Does thinking more, burn more calories ?

" Does thinking more, burn more calories ?"

I was looking for information on this today, and came up with a lot of conflicting stuff.

I’d love to know if there is a large difference in the brain’s energy consumption during different states of mind.

Also, is it true, that abstaining from sex increases your ability to ‘think harder’? [no pun intended]… And if this is so, then why?.. Do the testicles and the brain use the same source of fuel?.. Is this fuel source primarily protein?

That reads like propaganda for me but I don’t know.

haha…protein source!!! maybe.

Umm… my biology is a bit rusty, but I can tell you that the brain feeds on glucose and Oxygen, which are converted into energy by mitochondria found within cells. I presume that a higher brain activity requires larger quantites of glucose and oxygen, thus stimulating the mitochondria to replicate, in order to synthesize the needed stuff. So I guess yeah, thinking more digs deeper into the body’s reserve of nutritional substances.

I don’t know about that, but it can sure help you be more relaxed…

Yes, thinking or functioning of the brain burns more calories. Thinking involves firing of neurons and firing of neurons need fuel. A large portion of the glucose in the blood is used up for the functioning of the brain.

From popular science website:
Neurologist Harry Chugani of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan says “So yes, if you’re thinking really hard and really struggling with your thoughts, the neurons in the frontal lobes of your brain will be burning a lot more glucose.”

Given a limited source of energy in the body, yes abstaining from sex might give you extra energy for thinking. An average person burns 150 - 200 calories during 30 - 45 minutes of an average sexual intercourse (Source: This is only one way of conserving energy. Obviously, you could engage in sex, eat more to get extra calories to think harder. It doesn’t need to be mutually exclusive.

But Robin Williams thinks differently:
“God gave men a penis and a brain, but only enough blood to work one at a time.”
-Robin Williams

‘Abstaining’ from sex makes you more relaxed ?.. I strongly disagree. :confused:
[everyone makes mistakes :slight_smile: ]

Hmmm… interesting. So maybe that’s why, if you can’t sleep, they suggest putting on the lights and reading for a while ?

Another thing I’ve noticed, is that if you ever see someone with an unusually large head, they are very rarely overweight. Could be a connection there as well ? Or maybe they’re just smart enough to not over-eat. Also, it could just be an optical illusion, the ‘lollipop effect’.

It has been my own personal experience, that my thought processes are noticably impaired, post ‘shedding my seed’. This is more noticable, for me, the following day, after a nights sleep. I have always been of the opinion, that this is a result of my ‘animal self’ taking over, and giving priority to the refilling of my ‘reproductive reservoirs’ [cum tanks]. This makes sense from an animal point of view, when you think about it… a couple of days later. :slight_smile:

P.S. - The act of sex for me, at the moment, only takes about 10 minutes, and only involves the use of one limb. :smiley:

Sex with someone you love so much.

Is it that obvious ? :sunglasses:

Yeah, you’re right. I wasn’t thinking about abstinence when I mentioned relaxation.

I think in a certain sense it does help you to become relaxed – Abstinence that is.

I always say this, but sex is quite comparable to a drug. When you are actively having sex, there isn’t a whole lot of agitation or tension, but if you are used to having it regularly and then you stop, -that- is where the withdrawal or otherwise clouding thoughts come from.

Likewise however, if you get ‘off’ the drug so to speak, your body starts to even out and that craving subsides into the biological woodwork, waiting to be unleashed with the next visual aroma of some nice young woman, but fairly dormant none-the-less.

First, to answer the first question more specifically:

Thinking harder burns significantly more calories. It won’t make you skinny - but the brain is a HUGE drain on glucose in general (which is why there are such obvious limitations on our brain size and functionality. we can’t have perfect memories without significantly cutting into other more common functionality, like social skills). That’s also why you lose a disproportionate amount of body heat through a head (which is why you should wear a hat in cold weather) - because blood concentration in the brain is enormous, just so the brain can get the glucose and oxygen it so constantly needs. So yes, thinking more totally eats up more energy.

It’s true that post-orgasm males don’t think nearly as well, for loosely exactly the reason you describe - being in “animal mode” is actually a decent way to think about it. But in general, those who have healthy sex lives with another person will intellectually perform better than those who masturbate, and those who masturbate intellectually perform better than those who abstain. Someone who goes from abstinence to a healthy sex life will testably become (very slightly) smarter. And noticeably more physically healthy, stress-free, etc. Sex is good is the point I’m making.

By the way, grape juice is good too. Everyone should drink one glass of grape juice per day, and you won’t get alzheimers or heart attacks or any such things! Grape juice! Kicks ass!

Thanks Twiffy,

Are you saying it takes energy to STORE memories, like RAM on a computer? What about long term memories, from years ago, does it take energy to just keep those in storage, without even thinking about them? I always thought they [long term memories] were more like flash-memory-cards in cameras and such.

You’ve opened up a whole can o’worms there buddy !!

How exactly does one ‘masturbate intellectually’… I’m always eager to learn new positions. :smiley:

Nice one… That’s what I tell all my bitches too. :sunglasses:

Certainly it takes energy to store memories, and also to retrieve them (although, interestingly, much more to store than to retrieve). It doesn’t particularly take ENERGY to preserve memories so much as it takes USAGE of those memories. Sure, you can remember something you’ve forgotten long ago - but on the whole you are much more likely to remember things you use daily (i.e. things related to your work, hobbies, etc.) than you are esoteric impractical things. The brain automatically prunes parts of it that are unused, including memories - which is why one of the best things you can do to avoid old-age dementia (in addition to not drinking alcohol and drinking lots of grape juice) is to keep your brain active in ways other than what you do everyday.

just to add to what Twiffy said…

the brain accounts for something like about 3% of body mass but uses something like 20% of the glucose consumed by the body. Also, the brain can only use glucose for metabolism not fat or protein like other cells. This accounts for the personality changes seen in diabetic patients when they are hyper/hypoglycemic.


Gee, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fat nerd.

My AP Biology teacher used to tell me thinking burned 4x more energy than walking.

It’s true that the brain requires a substantial amount of glucose to function properly. That’s the only thing I know for sure. I would speculate that distress around sex or anything would affect a person’s ability to think well.