Big news people, it has been confirmed that thinking burns calories. That’s right, that lovely grey matter of yours is totally working up a sweat right now and it has us excited.
Hello Giggles reports that Ewan McNay, an assistant professor of psychology and behavioural neuroscience at the University of Albany, was asked if using your brain burns calories, to which he replied, ‘The basic answer is yes.’
McNay explained that the brain, ‘runs exclusively on the sugar glucose, and strenuous cognitive activities require more glucose than simple ones.’
In fact, your body is burning calories in all sorts of ways, like keeping your digestive system ticking along and making those organs work in the way they are supposed to.
But it’s your brain that needs most of the energy.
Dr. Marcus Raichle, a professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis told Hello Giggles, ‘As an energy-consumer, the brain is the most expensive organ we carry around with us.’
Whilst the brain is only 2% of a person’s total body weight, it accounts for 20% of our energy usage.
Typically, a person uses roughly 320 calories to think, but if you’re thinking super hard that number can go up by 5%.
Obviously, this isn’t a sustainable weight loss plan. McNay says that ‘eight hours of learning a new instrument’ could result in maximum 200 calories, which equates to cycling or climbing stairs for half an hour or jumping rope for 10-15 mins.
So if you’re looking for time efficiency, sudoku probably isn’t your best calorie-burner.