Are sugar rushes real?
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chance

Resolves once I'm upwards of 99% sure that eating sweets causes a noticible change of behavior in the "more excitable/more active" direction, or upwards of 99% sure that it doesn't.

Inspired by https://thezvi.substack.com/p/covid-12822-another-winter-wave

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I'm pretty sure I experience sugar rushes and sugar crashes. Like, after I eat something sweet, I have more energy, and then shortly after, less energy. This is especially noticeable/detrimental when I've consumed too much sugar

predicts NO

I think the myth stems from people associating child responses to exciting events (e.g. birthdays) with them consuming sugar. But once we have calories in we can actually disconnect from the world more.

A meta-analysis found sugar consumption to correspond with fatigue, which incidentally makes more ecological sense.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30951762/

predicts YES

It seems like it would be hard for you to become 99% sure of No. But 99% sure of Yes could maybe be achieved without much difficulty.

predicts NO

A few, very weak, data points: the blog post you link seems to indicate that sugar rushes are common sense b/c they are experienced by lots of people. I do not experience sugar rushes. I observe that lots of people who claim that they want sugar also want to consume this sugar 1. in times of stress, rather than times of low energy and 2. almost always want to consume it paired with caffeine if possible.

predicts NO

Sugar does produce a dopamine/opioid 'rush' (sensitizes receptors) in the brain, impacting mood. Happiness might impact activity levels by making one sleepy or more active. The study that most people cite, IIRC, looks specifically at the behaviors of children after eating sugar, and indicated that they were not more active. I'll have to hunt down that study, but I'm pretty sure that it did not look at adults. Are you looking at children specifically?

bought Ṁ55 of NO

In the majority of the population, or any significant subgroup? If subgroup, how large is significant?

@Duncan Must exist in at a subgroup that is prominent enough that the effect likely led to the belief that sugar rushes are a common phenomenon, and that belief could reasonably be treated as pointing to a true thing. 10% of US children, yes. 1% of some uncontacted tribe, no.

I'm uncertain whether I should count non-children. Does the popular belief about sugar rushes usually include them applying to adults?

predicts NO

@IsaacKing I hear adults refering to them in adults, but I don't know how common it is. Does fixing 'hangry' count? Presumably, that's less excitable/more energetic, so it meets half the criteria? .

@Duncan I don't understand what you're asking, can you clarify? Being "bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger" seems very different from a sugar rush to me.

predicts NO

@IsaacKing I would take a sudden change of mood to be basically the same as a sugar rush... depending on your definition of rush.

@IsaacKing I think sugar rushes are more detectable in adults because small children are approximately high energy all the time, how would you even notice?

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