Nutrition is a key element in athletic performance and fitness training. To maximize your potential and get the most from exercise, you need to provide your body with the right nutrients — and do so at the right times. Post-workout snacks can be very beneficial when they feature the right nutrients. One important nutrient is sugar, which gets depleted during exercise.
Sugar as Fuel
Sugars are actually a useful and important part of your diet when you are physically active. The body uses sugars as a source of fuel, breaking them down during exercise to power your workout. Sugars that are not immediately burned as fuel can be stored in the liver and elsewhere and saved for later use.
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Blood Sugar Levels
Individuals who are diabetic need to be constantly aware of their blood sugar levels. But even non-diabetics can run the risk of developing low blood sugar levels, a condition called hypoglycemia. This can occur when the body uses up its available sugars and does not have sugar coming in through the diet to supplement itself. Extremely low blood sugar levels can be very dangerous to the body and lethal to some individuals. Consuming sugars after a workout, or when symptoms develop, can combat hypoglycemia by raising blood sugar levels.
According to “Men’s Fitness,” consuming sugar in the hour following a workout can be very beneficial to your body. These sugars are almost never processed and stored as fat on the body. Instead, they restock important muscle-glycogen stores that are accessed when the body’s blood sugar levels get taxed during exercise. This helps replenish the body and prepare it for future workouts.
Although sugar can be beneficial to your body after a workout, the type of sugar you consume can make a difference. Specifically, you should recharge your body with unrefined sugars and avoid consuming refined sugars. Unrefined sugars are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Refined sugars are very dense in calories and are found in processed foods, sugary drinks and candy.