Better energy solutions than sugar
Do you have a go-to food source when you’re experiencing low energy and need a boost?
If sugar is on your list, you’re actually doing yourself more harm than good.
Whether you’re dragging yourself through your morning or looking for a fix for your mid-afternoon slump, there are better ways to increase energy without sugar.
How to Increase Energy Without Sugar
While sugar does create a temporary energy “rush” many of us rely on to get through the day, this effect is temporary – and it’s not high quality energy.
That’s because when you consume sugar, your body burns through it quickly.
Why? Well, it has to do with how your body metabolizes sugar.
When you consume sugar, it absorbs very quickly into your bloodstream through your digestive lining. Then, it’s carried to the liver, where it’s broken down into the kind of amino acids and molecules that fuel your mitochondria, or the energy engines that power every cell in your body.
But this type of fuel burns quickly – kind of like feeding a fire with a sheet of loose leaf paper versus a thick oak log.
You’d have to keep feeding more and more just to keep it going.
So yes, while sugar does give you a quick burst of energy… it’s going to be fleeting, and you’re going to crash hard from it, making it even more difficult to stay energized and motivated after your spike of energy.
There’s another reason to choose better energy sources than sugar: over time, high blood sugar levels actually harm your blood vessels. This often leads to disorders ranging from diabetes and cardiovascular disease to nerve damage (neuropathy)—not to mention tooth and gum decay, as well as bone and joint impairment.
Thankfully, there are several natural ways to boost your energy without sugar or caffeine.
1. Get More Sleep.
I know, I can hear you saying, “Duh” right now.
But the fact is, poor quality or insufficient sleep has been linked with poor mitochondrial function. Scientists are now publishing research about the link between sleep and mitochondria—showing that when we experience circadian rhythm misalignment, our mitochondria actually can’t function well, which can lead to glucose intolerance.
Simply put, this means if you don’t get enough rest, neither do your cells. So it’s actually harder for them to fill up the furnace and power you with energy all day long.
One pro-tip to help you get the sleep you need each and every night, is to create your own nighttime routine.
Nighttime routines tap into your natural circadian clock, allowing your body to unwind naturally and signal to your brain to prepare for sleep—which means you’ll be able to sleep better and actually improve the function of your mitochondria, as well as their ability to process glucose..
2. Eat More Fats.
This may sound counterintuitive, as the Western diet has traditionally told us that fat is bad for us.
But what I’m referring to here are healthy fats.
Remember how sugar is like a loose leaf sheet of paper that your internal fire consumes in seconds? Fats are like thick, healthy, dry logs—they offer a longer, more sustainable burn for our mitochondria.
Ideal fat sources include:
- Nuts (especially macadamia nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.
- Seeds (particularly pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds)
- Nut and seed butters
Pairing fruit (as in whole fruits, not juices) with nut butters gives your body healthy sugars and fats, plus fiber, which is necessary to help your microbiome process the foods without those energy spikes and inevitable crashes.
Here’s one of the energy-boosting, low sugar smoothies I recommend to both my patients and private clients.
3 Adjust Your Meal Timing.
You know that after-lunch slump?
That may be a sign you’re eating too much all at once.
If you notice you’re struggling with energy at various points during the day, it may be worth playing the time of day you eat.
Similar to circadian rhythms, we also have what’s known as “diurnal variation in glucose metabolism”.
This simply means that our bodies naturally metabolize glucose better at different times during the day. For example, a piece of bread often metabolizes better in the morning than in the evening hours.
If you’re someone who usually skips breakfast or goes more than 5-6 hours between meals—and you experience these dips in energy daily—adjusting the timing of food intake and eating smaller, more frequent meals may be a good idea for you. In fact, studies have shown that those with insulin sensitivity benefit from high-energy breakfasts, medium-sized lunches, and light dinners.
Is Sugar Bad for You?
Our bodies do need sugar in order to thrive.
However, our modern day lifestyles overload us with sugar sources—especially artificial sugars.
When combined with the fact that most American don’t get enough physical exercise (you know, those 10,000 steps and/or 30 minutes of cardio everyone talks about), our bodies aren’t able to process this sky-high sugar intake either.
Did you know that American adults consume an average of 77 grams of sugar per day? This is more than 3 times the recommended amount for women, adding up to 60lbs of sugar consumed in a year.
See if this sounds familiar…
A kid goes up to their parents begging to have another piece of cake, a cookie, or some other sugary treat, and the parent has to deny them because they’ve already had enough.
Parents know if their children have too much sugar, they will become hyper, miss bedtime, and maybe even shift into a cranky or irritable mood.
It’s better to say “no” to the child rather than deal with a moody kid on a sugar-high later.
The same thing happens to us as adults.
We may need a higher amount of sugar to get the same sugar-high buzz as a kid, but we are just as susceptible to the crash afterward.
The question is, who’s helping us watch out for our own sugar intake? Not mom and dad, that’s for sure!
As adults, we get to self-regulate.
But are we?
Around 80 percent of U.S. adults are metabolically unhealthy, meaning they suffer from blood sugar imbalances, excess body fat, and imbalanced blood lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides.
When you are metabolically unhealthy, your cells can’t efficiently take up blood sugar and fat, then utilize it for fuel for cellular energy production.
Conversely, a person with a healthy metabolism can burn fat or sugar (carbs) for energy. This is called being ‘metabolic flexibility’.
The easiest place to start regaining your metabolic health is by monitoring and actively working to reduce unnecessary sugar intake.
Of course, the plethora of sugary beverages and foods is a factor in our consumption, but did you know you’re consuming a ton of hidden sugars too?
Sugar is added to TONS of foods—even foods you wouldn’t expect—like ketchup, marinara sauce, and salad dressing.
If you want to get healthy and boost up your energy levels, reducing sugar intake is a MUST, and I want to help you do it!
How to Rebalance Your System to Burn Energy Cleanly
I spent 20 years working in the traditional western medicine model for one of the biggest health care systems in the country.
From a chronic disease preventive perspective, the challenge in western medicine is that the system is reactive with the goal of early detection instead of true prevention.
Don’t get me wrong, western medicine works amazingly well for acute issues. If you’re in pain right now or have a specific issue that just popped up, we can patch that up pretty quickly in western medicine, getting you back on your feet.
Western medicine doesn’t do very well in the long-term helping people boost energy, release weight, manage and heal autoimmune disorders, and relieve chronic digestive issues.
That’s why I began integrating functional medicine practices with my patients and private clients.
With functional medicine, we look to prevent disease before it even begins. We do things like detect and eliminate toxic exposures, lower toxic load in the body, balance the gut microbiome, and look at how stress and emotions can impact the body’s function.
In fact, there are actually specific tests, practices, and techniques we can use to not only gauge whether sugar may be a root cause of imbalances, the solutions can actually be quite simple (and enjoyable!).
This revelation was so powerful that I switched teams.
Now I’m all in on functional medicine—and I’m already seeing the people I work with get long-term results, overcoming issues they’ve had for years.
They get their energy back, lose weight, clear skin problems, get rid of headaches, banish bloat, and kick digestive problems to the curb. It’s miraculous!
I’d love to help you create your own functional medicine success story, so you can:
- Eliminate sugar addiction and find the ideal fuel for your body
- Power up your body with healthy fats so you feel fuller and more satiated longer
- Reclaim the energy you deserve
- Feel lighter, more positive, clear, and motivated again
As you become more fat-adapted, you’ll begin to burn your own body fat for energy and may see a positive shift in your body composition and weight—not to mention longer-lasting, more sustainable energy levels… without reaching for sugar or caffeine as a crutch.
You’re just one step away…
You can schedule your no-risk, no-obligation discovery call with me and my team of functional medicine experts today.
Take Good Care,