Sugar......are addicted?

Sugar addiction, it's a common problem amongst the general population and even more so in endurance athletes. It is the one dietary and health issue that pops up with almost any recreational and elite athlete I work with.

It is often simply brushed off with the excuse "I'm training, I'll burn it off" - this isn't the point and one I go over repetitively with my clients in order that they understand the impact sugar has on the body.

Sugar is damaging on a biological level, disrupts hormonal balance, compromises gut health and creates a vicious cycle. Having a constant sweet tooth is a strong indicator of an imbalanced gut, referred to as dysbiosis.

Dysbiosis refers to the imbalance and dysfunction of bacteria in your digestive system (from your mouth, all the way to the exit). Putting it very simply, you have good and bad bacteria living on and in you always. In fact, you are 10 times more bacterial cells than you are human cells… So if you really think about it, who’s carrying who around?

Unhealthy bacteria love sugar, they thrive on it. Growing, multiplying, increasing cravings for more sugar to be taken on board. Affecting health, mental clarity, mood, performance and recovery.

For an athlete, dysbiosis brings about nutrient deficiencies affecting energy metabolism and nutrients required for quick, effective recovery, poor cognitive function (slower decision making skills), anxiousness, fatigue, irritability, and hormonal imbalances that can impact energy, recovery, body composition and muscle mass.

It is not only sugar that can change the composition of bacteria within the gut. High intensity exercise, high levels of stress (physically, psychologically and physiologically), processed foods, sports drinks, energy gels, our environment etc. change it daily. Our gut has to adapt to everything we come in contact with.

The good news is that gut health can addressed and optimised, however, it is not a quick takes time to undo months/years of damage. Building a healthy microbiome can take up to 6 months if the correct healthy habits are adopted (diet, exercise, sleep and stress management - and with the use of therapeutic supplements if needed) however, in my opinion it really is a lifelong journey because you need to continue these habits to maintain a healthy microbiome.

If you are dealing with constant cravings, working with a nutritional expert can be a complete game changer for your health, performance and recovery! Why not get in touch and book a complementary call with me, let's discuss what's going on with you, what are your goals (health, performance, quicker recovery) and the best approach to take. Or, if you want to get started right away on reducing sugar cravings, you can purchase my online course - The Sugar Solution, yours to keep and use as many times as you need.

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