Our body requires sugar to form energy. In the absence of enough sugar, you might start feeling dizzy, shaky, sweaty and fatigued all of a sudden. This sudden feeling of energy drop is commonly known as a sugar crash and medically called hypoglycemia. While hypoglycemia is usually seen in diabetic people who take insulin, it can be seen in non-diabetics as well. Non-diabetes-related hypoglycemia is of two types; reactive hypoglycemia, which occurs within four hours after eating, and fasting hypoglycemia, which occurs when you do not consume any food.
A person with a sugar crash requires immediate help or else they can start having seizures or pass out. Here are the ways in which you can prevent and treat a sugar crash:
How can you prevent a sugar crash?
A sugar crash can be prevented by making some minor changes in your lifestyle:
1. Your diet should have a balance of all the major food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy) and it should be a mix of protein, fibre, carbohydrates and fat. If a person consumes only a carbohydrate-rich diet without any source of protein or fat, their blood glucose levels drop after some time.
2. You should consume small portions of food in each meal but increase the frequency of meals. Eat every two to three hours throughout the day. Continue eating your staple meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) but incorporate protein-rich snacks such as peanut butter sandwich or a smoothie between the three.
3. Do not overindulge in high-sugar foods such as processed foods, baked goods and white flour. If you are consuming simple carbohydrates such as soft drinks, fruit juice and foods that contain corn syrup, eat some other nutrient-dense meal with it to avoid a sugar crash.
4. Avoid caffeine-rich drinks such as coffee, black tea and energy drinks as they can trigger sugar crash.
5. Women should avoid having more than one alcoholic drink a day, whereas men should limit their alcohol consumption to two drinks a day. Avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. Always have some food or snacks along with alcohol to avoid a sugar crash.
How can you deal with a sugar crash?
A person with a history of hypoglycemia should keep carbohydrate-rich food items such as rice puffs, cereal bars or any sugary item such as solid sugar, sweetened canned fruits or candies handy. You can also carry dextrose tablets with you, which can be consumed when you’re experiencing a sugar crash.
For more information, read our article on Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar).
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