Scientists have found an unusual solution for smokers who desperate to give up the habit. A study suggested gargling lemonade might help smokers curb their smoking intake. This study was published online in Psychological Science. The scientists found that the interaction of sugar (known as glucose) on the tongue boosts attention as well as energy and can improve self-control. This simple trick could help keep smokers away from the cigarettes at least in the short-term.
A group of researchers at the University of Georgia enlisted 51 students and gave them two self-control tests to see if a mouth rinse with glucose boosts attention as well as energy.
In the first test, students were asked to meticulously cross out the letter “E” from a page of statistics. This task has been shown to deplete one’s self control.
The second was the Stroop task, in which words that spelled out the name of colors were shown in different colors. Participants were asked to tell the tester which color is on the screen. People are more prone to read the word, thus saying the color correctly would reflect a measure of self-control.
Before the Stroop test, half the students were asked to rinse their mouths with sugary lemonade, while the other half used Splenda-sweetened lemonade. Results showed students who rinsed with sugar, rather than artificial sweetener, were much faster at correctly stating the color instead of the word.
Professor Leonard Martin, of the University of Georgia, said: ‘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.’
‘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.’
However, the researcher emphasize that the test only measured short-term self-control. The research is not clear yet on the effects of swishing with glucose on long-term self-control.
‘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,’ Martin said.