You know all the fear mongering left and right about how sugar is the devil?
I'm kinda over it. Did you know that one of the best ways to increase your desire to eat more sugar is by setting it as off-limits. Our brain actually responds to 'perceived scarcity' in a way that makes us crave more of it. So I refuse to pose any food as a 'bad' or 'off-limits' food, which I know scares the bananas out of my clients. And out of you.
Let's get something straight: sugar is NOT addictive. Yes, it makes our brain 'light up' with feel-good chemicals. But so does cuddling puppies, and hugs, and sitting outside in nature. Are you afraid of becoming addicted to any of those things? No? Then stop saying sugar is addictive. It is one of life's many pleasures, but it isn't addictive.
What I teach my clients is how to understand how to listen to the rules of their body so they actually eat the right proportions of foods that feel reallyyy good in their body, and then I help them learn how to use sports nutrition to feel every better (ie. how to stop constant appetite during training or hitting the wall mid-run). Curious how to become a client? Set up a free call with me here.
But one of the beauties of learning a bit more about sports nutrition is you actually come to appreciate how sugar really can be helpful! Sure, I'm not pretending a lollipop is as nutrient dense as kale. That would be silly!
But... there are three key times when sugar is a good idea!
While hydrating on a long run or hot & humid day. You want to make sure your sports beverage contains sugar because it actually helps with absorption! So skip the calorie free Nuun and make sure you have a sports beverage with some calories from sugar, ideally in a 4% sugar solution.
When you're fueling pre- or mid-workout, the spike in your blood sugar from a sugar rich meal or fuel source will help you actually perform better. When we can perform better, we can push our hard workouts harder and build more muscle, athleticism and speed. When we build more muscle, we boost metabolism. You get the idea.
When we are craving something sugar-y. I know this one scares you because you're going to argue that I don't get it. If you have permission to eat sugar then you'll just eat it morning, noon and night. You'll never stop. And I want you to know that that's a common fear!! But because I know you're a human with a human brain, I know that it won't be the case. When you're craving a sweet, ask yourself if you're hungry...and if you are then give yourself permission to sit down, with said-treat on a plate and eat it slowly and enjoy it.
Did any of those surprise you?? I'd love for you to head to my free facebook community and let me know if you learned anything new from today's post!