If you’re about to try to negotiate a pay rise, it might be a good idea to have a sugary drink beforehand. It helps you concentrate on long-term rewards, reason your case for longer and more aggressively, according to a study published this week in Psychological Science.
Researchers at the University of South Dakota asked 65 students to answer a series of questions in which they had to choose between getting a smaller sum of money “tomorrow” or a larger sum in the future. The participants responded to half the questions on an empty stomach and the other half after consuming a a sweetened drink. “Within 10 minutes of drinking a sugary soda, participants’ interest in a larger, future reward was higher,” said Xiao-Tian Wang, one of the psychological scientists who led the study. “It’s like when you eat, if your blood sugar’s high, you can wait longer to eat. The cognitive impact on your mind is that you are able to wait longer to get a bigger reward,” Wang said.
Having a higher blood sugar level made participants less impulsive. On the other hand, having a diet drink low on calories made people more impulsive and go for the immediate, smaller reward, Wang said. A low-calorie diet drink tells the body that there’s an ‘energy crisis’. Hence, your body tries to grab everything available right now. The impact on one’s mind is that one settles for a short-term reward and is unable to argue his/her case longer, the study implied.