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A Glucose Rinse Daily Can Increase Self Control

Update Date: Nov 12, 2012 06:12 AM EST

According to a new study conducted on 51 students, self control can be boosted if a person rinses his mouth with glucose each morning.

According to a study co-authored by University of Georgia professor of psychology Leonard Martin, people who rinse their mouth with glucose each morning have better self control and can achieve their goals better.

The study was conducted on 51 students, where each of them was asked to take part in a self control assessment test that was divided into two parts. First, they were asked to cross out all Es on a page in a statistics book. Next, they were asked to perform the Stroop task, where they were asked to identify the colors of various words that appeared on the screen that actually spelt the name of other colors.

The goal of the second task was to make the students see just colors and not the actually words in the text.  It was found that the students who rinsed their mouths with sugar rather than artificial sweetener were significantly faster at responding to the color rather than the word.

"Researchers used to think you had to drink the glucose and get it into your body to give you the energy to (have) self control," Martin said. "After this trial, it seems that glucose stimulates the simple carbohydrate sensors on the tongue. This, in turn, signals the motivational centers of the brain where our self-related goals are represented. These signals tell your body to pay attention."

"Results show a measure of self-control, but a glucose mouthwash might not be enough to solve some of the biggest self-control obstacles like losing weight or smoking," Martin said.

"The research is not clear yet on the effects of swishing with glucose on long-term self-control," he said. "So, if you are trying to quit smoking, a swish of lemonade may not be the total cure, but it certainly could help you in the short run."

"It is the self-investment," Martin said. "It doesn't just crank up your energy, but it cranks up your personal investment in what you are doing. Clicking into the things that are important to you makes those self-related goals salient."

"The glucose seems to be good at getting you to stop an automatic response such as reading the words in the Stroop task and to substitute the second harder one in its place such as saying the color the word is printed in," he said. "It can enhance emotive investment and self-relevant goals."

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