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Foods that are a source of simple sugars raise blood sugar levels quickly and, depending on the instant they are consumed, can hinder your sporting goals. So, when we talk about the nutrition of the athlete, the next question arises: should we already take sugar before we exercise?

We often hear the prayer"If you don't have the energy, you can't give up. From there we deduce that, if sugar gives us energy, we should already take it before exercise to increase sports performance. Since this belief is simply a myth, the consumption of sugar prior to sports training has considerably more drawbacks than advantages that are worth knowing.

If we train in the morning, the energy we need to practice sports does not necessarily have to be achieved at breakfast, but can be achieved during the previous night. Different nutritionists claim that eating before bedtime helps us maintain our energy levels throughout the morning. Surely you know a family member or friend who claims never to eat breakfast because he is not hungry when he gets up and yet is able to do his morning chores or go to work without fading.

What happens if I already eat sugar before I start playing sports?

When we consume simple sugars, blood sugar levels increase uncontrollably, stimulating the release of insulin, also in an uncontrolled way. Insulin, on the other hand, has the role of encouraging transporters for glucose to enter the cells. That is, it opens the doors of the cells so that glucose can enter and, consequently, lower blood glucose levels.

Therefore, consuming a large amount of sugar or foodstuffs rich in simple sugars even before training can produce a peak blood glucose level, and then, due to the high release of insulin, a reactive hypoglycaemia can occur. This picture would cause us general discomfort, nausea, lack of performance, lightheadedness and weakness, among many other symptoms.

What are the drawbacks and advantages of taking sugar before training?

If you don't know what to eat before you go to the gym, you probably wonder what are the advantages and disadvantages of taking sugar before you go to sports. In certain cases, such as in the hypertrophy phase of certain athletes with an advanced level of training and a more accelerated metabolism, a meal with complex carbohydrates can be made between one and a half hours already before the training. Half an hour before the training, the consumption of some simple sugar will improve the anabolic condition of the athlete, favouring hypertrophy and muscular toning.

Insulin is an anabolic hormone and, when released in an uncontrolled manner, it inhibits the burning of fat (lipolysis) and stimulates the formation of fat mass (lipogenesis), something not recommended for those who want to achieve muscle definition and lose weight in the gym, eminently.

In summary, the consumption of sugar even before training, when it is incorrectly formed, causes loss of performance due to reactive hypoglycemia that occurs, reducing fat burning and increasing their training. When we consume sugar in a controlled and calculated way, we can prosper the gain of muscle mass and increase sports performance.

Sugar consumption recommendations even before training

The preference to consume sugar before training should always be the foods rich in carbohydrates, especially if you want to burn fat. Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source throughout exercise. If you have only forty-five minutes free before training, your body will give the best of itself with carbohydrates like fruit or fruit juice.

You can also have a bowl of milk with cereal, oatmeal, raisins and cinnamon. How much food you need to eat before the training depends on the frequency, intensity and duration of the training. If there is one hour or less left to start the exercise, it is convenient to take one gram of carbohydrates per kilo of anatomical weight. To give you an example, if we weigh eighty kilograms, we would take eighty grams of carbohydrates.

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