Thursday, 26 February 2015

Do You Really Get Energized by Sugar Drinks?

There is a recent call by charities to ban the sale of 'energy drinks' to children under 16 ( This is on the basis of their high sugar content (up to 20 teaspoons of sugar in one can) and their high caffeine dose. This has been linked to diabetes and obesity (as well as tooth decay?). There has been little mention, however, of reactive hypoglycaemia. When people take an acute 'sugar hit', the elevated blood glucose triggers a release of the hormone insulin (designed to convert glucose into stored glycogen). This, more markedly in some people than others, may produce an undershoot in the normal blood sugar values. The brain stores no glucose so would be receiving blood deficient in energy, This has been linked to profound mood changes in healthy humans (and reduced energy). Having blood sugar levels going up and down like a roller-coaster can't be a good idea! Whether a ban could be imposed and whether it could work is another question.

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Pat Bateson

I have just noted the obituary of Sir Patrick Bateson 1938-2017 (