Have you ever had that intense fuzzy feeling inside your stomach after a spoonful of porridge and just thought… OMG I love this stuff? Well, we hate to break it to you but you’re not the only one. But don’t ignore that feeling because it’s the real deal. There’s a chemical reaction that happens inside your brain when you eat porridge, similar to that of when you fall in love. Sounds crazy but at the same time… explains a lot!
It all comes down to science
It might come across a little unromantic but this love comes down to science. Porridge is made from oats which is a carbohydrate. The brain requires around 130 grams of carbohydrates daily to function optimally. Although your brain is only a small part of your body (no offence) it consumes around 20% of carbohydrates’ energy. In other words, your brain practically runs off of carbs. What’s that got to do with love?
Carbohydrates perform many functions in the brain. One of these is to assist in the creation of neurotransmitters, which are the body’s chemical messengers that carry, boost and balance signals as well as target cells throughout the body. These neurotransmitters help your brain to manage everything from breathing to your heartbeat to learning and concentration levels. They also play a role in our psychological functions including fear, mood, pleasure, and joy. You see, now we’re getting closer to answering the real question.
Porridge giving us that feel good factor
Two neurotransmitters that require the intake of carbohydrates are serotonin and dopamine. Research suggests that carbs promote the production of serotonin which is a chemical in your brain that makes you feel good. Carbs spike insulin levels which triggers more serotonin to be produced. Serotonin is the feel good neurotransmitter said to be responsible for healthy sleeping patterns as well as helping to boost your mood.
The other neurotransmitter that requires carbohydrates is dopamine. The body needs this to be rewarded with pleasure and dopamine contributes to your motivation and reward driven behaviours. Low levels of dopamine and dopamine deficiencies have been linked to depression and can also leave you feeling demotivated - and let’s be honest, no one needs that.
So, now you know. It’s not all in your mind. You really do love this stuff. And just like love, as long as you get the balance right and consume a healthy amount, it will leave you feeling on top of the world.
Every adventure begins with a bowl of porridge. Share your adventures with us using #PorridgeStories and tagging @3Bears_uk. Gobble up and go get em.