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Sugar Weakens Your Brain Power

May 21, 2012

Fast carbs help replenish muscle glycogen burned up during a demanding session of lifts, but artificial sweeteners can sap brain power in just 6 weeks a study published in the Journal of Physiology reported. UCLA researchers fed 2 groups of lab rats a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener commonly used in foods and beverages. Along with the sweetener, some rodents were fed omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

After 6 weeks on this diet, the rodents who didn't get any omega-3s tested poorly on a maze-based memory test. But the rats who also consumed omega-3s along with sweeteners scored much higher. Since DHA is critical to brain cell signaling, scientists theorized supplementation protected brain synapses from damage.

It's important to note that fructose from raw fruit comes with a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant support. You can avoid high-fructose corn syrup by consuming whole foods in their natural state and reaching for calorie free energy drinks. Read today's Daily Fitness News at optimumnutrition.com for more on good and bad fats.