BRAIN BUSTERS CAN BURN EN­ERGY

Calgary Herald - - YOU -

Think­ing burns more calo­ries than you’d ex­pect, says sci­ence, but don’t ditch those dumb­bells just yet.

One ex­pert says the brain runs solely on glu­cose, and dif­fi­cult cog­ni­tive ac­tiv­i­ties re­quire more glu­cose than sim­ple ones.

“You will in fact burn more en­ergy dur­ing an in­tense cog­ni­tive task than you would veg­ging out watch­ing Oprah or what­ever,” says Ewan McNay, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­ogy and be­havioural neu­ro­science at the Uni­ver­sity of Al­bany. And tack­ling a cross­word burns more calo­ries than main­lin­ing episodes of Fixer Up­per, no mat­ter how com­pli­cated Joanna Gaines’s shiplap de­ci­sions seem to be.

But com­pared to the av­er­age per­son’s over­all en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture, the caloric dif­fer­ence be­tween dif­fi­cult tasks and sim­ple ones is neg­li­gi­ble, says McNay — only about a five per cent change against the back­drop of all brain ac­tiv­ity.

Tough think­ing uses up calo­ries.

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