Research conducted at the University of Northumbria, UK, has discovered that glucose, the herb gingko biloba and oxygen can improve mental ability.

Andrew Scholey, lead researcher and neuroscientist, is reluctant to assert proof that oxygen and glucose directly boost the brain, but he now believes there is evidence of a clear link between how the brain works and what people consume.

The experiments conducted at Northumbria consisted of giving half a group or students a placebo drink, while the other half was given a drink containing 25g of glucose. They were all then asked to perform a test of mental arithmetic for five minutes, and researchers discovered that those who had consumed the sugary drink made at least five more calculations that those who did not.

Similarly, the performance of students asked to do memory tests improved with a hit of oxygen.

More promising were the tests involving gingko biloba, which not only improved mental acuity but that new brainpower also lasted for up to six hours.