Food and Behaviour Research

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Sugar Rush or Sugar Crash? A Meta-Analysis of Carbohydrate Effects on Mood

Mantantzis K, Schlaghecken F, S├╝nram-Lea SI, Maylor EA (2019) Neurosci Biobehav Rev.  2019 Apr.  pii: S0149-7634(18)30917-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.016. [Epub ahead of print] 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here

Abstract:

The effect of carbohydrate (CHO) consumption on mood is much debated, with researchers reporting both mood improvements and decrements following CHO ingestion. As global consumption of sugar-sweetened products has sharply increased in recent years, examining the validity of claims of an association between CHOs and mood is of high importance.

We conducted a systematic review and 
meta-analysisto evaluate the relationship between acute CHO ingestion and mood. We examined the time-course of CHO-mood interactions and considered the role of moderator variables potentially affecting the CHO-mood relationship. Analysis of 176 effect sizes (31 studies, 1259 participants) revealed no positive effect of CHOs on any aspect of mood at any time-point following their consumption. However, CHO administration was associated with higher levels of fatigue and less alertness compared with placebo within the first hour post-ingestion.

These findings challenge the idea that CHOs can improve 
mood, and might be used to increase the public's awareness that the 'sugar rush' is a myth, inform health policies to decrease sugar consumption, and promote healthier alternatives.

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