I know you’ve all experienced it. I am talking about the up and down effect that sugar has on you after you eat your favorite sweet treat. It typically goes something like this: At first you have this intense hunger or lack of energy that immediately flashes visions of a candy bar, cupcake, soda pop, or donut into your mind. So you go for it. I mean after all, there are vending machines everywhere. Almost every single break room that I go into when doing luncheon health talks have at least one “food” vending machine and a soda machine. I used “food” purposely because there are little to no items in these vending machines that actually qualify as real food.
So we consume our sweet treat, and almost instantaneously we experience a burst of energy! We think to ourselves, “man that’s just what I needed.” But then something else happens. Within a short period of time we start to notice that weird brain fog thing happening. We feel slightly confused and well, not so energized anymore. Then about as quickly as that burst of energy occurred, we experience the dreaded CRASH! Now all we can think about is finding the nearest couch to take a nap on.
What does this happen? Things seemed so great at first, sort of like a high school romance, but boy –oh-boy, when things change they really change. There is actually a scientific explanation for this up and down affect we experience when consuming refined sugars, like those found in our sweet treats. You see, our body needs glucose in order to provide fuel for the cells. Sugar is broken down into glucose. Now in the case of refined sugars, there is little to no vitamins or minerals present, and when you couple that with the fact that refined/simple sugars are what’s known as Short Chain Sugars, there is little to no digestion necessary for these sugars to enter into the bloodstream.
Because they enter the bloodstream so rapidly, they cause a drastic and quick rise in blood sugar levels. So this explains that sugar rush and quick burst of energy you get after you eat sugar. But then, the body releases a large amount of insulin to pull the sugars out of the blood and into the cells, which then quickly causes a drastic drop in the blood sugar level. The body then sends you a signal that, “hey, we are low on energy and need more now!!!” This then causes the craving for more sugar. Vicious cycle I know, and this accounts for much of the obesity epidemic we are facing in this country. 1 in 4 people are obese, and 1 in 3 people are overweight in the United States!
When it comes to fueling your body, choose wisely. Consume complex carbohydrates and fruits for you energy sources, as these take much longer for the body to breakdown, which causes a much slower absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, and a much more stable blood sugar level.
In wellness and love,
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.