Sweet drink may boost exam performance

March 19, 2002 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Sweet drink may boost exam performance

Students worried about passing their exams could boost their performance by simply drinking a sugar-containing beverage while they're studying.

Tests carried out by Australian researchers demonstrated that a sweet drink could improve short-term memory for at least 24 hours.

The results revealed student volunteers given a drink containing glucose, a type of sugar, outperformed those given a drink containing artificial sweeteners when asked to memorize and recall a list of words. Even when they consumed the drink after seeing the word list, the glucose group still had better recall than the other group.

Glucose appears to aid the brain in storing and using memories. The provision of a glucose drink before or shortly after a learning task seems to improve the way that the memories are subsequently formed.

The findings reinforce earlier studies suggesting that low blood sugar levels can affect attention span and concentration, by slowing the speed at which people process information. When the brain is deprived of glucose--its main source of energy-it struggles to perform well.

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