Coping with stress on a daily basis can be exhausting and many of us are looking for solutions that would help us find peace of mind and not overcharge our brain and body. One of those solutions might be sitting in our fridge.
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of California states that beverages like juice or soda that are sweetened with sugar have shown to reduce stress levels while beverages sweetened with aspartame have shown no such effect.
Even if this study has shown that consumption of sugary drinks can help individuals loosen up, the only bad news about this, might be the fact that emotional or psychological stress might make people sort of addicted to these beverages,leading to obesity and other issues, detrimental to our health, explained the author of the study, Kevin D. Laugero scientist and professor of nutrition from the University of California.
However, Laugero and his research team, have shown with the help of this study that might be some benefits involved also in the consumption of sugary drinks.
However, this beverage is one of the reasons at fault for the high rates of obesity among the American population. Statistics of The Endocrine Society stated that 35% of American adults and 17% children are dealing with obesity.
For the experimental study, researchers have gathered a group of 19 women with ages from 19 to 40 years old, who were given sweetened beverages three time per day, breakfast, lunch a dinner for 12 days.
Eight of them received drinks sweetened with aspartame and 11 received drinks sweetened with sugar.
Before the study, all the participants have followed a low sugar diet for three days and a half and after the study they went to the same process. They had their saliva tested for cortisol levels, which is a hormone that is usually released when dealing with stress.
Also, before and after the experiment, the women in the group, underwent an MRI they were given some math tests to analyse how their brain responded to stress.
The results of the study showed that the women who had been given sugary drinks presented lower levels of cortisol compared to the women who were given aspartame drinks.
In addition, the women who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages exhibited more activity in the hippocampus – a part of the brain that is involved in memory and is sensitive to stress – than the women who drank aspartame-sweetened beverages.
Moreover, the women consuming sugary drinks were observed to have more activity going on in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps memory and is sensitive to stress.
Researchers believe that the results of the study serves as an explanation for why people react to calmly and other become to agitated in stressful situation. Our eating habits have a lot to say on this, explained Laugero.