Blood sugar – only a concern of diabetics or those with a medical condition? Not so fast. Low blood sugar affects us all, whether we realize it or not. You know when you reach for a chocolate bar when the 3 p.m. sugar rush hits and then a crash soon follows? That’s your body reacting poorly to the sugar content and providing you with low blood sugar. Rising and falling energy levels can affect everything you do at work. Here are 5 ways your blood sugar affects your work life.
See Also: How To Beat Those Sugar Cravings At Work
1. Low blood sugar makes it hard to concentrate
Low blood sugar make it hard to focus and pay attention to your work tasks, and won’t enable you to do your best job. This is called hypoglycemia and can cause you to feel hot one minute and cold the next, can bring on anxiety, can give you headaches and make you feel absolutely exhausted. To prevent this, pack healthy snacks like nuts, fruit and lean protein like low-fat cheese or yogurt to ensure you always have something good to eat that will keep your sugar levels stable.
2. It gives you sugar cravings
It turns out that hypoglycemia actually makes you want more sugar. And, in fact, low blood sugar causes you to feel hungry, even though you just consumed a sugary filled snack. This all has to do with how your body deals with the sugar that you give it. When you eat sugar, the amount of blood glucose in your body spikes and then does the exact opposite by lowering. Your body then feels it needs more blood glucose to spike yet again, which means you desperately want another chocolate bar, even though you just had one.
When you feel gross and groggy, you don’t exactly feel like reaching for the green juice even though you know that’s what will give you the energy that you need. Your body absolutely craves salty, greasy potato chips and a bag of sour candy. So sugar cravings are not all in your head, but they can be prevented if you don’t eat sugar at work in the first place.
3. It starts a cycle
Even if we feel less than amazing after indulging in some sweet or salty junk food, we will be hungry soon and will crave much of the same. Low blood sugar will bring you into an unhealthy cycle of eating the foods that will provide a quick burst of energy and make you feel better for a short period of time – and then the cycle will start all over again.
This is less than ideal when you want a steady stream of even energy to focus at work. Try eating whole grains and other carbohydrates that are considered to be "complex" instead of "simple" -- buy a piece of whole-wheat bread, whole grain crackers or brown rice, instead of processed sugary cereals, white bread or white rice. You can break the low blood sugar cycle by eating more of these foods and less sugary items.
4. It makes you feel anxious
Low blood sugar levels and anxiety have lots of physical symptoms in common: sweaty palms, a racing heart, and tingling feet and hands. So if you’re feeling anxious more times than not during your work day, you now know what the culprit is. Hypoglycemia means your body’s levels of insulin are too high. Without eating the right types of foods to give you enough energy, you’re going to feel less than amazing.
5. It will continue until you change your diet
After experiencing low blood sugar, you’re likely sick and tired of feeling this way. Whole grains, fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy are the hallmarks of a healthy diet and the types of foods you want to consume in order to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
If you suffer from hypoglycemia and find yourself in an unhealthy, irritating cycle of needing to eat more and more sugar because you seem to crave it, it’s not your fault -- it’s your brain that craves it. Focus on healthier foods and break the cycle today.
See Also: How to Eat Clean At Work
If you suffer from low blood sugar even sometimes, it’s not a pleasant experience. But knowing these 5 ways that this condition affects your work performance can give you the incentive you need to change your diet and start eating more healthy foods throughout the day. Your career (and your health) will thank you.
Do you ever suffer from any of these symptoms at work? Has it made you change your ways? Your thoughts and comments below please...