Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sugar was making me smarter

I swear I have lost a whole bunch of IQ points in the last 24 hours. Along with:

  • my keys. Last seen in the ladies' loos at university.* Hopefully they will still be there tomorrow.
  • my handbag. Left behind at a cafe (where Geekman, who needs to learn something about solidarity, ate an enormous piece of chocolate and caramel mudcake right in front of me).** I am totally in love with the woman who sat at our table after us, handed the bag in to the manager, and wouldn't even let me buy her a coffee in gratitude.
  • my ability to turn unintelligible notes to myself into a well-crafted dissertation chapter. (Actually, did I even have that to begin with?) I sat and stared at the thing for nearly two hours today, paralysed by the cognitive dissonance resulting from incompatibility between the chapter in my head and the one that my notes were telling me to write. (I overcame the problem temporarily by deleting from the outline two sections that would have taken me an hour each to write and counting it as an afternoon's work.)

* And oh my god, speaking of the loos, would it have killed the university to still have the cleaners come in even though we are officially closed until New Year? The admin people can't seriously imagine that no one is using this 'break' to catch up on research. And someone in our department (not me!) has serious intestinal distress.

** In case anyone is wondering about the sugar, (not that anyone is, because judging by my stats for the last few days you all
—except, apparently, for Arbitristahave way better things to do over Christmas than read blogs), I haven't turned into a health-conscious nutter or anything. I just decided that it was seriously abnormal that I couldn't go an entire day without gorging on biscuits, cakes or if nothing else was available, teaspoons of sugar straight from the packet. I'm hoping that whether the source of my cravings are psychological or physical, going cold turkey(ish) on the sugar for a couple of weeks might show them who's boss. After which we will return to our regularly scheduled desserts. (Plus, Geekman bet me that I couldn't hack it.)


LaKisha said...

pure sugar? really?

StyleyGeek said...

Pure sugar what? Pure sugar was making me smarter? Maybe. Pure sugar is what I've given up? That and anything loaded with the stuff. Pure sugar is what I ate by the teaspoon? Uh huh.

Weekend_Viking said...

Well, your brain basically runs mostly on glucose - if you lower your sugar intake across the board, or if processed sugar was your main sugar intake, then you have to get it from starches, which takes longer, and needs more glycogen and digestion.

The trick is to eat less _processed_ sugar, but maintain your uptake of sugar containing fruits, malted grain products, etc. Sucrose is only really a problem due to its high purity and it's calcium leaching action (yep, sucrose, unlike other sugars, requires calcium to metabolise properly, apparently, and your body, being a sensible but shortsighted chemist, grabs it from the nearest source, the calcium phosphate in your bones.)

So go for the fructose, glucose, maltose etc, and avoid the sucrose.

StyleyGeek said...

Thanks, WV. That is exactly what I'm doing. I'm not limiting fruit or other products with natural sugars (except honey, because I have an unfortunate tendency to eat that by the jar-full).

The only problem with this plan is that MAN, I am hungry ALL THE FREAKING TIME. I had no idea that all that sugar was 'spoiling my appetite' but I guess my mother was right all those years ago. It's a totally new sensation for me to have that physical gnawing sensation in the stomach going on rather than just 'oh, that looks yummy and it's a mealtime, so I'd better eat it.'