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Alert: How Sugary Drinks Harm Your Brain And Affect Your Mood

Alert: How Sugary Drinks Harm Your Brain And Affect Your Mood

It’s refreshing to kick back, grab your favorite beverage and simply relax every once in a while. Summer is coming back around and you’ll be sure to see lemonades, iced teas, smoothies and other drinks galore. It’s often difficult to deny every opportunity you get to enjoy a cold, sweet beverage at the poolside, sports event or concert, especially when people say you’ll be happier after drinking something sweet, but is it true? A study finds something different.

How Rats React To Sugary Drinks

Sugar has been under the microscope hundreds of times before now, but it simply continues to receive flack for the lack of nourishment it provides. In fact, sugar often does damage above and beyond simply being void of beneficial micronutrients. Researchers Margaret Morris and Jayanthi Maniam studied female rats and their offspring for a case in which a group of rats was provided a drinkable solution containing a lot of sugar.

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For the experiment, half the rat litters were given normal nesting environments two to nine days after birth, and the other half were given limited nesting environments. This was to create one control set of rats through which to examine early-life stress. After this segment of the experiment was concluded, all rats were returned to regular, healthy nesting environments until they were fully weaned.

At this point, the rats were again split in half, with half receiving regular low-fat food and water. The other half were given food, water and a drinkable solution containing 25 percent sugar. All in all, there were four groups of rats studied. There were rats with a regular diet and weren’t subjected to stress, rats without stress and a diet with the sugar option, rats exposed to stress early on and rats with stress exposure and the sugar option. The rats were then re-examined once they were all about 15 weeks old.

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The Real Relationship between Stress And Sugar

To the researchers’ surprise, rats that were exposed to early-life stress but without the sugar option produced similar brain scans to the rats who were not stressed early on, but had the sugar option in their diet. Researchers Morris and Maniam placed a particular emphasis on the hippocampus, which is a primary region of the brain responsible for stress and memory.

What this started to mean for the research results is that consuming too many sugary beverages can create a stressful effect on your brain. As the study’s results were formulated, the researchers commented that consuming sugary beverages too early in life can affect an individual’s ability to recover well from a stressful situation.

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How Sugary Drinks Affect Brains And Nerves

Even more interestingly, Maniam and Morris found that a gene promoting the growth of nerves was down-regulated by both sugar and stress. This seems to suggest there are far more implications of sugar consumption than have yet been discovered. As mentioned earlier, sugar is often critiqued for its inability to provide substantial nutritional merit, but it seems there are discoveries yet to be made and applied. Mothers and fathers are wise to steer their children clear of sugar often, in order to help promote growth for the nerve-building gene mentioned in the study.

While the research was not considered “conclusive”, there’s no doubt it illustrated a powerful parallel between poor food choices and negative results. Too much of anything can result in unwanted effects. It is not to say all foods and drinks with sugar are always bad, but placing limits on how much you (or your children) consume is simply for the best. Plus, when you consume fewer desserts and treats in general, this means you’ll appreciate each one that much more!

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Brad Johnson

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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