Nibbling and sipping soda as you swot is causing brain rot

a diet of sweets and soda makes your brain dumbYou’ve got tests to write and half a dozen assignments to complete. The light is burning in your room until all hours of the night. Working till late, you need a few nibbles to keep your brain fired up, you haven’t got time for REAL food, so….

Sweets and sodas power your midnight stints.

You don’t really need me to tell you – this is not really “healthy” brain food, I’m pretty sure you know, but you might be thinking – you’re only doing it for a few weeks, until you write your finals, does it really matter ?

This week’s Neurotechnology Tip is designed to make you think twice about sustaining your studies through nibbling on “junk”.

A diet of sweets and soda is dumbing

For rats. And the dumbing occurred in just 6 weeks.

And there is no reason to think, human brains respond any differently.

Nibbling on cookies and washing them down with Coke, could end up knocking a few percentage points off your final results.

Rats sipping on soda

Researchers allowed rats to sip on a high fructose corn syrup solution, whenever they felt like it.

High-fructose corn syrup, is modern day “sugar” - it pops up in pop tarts, cold drinks and other processed snacks. It is estimated that the average westerner scoffs down around 40 pounds i.e. 18 kilos of the stuff, each year.

The animals followed this regimen for 6 weeks. At the end of the time period, the researchers required the rats to take a little test. The rats had to remember the way out of maze.

Soda sippers sucked at maze running

Surprise, surprise – the rats who were nibbling on “junk”, struggled to escape the maze.

So the lesson – don’t eat the stuff ! ! !

DON’T hit the back button, just yet. The research team included a second group of rats in their study – it is these rats that I want you to try to emulate.

A fishy fix for soda sippers

The second group of rats also sipped away at high fructose corn syrup, but they also took a fishy supplement i.e. omega-3.

The rats who supplement with omega-3s whizzed through the maze, managing to escape in a flash.

Better body chemistry for students

Your body chemistry is going to have an impact on your final grade.

Ideally, you want to feed it healthy nutritious food, exercise a bit and ensure it gets 8 hours of sleep a night.

If ideally is just that – fantasy, cut your brain some slack.

HELP your brain to think

Help it along – loads of studies suggest omega-3s make a difference to brain wiring and performance.

If you’re not going to bother with eating fish, find the money and buy an omega-3 supplement – it may just allow you to get away with “murder”.

NB. Make sure the bottle says omega-3 ONLY. A product with omega-3 and omega-6 is just a waste of your precious bucks.

‘Metabolic syndrome’ in the brain: deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signalling and cognition. The Journal of Physiology, 2012; 590 (10): 2485. R. Agrawal, F. Gomez-Pinilla
 

To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..

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Further reading

neuronal stem cell succumbing to alcohol sleep deprived brain brain munching on a carrot
Drinking till you’re “motherless” leaves you stem cell less Pulling an all-nighter leaves your brain unable to think straight To motivate your brain nibble on chocolate covered carrots

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

Hire Dr Sandy from a Spoonful of Science to be the keynote speaker at your next event.

Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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