Watching your children gleefully running door-to-door on Halloween, hoarding piles of candy and snacking on the occasional loot, you may be convinced they’re experiencing a “sugar rush.”

It was probably a phrase you’ve heard your own parents or other adults throw around whenever the kids were gorging on sweets, making noise, and playing—well, like kids.

For decades, parents have associated their children’s wild behavior with sweet treats. But while the concept of “high sugar” is common, there is no scientific evidence that sugar consumption, even in large amounts, actually affects children’s behavior.

“This myth is truly enduring.” Dr Janine Zi-Chenga pediatrician who practices in Indiana tells HuffPost.

Although there have been some studies that show a link between sugar and children’s behavior, such as this one 1995 study that showed that adrenaline levels in children increased more than in adults after consuming sugar, other studies have not replicated these results.

One is particularly well designed research, published in 1994, followed 25 children ages 3-5 and 23 children ages 6-10 who were described by their parents as “sugar sensitive.” One group of children was fed a high-sugar diet, another group a low-sugar diet that included aspartame (a sugar substitute also linked to hyperactivity), and a third group a low-sugar diet with saccharin (another sugar substitute that is considered a placebo study authors).

This was a double-blind study, meaning neither the families nor the researchers knew which diet each child was receiving. Children’s behavior and cognitive performance were assessed weekly. The researchers found no significant differences in behavior or cognition among the “sugar-sensitive” children who ate the different diets.

Zi-Cheng estimates that “10 to 15 other studies have debunked” the high-sugar idea. And yet here we are, nearly three decades later, worrying about how all that candy will affect our kids’ behavior on Halloween night.

So how does our body actually react when we eat sugar?

“Your blood sugar will rise, and then your pancreas will release insulin,” Zi-Chen said.

“Your insulin will kick in and process that sugar,” Dr. Jill Wright, a pediatrician at UNC Health, told HuffPost. Higher blood sugar levels don’t last long.

An exception to this process is if you have type 1 diabetes and your pancreas does not produce insulin, meaning you will need to get it from somewhere else (by injection). But instead of making you feel energized, that clinically high blood sugar will make you feel sick.

Noting that you sometimes see distance athletes such as marathon runners and cyclists consuming small packets of high-sugar “energy gel” during exercise, Wright said, “you’re definitely getting energy from a carbohydrate source,” but “not as high as you would think of a drug.’

This energy, however, will be mild and fleeting – think of a second wind mid-workout, not mania.

So what is responsible for children’s excessive behavior on special days like Halloween?

Just pure, childlike excitement.

Zi-Cheng explained that a “warning” for children who do not have real sugar levels is a very real possibility the rush of dopamine from the thrill of receiving and being allowed to consume the treats.

Some people also believe that sugar can make symptoms worse in children with ADHD, but there is no research to support this belief either. Children with ADHD do not need to limit their sugar intake “any more than other children,” Zi-Cheng said.

Zi-Cheng points out that we may see worse behavior in a child who is allowed to eat a high-sugar diet, but it is likely to be the general overindulgence, not the sugar itself, that is to blame for any misbehavior.

Wright adds that “if as a parent, you find that your child reacts in a certain way to what they eat or drink, use this information to help your children ingest such things.’ However, this refers to individual patterns rather than a population-wide phenomenon.

Both pediatricians are in favor of moderation in children’s sugar consumption, but not necessarily during holidays, which children look forward to all year.

“YuYou don’t need to eat a bowl of cereal full of M&M’s every day, says Zi-Chen. “But there are times [for exceptions].”

So, whether it’s candy, costumes, or the thrill of staying up late, let your kids enjoy Halloween and don’t blame sugar for their high energy.

However, make sure they brush their teeth before bed.