Sugar & Stress
So which way is it for you?
Do you get stressed and reach for the sugar?
Eat sugar and then feel stressed?
The truth is, it doesn’t really matter which way it goes because bombarding your body with either stress or sugar for extended periods of time, is simply a sure way to sabotage your health, happiness and wellbeing.
For many people caught up in the hamster wheel of working all hours –being stressed and eating fast food of some sort may seem your only option. The fact is that you do have choices. However, first you need to become conscious of how you are thinking and handling certain situations that are making you stressed which in turn is making you crave the sweet stuff.
Sugar and Stress – The Relationship
Blood sugar spikes seriously affect stress and inflammation levels in your body. Spiked blood sugar causes stress in your body, which causes your adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Cortisol manages stress and it also manages blood sugar levels too.
When blood sugar levels change too quickly cortisol is used to pull it back up again. Your blood sugar levels rise as it triggers the release of stored sugars into the blood to help with the energy that you may need when the fight to fight reaction is processed. Unstable blood sugar can make you feel the same as you feel when an event makes you angry, frustrated, frightened, e.g. STRESSED! So… sugar makes your stress response worse.
Even when you can’t control every cause of stress in your world, the simple act of keeping your blood sugar levels stable will make you more resilient, less irritable and better able to handle your sugar cravings.
Our Top Tips for Beating Sugar and Lowering Stress
Start your day off right and balance the relationship between sugar and stress.
Eat a high quality protein fuelled breakfast
Kick Special K out of your kitchen, because those, along with high sugar breakfast foods (bagels, overly sweetened yoghurts) sabotage your blood sugar, your mood, and your waistline. You will function SO MUCH better if you eat a healthy, balanced breakfast.
Stick with high quality protein, eggs, paired with good fat sources such as coconut oil and avocados.
Don’t skip breakfast
Having no food lowers your metabolism. This makes you less able to burn fat for fuel. You will also crave more sugar when the 4pm sugar slump arrives!
Stay away from high amounts of caffeine
Caffeine gives you energy by raising your blood sugar in the same way that sugary food does. Then comes THE CRASH. Drink organic green tea with a slice of lemon instead.
Anything works: walking, running, yoga, you name it! It helps regulate your blood sugar level too. Insulin sensitivity is increased, which means that your cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after exercising.
What about you? What links have you found between sugar and stress? We’d love to hear from you, please leave us a comment in the box below xx