Image Source: FreeImages
Having a bad day at work? It might be because your blood sugar is low. In fact, scientists are discovering that our blood sugar has a direct impact on our mood and productivity. When we eat foods that cause blood sugar to spike and crash (i.e., anything processed or with a high glycemic index), it makes us feel tired, foggy, cranky, and distracted. Why? Because it affects how much energy we have throughout the day. Our brains run on glucose—the primary source of energy in our bodies—and when blood sugar gets low, it can make us feel sluggish and lethargic. This doesn’t just apply to people with diabetes; sugar impacts everyone differently based on their genes, lifestyle, and diet. High-sugar diets have been linked to everything from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer, so learning about its effects can help you see how your diet may be impacting your health long-term.
What is blood sugar?
Blood sugar is the amount of glucose circulating in the bloodstream. Glucose comes from carbohydrates and is the primary source of energy for our cells. After we eat, our bodies break down the food and release glucose into the bloodstream that fuels our bodies and brains. At different times during the day, our bodies have different needs. We have more glucose in our systems in the mornings and evenings since we have been fasting all day. We release more insulin to compensate for the glucose and maintain a healthy blood sugar level. As a result, we’re likely to feel tired and hungry at these times because we’re using up glucose and needing more. Blood sugar levels also change throughout the day. They rise immediately after we eat and then drop down again as our bodies process the food. Some foods have a higher glycemic index than others and are broken down more quickly. This sudden spike drops as soon as our bodies are done processing the food, which can leave us with low blood sugar.
How does our blood sugar affect our mood?
Our blood sugar affects our mood through a mix of the energy we’re feeling and the amount of glucose in our brains. When blood sugar drops, we may feel hungry, tired, irritable, and/or hard to concentrate. When it goes too high, we may feel jittery, anxious or nauseous. When our blood sugar is low, we crave sugary and high-carb foods. While these snacks are tempting, they can make our mood even worse by spiking our blood sugar and then dropping it again. This can make us feel even more irritable and anxious than before. As we eat, glucose is released into our brains to fuel thought and communication between neurons. When our glucose levels are high, our brains are receiving enough energy to run at full capacity. However, when we don’t have enough glucose, our neurons are struggling to function properly, and they can’t communicate effectively. This can make us feel tired, foggy, cranky and distracted.
How does blood sugar affect our productivity?
Our bodies use glucose to fuel our brains, muscles, and organs. When we don’t have enough, we feel tired, foggy, cranky, and distracted. When blood sugar goes too low, we get irritable, tired, and foggy. We’re likely to make mistakes at work and find it hard to focus. When blood sugar goes too high, we get anxious and worried. This can lead to panic attacks and make it hard to focus on work. When our blood sugar levels are stable, we’re able to concentrate and be productive. We also find it easier to make healthy choices, like eating a balanced lunch. This is why it’s important to pay attention to your blood sugar throughout the day.
How does blood sugar affect our eating habits?
As our blood sugar drops, we get hungry and crave sugary and high-carb snacks. When we eat these foods, they’re broken down quickly and release glucose into the bloodstream. But then our bodies have to work to process the food, taking away energy that could be used to think clearly, focus, and be productive. Eating healthy and balanced meals throughout the day can help keep our blood sugar stable and give us more energy. This can make it easier to resist the urge to eat sugary snacks and make better choices at mealtime.
Our blood sugar has a direct impact on our mood and productivity. When we eat foods that cause blood sugar to spike and crash, it makes us feel tired, foggy, cranky, and distracted. When our blood sugar is stable, we’re able to concentrate and be productive. Eating healthy and balanced meals can help keep our blood sugar stable.