Why The Brain Needs Adequate Energy

Why The Brain Needs Adequate Energy

“A person with low glucose supply to the brain can get confused and disoriented and may also have a poor memory”

Even though the brain weighs only two per cent of a person’s total body weight, it receives blood supply of 750 ml/minute at rest (which is about 15 per cent of total cardiac output). Thus, blood supply depends not only on the mass of the organ, but also on its energy requirements. So undoubtedly, the brain is a very important organ of the human body.

Energy Requirements Of The Brain

The brain uses more energy than any other human organ, accounting for about 20 per cent of the total energy requirements of an individual. Assuming that the resting metabolic rate at an average is 1300 calories per day, the brain alone would require 260 of those calories (about 11 calories per hour). However, this is just to maintain the basic brain functions on a lazy resting day.

For performing more complex brain tasks, much more energy is required. The brain needs energy in glucose form, which is passed in the blood via the blood vessels. Glucose cannot be replaced by any other nutrient (for proper brain functioning). Also, the brain cannot store glucose and thus requires a continuous supply of it.

Why Does The Brain Need Energy?

The brain works non-stop and is active even when you are asleep. Neurons in the brain communicate with each other and glucose is required for this. Glucose is also required for the production of neurotransmitters, which in turn are involved in important brain activities, including learning and memory. Lactate, which is the end product of glycolytic pathway, is important for long- term learning.

The brain needs energy in the form of glucose for most brain functions, such as alertness, attention, concentration, abstract thinking, judgment and decision making. When there is a decrease in the level of blood glucose, such as after prolonged starvation, or due to anti-diabetic medications, the brain cannot receive enough glucose. In this situation, the brain cannot function properly. Thus, a person with a low glucose supply to the brain can get confused and disoriented and may also have a poor memory.

High Brain Energy And Brainpower

It is generally believed that it is the energy in the brain that makes anything possible. ‘Where there Is a will, there is a way.’ This ‘will power’ is generated in the brain. Hence, a person with more brain ‘energy’ can achieve anything.

In addition to a continuous supply of glucose, advanced brainpower also depends on the state of mind. A happy person has a stronger brain, as compared to a person who is sad. So, brain efficiency is always better in happier people. Proper sleep, adequate nutrition and regular exercises are other factors that contribute to higher brain energy.

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