What Is A Sugar Crash?
A sugar crash is a term used to describe the extreme feeling of fatigue after consuming a large amount of carbohydrates. A sugar crash causes the body to quickly produce insulin, which triggers glucose usage by tissues in the body by either using it as glycogen or using it for energy. The usage causes a drop in glucose levels, which in turn causes the feelings of a sugar crash. So when the blood sugar levels are low, the cells within the body aren’t receiving the energy they need to keep the body going. Many people describe a sugar crash as a feeling of lethargy, tiredness, and irritability, while other people compare it to the feeling of a hangover.
Symptoms of a Sugar Crash
The symptoms of a sugar crash are similar to when a person has an episode of hypoglycemia, but it is not as severe as it would be in diabetic cases of hypoglycemia. A sugar crash usually happens within 4 hours of eating a large amount of carbohydrates.
- Light Headedness
- Difficulty Concentrating
Treatment for Sugar Crashes
Reversing a sugar crash is necessary to restore blood sugar levels to a normal level so that the body can function normally. A sugar crash usually doesn’t require medical intervention unless the person is a diabetic or the person has a history of hypoglycemia. To keep the body going after a sugar crash, one must consume sugary foods that can be quickly digested. These foods include dried fruit, sugar candies, juice, and Gatorade.
Preventing Sugar Crashes
Sugar crashes can be reduced and possibly avoided if a person performs a moderate amount of physical activities within a few hours after eating the carbohydrates. It can also be reduced by slowing down the digestive process so that it takes longer for sugars to be absorbed by the body. This can be done by drinking cold water or cold tea shortly after eating. These methods may reduce the severity of the insulin spike and the physical effects associated with it. It is important to note that drinking hot liquids with carbohydrates actually increases the metabolic rate of digestion, which makes the sugar crash easier to happen.
Sugar crash can also be prevented by changing the diet to include complex carbohydrates such as fruits and juices. It is also helpful to consume small meals throughout the day, and to limit the intake of sugar if the stomach is empty.