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Why Your Body Really Needs Sugar

Sugar is pure evil, right? Seems like it will kill you one way or another – diabetes, heart disease, obesity, take your pick. Eating sugar is about the worst life choice you can make. And if you’re thinking “One piece of cake is no big deal,” for shame! SHAME to those who indulge in the white devil sugar.

If that all sounds a bit bonkers, a tad excessive, verging on crazy…you’re right. We need sugar to live, for goodness sake!

Every process in our bodies relies on glucose (sugar molecules) for energy, from a killer workout to the rebuilding work that happens when we sleep. It’s true that when it comes to sugar there can be too much of a good thing, but we simply cannot function without a certain amount of it.

Your body really needs sugar – let us prove it to you. You will be surprised with number 4 – this effect on your body is a bit unexpected..

1. Immediate Energy

Our bodies take sugar and convert it very quickly into energy. The system is quite complex, but in basic terms, the stomach kicks off the process and once the partially digested sugar passes to the small intestine, it is released from there into the bloodstream for use. Insulin also plays a part in the uptake process so that glucose can be used by every cell in the body.

Because sugar is the source of ready fuel used by our bodies, eating some is necessary when you’re out of energy. It’s best to get your sugar from whole food sources like fruit or complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread or crackers.

That’s because these choices also contain nutrients and fiber to even out the distribution of glucose. You’ll use up the energy from straight sugar much more quickly.

2. Stored Fuel

Sugar gives us an immediate boost but can also be stored in another form for future energy needs. In this case, the liver steps in to bundle loose glucose molecules into long chains. The process is called glycogenesis and the chains are known as glycogen. Glycogen chains are broken back down into single units when you need energy between meals or while fasting overnight.

Severe dips in blood sugar are dangerous, and having glycogen stored to carry your body through is a safety mechanism.

The human brain actually uses about 60% of available glucose at any given time, and because the brain is still very active during sleep, glycogen may be exhausted during that period. Have you ever noticed a craving for something sweet at bedtime? Turns out, there’s a good reason for that.

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