How much energy is needed for the brain to work?
Material posted: Publication date: 19-11-2019

As you know, every day, a person must obtain from food on average a couple of thousand calories in order to provide the necessary amount of energy your body. Of course, each person has such a figure is purely individual and quite unstable, in fact, because of different conditions and lifestyle it needs both increase and decrease. However, how the brain is responsible for large-scale energy absorption in people with active mental activity and is it true that the high brain activity promotes easy weight loss?

In 1984 there was an unusual case associated with the cancellation of the world chess championship due to an excessive exhaustion of elite Russian player Anatoly Karpov. The organizers of the competition were concerned about the rapid weight loss of the champion, as for the previous five months Anatoly lost 10 pounds on the backdrop of high brain activity and experiences.

As the portal, professional athletes, chess is able to burn up to 6000 calories sitting at your work place, indicating a high level of energy consumption by the brain. So, the body which is at rest and not engaged in any activity except breathing, digestion and the maintenance of thermoregulation, spends about 20-25% of the energy of the body to brain activity.

The brain activity of the average male and female daily uses about 450 and 350 kcal per day respectively, while the peak of the brain accounts for 5-6 years of age, when the body is able to use up to 60% of the total received energy body. Such high demands make the brain the most “expensive” organ in the body, although it is just 2 % of the weight of the whole body. However, biologists also noted the high use of energy by the brain in mammals, regardless of their size. So, the tiny body of the shrew gives the same amount of energy from your body, the brain, and how the human body.

Scientists believe that a large part of the energy supplied to the body is aimed at providing neural communication through chemical signals that are transmitted through cellular structures called synapses. The transport of ions through membrane is the most energy intensive process in the brain.

The brain never sleeps

Our brain never rests. At that time, while we sleep, the brain also needs fuel to keep signals between cells, which, in turn, support all the functions of our body. Because our brain is so much in need of energy, could it be that the greater engagement of the body it will need even more energy? Scientists believe that a complex cognitive task, everything happens so. What we believe is a mentally difficult task able to expend much more calories than the task to which our brains have long been accustomed.

Based on the above it can be concluded that using food a couple of chocolates during intense mental work, you can completely cover the energy needs of the brain at least for a while. Well, in the case of high physical activity, the answer may indeed be positive, however, in the case of brain activity, such a belief is a fallacy. To explain this phenomenon may be the fact that brain activity constantly needs a certain amount of energy, while enhancing mental performance the amount of energy consumed in a separate area of the brain changes slightly compared to the total energy consumption of the brain.

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


Tags: science