Your brain cells utilize two times more energy than the other cells in your body and glucose is brain cell gasoline. Being hypoglycemic, I am acutely aware of what happens when I let my hunger go and deprive my brain of its much needed sweet sweet fuel. (See what I did there?)
Lately, studies on how hunger affects brain performance have been in vogue in science circles. Shockingly, they have all found that there are extreme chemical changes that take place in the brain when glucose levels are low, which happens when you don’t eat enough and/or well, influencing many different aspects of brain function, such as:
- Ability to think clearly
- Audio/Visual information processing speed
The most revealing study on hunger and decision making was performed by a trio of social scientists: Shai Danzinger, Jonathan Levav, and Liora Avnaim-Pesso. They looked at how the decisions made by judges reviewing parole requests changed based on how hungry they were. Essentially, as the judges got closer to their lunch breaks, they would think less and less about the facts eventually denying nearly 100% of all parole requests right before lunch.
So eat regularly during the day, but eat well…
- Avoid sugary drinks like soda, they make things worse in the end.
- Eat complex carbs (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) to help with long term brain energy and memory.
- When you get hungry, eat something. The longer you wait, the lower your glucose levels will drop.
Don’t believe me? Read on my friends…
Go grab a bite to eat!