Got a decision to make? Get some sugar in your system: study

Jan 30, 2010

If you're about to try to negotiate a pay rise, it might be a good idea to have a sugary drink beforehand, according to a study published this week in Psychological Science.

Researchers at the University of South Dakota asked 65 students to answer a series of questions in which they had to choose between getting a smaller sum of money "tomorrow" or a larger sum in the future.

The study participants responded to half the questions on an empty stomach and the other half after consuming a caffeine-free soda sweetened either with sugar or the aspartame.

glucose levels were measured at the start of the experiment and after the volunteers drank the soda.

"Within 10 minutes of drinking a sugary soda, participants' interest in a larger, future reward was higher," Xiao-Tian Wang, one of the psychological scientists who led the study, told AFP.

"It's like when you eat: if your blood sugar's high, you can wait longer to eat," Wang said.

"We did the study to see if the blood glucose level not only regulates eating behavior but also decision-making. In other words, can you wait longer to get a bigger reward when your blood glucose levels are higher?

"We found that, yes, you can," said Wang, who conducted the study with fellow psychological scientist Robert Dvorak.

Not only did having a higher make study participants less likely to act impulsively, but taking a diet drink made people more likely to act on impulse and take the immediate, smaller reward, Wang said.

"Giving someone a diet drink tells the body that there's an 'energy crisis' because you're giving it something that tastes good but it has no calories.

"Your body realizes that and tries to grab everything available right now. So diet lead to increased impulsivity," he told AFP.

Explore further: Early caregiving experiences have long-term effects on social relationships, achievement

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cutting caffeine may help control diabetes

Jan 28, 2008

Daily consumption of caffeine in coffee, tea or soft drinks increases blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes and may undermine efforts to control their disease, say scientists at Duke University Medical Center.

Sugary drinks, not fruit juice, may be linked to insulin

Sep 05, 2007

Steady increases in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages over the last several decades, as well as rates of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, led nutritional epidemiologists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center ...

How to kick a soda habit

Feb 20, 2009

Soda is loaded with more calories, sugar and chemicals than many people realize. Here are nutritionists' tips for cutting it out.

Got sugar? Glucose affects our ability to resist temptation

Dec 03, 2007

New research from a lab at Florida State University reveals that self-control takes fuel — literally. When we exercise it, resisting temptations to misbehave, our fuel tank is depleted, making subsequent efforts at self-control ...

Recommended for you

Despite risks, benzodiazepine use highest in older people

12 hours ago

Prescription use of benzodiazepines—a widely used class of sedative and anti-anxiety medications—increases steadily with age, despite the known risks for older people, according to a comprehensive analysis of benzodiazepine ...

Why some antidepressants may initially worsen symptoms

16 hours ago

New research helps explain a paradoxical effect of certain antidepressants—that they may actually worsen symptoms before helping patients feel better. The findings, highlighted in a paper publishing online December 17 in ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.