Sugary gargle can 'help foster self-control'

9 November

Gargling sugary water could help people achieve self-control, which might help smokers kick their habit sooner.

A team of scientists at the University of Georgia discovered the interaction that sugar has with the tongue can have a transformative effect on a person's disposition.

"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," Leonard Martin, professor psychology at the university said.

"After this trial, it seems that glucose stimulates the simple carbohydrate sensors on the tongue. This, in turn, signals the motivational centres of the brain where our self-related goals are represented. These signals tell your body to pay attention."

The study said that while research has shed fascinating insight into the power of a simple gargle, whether it can have a decisive impact on smoking over the long-term is doubtful.

People who are trying to quit smoking may find that a gargle of lemonade boosts their self-control, but it might be lacking in helping them pack it in altogether.

"It is the self-investment," prof 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."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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