“Awww, thanks Dan!”
Now that I have your attention with that compliment, lets talk about one of the dread five letter words in Fitness … S – U – G – A – R (Carbs being another one). I feel almost as bad for Sugar as I do for Carbs. Gets so much hate from people and it’s just trying to sweeten up your life a little bit. Unlike the people at Starbucks pumping out fancy Unicorn Shakes loaded with 76g of sugar per cup, just trying to give you diabetes. And then you wonder why sugar gets a bad name (PS – 76g of sugar is equal to about 3 snickers bars). Unicorn Shakes aside, I fckin love sugar and I will always have room for a little sugar in my life.
The common question in fitness has always been …
“Should I track my Sugar intake?”
We’ll keep this conversation based solely around normal everyday life. We could definitely have a different conversation when it comes to bodybuilding & competing – as some will argue for it and others will preach don’t even make eye contact with a sugar packet or else you’ve already lost (and in case you were interested, we’ve touched on sugar already in a different capacity).
Even as kids, sugar always got a bad reputation. Our parents would harass us to stop eating so much sugar because it would ruin our teeth and we would potentially lose them (although, the real reason is because we would go crazy when on sugar). But now, as adults that are grinding at their fitness, it’s hotly contested what we should do with sugar. Should we avoid it at all costs? Should we track it? Tell us Dan – what do we do?!
jk, jk, jk
Well, for starters, you need not avoid it at all costs. Sugar comes from a wide variety of foods – not just candy. Dairy products and fruits are high in sugar, but they are also very high in micro-nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. So we’re cutting off sugar across the board, this means dairy and fruit get the axe. In a well balanced diet, there is room for some dairy and some delicious fruit… and perhaps a little chocolate 😉
Should you be tracking your sugar intake? I will answer your question with another question. Do you want to be successful and see results?
IF you answered yes to that, then you have your answer. The transformation and evolution of your body is the sum of a group of small tasks repeated consistently. Sometimes some of those small tasks are not necessarily the best. But the same goes for anything in life. To be successful, we must be willing to do the things that we love and sometimes roll up our sleeves and do the things that we don’t love. You should absolutely be tracking your macros and really understand what goes into your body. Perhaps you’re pumping 100+g of sugar into your body on a given day and we could scale that back to 80g. It doesn’t mean you need to do away with your sporadic bag of Sour Patch Kids. Or perhaps instead of 5 donuts you only have 4 donuts. To make the most informed and strategic decisions on your body, you need to understand the full scope of what has gotten you to where you are.
Lastly, when should I be taking in sugars. I mean honestly, if you’re crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s, I don’t necessarily see a bad time. However, if I had to lean towards making a suggestion, I would advise to utilize them around your training sessions. Either as pre or post workout nutrition (Hmm, maybe we should do an article on that…). But if you’re on an off day, laying around the couch and throwing back packets of sugar… Well then, to each their own.
And there you have it folks. Don’t run away from sugar! Don’t just outwardly blame sugar for being bad. Learn to understand it, how much you’re putting into your body and don’t be afraid to #treatyoself every now and then.