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Nutr Neurosci. 2011 Mar;14(2):66-71. doi: 10.1179/1476830511Y.0000000002.

Evidence for a second meal cognitive effect: glycaemic responses to high and low glycaemic index evening meals are associated with cognition the following morning.

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  • 1Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Lifton Palace Leeds, UK.


Low glycaemic index (GI) foods consumed at breakfast can enhance memory in comparison to high-GI foods; however, the impact of evening meal GI manipulations on cognition the following morning remains unexplored. Fourteen healthy males consumed a high-GI evening meal or a low-GI evening meal in a counterbalanced order on two separate evenings. Memory and attention were assessed before and after a high-GI breakfast the following morning. The high-GI evening meal elicited significantly higher evening glycaemic responses than the low-GI evening meal. Verbal recall was better the morning following the high-GI evening meal compared to after the low-GI evening meal. In summary, the GI of the evening meal was associated with memory performance the next day, suggesting a second meal cognitive effect. The present findings imply that an overnight fast may not be sufficient to control for previous nutritional consumption.

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