I may be way off, but this article intrigued me on many levels. I feel I suffer from mental fatigue unless I take ginseng every day. It’s like my caffeine. However, this long weekend there was some not-so-keto indulgences (ciders, hidden sugars in bbq sauce, soybean oil in dressing) and my brain couldn’t wrap itself around this concept and take it to the next level(s), and I didn’t have my ginseng.
I am wondering about this glucose thing and mental fatigue.
Parts that stood out for me:
Subjects spent 90 minutes sitting in front of a computer screen either watching a bland documentary or playing a simple but focus-demanding computer game. Afterwards, when they hopped on an exercise bike for a time-to-exhaustion test, those who’d played the computer game immediately reported higher levels of perceived effort, and gave up 15 percent earlier than the documentary watchers.
The basic hypothesis that Martin and her colleagues present (drawing on a suggestion from 2014) is that mental fatigue results from the accumulation of a brain chemical called adenosine. In this picture, sustained cognitive activity burns up glucose, particularly in certain regions of the brain associated with “effortful mental processes,” such as the anterior cingulate cortex.
In rats, injections that increase adenosine levels in the brain lead them to make “lazier” decisions, choosing easily available but unappetizing food instead of going to the trouble of pressing a lever to get better food.
These questions aren’t in any particular order…
Adenosine is part of the mitochondrial energy source, ie: AMP, ADP, and ATP. Does this adenosine rise in the brain affect cellular energy, and by proxy mental energy?
What happens if the anterior cingulate cortex doesn’t have glucose? Is this an area of the brain that does better with ketones?
Could mental fatigue post-mental strain be circumvented via keto? (maybe reading the forums before a long bike ride isn’t a good idea lol)