’s that agonizing period between lunch and the end of the day when time seems to stand still, and you’d drift into a nap if not for the fear the boss would hear you snoring. You need a jolt of energy to reach the finish line, and those doughnuts in the breakroom are calling your name.

According to a new study, you’ve got it all backwards. That sugar rush actually will leave you less alert and more tired. In fact, researchers at three universities in the United Kingdom and Germany say the whole concept of a sugar rush is a myth.

Using data collected from more than 30 published studies, the researchers examined the effect of sugar on various aspects of mood, including anger, alertness, depression and fatigue. Sugar had no effect on improving physical or mental activities such as exercising or writing a paper. Rather than feeling rejuvenated, participants reported feeling less alert and more tired within an hour of consuming it.

Even worse are the long-term effects. High amounts of added sugar can lead to increased chances of heart disease, blood pressure, chronic illness and diabetes. The findings are important considering the popularity of sugary food and drinks. In the U.S. alone, consumption of sweets has increased by 135% since the 1970s.

What can you do to stay awake? Try stretching or a short walk. If you need to eat or drink something, opt for a green tea with a touch of honey, or a handful of almonds. You just might get enough of a kick to make it home to your couch.

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