Do Carbs Really Boost Your Energy?

Spread the love

Carb up, we’ve been told.

Carbohydrates are energy, we’ve been told.

They’ll give you a boost, we’ve been told.

But, is any of what we’ve been told true?

Maybe. Let’s take a look.

Researchers from Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Warwick, and Lancaster University conducted a meta-analysis of 31 studies, including 1259 study participants to determine whether or not carbohydrates have any effect on mood or energy. They published their findings in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews in April 2019.

Their findings may buck that traditional wisdom we’ve been led to believe, so hold on before you down that PBJ for the energy boost you’re looking for.

Upon analysis of the 31 studies, they found no evidence that carbohydrate consumption has any effect on mood, either immediately after consumption or even over an hour later.

In fact, contrary to providing an energy boost, they found that carb consumption was related to lower energy and decreased alertness in the first hour after consumption.

And mood?

No effect whatsoever.

This in spite of the fact that it is assumed that carb consumption is related to an increase in serotonin production.

So, let’s recap the findings.

Carbs showed no effect whatsoever in terms of mood. Neither elevating nor deflating.

And in terms of fatigue?

Carb consumption showed to be related to more fatigue, not less, with only one exception. The only instance the researchers found fatigue to be alleviated was during periods of physically demanding conditions, such as strenuous exercise.

They did not find fatigue to be alleviated when participants were under high cognitive load or when inactive. They found the opposite, actually.

So if you are looking to increase your focus, enhance your mood, or stay awake and alert, perhaps carbs are not the trick.


Enjoy what you found here today?

Click here to support this effort!

Thank you for your support!

The statements contained on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Unless otherwise specified, no writer for is a licensed physician, medical doctor, trainer, nutritionist or health professional of any kind. Do not consume anything written about on this website if you are allergic to it or if it contraindicates any medication or substance you are taking. Please consult a physician before consuming anything.

The opinions expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Please consult a physician or health care professional for your specific health care or medical needs.

Please talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or diet program, including those found on this website. The information provided on this site is not intended as a substitute for consultations with your doctor nor is it intended to provide medical advice specific to your condition. (click to read our full disclaimer)

Spread the love

Support this site!