Eating This Dessert For Breakfast Makes You Smarter, According To Research

Ice cream is found to have an "awakening" affect on your brain.

Woman enjoying her ice cream in the morning Oleksandra Naumenko | | Gorodenkoff | Shutterstock

Next time your mom says you can’t eat ice cream for breakfast, you’ll probably have the mental prowess to tell her exactly why that belief is completely untrue. According to Yoshihiko Koga, a professor at Tokyo’s Kyorin University, eating ice cream first thing in the morning actually makes you smarter.

The 2016 study out of Japan — which is basically the best, most wonderful study ever created — consisted of test subjects in “clinical trials” where they were required to eat ice cream right after waking up and then did a series of mental exercises on computers.


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The control group, which was, unfortunately, the group that didn’t get to eat ice cream in the most unfair study, showed slower reaction times and worse information-processing capabilities than the lucky jerks that had eaten that sweet delicious ice cream.


When they monitored the subjects’ brain activity, they found that there was an increase in high-frequency alpha waves. These waves typically link to alertness and reduced mental irritation, which means you’re more awake and less angry about being awake, to begin with.

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Though there was some speculation that the test subjects were more capable because they were “shocked into high levels of alertness” due to the cold temperature of the ice cream, this could not be exactly replicated with cold water. While people who only drank cold water did have smaller degrees of alertness and mental capacity, they did not compare to those who began their morning with dessert.

Professor Koga hasn’t been able to make an absolute connection between eating ice cream and increased mental abilities, and some British nutritionists argue that it may be a simple matter of whether they ate or not.


“A possible explanation is the simple presence of consuming breakfast vs. not consuming breakfast,” says Katie Barfoot, a Nutritional Psychology Doctoral Researcher. “Our brain needs glucose to function, and a high glucose meal will aid mental capacity considerably compared to a fasted brain.”

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She goes on to poo-poo the study and says that the findings “don’t condone eating dessert for breakfast.”

But until it’s proven one way or another, I think it’s safe to say that it’s a great argument if someone tells you to put that ice cream down in the morning.


The study also found that eating ice cream activated the same "pleasure spots" of the brain that are lit up by winning money or watching our favorite things.

"This is the first time that we've been able to show that ice cream makes you happy," One of the researchers said.  "Just one spoonful lights up the happy zones of the brain in clinical trials."

At least science can tell us ice cream makes us happy.


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Merethe Najjar is a professional writer, editor, and award-winning fiction author. Her articles have been featured in The Aviator Magazine, Infinite Press, Yahoo, BRIDES, and more.