The Importance of Blood Sugar Control...
can't be overstated. It can affect athletic performance, cause serious health problems, and lead to weight gain. Glucose levels are also one of the reasons you might experience low levels after intense workouts or nighttime dips that lead to hunger cravings and unhealthy snacking. The best way to keep glycogen from depleting too quickly is by controlling your glucose levels, such as adding more protein to your diet, exercising regularly, and choosing low-GI snacks to prevent unhealthy dips in blood sugar.
What is Blood Sugar?
Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is the primary source of sugar in your body and responsible for most of your energy. Your body's glucose levels are the primary source of energy for your cells. There are different types of sugars in food, which can affect how quickly or slowly it enters into your bloodstream and what amount is left to power you through a long day at work or a challenging workout.
Paying attention to what you eat is as important as making sure you don't skip meals when it comes to blood sugar control. For example, foods with a higher glycemic index are quickly broken down for energy, causing your blood sugar to spike. Foods with a low glycemic index do not cause this rapid rise, which leaves more available to power you through athletic performance.
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How Does Blood Sugar Affect Athletic Performance?
Unlike the dreaded sugar rush, a bonk is much less sweet. When runners and other endurance athletes experience this phenomenon, it can hamper their athletic performance. Additionally, when running out of glycogen, they may collapse with dizziness or even shaking in their extremities, all because they used up all available energy without replenishing it from any potential source.
Some people see carbs as the enemy. However, the body needs glucose. But too much or too little can cause serious health problems, which is why blood sugar control is so important.
High Blood Sugar
Yes, exercising can lower these levels. However, too much sugar in your body while exercising can be dangerous. According to an article by the University of Michigan's publication, Tips for Exercising Safely When You Have Diabetes, It's vital to watch your blood sugar if you're exercising, especially people taking medications to manage the condition.
Make sure not to exercise when you have high glucose levels or ketones. Additionally, anyone with diabetes should measure blood sugars before they begin an activity like running around and playing sports. If the individual has any of these symptoms: over 300 mg/dL or the presence of ketones, then it would be wise to wait until this subsides before trying such strenuous activities again.
However, just because you don't have diabetes doesn't mean you can't experience problems with high blood sugar during and after exercising. Too much sugar is harmful to athletes as much as it is for people who don't participate in organized sports.
Additionally, a 2016 study found that 4/10 of the participating athletes experienced a substantial amount of time above the 6.0 mmol/L level. The report's authors concluded that,
"Contrary to expectations, high BG appears to be more of a concern for athletes than low BG, even in those with the highest energy expenditure and consuming below the recommended carbohydrate intake."
Low Blood Sugar
Low glucose levels can severely hamper athletic performance. As mentioned, it's a top cause of bonking, an unpleasant response to the body's depleted glycogen storage. Also known as hypoglycemia, it can start with uncontrollable shaking and spiral quickly, causing a rapid heart rate, sweating, and ravishing hunger. If you have diabetes, previous nerve damages can prevent you from noticing the first signs of hypoglycemia. Additionally, if you exercise in the evening and go to bed with low numbers, it could present a dangerous situation while you sleep.
Similar to high glucose levels, the study for high blood sugar in athletes shows that you don't have to be diabetic or pre-diabetic to experience the body's response to depleted reserves. If you experience any of the signs of low blood sugar or high blood sugars, it's vital to take the steps necessary to achieve blood sugar control for your overall health and athletic performance.
Blood Sugar Control Tips for Athletes
If you want to perform better during your workouts, it's essential that you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. For example, one of the simplest ways is by ensuring a high-protein diet. Other easy steps include getting plenty of sleep at night and regular exercise.
If glucose levels are too low, then energy could be decreased significantly, which might cause fatigue when working out. On the other hand, if diabetic and glucose levels are too high, this may result in diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a serious condition.
Add More Protein to Your Diet
A low-carb, high-protein diet can keep your sugar levels in check without sacrificing energy. Remember, carbohydrates aren't the enemy. Complex carbs are your best bet for a good meal. They're tasty, satisfying, and don't make you feel sluggish after hours of eating them.
For more information about "good" carbs, pay attention to the foods on the glycemic index, which determines how quickly glucose is released into your bloodstream. The lower the number means it takes longer before this happens.
An excellent way to help your body control glucose levels is with regular exercise. However, when life is already going nonstop, it's hard to fit in a workout. However, the couple of hours you spend exercising can make all the difference in how you feel. It not only helps manage your glucose numbers but also keeps your energy up and weight down. Even a 30-minute walk on your lunch hour daily can improve your overall wellness.
Get the Recommended Amount of Sleep Nightly
Sleep is just as important as what you eat and how much of it, but many don't realize this. Aim for seven to nine hours a night in order to feel refreshed and energized when waking up the following day. Additionally, consider a healthy snack an hour before bed to reduce unhealthy drops in blood sugar overnight. Also, middle-of-the-night hunger could lead to unhealthy snacking and make it more challenging to achieve blood sugar control.
Pick High Protein Snacks
Instead, choose Extend Nutrition Vegan Protein. It's common to believe that proteins are only crucial for your daily meals. However, high-protein snacks are also part of managing healthy blood sugar levels. These contain no added sugar, 1g of fiber, and three vegan protein sources—Brown rice, quinoa, and pea protein.
The combination provides a satisfying post-workout recovery and replenishes your body's glycogen. Additionally, Extend Nutrition Vegan Protein helps control glucose levels longer than other snacks. One whole serving can manage blood sugar and reduce hunger and boost energy for six to nine hours. Also, it can reduce cravings for not-so-healthy treats.
It's common to believe protein powder is only for shakes. However, you can mix a 20g serving of protein into nearly anything. Extend Vegan Protein is available in chocolate and vanilla flavors, making them easy to blend into most snacks. Great options include,
- Greek yogurt
- No-bake protein balls
You can also go to recipes on their website for more ideas.
Buy Extend Protein Bars and Shakes to Improve Blood Sugar Control
An easy way to get there faster is by switching your usual snacks with Extend Nutrition Vegan Protein, Whey Protein, and Anytime Bars. It's tasty, boosts energy naturally, and helps with blood sugar control—all you need when it comes to your athletic performance and overall well-being. If you've experienced low blood sugar levels, such as bottoming after an intense workout, Extend Nutrition Protein products are an option. The powder is gluten-free and contains no added sugars, which is what you need to stay in the game and never run on empty again.