From causing brain fog to exacerbating anxiety, having low blood sugar goes way beyond feeling a bit hangry. Gudrun Jonsson, dietary advisor to Nibble Protein shares six surprising signs that your blood sugar is out of whack…
1. You have a hard time making decisions
Your brain uses half of all sugar energy in your body (as the body’s most energy-dependent organ). So, it’s not surprising that your brain is the first to go when your blood sugar dips. Low blood sugar can give you major brain fog, making it harder to concentrate and make decisions. From relationships to your career, this could lead to problems in all areas of your life. Staying nourished throughout the day will help to keep blood sugar levels from plummeting, ensuring your mind is clear and you can stay focused. Try snacking on healthy, low GI snacks throughout the day.
2. Anxiety anyone?
Low blood sugar levels can cause and exacerbate anxiety. When your blood sugar drops very low, common symptoms include anxiety, confusion, dizziness/weakness, blurred vision, shaking/ tremors, heart palpitations and excessive sweating. If you suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks, it’s well worth examining your diet because low blood sugar could be the root of it.
3. It will affect your fitness performance
Low blood sugar levels can leave you struggling through a workout, making it more difficult for your body to reach a quick and efficient source of energy to help you power through. Contrary to popular belief, sugar does not boost your energy levels in the long term and will not be your best option pre-workout. You might get an initial energy rush after eating something sugary, but that soon disappears and leaves you feeling more tired. A protein rich snack is perfect for filling you up and additionally aids muscle growth and repair.
4. You’ll find it difficult to learn new things
If there isn’t enough glucose in the brain, neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers are not produced, and communication between neurons breaks down. With glucose levels closely linked to brain functions such as thinking, memory and learning, it is important to keep your blood sugar levels stable so that your brain can work optimally.
5. You will be more likely to wake frequently at night
If your sleep if frequently disrupted, then low sugar levels may be to blame. When blood sugar levels drop, stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released, and as a result you’ll feel more alert which can cause multiple night waking’s. To prevent this try limiting your alcohol and sugar consumption in the evenings and eat a small low GI snack before bed
6. Your heart might race
If you feel your heart rate is a little higher or faster than normal, this could be a symptom of low blood sugar, and your body is telling you it needs a boost. Eating regular balanced meals and snacking often can help to prevent symptoms of low blood sugar such as a racing heart.
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Charlotte is a London girl through and through. She sweats through spin and puffs through Pilates to justify trying the latest restaurants and devouring copious amounts of sweet potato fries, burrata and bread – preferably on holiday. Her favourite destinations include Italy, the Maldives and anywhere where the sun’s shining and there’s a strong breakfast buffet. She’s obsessed with walking, visiting farmers’ markets and reading. She’s also learning to cook. Wish her (and her husband) luck.