3

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Is critical thinking best done on a full or empty stomach?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 02, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Anything point one way or the other? If you were going to take a test is it best to eat beforehand, be mildly hungry, fasted, etc?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on November 02, 2011
at 09:05 PM

I was more thinking of blood flow to the brain, etc, but thanks

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 02, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Absolutely, the best way I know to put my brain to sleep is to eat unless the meal contains ONLY meat/fat.

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8 Answers

2
Medium avatar

(12379)

on November 02, 2011
at 07:03 PM

How long is the test? What subject? Essay, short answer or multiple choice or all of tha bove?

How well prepared are you?

What is your usual test-taking strategy? And How does that strategy work for you?

I think test taking is so different for everyone and different depending on the test - and you have to experiment to see what works best for you.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on November 02, 2011
at 09:05 PM

I was more thinking of blood flow to the brain, etc, but thanks

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on November 02, 2011
at 10:44 PM

I remember hearing of a study that said that guys did better slightly hungry, and girls did better slightly full. But I never did find the actual study to see how applicable it was though. You know how hearsay goes. "Study says xyz", then when you look at the study, it was a couple people. Personally, I think its better to be in that middle range and not fasted/stuffed to the gills. When you're doing the test, your brain's going to need more glucose energy cranking through things. Might not be available when fasting. Although some people say that they've got a clearer mind while fasting, they aren't necessarily taking tests to prove it...

1
Medium avatar

on November 02, 2011
at 07:09 PM

For me, of late, definitely empty stomach correlates with, perhaps fosters, critical thinking. I'm using the skipping-breakfast (16/8) IF paradigm, including fasted gym training. Whether on workout days or rest days, 11:00AM/Noon is about the "high point" of my empty stomach, and while I don't experience hunger per se, I know that my adrenal glands are producing catecholamines at a significant rate around 11AM/Noon. Hence I'm alert, focused, light on my feet, and ready to take on all saber-toothed tigers that might dare disturb my zen-like equanimity. (Kidding aside, I'm describing a heightened state of alertness and readiness to engage in strategic activities such as Deadlifts, Squats, Chin-ups, Bench press.)

Then I work out, followed by Big Meal of Day, within 20 minutes of which (thanks to the carbs, chiefly) I'm ready for a short nap. Critical thinking not at a high point, after that feeding.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 02, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Absolutely, the best way I know to put my brain to sleep is to eat unless the meal contains ONLY meat/fat.

0
0a0c8c37d3a56738dc017e4ff09f21ee

(480)

on November 02, 2011
at 11:49 PM

Slightly empty is usually optimal. Just like it is not ideal to exercise when intense thinking is necessary - you want as much blood as needed to be pumping through your brain. If you are tired after eating a massive feast, it is usually because your blood is digesting a wealth of food in your belly.

It all boils down to intellect, though. If you can do calculus without much thought, then it wouldn't matter too much what was in your stomach.

0
D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on November 02, 2011
at 07:41 PM

I'm studying anatomy and physiology right now on a stomach full of eggs, bacon and green beans and the stuff is sticking in my brain effortlessly. I don''t know how much of it is critical thinking though.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 02, 2011
at 07:40 PM

Empty ofc. Ghrelin boosts inteligence.

0
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 02, 2011
at 07:27 PM

You should keep asking important questions. recently, I think clearer on an empty stomach, who would have thought! :)

0
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on November 02, 2011
at 07:22 PM

You should also ask about sleep, just as important!

I don't function sub-optimally both on fasting and full stomach - something in between works better for me.

I find about 60-90 min after a meal at peak cognitive efficiency typically between 9am-noon, depending on when I wake up.

For gym workouts, I make the best gains between 2-6pm. I've trained earlier (morning about 8-noon) and become about 10-20% sorer and have a harder time increasing reps and weight intensity. Between 12pm and noon has results in-between the morning and afternoon sessions.

Anything later than 6pm training causes sleep-disruption (but not soreness) later.

I always wondered if cortisol had some role to play, and maybe perhaps!

Interesting article http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/news/time.htm

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