Sugar can boost self-control: study

Got a sweet tooth? Then here is some good news!

According to a new research, just a spoonful of sugar can make your willpower go up. Studies have suggested that fuelling the brain with sweets can strengthen self-control. The new study by Australian researchers found that you don’t even need to swallow to get the benefits of sweetness.

Simply swishing a glucose-laden drink in the mouth and spitting it out boosted self-control and willpower for tasks from squeezing a handgrip to completing impossible brain teasers, the LiveScience reported.

“This suggests that it is the perception of glucose rather than its metabolism in the body that is likely to be useful in counteracting the deleterious effects of reduced self-control,” said study researcher Martin Hagger, a psychologist at Curtin University in Western Australia.

Researchers also found that a quick hit of glucose, or sugar, can bolster flagging willpower. The idea is that exerting self-control drains the brain of glucose, its main fuel, and so a gulp of sugary beverage can set the brain right again. Hagger and his colleagues wanted to find out whether it’s glucose metabolism, or simply the taste of sugar, that revs up self-control.

They conducted a series of five experiments in which participants completed willpower-depleting tasks, such as reading something boring or completing impossible word scramble puzzles.

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