Sugar is a simple, sweet-tasting carbohydrate and is present in most of the foods we eat. The scientific name for common table sugar is sucrose, which is made up of glucose and fructose and is commonly referred to as “added” or “free” sugar. You may also have heard of lactose, a naturally occurring sugar found in dairy products, for example, milk and cheese. Other foods such as fruit and honey also have high amounts of naturally occurring sugars in the form of fructose.
Some sugar in your diet helps supply energy to fuel your muscles, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of an active lifestyle. Sugar can be digested and absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream which means it can provide you with a sudden spike of energy. This means food high in sugar can be an ideal fuel source to help you through high-intensity training sessions. Sugar also increases cognitive performance, making it ideal for those long study sessions and to maintain concentration during performance. The general consensus between health organisations is that adults should consume no more than 7 teaspoons (30g) of sugar in a day.
Consuming high amounts of sugar in a short period of time can have common negative side effects such as sickness, headaches, and sugar rushes which can actually result in fatigue. Excess sugar consumption over a prolonged period of time can lead to elevated blood glucose levels which can result in more serious issues such as Type 2 Diabetes. A diet high in sugar can also contribute to high-calorie consumption, which can lead to obesity and many other related health issues.