A new meta-analysis, published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, suggests that contrary to popular belief, consumption of sugar does not improve any aspect of mood. Rather, it is likely to worsen the mood.
Researchers at the University of Warwick, Lancaster University and Humboldt University of Berlin analysed data collected from 31 studies involving nearly 1300 adults. The effects of sugar on different aspects of mood, including anger, alertness, depression and fatigue, were evaluated. Other parameters such as quantity and type of sugar, and participation in demanding mental and physical activities were also taken into consideration.
The findings showed that intake of sugar had virtually no effect on mood, irrespective of the quantity consumed or participation in demanding activities following consumption. Those who consumed sugar were more likely to experience increased tiredness and reduced alertness compared with those who did not.
Professor Elizabeth Maylor, from the University of Warwick, said: "We hope that our findings will go a long way to dispel the myth of the ‘sugar rush’ and inform public health policies to decrease sugar consumption."