It's tempting to reach for the Galaxy during an energy dip, but new research shows protein - not sugar - is what you need for a top up
We've all been there: it's 4pm and you're tired, hungry and losing focus fast. All you can think about are the chocolate buttons in your desk drawer and the quick zip they'll give you to make it through to closing time. However, new research from the University of Cambridge shows protein stimulates the brain more than sugar, making it a much better choice when you need that boost.
Researchers studied the way dietary nutrients like fat, carbohydrates or protein, influence alertness in lab rats. When the rats were given an amino acid mixture similar to that of egg whites, the orexin cells in the brain (they're the ones that regulate energy balance and wakefulness) were stimulated more than with any other nutrient.
Protein was also shown to prevent sugar from blocking orexin cell responses, the main culprit behind those post-meal energy slumps. And, scientists also found protein helped to regulate sleep patterns. Three for three! Time pack in the sweets and stock up on nuts and seeds to beat the afternoon energy drop.
Want more healthy eating tips? See more here, including our top 10 healthy eating habits
Posted: 15/02/2012 at 13:01
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