Does sugar have an impact on your energy levels?

You've read it everywhere: sugar is the new fat! With the good fats now rehabilitated, sugar has become the official new health killer - responsible for low inflammation and a plethora of diseases and conditions. 


Did you know, there are 61 different names for sugar?

You read that right, there are at least 61 different ways to sweeten your foods. Manufacturers have done a great job researching sweet substances and naming them.

Here are the names you can find on labels. Some are natural sweeteners, while others are artificial products.

  1. Agave nectar
  2. Barbados sugar
  3. Barley malt
  4. Barley malt syrup
  5. Beet sugar
  6. Brown sugar
  7. Buttered syrup
  8. Cane juice
  9. Cane juice crystals
  10. Cane sugar
  11. Caramel
  12. Carob syrup
  13. Castor sugar
  14. Coconut palm sugar
  15. Coconut sugar
  16. Confectioner's sugar
  17. Corn sweetener
  18. Corn syrup
  19. Corn syrup solids
  20. Date sugar
  21. Dehydrated cane juice
  22. Demerara sugar
  23. Dextrin
  24. Dextrose
  25. Evaporated cane juice
  26. Free-flowing brown sugars
  27. Fructose
  28. Fruit juice
  29. Fruit juice concentrate
  30. Glucose
  31. Glucose solids
  32. Golden sugar
  33. Golden syrup
  34. Grape sugar
  35. HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
  36. Honey
  37. Icing sugar
  38. Invert sugar
  39. Malt syrup
  40. Maltodextrin
  41. Maltol
  42. Maltose
  43. Mannose
  44. Maple syrup
  45. Molasses
  46. Muscovado
  47. Palm sugar
  48. Panocha
  49. Powdered sugar
  50. Raw sugar
  51. Refiner's syrup
  52. Rice syrup
  53. Saccharose
  54. Sorghum Syrup
  55. Sucrose
  56. Sugar (granulated)
  57. Sweet Sorghum
  58. Syrup
  59. Treacle
  60. Turbinado sugar
  61. Yellow sugar

This inflation of names has become necessary to keep consumers addicted to the sweet taste. Added ‘sugar’ is no longer restricted to sweet products, it is also added to a number of savoury products. It is even estimated that 75% of packaged foods in the US contains caloric or non-caloric sweeteners. How far behind are we in the UK?

What is the link between sugar and energy?

It is now widely recognised that overconsumption of sugar causes fatigue. After ingesting sugar, you get an initial energy boost that lasts between 30 and 60 minutes, before wearing off. Then you can feel 'a crash'. That is why all forms of sugars are so addictive and we resort to sugary treats so easily. 

How much sugar is OK?

This is the question that nobody can answer because nobody knows. Official organisations disagree on the upper limit. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a maximum daily consumption of 25g of sugar or 10% of an adult's daily calories. But who has time to count calories nowadays?

It is very easy to reach 25g of sugar with one item only. Here are a few examples: 

  • 1 large banana (200g): 25g of sugar
  • 1 Magnum (white, regular): 24g
  • 1 Coca-Cola (330ml): 35g
  • 200g Yeo Valley natural yogurt: 10g

What is best keep your energy levels steady?

The best way to keep your energy levels steady is to eat low (or medium) GL foods. These foods are mostly fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, pulses, lentils, meat and fish, dairy products. As rule, the more processed a product, the more likely it is to contain a form of sugar. 

Another incentive to check every single of item of food you eat is that you are more likely to lose weight (and keep it off) if you eat less sugar. Worth giving it a try, isn't it?

Looking to reduce your sugar intake? Get in touch to find out how I can support you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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