Why Too Much Sugar Actually Leaves You Feeling Tired

Gracewell  |  November 2, 2016
Here's why ingesting too much sugar may leave you feeling fatigued.

Here's why ingesting too much sugar may leave you feeling fatigued.

Many people may peg sugar as an easy and natural energy stimulant, but in the long-run, consuming sugar in excess can actually leave you feeling fatigued or drowsy. According to the Global Diabetes Community, this is known as reactive hypoglycemia and can affect anyone, not just individuals living with diabetes.

If you find yourself wanting a sugary drink or a number of biscuits, consider how it may make you feel in an hour or so. Here's what you need to know:

Dropping blood sugar
The crash that comes with too much sugar is usually associated with excited children on Halloween or after dinner, but people of all ages may be prone to excessive tiredness due to eating a meal rich in sugar or carbohydrates. Processed foods in particular may lead to this feeling.

Though scientists aren't entirely sure how this works, the National Health Service stated that the body may make too much insulin in response to foods full of carbohydrates or sugars. The extra insulin outlasts the digestion process, and a few hours later, you end up with low blood sugar levels. 

Even a small sugary treat may leave you feeling tired.Even a small sugary treat may leave you feeling tired.

Accounting for reactive hypoglycemia
Feeling fatigued as a result of too much sugar is a natural phenomenon, but its important to be aware of the risk. This could leave you feeling faint or weak, especially if you have also consumed alcohol or were previously ill. The NHS stated that individuals who are overweight may be more prone to this issue, but that it can affect anyone

Health found that instead of sugar or caffeine, it's best to invest in vitamins and minerals that give you sustained energy. Iron is one example. Found in items such as beans, lentils or spinach, many older women in particular may suffer from fatigue as a result of too little iron. Staying well-hydrated and drinking plenty of water is also a way to stay alert and energized.

Overall, eating foods full of natural fruits and vegetables gives your body the right balance of nutrients that can keep energy levels sustained. In fact, Health reported that individuals who ate a number of different foods showed less stress and tiredness than those who took in the same amount of food but with less variety. Well-rounded meals are also better than snacking because these provide stability and avoid the possibility of a crash a few hours later.