Does Sugar Make You Tired? Click Here To Find Out

Does Sugar Make you Tired?Lately, I have been pondering about the effects on refined and processed sugars in our bodies and I also made an experiment with consuming more sugars and then cutting them 100% out of my diet.

The results of this experiment are unbelievable to me, yet I found them to be true. The question that I asked after the experiment is if sugar makes me tired or what the reason for my exhaustion was. And I came to the conclusion that sugar is the reason for that.

I had been eating sugar-free for around 35 days. Now, I cannot say if there was not one gram of refined sugars in the ingredients of my food, but I prepared the food at home and knew what was in it. That was just before the Christmas season.

It was during the holidays and the 2 weeks before the holidays that I decided that I would not to be 100% true to my diet, but that I would cheat a little. And so I did. I was invited to many parties and I had some sweets during this time. Although I tried to eat healthy as much as possible during the day at home, I ate sweets here and there and drank juices here and there as well.

Sweets make you tired because they are full of sugarThe last week before Christmas I started to feel tired and exhausted as I had never before in my entire life. I woke late, I went to bed earlier than usual and I even took naps. Never in my life have I been a nap-person, but I just could not get through the days without it. And especially the holidays, I was as exhausted as I had never been. I dragged myself through the day and kept wondering what was wrong with me.

At first, I thought it could be the toll that weight loss was taking on my body. But during one of these days, it dawned on me. Could it be that the effects of sugar are so drastic that when you haven’t been taking it for some time that your body just cannot cope with it? Could it be that food would be defined to that level the way I feel? I had known for a long time that “you are what you eat”, but at that level?

The experiment was not a planned one! I had just decided that I would just be watching my calorie intake and also the foods I ate, and it was OK if I would not lose weight, but I did not want to gain weight during these weeks. And that is exactly what happened. I managed to get through the season without gaining nor losing weight, which was great, but how I felt was awful. However, I did not eat nearly half the sweets that I would have before.

Let’s take a closer look at what happens to our bodies when we eat sugar and see if we find a relationship between fatigue and refined sugars.

What happens in your body when eating sweets?Blood sugar is at its peak when sugar is consumed

In order to be able to know the effects of sugar on our bodies, we need to understand what goes on in our bodies when we consume sugars, no matter in what form or what kind of sugar.

So here is a list of what goes on:

1. Sugar goes into your bloodstream. The first thing that happens in your body when you have eaten sugar in whatever form is that it enters your bloodstream. If you cook sugar with anything, you know that it will get thick and slimy (jams for example). That is exactly what happens in your bloodstream, your blood is getting thicker and therefore it requires it to work harder. That could very well be the energy boost that sugar gives you. Because your body is under stress, you feel that you are sped up, when there is really a problem in your body.

The pancreas is under attack with high sugar intake2. Now Your Pancreas Is Under Pressure.
As your blood sugar levels are rising to a peak, the pancreas is under pressure to quickly produce insulin (a hormone to get the blood sugar levels down). So the pancreas is pouring insulin into the bloodstream in order to thin our blood and get the levels right again. But since the pancreas is so pressured, it sends in too much insulin, which makes the blood sugars crash. That means that after some time, the level is too low, which makes you go into a state of hypoglycemia (too little blood sugar).

3. The Body Needs To Replenish Your Sugar Levels. Your body is on a roller coaster ride by now. It battles to get down, and then there is a battle to go up again. Now that your sugar levels are too low, your body needs to produce more insulin to get your body back up to balanced levels of blood sugar. The hormones will take the sugar from wherever there is sugar left to replenish the bloodstream and the affected ones are the liver, the kidneys.

How High Is Our Sugar Intake?

The above-described things that happen in our body when we eat sugars likely do not describe the process completely since there are many things that happen to our body when we eat sugars. Consider that our body is relentlessly on this crazy ride, because how much sugar do we consume daily? We are not fully aware of how sugar is in our foods. Look at processed foods, what are the ingredients? It is needless to say that these ups and downs have many effects on our body.

Researchers believe that the American diet contains around 1/2 cup of sugar every day. Processed foods are full of corn syrup in all kinds of sugars. Juices are sweetened and are often the first ingredient on the list of ingredients on the nutrition label. Not only in juices but going through our pantry and looking at processed and canned foods, the nutrition labels show us that sugar is the single most used but dangerous food.

I had been eating natural yogurt for some time and thought I was eating good stuff because it says natural. One day, I Yogurt is loaded with sugar which makes you tiredlooked to the label just to see what was in there. I was shocked that the second ingredient on the list was sugar. I have not bought one single yogurt after that (and that was months ago). Why not? When I give my body this stuff, it has to work so hard to get the balance back.

For me, naturally occurring sugars in fruits are acceptable, even though your body goes through the same process, but the quantities are way smaller than in refined sugars. This is actually among the reasons why I eat more vegetables than fruit, in rates of 2 vs 3. I eat 2 portions of fruit every day compared to 3 portions of vegetables.

Since sugar makes our bodies go into a vicious cycle of ups and downs, I recommend that you cut down on sugars.

It is easy to understand why first thing in the morning after a platter of delicious and sugar loaded hotcakes, your energy levels stay up for around 2 hours. You feel as if you have had a healthy breakfast, but then suddenly you go drop down on energy and you get the feeling that if you do not eat instantly, you will faint.

Have you ever had that? I have experienced it many times. Research shows that this sugar high is a more sedative that makes you feel energized than what you really do. Therefore, sugar is sometimes compared to an alcohol “hangover”, because of the same effects.

Your body just cannot control and balance what happens in your body when you eat refined sugars and it has some negative effects on your body and health.

It is believed that feeling exhausted frequently after consuming sugar could mean that you are prone to diabetes or other health-related issues. In my case, I am pretty sure that this would not be the case as this was unusual.

So what do I do with it now?

After feeling tired and sluggish for many days, I recommitted to my diet right the day after Christmas holidays ended and went back to free from refined sugars. It did not take 3 days to recover my energy levels. I have been back to feeling energized throughout the days, have had regular sleeping cycles and feel good again. Proof enough that sugar was among the primary causes of my tiredness.

After that, I am more than willing to stick to my plan and get more positive results with it.

 

And now I would like to hear from you. Did this resound with you? Have you been exhausted too and believed that it was due to your high intake of refined sugars? Please leave your comment and let us discuss this topic further.

Have a wonderful day,

Oscar

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22 Comments Add yours
  1. Great article! I never realized how much more tired I was until I started slowly cutting back on the amount of processed sugars in my diet. I think if more people knew how great they’d feel if they did this also, there’d be a lot more healthy people in the world today. The hardest part, in my opinion, is that initial step though. If you can get past that and make eating healthy a part of your daily habits, it becomes soo much easier. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Exactly, cutting out sugar takes a great amount of will. Once you are past the first 2-6 weeks, depending on how quickly your body can get rid of it, you will not have the need for it anymore. It took me 10 days before my cravings for sweets were gone. And until now, after 5 months of staying away from it, it still does not appeal to me when I see all the sweets. And I have to confess 🙂 that I have eaten sweets a few times during these months, but my body is just not asking for it anymore. I feel much better and healthier after doing that. Can only recommend that to anybody.

      And that is the purpose for my articles, helping people understand why it is so bad to consume refined sugars daily.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Oscar

  2. I got sucked into your post because I too quit eating sugar last month. I read this article about how it’s more addicting than cocaine and it motivated me to take an honest look at all the places sugar is added unnecessarily. The first 2 weeks were difficult, but i felt so much better that I stuck with it. It’s now been over a month and I don’t think my bad habits will return… at least to the same degree. Thanks for shedding light on this important topic. Sugar really is toxic.

    1. Jackie, I am so happy someone else tried my recipe: Quit to eat sugar.  That is so great.  Would like to hear how you feel, and how you have been able to work it out?  Is your family going along and doing it as well?  Have your sugar craving gone at least to some degree?  I am a few months into it.  Although there have been days where I took a little of sugar, but I have been true to my goal.  

      Please feel free to share your insights of how you are doing so far.

      Kudos to you,

      Oscar

  3. Hi Oscar,

    This is just to say that I found your site interesting and the pictures were relevant as well.

    I do know that children experience ‘highs’ after eating sweets or sugary drinks. However, you experienced a ‘low’. Personally, I have not bought sugar for over 10 years, having honey instead.

    Altogether a very interesting read.

    1. Thanks for liking my page!

      Yes, well sugar gives you first a high and then the low.  And for me, sugar made me really tired after the few weeks.  It was a great insight that I gained, as I had not before in my life felt that way.

      I am glad you haven’t eaten sugar for years, but instead used honey.  I stay away from honey now too, but that for the sake of losing weight.  I think over time, I will be back to honey as well.

      Thanks,

      Oscar

  4. Hi Oscar,

    This is very interesting. I stopped eating sugar and sugary foods about 10 years ago as a book on Food Combining that I read talked about ‘sugar highs and low’ after consuming it. Apparently children experience ‘highs’ after eating sweets and sugary drinks.

    However, you experienced a ‘low’! Also, I had 2 Christmas puddings over the festive season. I did not experience a ”low’, but found I no longer like really sweet food.

    A very interesting read indeed!

    1. Wow, that is some great experience that you are sharing with me! I feel like that too, after some time, you do not need sweet foods anymore. I think it is the effects of leptin and ghrelin, when they can finally kick in and do the job they were made for.

      And yes, it was definitely unexpected that I felt so weak and tired after a few weeks of eating sweets.

      Wishing you well,
      Oscar

  5. I actually had a pretty good feeling that sugar DID make you tired before I even read this great article. I like your story about having too much sugar over Christmas because it just adds more proof to your theory. I use to drink energy drinks everyday and always had to have a nap in the afternoon. However, when I stopped drinking them, I had energy ALL day. It was surprising to see how much of a difference it made.

    1. Hi Brandon, thanks so much for sharing this feedback to my article. Yes, if you can prove a theory it is always great, and I had excellent proof that it really is like that.

      For sure, energy drinks are loaded with sugar and just imagine what goes on in your body when taking that in. I am very glad that you were able to cut on energy drinks and feel better in the afternoons. That is also proof of the theory that sugar does make you tired.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing,
      Oscar

  6. Lots of great information here. I used to eat so bad. My diet consisted of highly processed and refined foods and sugary foods. I not only gain weight, but I was also always tired even if I had good night sleep. I think now I can say its partly the sugar that was making me tired. The word natural is basically a marketing strategy, but the product does not always reflect the claim. Its not only important to read food labels, but all label. Thank you for the information.

    1. Wow, that is amazing how you felt so tired even after a good nights rest. I am happy that this article gave you some insight on what could have happened. Kudos do you for changing your lifestyle for the better. I am on the way to a healthier lifestyle too and I love the results that I am seeing so far.

      For sure, the marketing strategies are often more important to the companies than their clients health. Too bad. And yes, natural does not mean that it is exactly natural.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your experience.

      Oscar

  7. hi-i have read a lot of information about sugar but your post has simplified it-i like the way you have explained of what happens in our body when we take in sugar-that is a clear explanation I like most-everytime I take sugar this information sticks to my mind–great post indeed

    1. I am glad that you found the article enlightening and informative. Yes, the process that I described in what happens in our body really sticks in my mind as well. That is why sugar is not what you want to eat! It is definitely not your food.

      Thanks,
      Oscar

  8. Hello Oscar,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable information with me. I personally use sugar though in my diet, But nowadays I’m careful about the quantity of sugar i consume, if anything, very little.

    But I never new how sugar can have so much impact on our bodies, especially the fact that you said it can make you feel tired. Wow.

    Also thanks for explaining to me how the pancreas work to produce insulin when there is too much sugar in the body to help bring it down.

    I really appreciate this information.

    1. Sugar makes us really tired.  I had not known about it before.  If you eat sugar (even in small quantities) for your whole life, you will not notice the impact.  But once you get off sugar completely for a while and then back on, you notice the difference.  It was my first time ever to see how bad sugar really is for us.

      I am glad you liked the information on my site.  It makes me happy when people find new things on my site and learn a road to a healthier lifestyle.

      Oscar

  9. Hi Oscar,

    Thank you for sharing this great post. I know exactly what are you writing about. I avoid sugar at the most only use stevia sometimes. I usually prepare meals at home, because that is the only way to know what you eat. This is a very informative and well-explained article.

    1. Preparing meals at home is a challenge, but it is the best thing to do. You do you body a favor if you give your body what it is asking for. I have never used stevia, but I stay away from sugar now as much as possible anyways. Thanks for giving your insights into why sugar makes you tired.

      Oscar

  10. Hi Oscar, I have experienced eating too much sugar and feeling tired, except, I learned this knowledge in a different way. I was pregnant and just thought it had to do with pregnancy but, went in and did a gestational diabetes test and failed.

    The nutritionist talked to me and I had to follow a low carb high protein diet. While following this diet I learned that even carbs turn into sugar. I also learned that a lot of so-called natural foods have sugar as well. Just like you said in your post.

    Anyways, after I learned to control my carbs and sugar, I did have more energy. I was less tired. I even noticed the sugars in natural fruit and some meats. It is amazing how your body feels when a lot of sugar is removed from the diet. Now, I can determine when I have too much sugar. I try to stay away from it but, sometimes, I eat a little.

    Thank you for sharing this…I really enjoyed reading your article.

    1. Wow, what a great comment! Thanks for sharing your experience with feeling tired after sugar intake. Indeed, you feel much better after you stop eating sugar.

      The same thing that happened to you, happened to me. When you get sugar out of your diet, foods will very easily start to taste sweet and it doesn’t take much for you to determine if sugar is in there.

      I try to stay away from it too, but sometimes a little is in my food, because I have a hard time avoiding it, since your options are way more limited without sugar. But it has worked very well and we have had a good experience with it. Do not plan on going back the old way.

      It makes my very happy that you enjoyed this article. That is what I write them for: To help people gain an understanding of my battle.

      Oscar

  11. It´s such an annoying thing that it´s so hard to avoid sugars. The companies sneak it in everywhere like your example with the yoghurt.

    Anyway, I try my best to reduce it as much as I can and don´t consume anything but my fruit smoothy once a day.

    Did you stumble over other products where noone expects lots of sugars?

    Thanks very much!

    1. Yep, there are some good documentaries about it on Netflix, like Food Inc. It is amazing how the food industry sneak into politics and they make up all kinds of labels and propaganda to make unhealthy food “healthy”. Because sugar is highly addictive and it can be made out of corn (corn syrup), they know that their customers will by their stuff. Also, corn is so inexpensive that everybody can buy cheap junk food instead of going for the healthy stuff.

      I will do some research and put up a post on the names of sugar. Sugar is found with so many different names, that it is in most of foods. Tomato Juice for instance is loaded with sugar. Also milk and chocolate milks, etc.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Oscar

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