General, Research, Technology

How much energy does the brain need to work?

As you know, every day a person should receiveeating an average of a couple thousand calories in order to provide the necessary amount of energy to your body. Of course, for each person, such an indicator is purely individual and rather unstable, because, due to various conditions and lifestyle, it should both increase and decrease. However, how much is the brain responsible for the large-scale absorption of energy in people with active mental activity, and is it true that high brain activity contributes to easy weight loss?

A chess athlete can burn up to 6,000 calories in one day, while not getting up from a chair

How much energy is needed for the brain to work?

In 1984, an unusual incident occurred.with the cancellation of the World Chess Championship due to excessive exhaustion of the elite Russian player Anatoly Karpov. The organizers of the contest were worried about the rapid weight loss of their champion, since in the previous five months Anatoly had lost 10 kilograms due to high brain activity and emotions.

According to the portal ESPN.com, professional chess athletes are able to burn up to 6,000 calories while sitting at their workplace, which indicates a high level of energy consumption by the brain. So, a body that is at rest and does not engage in any activity other than breathing, digesting, and maintaining thermoregulation, consumes about 20-25% of the entire energy of the body on brain activity.

The brain consumes energy primarily in the form of glucose

The brain activity of the averageMen and women daily use about 450 and 350 kcal per day, respectively, while the peak of the brain occurs at 5-6 years of age, when this organ is able to use up to 60% of all energy received by the body. Such high requirements make the brain the most “expensive” organ in the body, although it occupies only 2% of the weight of the whole body as a whole. However, biologists also noted the high use of energy by the brain in mammals, regardless of their size. So, the tiny organism of a shrew gives as much energy from its body to the brain as the human body.

Scientists believe that most of the energyentering this organ, is aimed at providing neural communication through chemical signals that are transmitted through cellular structures called synapses. It is the transport of ions through membranes that is the most energy-intensive process in the brain.

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The brain never sleeps

Our brain never rests. While we sleep, the brain also needs fuel to maintain signals between cells, which, in turn, support all the functions of our body. Since our brain needs energy so badly, can this mean that to use the organ more, it will need even more energy? Scientists believe that for cognitively complex tasks, this is exactly what happens. What we consider to be a mentally difficult task is able to spend significantly more calories than the task in conditions to which our brain has long been accustomed.

See also: Is it possible to live by eating only one type of food?

Based on all of the above, you can dothe conclusion that eating a couple of sweets during intense mental work, you can fully cover the energy needs of the brain at least for some time. Well, in the case of high physical activity, the answer may indeed turn out to be positive, but in the case of brain activity, such a belief is a fallacy. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that brain activity constantly needs a certain amount of energy, and during an increase in mental activity, the amount of energy consumed by a particular part of the brain changes slightly compared to the total energy consumption of the brain.

Mental activity is not able to affect the reduction in total weight

If brain activity does not affect the overallcondition of the body, it still remains unclear the fact why the chess player Anatoly Karpov significantly reduced his weight in preparation for the championship. According to expert opinion, in this case, the cause of rapid weight loss was stress, which exerted its influence not only on the brain of an athlete, but also on all systems of the body as a whole. In other words, mental activity alone cannot help a person become slim, but its proper use will definitely help all of humanity as a whole in its overall development.