Sugar. It's one of the most vilified substances in the world, and for good reason. Too much sugar can lead to a host of health problems, including weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
But what many people don't know is that sugar can also have some benefits for athletes and those who are looking to get into shape.
In this blog post, we will discuss 7 ways that sugar can improve your workouts and help you achieve optimal performance.
Ways Sugar Can Benefit Your Workouts
Here are 7 ways that sugar can benefit your workouts:
1. Sugar provides energy
You know, when you have more energy, you can work out for longer periods of time and burn more calories. While at the same time your body uses up a lot of energy.
Sugar is a great source of high energy levels and can help to keep you going during your workout. Energy is important for optimal performance when working out.
When bodybuilders and athletes "carbo-load" before a competition, they are trying to stock up on energy from sugar so that they can perform at their best.
You should know that you don’t necessarily need to eat sugary foods to get sugar into your system.
Fruit juices, energy drinks, and even some sports drinks contain sugar that can give you a quick boost of energy. Have you ever noticed how you feel after drinking a can of soda or an energy drink?
You may feel more energetic and ready to work out. That’s because of the sugar in the drink.
That said, while carbs are good to fuel up with pre-workouts, “simple carbs” like candy and cookies aren’t the best option as they can cause a spike in blood sugar levels followed by a crash.
Complex carbs like those found in sweet potatoes, oats, and rice are a better choice as they release energy more slowly and steadily throughout your workout.
For example, Muscle Up protein bars are made with sweet potatoes - a highly nutritious food that is good for gut health, cancer-fighting antioxidants, healthy vision, anti-inflammatory effects, and heart health. It can also be helpful for brain fuel and energy during workouts.
2. Sugar helps to improve your endurance
Endurance is important during a workout because it allows you to sustain a certain level of intensity for a longer period of time. This is especially important if you're looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness or lose weight.
By building up your endurance, you'll be able to push yourself harder and for longer periods of time, ultimately leading to better results.
If you are working out for a long period of time, sugar can help to improve your endurance. A recent study reports that some sugar drinks can improve endurance.
When you exercise, your body uses up its glycogen stores. Glycogen is basically sugar that has been stored in your muscles and liver.
Once these glycogen stores are used up, you can start to feel tired and your performance can start to suffer.
That’s why it’s important to replenish your glycogen stores by eating or drinking sugar during or after a long workout.
Doing this can help to improve your endurance and help you to keep going for longer periods of time.
3. Sugar helps to reduce stress
We all know how exercise can help to reduce stress. But did you know that sugar can also help to reduce stress?
No doubt, sugar appears to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, a new study has found.
Sugar helps to release endorphins, which are hormones that have a natural calming and mood-boosting effect.
Endorphins are sometimes referred to as the "feel-good" hormones because they can help to improve your mood and make you feel good.
They can also help to reduce stress and anxiety. So, if you're feeling stressed out before a workout, a little sugar may help you to feel better and reduce your stress levels.
4. Sugar can help to prevent cramping
Cramps are a common issue during exercise, especially when you’re working out in the heat. When your body gets hot, it causes your muscles to contract and this can lead to cramping.
Sugar helps to prevent cramps by providing electrolytes, which are minerals that help to regulate muscle contraction.
Electrolytes are lost through sweat, so it’s important to replenish them during and after exercise.
Drinking a sports drink or eating sugary food can help to replace the electrolytes that are lost through sweating. This can help to prevent cramping and keep your muscles working properly.
5. Sugar can help you to stay hydrated
When you exercise, you sweat and this can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, cramping, and even dizziness.
It’s important to stay hydrated during and after exercise by drinking fluids.
Fruit juices, sports drinks, and even sodas contain sugar and can help you to stay hydrated. The sugar in these drinks helps to hold onto the water, which prevents dehydration.
So, if you’re looking for a way to stay hydrated during your workout, reach for a sugary drink instead of plain water.
6. Sugar can help to boost your immune system
A strong immune system is important during a workout because it helps the body to fight off any potential infections or illnesses that might occur as a result of strenuous activity.
When you exercise, your body temperature rises and this can cause a temporary drop in immunity.
The rise in body temperature helps to kill bacteria and viruses, but it also makes you more susceptible to getting sick.
That's why it's important to make sure your immune system is in top shape so that you can stay healthy and continue to work out hard.
A strong immune system will also help your body to recover faster from a workout, so you can get back to feeling your best as soon as possible.
Sugar helps to boost your immune system by providing antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that help to protect your cells from damage.
They can also help to reduce inflammation, which is a common response to exercise.
So, if you’re looking for a way to boost your immune system, reach for sugary food or drink after your workout.
7. Sugar can help to improve your recovery
Recovery is an important part of any workout routine. It’s during the recovery period that your body repairs and rebuilds itself.
Exercise can cause microscopic tears in your muscles, so it’s important to give your body time to recover.
If you don’t allow your body to recover properly, you may start to experience fatigue, soreness, and even injuries.
Sugar can help to improve your recovery by replenishing glycogen stores. Glycogen is a type of sugar that’s stored in your muscles and used for energy.
During exercise, glycogen is broken down and used for energy.
These are just a few of the ways that sugar can benefit your workouts. If you’re looking to optimize your performance and get the most out of your workouts, be sure to include sugar in your diet.
A little sugar can go a long way in helping you to achieve your fitness goals.
The sugar can be in the form of glucose, fructose, or sucrose and it is found in foods like candy, honey, syrups, cakes, cookies, soft drinks, and fruit juices. It is also added to some sports drinks. Sugar cane and sugar beets are the main sources of sugar. Most of the sugar consumed today is in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is a type of sugar made from corn.
Muscle Up protein bars are made with sweet potatoes - a highly nutritious food that is good for gut health, cancer-fighting antioxidants, healthy vision, anti-inflammatory effects, and heart health. It can also be helpful for brain fuel and energy during workouts.
Author biography: Safa Kamran writes at MaxHealthLiving.com - an education-based fitness and supplement site. Safa has years of clinical experience in nutrition and dietetics, healthcare with an extensive focus on Medical Nutrition Therapy for disease management. She also specializes in dietary modifications for effective weight management.