In last few days I’ve been watching the series Limitless. I’ve got to say that I loved it, in my opinion, it was better than the movie. Brian Finch (played by Jake McDorman) is so darn adorable.
But that’s not the point of this post… The thing is that mid-season I realized that Brian doesn’t have the need for huge amounts of food, even though his brain is working on 100%, consciously. I know, I KNOW! It’s fiction, but still, I can’t help it, it bothered me…
I found that odd, because personally when I study, I eat a huge amount of food and mostly lose weight while doing so. Therefore I found it weird that there was no mention of excess food consumption in the series.
Yeah, I had to study like crazy 2 weeks ago, because I had last two exams to take before I could finally drag myself into the second year. It was tough and I can say that I lost weight even though I ate like two times more food than normal. Also, I’m not the only person who constantly complains about being hungry while studying so…
And me being a nerd naturally forces my brain into an overdrive and have to research whatever’s bothering me, so I checked if there’s a bigger energy usage, therefore a bigger need for food consumption while you’re burning miles on your brain studying (as an example).
Basically, our brain’s a gluttony because it uses 20% of our resting metabolic rate (RMR)—the total amount of energy our bodies expend in one very lazy day of no activity.
While I know that we subconsciously constantly use our brain’s full capacity, we still don’t force ourselves to focus on one thing for a long period of time, most of the time. So thinking hard is not really the issue here because it doesn’t really affect how much the brain works.
But why the heck do we need more food while studying?! Well that’s because:
1)We’re stress eating
Oh, admit it! You’re stressed as hell in the time of exams! So it’s kind of normal to stress eat.
2) Our brain is lazy and refuses to focus on studying, therefore uses eating as a distraction
Like mentioned before, out brain would love to do anything else BUT focus on cramming for a longer period of time, so taking breaks is absolutely needed… And the longer you study the more breaks you should take, otherwise well… Your brain will give up on you and you’ll start thinking about cute cat gifs you saw on internet god knows when.
3) You actually need glucose to power your brain
Basically, our brain uses glucose as the source of energy therefore if you want your brain to work as it should. Therefore, if there’s not enough sugar for your brain the brain will not remember anything you’re trying to cram… And you’ll have to study everything all over again.
However, even though I made it clear that your brain needs sugar (glucose) to work properly, eating too much sugar will damage your brain. So yeah… Put down that ice cream Brian…
That said… I think Brian in Limitless would need to eat a lot of food… I mean his job is quite stressful as it is, not to mention he has to consciously think of everything that’s happening in his body and about everything else, while on NZT. I’d probably want to eat a pizza every hour if I was him…
Oh and before I end this…. KIDS! Don’t do drugs!!
I didn’t want to put quotes after every sentence where I pulled the things from, so here are the sources, in case you want to read further: