Glucose and neurones: an efficient cocktail
We often forget that it isn't only our muscles that work hard. The brain is also a big energy consumer. And billions of busy neurones require some feeding!
The bond between glucose and the brain is very close. Glucose is the only carbohydrate able to pass through the haematoencephalic barrier - in other words from the bloodstream to the brain. Our neurones need a constant supply, just like oxygen. The brain’s glucose reserves are exhausted within 10 minutes. Even when it’s not active, the brain uses 60% of the body’s glucose.
Better intellectual performance
During a complex mental task, certain areas of the brain request an “additional” allocation of glucose and oxygen to cope with the increase in activity. The “official supplier” of glucose? Carbohydrates.
All carbohydrates from food supply glucose after digestion.
Glucose consumption depends on the complexity and duration of a mental task. To put it another way, the more we rack our brains the more fuel we need.
Studies reveal that glucose improves memory in children and adolescents. After eating breakfast, youngsters perform better in arithmetic and reading tests in the morning.
Calories rather than carbohydrates themselves probably ensure a good performance in these tests.
Although eating breakfast, even on a regular basis, is not enough to pass your exams!
More alert and attentive
Glucose consumption also increases children’s attention span and reduces their response time. Results for adults are just as convincing, but depend on individual fasting glycaemic levels(a measure of the more or less effective functioning of our carbohydrate metabolism).
A study carried out among older people showed that taking 50 g of glucose in the morning on an empty stomach improved the overall score in memory tests by 40%.