When it comes to eating healthy, no one is perfect! We all have those days when we crave tasty temptations, and that’s perfectly okay.
But for times when you’ve consumed too much sugar and aren’t feeling your best, it’s helpful to course correct and get back on track.
In this blog post, we’re exploring how long sugar actually stays in your system and what you can do to flush out your system if you’ve eaten a bit too much sugar.
Is sugar hangover a myth or reality?
You may have heard rumors about getting a sugar “hangover” when you eat too much sugar, but how true is this? Let’s dive in!
What happens to your system when you overeat sugar?
A sugar hangover can occur when you eat a sugar-heavy or heavily processed food item. Your body rapidly digests simple carbohydrates into simple sugars called glucose. The glucose molecules are then absorbed into your bloodstream and this causes a sharp spike in your blood sugar levels.
When the blood sugar spike is dramatic enough, you get a sugar hangover.
Are rapid changes in blood glucose levels bad for you?
Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose. When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels rise. When this happens too frequently, it can cause long term damage to organs, nerves, and blood vessels.
Blood sugar spikes often happen in people with diabetes because diabetics are unable to use insulin effectively. When untreated, high blood sugar can be dangerous and lead to a serious condition within diabetics called ketoacidosis. Chronic high blood sugar increases the likelihood of serious diabetes complications like heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney failure.
What glucose levels are considered normal in our body?
As always, consult with a doctor, but according to Mayo Clinic, a blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) after two hours indicates diabetes. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes.
Glycemic index chart
If you’re looking for low sugar options and navigating which food and beverage options are right for you, this Glycemic Index tool may be helpful! You can search this database of foods to see which choices index high or low in sugar. And, it shares recommended serving sizes so you’re never left guessing!
Sugar in the human body
The interesting thing about sugar is that it doesn’t affect any two people the same! We all have unique reactions and tolerances to the amount of sugar we consume. But, there are some general facts that apply for most people.
How long does sugar stay in the body of a healthy person?
Your blood sugar level rises immediately after eating a meal or snack. In a healthy person, insulin then starts working, and the blood sugar level returns to the pre-meal level 2 hours after eating.
How long does it take for sugar to stay in the body of a diabetic person?
In contrast, for untreated diabetes patients, the blood sugar level does not return to the pre-meal level of its own accord. Some diabetics’ blood sugar level remains high two hours after eating, even though on an empty stomach it would be at a normal level.
As a result, the risk of developing diabetes increases as insulin is not properly secreted, or does not work properly in the body.
11 tips to flush sugar out of your body
So you’ve had a little more sugar than you’re used to or would like–no biggie! ;) There are a few easy steps you can take to flush the sugar out of your body and be feeling your best in no time.
Drinking water can prevent dehydration and promote healthy function of the joints, kidneys, colon … and basically every other body part! Water flushes out toxins and waste from the body and transports nutrients to where they are actually needed.
Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and when detoxing from sugar, even more than that!
Getting a good sweat in does wonders to flush out toxins from your system, as well as sugar! That’s because you tend to increase your fluid intake when you exercise, and drinking fluids, especially water, will increase sweat production and release toxins.
So go on that run, ride that bike, or do whatever your favorite exercise is to get your heart pumping!
Follow a diet based on portion control
Portion control is key when it comes to sugar intake. Knowing how much sugar is recommended in your daily diet is helpful in managing it!
These rules for added sugars is a helpful cheatsheet in controlling your sugar intake to help you feel your best!
Eat fruits instead of desserts
Sugary sweets are tempting! But when it comes to reducing sugar intake, favorites like cakes, ice creams, and donuts are not the best option. Fruit is filled with natural sugars, so you get that sweet satisfaction without the sugar crash!
Getting a good night’s sleep is so important for a variety of reasons: better focus, more energy, and less irritability. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body craves a burst of energy, and that sometimes leads to sugar cravings.
To resist the craving in the first place, try to get 8 hours of sleep every night to wake up with natural energy.
Eat foods low in sugar
You may be surprised how many foods on the grocery shelf are filled with sugar. Ketchup, granola, and premade smoothies can sneakily have more sugar in them than you’d expect.
For busy days, having tried and true low sugar options makes a world of difference, and that’s where Proper Good can help! We have several low sugar meal options that take the guesswork out of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We’ve shortlisted a few of our low sugar favorites, they are all ‘no added sugar’ which means any sugars in them are from naturally occurring sugars in the ingredients, i.e from tomatoes:
- Perfectly plain oatmeal (0!! grams of sugar)
- Tomato and basil soup (7 grams of sugar)
- Cream of chicken soup (4 grams of sugar)
- Spiced pumpkin soup (9 grams of sugar)
Manage your stress levels
When you’re feeling stressed out, it’s easy to turn to a comfort food in an effort to ease the burden. But if that comfort food is a sugary sweet, the coping mechanism can backfire and leave you feeling lethargic.
There are several healthy ways to manage your stress! Try going for a walk, doing yoga, cooking a favorite meal, or meditating rather than turning to a high-sugar sweet. Your body will thank you later!Avoid the sugar hangover using these tips! If you’re interested in diving deeper into the world of sugar, check out our blog post: “Can sugar cause headaches?”