If sugar could file a lawsuit, it would probably sue more than half of the world’s population for defamation. With hundreds of articles and publications portraying it as a vile substance, it would have won millions of dollars in claims, too.
Diabetes, obesity, cancers, heart diseases, chronic diseases—these are just among the ailments that are purportedly impacted severely by high sugar intake. While scientific researches have supported the ill effects of excess sugar on our health, sugar itself isn’t entirely to blame for all the world’s diseases. In fact, virtually everything we consume—except for water, obviously—contains some form of sugar. We’d all be dead before adulthood if sugar were the culprit behind diseases. What’s harmful is the excessive intake of added sugar. So, before you start a no-sugar diet, do your homework first.
Sugar Isn’t All That Bad
Despite what you usually hear, sugar isn’t all that bad. It can be an instant mood booster as it activates the pleasure center of the brain. This triggers the release of dopamine that results in feelings of euphoria. However, this may also lead to a sudden dip in mood after the sugar rush. Nonetheless, natural sugars such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, and glucose are beneficial to your diet. Sucrose is our primary energy source, and it is what fuels our body’s processes. For athletes and fitness enthusiasts, simple sugars are essential sources of energy.
Not all sugars are the same, though. There are sugars best taken before a workout and those that should be consumed post-workout. Also, getting sugar from the wrong sources can zap your energy instead of fueling your workout.
Power Up with Sugar Boost
Glucose is your best option for a pre-workout energy boost as the body burns this type of sugar most efficiently. Grab some whole-grain crackers or a slice of toast with nut butter to get a dose of glucose. Lactose from dairy products can also help power-up muscles. However, steer clear of them before your workout if you have tummy issues with dairy.
For athletes and gym rats who train much longer than regular folks, less healthy sources of sugar can help replenish carbohydrate stores. Candy and simple carbs spur recovery and muscle growth after strenuous training. This is the reason you commonly see athletes chugging down a bottle of electrolyte beverage after a heavy workout.
The Sweet Deal
Indeed, sugar has its good and bad effects. To stay healthy while getting your sugar fix, reduce added sugars and stick to natural ones from complex carbohydrates. Simple sugars from whole foods provide your body with the fuel it needs without adverse health effects. So, there may not be any need to cut out sugar from your diet. Just take the sweet deal and get just the right amount you need from the healthier sources.
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