Have you ever heard of you a doctor say – “No sugar diet for athletes”? Why? How much sugar can an athlete take? No sugar diet will have any serious impact on athletes? Have a look at this no-sugar diet for athletes—the Dos and Don’ts.
1. Scientific Side Of Sugar
Sugars are nothing but a macronutrient which is another form of carbohydrate. They are the rapid source of energy in our human body. Generally, all types and forms of sugar are derived from various food substances.
For example, fruits and vegetables are a source of glucose, fructose, and sucrose, while dairy products contain lactose and maltose derived from grains.
2. Sugar V/s Added Sugars
You may wonder what will be the correlation between sugar and added sugars. What is the difference between these two? Which one should be considered for a no-sugar diet?
Sugar is nothing but natural sugar, which is derived from whole foods, and its inclusion in our diet plan is mandatory for our body function.
Added sugars are the ones we take in addition to this naturally occurring sugar that is also in an excess amount than our body requires.
As per American Heart Association, we should take 100/150 calories of sugar in a day by women and men.
Hence the main aim of a no-sugar diet should be planned by keeping the recommended dietary allowance in mind.
3. Sugar Consumption V/s Sugar Cravings
The phrase no sugar diet comes mainly when the sugar intake turns into sugar cravings. Intake of natural sugars at a limit never affects your body’s health. But if the sugar intake becomes more in your routine, it only leads to various health issues.
The study reports that Americans can decrease their medical expenses by around a billion and escape from early mortality if they start reducing sugar intake by around 20%.
A no-sugar diet refers to a sugar-free diet or reducing excessive sugar consumption. Fondness towards sweet foods likely begins from our birth.
Consumption of more added sugars may be due to many reasons such as do not take enough nutrients in your diet plan, addiction towards a habit, sugar intake giving instant energy, and relaxing the mind due to hormonal reactions.
4. Sugar Intake V/s Weight Gain
As we all heard the saying, if you eat too much sugar, you will become fat. Maybe this is a reason for a no-sugar diet plan for weight loss. Among various natural sugars, glucose & fructose falls under the category of simple carbohydrates.
Both are found as naturally occurring sugars in whole foods and incorporated into processed foods in the form of dextrose and high fructose corn syrup.
As they have simple chemical bonds, they can easily be transformed into energy, leading to health issues. Mainly such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus even more.
So the need for reducing sugar intake by removal of added sugar plays a major role in weight loss. A no-sugar diet will be possible only when we control sugar cravings and control added sugar intake.
5. Sugar a Boon Or Bane
The term well-balanced diet includes all the macro and micronutrients in the right proportion according to our body needs. Sugar is also a definite part of our diet plan.
Sugars are the power generation for our bodies. Naturally occurring sugars in the needed amount will help in the secretion of Insulin and other functions of the nervous system.
But the problem arises when the function of insulin fails to do the role to control blood sugar. Finally, blood sugar levels rise as a result of insulin resistance.
When an individual develops diabetes, there will be a sudden change in the body’s glucose level occurs at times leading to the scenario of blood sugar spikes.
A no-sugar diet will help to overcome various health problems such as weight gain, cardiac arrest, cell repair, high cholesterol and excess fat deposition, poor dental health, and diabetes-associated other diseases.
6. Major Forms Of Added Sugars
A report from American Heart Association states that sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to 47% of added sugar intake by Americans.
Added sugar intake can either be natural sugars or artificial sweeteners mixed while we eat foods or during the process of making.
For instance, mixing table sugar with fruit juices yet has a naturally sweet flavor, the inclusion of honey in salad dressings or breakfast cereals, and too much cream with your beverage or pasta sauce.
The aim of a ‘no sugar diet’ is to restrict or remove this added sugar from your diet. In this battle, you must be aware of the hidden sugar content in your processed foods or meal plan.
Other foods that contain hidden sugar include brown rice, maple rice, honey, rice frozen entrees grains, refined sugars, and cornstarch meal.
Even a study reports that sugar is better than white flour. Refined carbohydrates such as white rice are claimed to lack micronutrients.
7. No Sugar Diet
The American Heart Association insists on following a no-sugar diet as a high-sugar diet is the major reason for obesity.
AHA also insists on reading the nutrition facts label before starting your meal plan. Because the food products claimed to be sugar-free also contain some percentage of added sugar.
In the process of weight loss, a low-sugar diet plays a major role. Generally, high-sugar foods lack other nutrition; hence the chance of excess fat storage is high, which prevents weight loss.
A no-sugar diet is not an easy task. Your taste buds will not leave their comfort immediately. Hence you should try to quit your sugar addiction slowly and steadily only.
Natural sugars always have a role in a healthy eating plan. Some key points will help you in a no-sugar diet that helps increase your health benefits and also to lose weight.
8. Step By Step A No Sugar Diet
Starting with a sugar-free diet will be advisable to begin as a partially sugar-free diet.
- Minimalize your added sugars.
- Choose natural sugars.
- Try to avoid processed foods.
- Consume healthy foods with balanced nutrients.
- Role of Artificial sweeteners.
- Finally, Cut sugar /No sugar diet.
In a no-sugar diet, first, try to minimize the usage of added sugar. If you start practicing, even if you feel tough at first; surely, at a point, you can reduce the overall sugar from your diet.
For this practice, say no to obvious sugary foods such as candy, pastries, more sweetened drinks, added cream, and sauces.
Instead of adding sugar to your fruit juice, take fruits as whole foods along with your early meal, which helps you by providing more nutrition as well as restricting your unhealthy diet, and aiding you in weight loss.
8.2 Natural Sugar
You can always welcome your naturally occurring sugar in your practice of a no-sugar diet.
The reason is that your body surely needs stamina for all activities and body to function. Even then, healthy fats provide you with the major power it will take some time to undergo metabolism.
But be wise to take these natural sugars only in the form of whole fruit, vegetable, salad dressing, or fruit juices with 0% added sugars. If you want to focus on losing weight, make sure about the sugar content and calories in the food to take.
8.3 Processed Foods
In this fast-moving world, the fondness and need for processed, preserved foods have become higher. As much as it’s an easy and tastier option, it has been unhealthy in another way.
In the process of sugar detox, you must be aware of these kinds of foods as it contains added sugar in a definite proportion. Even food products you think as healthy or low-fat foods will have added sugar.
Foods such as low-fat yogurt, sauce, energy drink, protein bar, cereal, early meals or grains, and oats contain sugar which many of us have not realized.
8.4 Healthy Foods
Healthy, nutritious food is nothing but a balanced diet with the right ratios of macro and micronutrients based on individual needs. Taking a nutrition-rich food is the first step to avoiding sugar cravings.
Including more protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals help you to battle against your hunger. It also provides great energy to our bodies.
When you think of a sugar-free diet, try to include, low calories in whole grains, Greek or plain yogurt, sprouts, and nuts in your meal plan. It will be a healthier weight loss option too.
8.5 Sugar Substitutes
In a no-sugar diet, we might need some sugar substitutes. Since our aim may be to lose weight, it’s not easy to eliminate natural sugars as it’s been a long-term habit.
At this point, people are in search of alternatives. We all would have noticed many commercially available artificial sweeteners that had been used by a diabetic patient or someone who wants to lead a no-sugar lifestyle.
The sweetness of sugar will be less when compared with these artificial sweeteners. Even though most of the sugar substitutes are free of calories, some of them are claimed to have a minimum of calories.
Apart from this, you can have some natural alterations when you begin your no-sugar diet. When you consider evaporated cane juice, it may be a better alternative than the added sugars since they, as less refined, contain very minimal trace nutrients.
As per U.S. Food and Drug Administration(ADA) report, you can have the pure extracts of monk fruit as they are tested sugar-free and non-dangerous.
8.6 No Sugar Diet
To attain this stage, you should need to undergo all these steps. However, a little bit of struggle for your healthier long life won’t be a matter of right.
You need not quit sugar completely throughout your lifetime. Still, you need to practice it until your control your sugar cravings and learn to practice the proportional sugar in your daily meal.
Apart from all the health benefits of a no-sugar diet, still, we need to discuss its impact on athletes. Will a no-sugar diet for athletes be a needed one or a thing to omit?
As we all know, athletes need to be more physically strong and healthy; their physical activity and diet play a major role.
Based on the various athletic activity, the energy spent by an athlete also differs. A study shows a significant difference in energy spent in a day among men and women athletes. The energy expenditure will be around 800 to 1100 kcal approximately.
For this much energy, they should have a diet rich in protein, fiber, calcium, iron, sodium, healthy fat, simple carbohydrates, and fluid intake to keep them hydrated always.
As we discussed earlier, fats and sugar are major sources of stamina for us. Considering healthy fat and a limited sugar diet might be helpful for athletes. As glucose and fructose are faster sources to get power, their inclusion might be mandatory in an athletic activity.
It means a no-sugar diet for athletes is not needed; you might think like this, right? Don’t conclude. The major plot comes now only.
10. No Sugar Diet For Athletes
Again I am disclaiming that a no-sugar diet does not mean you have no sugar. Consuming a reduced amount of sugar or the needed quantity alone by cutting additional sugars is also called to be a no-sugar diet only.
The report says that if there is an increased level of physical activity, glucose transformation will be more. Hence its level will not rise in the blood.
Also, if the energy expenditure is more, excess sugar or fat will not be stored in our body; hence the chances of obesity and other health disorders will be lesser.
So by keeping all this in mind and considering the energy level or calories needed for an athlete, a diet should be designed.
Expert advice is to have less refined carbohydrates in your diet once you finish a rigorous workout.
An article states that 40-60gm of glucose/fructose will be sufficient for providing stamina for an athlete. Make sure you do not take in excess as it will store as fat.
11. Practise To Say No
Taking this wise step will make the betterment of your health and life. Not only for athletes suitable from children to older adults controlling high sugar diets will help you have a great body metabolism, good oral hygiene, controlled blood sugar levels, and reduced risk of obesity, cardiac problem, and other associated diseases.
Consumption of a high-sugar diet should be like a carnival. We won’t celebrate carnival throughout the year, right? Let’s all welcome a no-sugar diet and a way to a healthier life.
1. Is a sugar-free diet beneficial for athletes?
Refined sugar is exceedingly inflammatory, which might make it difficult for athletes to recuperate and perform afterward. Sugar also prevents our bodies from burning fat, which makes it a potential barrier to success in endurance sports.
2. Athletes and sugar: how much is too much?
As advised by physicians all around the world, even athletes should limit their daily consumption of extra sugar to 25g. Avoiding naturally sweet foods that also contain water, fiber, and/or protein to limit the absorption of sugar into your system is not necessary.