Sweet drinks reduce stress and aggression
Reported November 12, 2010
Sweet drinks such as sugary tea help to reduce
stress at work, and make people less likely to be aggressive or
argumentative, psychologists say.
According to a study, the energy boost provided by the sugar enables the
brain to maintain control over its impulses, meaning people can prevent
themselves from reacting spontaneously when under stress, reports
Tests on volunteers, some of whom were given lemonade sweetened with sugar
and some with artificial sweetener, showed that those who had drunk sugar
performed better under pressure.
Each subject was asked to carry out several stressful tasks before giving a
presentation, some of which researchers criticised in order to provoke them.
People who had drunk the sugary lemonade were less likely to snap than those
who had not.
The Australian psychologists said: "When provocation is likely, for example,
when encountering a difficult supervisor at a work meeting, drinking a
sweetened beverage prior to this encounter might increase one’s ability to
effectively inhibit aggressive impulses."
"Consuming a sweetened beverage on the commute home following a stressful
day could reduce aggression toward family members or fellow drivers," he
Glucose is required by the brain to enable ‘executive functioning’, which
included the ability to restrain one's impulses, the researchers from the
University of New South Wales and Queensland University said.
"Despite the widespread notion that glucose consumption can lead to a 'sugar
high' resulting in impulsive behaviour our data suggest that glucose can
increase executive control when provoked," said researchers.