Sugar and Fitness; What You Need to know.

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Would you rather eat more sugar to stay unhealthy or limit your sugar consumption to lose weight?

A good diet is essential to nurture if we want to stay fit and healthy.

Research explains that “regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers by at least 30 percent. However, only workout activities do not promote weight loss”. Recently, the number of cases of overweight and obesity has skyrocketed. Perhaps, this is a result of the food we eat every day. The highly processed sugary foods and sodas are mostly first on our scale of preference. Who doesn’t love cakes and candies?


Research explains that “sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger, and fat calories induce fullness and satiation.” Every can of soda contains 150 calories in sugar. So if a person consumes this per day, the risk of diabetes rises 11-fold, careless of how much or little you workout. Even though high consumption of sugar is bad, it has some merits as well.

Your brain needs a supply of energy from carbohydrates as you perform your day to day activities, including workouts in the gym.

In this article, we’ll show you the benefits, effects, and how to manage your intake of sugar as you decide to live a fit and healthy life.

Here are Some Effects of Sugar

  • Increases Risks of Heart Diseases

Research published by JAMA Internal Medicine, Dr. Hu and his study mates established an association between a high sugar diet and the higher risk of dying from heart impaired diseases. These researchers found that people who got 17 percent to 21 percent of their calories from added Sugar (Sugar and syrup added to food) had a 38 percent greater risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases than those who consume only 8 percent of their calories as added sugar. “The higher the intake of added sugar, the higher the risks for heart diseases,” concluded Dr. Hu.

While consuming a high quantity of added sugar, the chances are that there can be a rise in blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation. These two are known to be pathological ways of heart disease. Dr. Hu said, “The effects of added sugar intake-higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease-are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.”


  • Increases your risk of developing cancer

Higher consumption of sugar is one of the leading causes of certain cancers. Did you know that eating too much sugar causes insulin resistance and increased inflammation? Research among 430,000 people found that added sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer, and small intestine cancer. Besides, women who consumed sweet buns and cookies more than three times per week were 1.42 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who consumed these foods less than 0.5 times per week. It might not be easy but do your best to limit your cancer risks by minimizing your sugar consumption.

  • Enhances Chances of Depression

A happy heart is a healthy heart. Eating a nutritious diet will improve your mood. a diet high in added sugar and processed foods will increase your probability of developing depression. Higher consumption of processed foods, including high-sugar products such as cakes and sugary drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of depression. Studies found that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitters, dysregulation, and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s injurious impact on mental health.

Another study identified that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23 percent more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day. Also, studies among women showed that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had an importantly greater risk of depression than those with the lowest consumption.


  • It Speeds Aging

Skin wrinkling is a natural symbol of aging. However, not eating nutritious meals can worsen wrinkles and speed the skin aging process. Advanced Glycation End-products(AGEs) are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein products in your body. They play a significant role in skin aging. AGEs ruin collagen and elastin, which enable the skin to stretch and maintain its youthful appearance.

When this damage occurs, the skin loses its firmness and starts to sag. Research confirms that women who consumed more carbs, including added sugars, are exposed to wrinkled appearances compared to women on a high protein, lower carb diet. The researchers were convinced that lower consumption of carbs was associated with better skin-aging appearance.

  • Extracts Your Energy

Added sugar products will fast boost blood sugar and insulin levels, resulting in increased energy. Foods loaded with sugar but lacking in protein and fiber result in a brief energy enhancement that’s immediately followed by a drastic fall in blood sugar, often known as a crash. As a fitness enthusiast, heightened energy is needed to help achieve your workout goals. But how much effort can you put in if constant blood sugar fluctuations in your body result in major changes in energy levels? To stop this energy fluctuation cycle, opt for carb sources low in added sugar and rich in fiber.


  • Causes a Fatty Liver

An increased risk of fatty liver is associated with high fructose consumption; a major source is table sugar. Unlike glucose and other sugar types, which are used by many cells of the body, fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver. As part of the process, fructose is converted into energy in the liver. However, the liver only stores so much glycogen before more amounts are turned into fat. A larger amount of added sugar in the form of fructose exceeds your liver, resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This is a condition featured by more fat buildup in the liver.

In a study, 5900 adults demonstrated that people who drank sugary beverages daily had a 56 percent higher risk of developing the Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease( NAFLD) compared to people who do not.


  • Higher Rates of Kidney Disease

Experiencing higher blood sugar levels causes deterioration of the delicate blood vessels in your kidneys. This results in an increased risk of kidney disease.

  • Impacts dental health negatively

Consuming higher levels of sugar affects your cavities. Bacteria in our mouth feed on sugar and release acid byproducts, which causes teeth decay and demineralization.


  • Increase the growth of gout

Pain and swelling in the toes(gout), which is an inflammatory disorder. Sugars raise uric acid levels in the blood, increasing the risk of worsening gout.


  • Boosts cognitive decline

Also, sugar-rich foods often lead to impaired memory and have an increased risk of dementia.


Here are some merits of sugar

  • Provides an almost immediate increase in energy levels.
  • It helps you store energy for later.
  • It boosts your mood. Remember your friends feeling so hyper whenever they took coca-cola?
  • Naturally, chocolate improves thinking capabilities. Each bite of chocolate produces antioxidants along with cocoa flavanols.
  • Natural Sugar contains more added nutrients.


How to Manage your Intake of Sugar


  • Ensure you read food labels. Check out the names below for added sugar and monitor the amount of the foods where you notice them.
      1. Corn sweetener
      2. Brown Sugar
      3. Honey
      4. Molasses
      5. Invert Sugar
      6. Malt sugar
      7. Syrup Sugar molecules ending in “ose.”
      8. Fruit juice concentrates
      9. High-fructose corn syrup


  • Keep track of the quantity of sugar you add to your food and beverages.
  • Replace sodas, energy drinks, juices, and sweetened teas with water.
  • Opt to drink your coffee black.
  • Consume whole fruits instead of sugar-sweetened fruit smoothies.
  • Substitute candy with a homemade trail mix of fruits, nuts, and a few dark chocolate chips.
  • Make use of olive oil and vinegar in place of sweet salad dressings like honey mustard.
  • Instead of jelly, slice fresh bananas onto your peanut butter sandwich.
  • Keep a food diary.
  • Get an accountability partner. Sign up to become a Fitness 1 Gym member today and get access to like-minded people focused on and supporting each other to live a fit life.


Now that you know that consuming excess sugar has many adverse health effects on your fitness, what will you do differently from now?

A decision to be intentional about your diet is a great decision to control your fitness. Take that decision today. Need help? Browse through our website to find and sign up for tailored workout packages designed with your best fitness interest at heart. Drop a comment or email us via [email protected] to join our growing community of fitness enthusiasts.




Alice G Walton, Exercise Can’t Save Us; Our Sugar Intake Is The Real Culprit, Say, Experts, April 24, 2015.

Carly Schuna, The Advantages And Disadvantages Associated With Sugar Alternatives, December 06, 2018.

Emily, Sugars, Facts, And Health Benefits, October 26, 2018.

Jullian Kubala, MS, RD, 11 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad For You, June 3, 2018.

Racheal Hosie, Sugar Has Benefits For Your Brain Health, Says Doctor, September 12, 2017.