Are you more likely to snap if you are “hungry” ?

I must be honest I am not all that patient, loving  and understanding  when  I am hungry.  Somehow when I am fully loaded with munchies people are a lot less annoying. Sugar low causing aggression

Brain sugar levels control the “ACT NICE” button in the brain

Those who have been victims of my physiology will appreciate that science has unveiled the connection between my glucose levels and  my demeanor.  A recent study published in the journal of Aggressive Behaviour shows the brain’s sugar supply is the on/off button for acting NICE. 

Researchers believe that avoiding aggressive impulses takes self-control and self-control takes a lot of energy. The brain’s fuel supply is glucose so a shortage can lead to thunderous outbursts and hostility.

“Starved” students more aggressive

The study “starved” 62 college students and then sent them into battle so to speak.  The battle was a computer game designed to quantify their levels of aggression.  Shortly before commencing the game, the students received either a glass of  sugar sweetened lemonade or lemonade sweetened with a sugar substitute.  Those without the sugar were significantly more aggressive when playing the game.

Diving into the cookie jar is not the answer

Don’t get all excited that now you can justify the cookies and cola with a…

 “I need to eat this to act nice !  It is good for society etc.” 

The cookies and cola will pour way too much glucose into your system which often causes the glucose levels to drop too low.  Low sugar  is exactly what you’re trying to avoid so that you can be NICE.

 The take home message from this study is to draw attention to the need to watch your glucose levels throughout the day i.e.  keep the fuel supply constant.  You do not want to allow glucose levels to drop too low. 

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is simply to eat  regularly, experts say every 4-5 hours is about right.

Get a sugar fix to improve the mood

So, if you need to  have a difficult conversation which could turn “ugly”,  arm yourself with a quick  cup of sugar sweetened tea before you open your mouth.  And  at the end of a long stressful day at the office, have that last coffee for the road with a big heap of sugar and sail through the afternoon peak hour untouched by road rage.

Sweetened blood cools hot tempers: physiological self-control and aggression. Aggressive Behavior (2010) 37(1):73-80; C. Nathan DeWall, Timothy Deckman, Matthew T. Gailliot, Brad J. Bushman.

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Further reading

Mali menstruation hut 
brain exercising self control


 Can’t Focus? Maybe It’s the Wrong Time of the Month  How to painlessly activate the self control muscle Happy-go-lucky individuals die long before prudent worriers 

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Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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