When I complained about having difficulty concentrating, a friend proposed taking ginseng and another said that energy drinks like Red Bull would do the trick. Dietary supplements are also said to improve brain function, attention and memory. Apparently, there are many theories on focus- enhancing drinks and foods.
Having all these options offered, can certain foods boost alertness for a presentation, an exam or a job interview? Experts reveal that there is no one magic food that guarantees helping people do their best physically and mentally. For the most part, research on the connection between concentration and food is either inconclusive or lacking.
The good news is there are some nutrients that have promising benefits on brain function. Many people will swear by the virtues of sugar and caffeine – coffee, tea, ice cream, energy drinks and chocolate can be considered stimulants.
Caffeine can energize you when you are fatigued but its effect is short- lived; the length of the effect is determined by someone’s reaction to it. Some people would feel alert with the stimulant, and others may get uncomfortable and jittery. Problems may arise if too much of caffeine is ingested; too much of the substance or overdose can make you become unfocussed.
As for sugar, it turned out that glucose is the primary source of fuel for the brain. A research demonstrates that glucose can have a fast benefit on our mental ability but it is short- term. Studies on the effect of glucose on memory and learning indicate that indeed the compound can enhance thinking and memory processes.
However, it cannot be recommended for all because other factors can interfere including the differences between people in glucose metabolism and stress levels. There is also the ‘inverted U’ effect, which means with increasing the dose, memory will get better and better but then after reaching the peak, it gets worse and worse.