Sweet Agony

Jonah Lehrer’s “How to Drink Gatorade” over at Wired:

There are two lessons here. The first is that Gatorade is a waste of money. If you really want to improve performance, gargle with something that actually tastes good, since it was the activation of reward areas that allowed the cyclists to exert maximum performance.

The idea is that Gatorade’s sweet flavor distracts the brain and prevents it from focusing on the pain and exertion of intense exercise, thereby yielding better performance. Pretty fascinating.

Maybe I’ll bring a pack of gum along on my next run.