Researchers at the University of Georgia have just published a study that suggests rinsing your mouth with sugar water increases your self-control and focus. Subjects performing a series of menial and tedious tasks performed significantly faster and with greater accuracy after gargling with lemonade made with sugar than students who gargled with Splenda-based lemonade.
The study, which was originally published in the Psychological Science journal, measured the students’ degree of self-control by testing their ability to find and cross out the letter “e” on a page from a textbook. One of the coauthors of the study, Lenoard Martin, said:
“Researchers used to think you had to drink the glucose and get it into your body to give you the energy to [have] self control… After this trial, it seems that glucose stimulates the simple carbohydrate sensors on the tongue.” He adds: “This, in turn, signals the motivational centers of the brain where our self-related goals are represented.” And it’s these signals, he adds, that wake your body up and tell it to start paying attention. Have to work late when you’d rather be heading home? Martin suggests gargling a bit of sugar water may not only help you focus better on the task at hand but help strengthen your resolve to do something you’d rather not be doing. “It is the self-investment,” Martin adds. “It doesn’t just crank up your energy, but it cranks up your personal investment in what you are doing.”
The ramifications of this study are immediate and awesome. Say goodbye to the diffident, push-aroundable you of the past. Consider the hummingbird. Need to set some boundaries with your roommates? Swish some root beer around before telling them you know they’ve been using your stuff while you’re out of the house and it stops now.
Ready to break up with someone so sensitive and needy they never let you finish getting “We need to talk” out? Smear some frosting on your gums and feel its spine-stiffening properties flow into your system. Then kick them to the curb. You’re a mouthful of Mountain Dew away from übermensch status, my friends. Swig up.
[Image via Flickr]