Sugar Brain Side Effects – Excess Sugar Slows Brain Performance?


When it comes to health matters, there are a lot of suggestions on how to make the body function better. Many would want to know whether the brain needs sugar to perform its tasks well, or whether the brain can perform the functions without sugar. The fact remains that the human brain needs glucose to ensure the necessary energy is there to support proper brain functioning.

A lot of research has been done that shows the effects of sugar on the brain functioning. Articles have been written in favor of sugar, while others have been written to dispute the benefits of sugar to the brain.

You will find out that the relationship between sugar and brain is quite complicated and therefore a clear analysis is needed to make the desired conclusion while using critical facts.

The contradicting information of the effectiveness of sugar on the brain has been misleading, hence promoting poor health as far as brain functions are concerned. Some of the articles written focus on the effects of sugar, while others focus on the importance of sugar to the brain. Other researchers will focus on the long-term use of sugar and the effect on the brain.

In this article, we will try to make a balance both the aspects and won't focus a lot on the negatives and positives, but will simply highlight the relationship of sugar with the brain. The focus will shift from blaming sugar to facts about what happens when one consumes too much sugar and what occurs when one consumes different types. This will enable us to find out the direct relationship that occurs when the intake of sugar meets the brain.

To ensure your cognitive performance is accurate, the information relayed will aid in ensuring you have basic facts supporting the intake of sugar, as well as the facts about the sugar and brain functioning. We hope you will find this topic interesting as you plan to carry out more research on this topic as you forge ahead to implement all the information that will be covered in the article.

The Brain Requires Sugar

Sugar still remains a basic need for the brain to have sugar supply in the right amounts. Sugar aids in fueling the brain to promote its functions. For the cells to function perfectly, there is the need to supply enough sugar to the brain.

Did you know that your brain is greedy? Well, you could be wondering how. The brain takes about 50% of the body's sugar. You will realize that if the blood sugar is low, the brain usually begins to strain and this compromises normal functions. Same with running a marathon, as you will note that when your sugar is low, one will not have the energy to compete the marathon as effectively because the brain will not be sharp or be able to get you the needed energy.

Take a keen look at yourself when you skip lunch, as you will not have the energy to concentrate through the meetings in the afternoon or you may feel the need to take a nap. The body will be dragging itself due to the lack of energy in the brain. This makes one feel lazy or tired and less able to concentrate on their afternoon tasks.

This is a point where important content is missed as the energy to get involved in your work is lower to sustain the body. Therefore, the more you subject your brain to hunger, the more it gives out negative results. This means that for effective brain functioning, it needs enough glucose.

Is It Necessary For You To Eat Sugar?

It’s a fact that the brain needs sugar to function. Most people believe that you must eat sugar to get the glucose needed for the brain to function, but the truth is that when you consume any carbohydrate, it is eventually broken down into glucose and released into the blood stream. Most of these carbohydrates have sugar molecules that are easily broken down to release the glucose needed for brain energy.

If you are thinking of drinking that coke every day, then it is the wrong way to get that needed sugar. It would be healthier to simply eat the needed carbohydrates on a daily basis, which will easily break down to give glucose to your brain. Simple sugars are not encouraged when you want to add sugar to your blood; carbohydrates are much preferred.

Complex Carbohydrates Vs. Simple Sugars Intake

As the name suggests, complex sugars take more time to break down into glucose while simple sugars are easily broken down. When the body breaks down complex sugars, it takes time and the absorption is slower.

Therefore, the complex sugars tend to help full activities that are going to take a longer amount of time when compared to simple sugars, which are easily absorbed into the blood stream. Eating complex sugars will allow you to extend in a meeting without thinking of getting sugary bites for you to supplement your energy.

What Does Sugar Consumption Do To The Brain?

Sugar consumption can affect the brain in many different ways, including the following:

Learning And Memory

Many types of research have been conducted regarding the impact of sugar on the brain and the question of how sugar levels affect the brain has been the main topic. A lot of data collected can clearly show the relationship sugar intake has on learning and memory. For instance, research done in 2003 looked at the effect of consuming high concentrations of sugar at once within the diet and it was reported that after consumption, the participants became more tired and were unable to concentrate.

Another research published independently in 2011 revealed that individuals that consumed a lot of sugar had problems with their memory. They had difficulty remembering what they had previously learned. More tests were done on mice and the results showed the mice treated with high concentrated sugar where more sluggish as compared to the once that consumed lower levels of sugar.

Well, what does the relationship above signal? It’s clear that intake of highly concentrated sugars deter the functioning of the brain, and this also affects the ability to remember as well as learning in general. This means that those that eat fructose for a longer period of time are more likely to experience poor retention capacity and poor concentration.


Dementia conditions are hard to understand, but approximately 2000 patients in Washington were tested for a study that was aimed at finding out whether the levels of sugar in the body were directly related to dementia in a person. The concluding results found that episodes of dementia were caused when sugar levels rose or fell according to the levels of blood sugar in the brain.

This showed that individuals with highly concentrated blood sugar had higher levels of dementia, while those with lower levels experienced no or a lowered risk of dementia. Therefore as the blood glucose goes up, there is a higher risk of a person developing dementia compared to if the blood sugar of the person is lower.


Inflammation is still a topic to debate. Some believe that inflammation increases with aging, but in recent research carried out by renowned scholars clearly indicated that inflammation within the brain was more likely caused as a result of higher levels of sugar in the brain. Chronic inflammation was promoted by the fact that sugars in the brain made the brain to be less functional, hence inflammation occurred.

The inflammation that occurs can become destructive and can also prevent the brain from healing. With the research above, there is a clue on how the inflammation happens, but more clinical facts are needed so more research is underway to decide whether the inflammation is deeply impacted by sugar consumption or whether there are other external factors.


Depression, just like dementia, is hard to understand. The real cause has never been established and this has given the doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists have spent sleepless nights in trying to find out the real cure for depression.

Depression manifests differently and more research is underway to document the cause and the best cure. However, there is a relationship that comes out between blood sugar and a person suffering from depression symptoms.

Inflammation and depression often happen at the same time, and this is clear when it comes to the cause. It’s clear that those with highly inflammatory brains have the tendency to consume more sugar and those with inflammation were found to also suffer more from depression.

The inflammation is generally caused by a diet high in simple sugars, and this may eventually lead to depression. It’s not clear whether two are directly related, but it can be concluded that one comes after the other. When inflammation is severe, the depression can also become serious. To make clear the direct relationship between the inflammation and depression, additional research is needed.

Sugar Brain Side Effects Conclusion

Finally, the article has had the best information regarding the brain and sugar levels. You will agree that the relationships are clear and the evidence from various research show how the sugar levels impair learning and memory.

We have also been able to find out more about disorders and brain dysfunction that come with the consumption of higher levels of sugar in the brain. It’s shown that when the blood sugar levels are high, the level of brain retention is low and the ability to use your memory is also low.

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