“I am hyper and acting funny because I had too much sugar to eat today.” People use this excuse all of the time, whether it’s to excuse their children’s behavior or their own. Everybody has days where they feel a little crazier than others, but do the crazy days have anything to do with our diet?
Despite what you may hear all the time, the answer to that is no. It is most likely the belief that sugar creates hyperactivity that creates the hyperactivity.
There was a study that included a group of children. They were divided into two groups and both given a drink that was sweetened with Nutrasweet. The parents of one group were told that their child had been given a drink sweetened with sugar. The other children’s parents were told that the drink their child received did not contain any sugar at all.
The parents who were told that their children were given a sugary drink reported more behavior problems and hyperactivity that the parents who were told that their children received a non-sugary drink.
Another reason why we may think that sugar makes us and children hyper is that we allow ourselves and our children to eat sugary treats on special occasions like birthday parties, family gatherings, or social events. It is not abnormal to be a little excited about attending these events and it may be our excitement about the gathering that is making you hyper, not necessarily the sugar.
Sugar also gives us a little energy spike. With this extra energy we may be more apt to act hyper and use up our energy, but it isn’t the sugar that is making up act crazy.
The myth has been busted. You can no longer appropriately blame your hyperactivity on the amount of sugar you consume. You will now have to take the blame for your craziness, unless others around you still believe this myth.