Is sugar your enemy, or just an easy target?

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Published: May 13, 2021

Everything you consume through your diet has an effect on your body. If you’re at least a bit healthy-conscious, you know that sugar is bad. However, this claim needs further explanation, in order to make sense. It’s a fact that if you consume a lot of sugar, it reflects on your waistline. Yet, during your power yoga Dubai sessions, you may notice a lack of energy, if you consume it too little, or not at all. Clearly, there has to be a good balance between sugar and fitness, if you’re in for optimal results. So, is sugar really your enemy when it comes to your health and fitness goals? Read on to find out.

The link between sugar and fitness

A diet high in sugar is linked to obesity and many adverse health conditions. The empty calories found in high-sugar foods are a major culprit when it comes to weight gain. Anyway, your body needs sugar to fuel your workout. You may have noticed this particularly during high-intensity workouts, such as Crossfit training. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, which means that the body turns it into glycose quickly after consumption. Shortly after you get a surge of energy, and this is one of the reasons why sugar is in fact addictive. You need energy for optimal performance during your workouts, and this is the link between sugar and fitness. In and for itself, sugar isn’t good or bad. However, it certainly matters what source does it come from. This will determine the success of your fitness goals, as eliminating sugar completely is virtually impossible.

A girl exercising
Sugar is an easy source of energy for your workout performance

What is the science of sugar?

You already know that all sugars are carbs, divided into simple and complex. However, for the purposes of losing fat and building muscle, it’s more simple to look at them as unrefined and processed. Unrefined carbs are contained in whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, and your personal coach Dubai will encourage you to consume this. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients vital for good health. Processed carbs, on the other hand, are packed with nothing but empty calories. Cookies, candy, bread, and crackers are just a few examples on the long list. These are the foods that give sugar a bad reputation. If your goal is to lose weight or a lean physique, avoid processed carbs, as they’re the real enemy. Build your diet around unrefined, clean foods, that surely contain sugar, but its effect on your body and health is much different.

Foods with low vs. high glycemic index

If you’re trying to limit the sugar intake, a valuable tool that you can use is the glycemic index of given foods. This rates how fast foods you consume turn into glucose in the bloodstream. Foods with a high glycemic index will cause you a rapid increase in blood sugar, which usually follows with a massive drop in a short time frame. However, male fitness trainers encourage you to consider a tiny amount of these foods, like a single candy, during and especially after high-intensity strength training, to improve performance. Otherwise, stick to foods with a low glycemic index, that increases blood sugar levels much slower, but will provide you with stable and constant energy levels.

A waffle
All foods have a glycemic index, that can be a valuable tool for setting your sugar and fitness goals

Sugar and fitness – what leads to weight gain?

Sugar is lower in calories than fat, but why is it that it causes a much faster weight gain? Well, it’s easier to consume massive amounts of sugar, and mainly from unhealthy, processed food sources. The total amount of calorie intake through sugar can easily top up and lead to weight gain. Moreover, the more processed sugar you eat, and the higher the glycemic index, the more insulin your pancreas produces. This triggers the appetite and leads to a vicious cycle of overeating. Our female fitness trainers in Dubai point out that weight gain is not the only trouble caused by large amounts of processed sugar intake. Health conditions, such as diabetes, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular issues are some of the downsides of high processed sugar intake.

Useful tips to help you get the best out of sugar and fitness

As you may have concluded so far, the balancing act of how much sugar and from what source does it comes is the winning combination. For the sake of clarity, here’s a brief account of what the ideal sugar intake should be like, for the best health and fitness results:

A pile of sugar
Processed sugars will hinder your health and fitness goals
  • Limit processed sugars – the lack of nutrients means that you’ll feel hungry even after consuming a lot of these foods. As for more, they are densely packed with calories, which ultimately leads to weight gain. Use the glycemic index of foods to make good choices of meals. If you really need to have a candy or something to instantly boost your energy levels, this shouldn’t be more than 250 calories worth of your daily intake.
  • Stick to unrefined sugars – this includes fruits and vegetables, and they all do contain sugar. However, they also have a lot of fiber and water. This helps to feel satiated fairly quickly, and even if you wanted to, consuming large quantities of these is difficult.
  • Use sugar as a supplement to increase workout performance – despite the cons of sugar, it can give you the energy to enhance your athletic performance.
  • Keep the amount of sugar intake balanced –  it’s nearly impossible to avoid sugar altogether. So, consciously limiting the amounts you consume is the optimal solution to get the best out of the two – sugar and fitness.

Is sugar your enemy, or just an easy target?

In conclusion, there is a fine line between sugar being good for you and turning into your enemy. The art of balancing out its consumption is the definitive factor that makes all the difference. Sugar for itself is not the enemy of your fitness goal. Finally, plan your diet wisely and merge sugar and fitness in a way that will benefit your health and physique.


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