It’s something most of us daydreamed about as kids — having the freedom to eat ice cream for breakfast every morning as adults. As we get older, the novelty of the idea wears off and we realise that just because we can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean we should.
But if a study from the Kyorin University in Tokyo is anything to go by, our younger selves may have been on to something. Apparently, noshing on ice cream for brekkie can improve your cognitive performance and mental alertness. Participants in the best study ever were asked to eat three scoops of ice cream immediately after waking up, before completing mental exercises on the computer.
The ice cream-eaters were found to have better information processing capabilities and quicker reaction times than the poor souls who didn’t get to eat it. Scientists also discovered that those who had eaten the ice cream had an increase in the alpha waves linked to relaxation and concentration.
The scientists then conducted the same experiment with chilled water to see if the same result could be achieved. While those who drank the h20 did perform slightly better than those who didn’t, the results were less pronounced. But before you go out and buy a family-sized tub of ice cream, remember there’s always a catch. It’s worth noting that the results probably had a lot to do with the fact that the other group ate nothing at all before attempting the task.
“A possible explanation [for increased alertness]… is the simple presence of consuming breakfast vs. not consuming breakfast,” Katie Barfoot, a Nutritional Psychology Doctoral Researcher at Reading University, told The Telegraph UK. “Our brain needs glucose to function, and a high glucose meal will aid mental capacity considerably compared to a fasted brain. This, however, does not condone eating dessert for breakfast. A study which explores the interaction between consumption of low and high GI foods, whilst including a fasted group, would establish a better understanding of this increased mental capacity.”
Damn it! Luckily, if you’re still craving something sweet for breakfast, you can try Keep It Cleaner’s healthy 3-ingredient pancake recipe.