Some perceived the study results as implying that ice cream improves brain function, period, and wrote to say they were going to allow their kids to have ice cream for breakfast after all. What may be happening here? A couple of things. First, the brain is ‘fasting’ while you sleep (unless you’re hooked up to some type of nutritional source). It needs some nutrition first thing in the morning to help it ‘boot up’ and function well. After all, that’s the definition of breakfast: giving the brain some food to break the fast. According to Katie Barfoot, a Nutritional Psychology Doctoral Researcher at Reading University, a possible explanation for the increased alertness observed in the study may simply eating breakfast versus not eating breakfast. Secondly, the brain needs water to function and it works better when the ambient temperature is cooler rather than hotter. Drinking cold water may help to cool the brain but it doesn’t trigger the same level of increased alertness, since water doesn’t provide nutrition in the form of calories. More tomorrow.