Sugar makes young people hyper, chocolate releases mood-altering stimulants, and your poorly balanced lunch makes you sleepy at 3pm. It's easy to fall in line with these cultural norms, but studies show they're weak links, at best.
Image via procsilas.
The Los Angeles Times runs through some of the most persistent myths about how food affects your mood. Some you've likely put to bed already in your own mind, like the turkey/tryptophan/sleepy-feeling connection. Others, though, are worth reading through at the full post. One "myth" that does hold true, though, is the need for a glass of water now and then:
If you're feeling cranky, drink water.
One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue, which goes along with depression, Somer says. So tank up before you get dry.
Kristen E. D'Anci, a researcher specializing in nutrition and behaviour at Tufts, found that even low levels of dehydration consistently had a negative effect on mood. "Not enough water made people feel irritable, less energetic and often brought on a mild headache," she says. She and her colleagues recommend people drink 2 litres of liquids per day - or more for those who engage in vigorous exercise or live in hot climates. Water is good, but almost any liquid, including caffeinated beverages, will do. Alcohol doesn't count.
How food influences mood and brain power [Latimes.com]