Why craving sugar may be giving us the yawns

It’s Wednesday and it’s lunch time. Work is dragging and you feel tired (it’s hump day after all), so you head off to the shop to buy a little pick-me-up. What our Sugar Scientist has informed us, however, is that this supposed ‘energy-fix’ is actually having the opposite reaction – it’s making us sleepy!

It turns out that Orexin, a brain chemical that keeps you feeling awake and alert, becomes inhibited when you consume sugar. We didn’t like the stuff to begin with, but now we understand why we may fancy that mid-afternoon cat nap, we are able to tackle the yawns head on.

Sugar tends to act as an emotional prop or boost when we’ve had a bad day or a long one! So how can we escape that ready-for-bed feeling and feel invigorated again?

  • Cut down on the sweet stuff: If you can’t bear to cut the bad stuff out of your life, why not try introducing low-sugar or zero-sugar products into your diet as a replacement? Having a sip of Perfectly Clear will give you that great taste you crave, but with no guilt attached.
  • Take a walk or do some exercise: Summer is approaching and the sun has got his hat on! Instead of heading into the shop where that tempting chocolate bar awaits, why not walk past it and complete 20 minutes of brisk walking with a work mate? We can guarantee that you’ll feel happier, healthier and more alert when you return to your desk.
  • Increase your intake of protein: whereas sugar makes us sleepy, protein has been proven to make us more alert and energetic. If you need that extra boost, look into incorporating a bit more protein into your diet.