Dopamine and Carb Gorging. Big Mornings, Make Bad Days.

Dopamine and Carb Gorging. Big Mornings, Make Bad Days.

  Morning behaviors triggering soaring dopamine levels and spiking blood sugars seem increasingly common in today's GenZs and Millenials.  Hardly a surprise though, when considering the addictive nature of these fleeting moments of high dopamine & glucose levels.  

In this blog, we test 4 cereals, and show the data, behind what can Make or Break a stable morning -  and your subsequent energy &  cognitive function for the remainder of the day.

Andrew Huberman of Stanford University School of Medicine has done tremendous research in bringing to light the implications of excessive Dopamine stimulation. Huberman notably highlights the implications of ‘starting the day’ with optical-mental feeding on phones and social media, triggering Dopamine cycles that set the mental outlook, and state of being for the rest of the day. Definitely worth watching (WATCH HERE).

Similar cycles play out daily, where morning carbohydrate loads go unchecked, triggering rapid rises in blood glucose, causing cognitive vagueness, rapid insulinogenic responses, and subsequent blood-glucose withdrawal. Like Dopamine affecting our daily cycles, so will a morning glucose spike-crash program our subsequent food behaviors, choices, and blood glucose swings for the remainder of the day.

Sugar, it turns out - has both a neurological effect on the brain, as much as it has a well understood metabolic and hormonal effect on the body.  At KetoCon Austin, in August ('22)  we had over a 97% positive response from the ~350 keto practitioners taste-texture testing our Keto3 breakfast cereal.

Now,  let's see how Keto3 delivers on stable blood sugars, in support of the energy and clear cognitive function of the ketogenic state.

Ok so the setup here is, 4 separate cereals - all at 40grams serving size, and served with a constant of creme and blueberries.

We chose a fairly natural, seemingly benign cereal in 'Rolled Oats' as the first cereal. Then we tested that against 3 variations of the SFuels Keto3 Cereal that we sampled at KetoCon.

Keto3 (19Gr Fat. 2Gr Sugar. 7Gr Protein. 7Gr Fiber) is a mixture of crushed almonds, shredded coconut, Psyllium husk, Whey protein isolate, MCT Oil (coconut oil), Collagen, Sunflower lecithin, L-Glutamine, Cacao, Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Himalayan pink salt. LEARN MORE HERE.

 The three Keto3 variations were, 

1) As a Muesli (straight out of the packet), 

2) As a Granola - where we mix the Keto3 Muesli with coconut oil, bake in the oven, cool in the fridge - then break it up as a clustered granola, 

3) and, as a 'Hot Oat-like' texture, where we heat Keto3 in a saucepan with some milk until it Gels - like oatmeal. 

Protocol for testing was:

1) All testing was conducted in a fasted state, at rest, and at the beginning of the day.

2) A pre-test was conducted as a baseline blood glucose reading before any cereal was consumed.  A 30, 60 and 90min blood glucose test was then conducted. 

3) No other food was taken during the testing period. 

4) Device used for the testing was the Keto-Mojo GK+.


Here are the results (clearly every consumer will have their personal responses):

The baseline blood-glucose levels across the 4 tests, over the 4 days were in the mid-90s to 100mg/dL range.

1) Rolled Oats: drove a rapid and significant 56point rise of blood sugars in 30 minutes, and then a subsequent insulinogenic response, driving a 36-point swing down, within 60minutes.

2) Keto3 Granola and the Keto3 Hot-Cereal had a low and smooth ~15point blood-glucose rise and hold over 60minutes, with a gradual decline through 90 minutes, back to baseline levels.

3) Keto 3 Muesli had an almost flat (i.e. no) blood-glucose response (~3pts) across the 90min testing period.

"While all the Keto3 tests showed very stable-smooth blood glucose levels and a very mild insulinogenic response - there is a question why the difference between the Granola/Hot Keto3 variants, versus the Museli. The answer lies in the heating of the Granola and Hot cereal - where the heat can affect the fiber bonds, and their functional characteristics to reduce/slow carbohydrate absorption.


Key Takeaways

1) Even 'natural cereals' like Rolled Oats, with high carbohydrate (low fibre) ratios, will drive high blood sugar responses and trigger significant ‘insulinogenic’ responses - clearly not conducive to a ketogenic state. In this test we saw a 56pt rise, and 36pt crash of blood glucose in 60minutes. Not surprising why we suffer mental and metabolic lethargy with such large swings in blood sugar over short time periods.

2) Cereals with a Low-Carb / High Healthy Fat / Protein Macro profile - will generally deliver a low and smooth glucose and insulin response - resulting in stable energy supply, satiety (feeling full), clear cognitive function in the morning, and support for on-going fat oxidation into the day.   SFuels Keto3 variants showed a low and smooth 3 to 15 point rise and gradual decline back to baseline levels in 90 minutes.  

3) Fiber: Heat can break-apart/rearrange fibers, so that ‘slow-digesting’ characteristics are reduced in the food.   Cereals that are baked, rolled, flaked or puffed are likely subject to heat, and fibers will lose some of their functional characteristics.   

Hope this helps you have more stable energy, and consistent mental cognitive function in the morning and through the day.  Thanks for joining our Keto On The Go channel here.  

Be well and Go Longer. Team SFuels.

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