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Eating Sugar Is Not Such a Rush After All

It's more likely sugar will make you tired than give you energy.

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People may want to rethink eating that donut to power through a 3 p.m. energy slump. The “sugar rush” trope appears to be a myth, and, in fact, consuming too many sweet carbs can make you feel worse, not better. That’s the conclusion of a research paper published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, which pooled data from 31 previous studies involving 1,259 participants. The data showed that individuals who ate sugary foods reported feeling more fatigued within an hour of consumption than those who abstained. So, sugar fans crashed—but missed out on the rush. What’s more, they felt less mentally alert and experienced no boost in mood. Now we have even less reason to feel good about that afternoon trip to the office candy dish.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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