Why Sugar May Be Limiting Your High Performance

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The average American consumes approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar each day!

Yep that much!

Can you imagine sitting down at your dinner table with 22 teaspoons of sugar in front of you and eating it all in one go?

But chances are, if you are eating a typical American diet than that’s exactly how much sugar you are eating every day! Most of the time without even knowing it!  One soft drink has approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar!

Many of the entrepreneurs I work with are eating way more sugar than they think they are as sugar is hidden in most packaged foods. And with busy schedules and not enough time to think about cooking or planning meals health gets pushed down the priority list.

However eating that much sugar leads to fatigue, weight gain and hormone imbalances. All which limit your performance and keep you operating at a level that is just a fraction of your potential.

Too much sugar may also be the cause of that brain fog you have been experiencing and is a major contributor to adrenal fatigue which I see in so many of the busy entrepreneurs I work with!

The Different Types of Sugar

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So what are some of the different types of sugar that you need to be aware of?


This is your body’s most basic form of sugar. Its absorbed by the body very quickly. The term glycemic index (GI) comes from measuring how quickly sugars are absorbed into the blood stream. Foods with a low GI do not spoke blood sugar, while foods with a high GI do spike blood sugar. When sugar spikes it can lead to hormone imbalances that cause waves of fatigue and stress throughout the day.


Fructose is naturally found in fruits and vegetables. It metabolisises differently than glucose and is absorbed into the blood stream more slowly. Even though fructose can be found naturally, highly processed (man-made and unhealthy) versions are prevalent in the western diet. These processed versions of fructose are not the same as what you would find in a piece of fruit. Fructose in excess can cause hypertension, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and fatty liver disease.


Sucrose is commonly known as white sugar or table sugar. But it can also be known as brown sugar and other sweeteners. Sucrose typically comes from sugar cane or beets and it causes major insulin spikes


Lactose is the sugar you get from drinking milk from an animal (almond and coconut milk do not have lactose). In order to break down lactose, you need an enzyme called lactase and if you’re someone that’s lactose intolerant it means that you don’t create enough lactase to break down lactose. Surprisingly you can actually get a lot of sugar from drinking milk (roughly 12 grams per 8 ounce glass)

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

HFCS is made from corn oil and fructose. It’s used in most sugary drinks like soda, juice and sweet teas. It’s also added to most processed foods that you find in grocery stores because it can last on shelves for a long time and its cheap. It has become pervasive in western diets and is very strongly correlated to obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions.

Hidden Sugars

There are so many hidden sources of excess sugar! Make sure you are aware of the sugar content of them.


So What About Artificial Sweeteners?

Although in this article I’m not going to go into detail on how artificial sweeteners effect your body, I just wanted to add in here that research is showing that not only there a whole list of potential adverse affects from consuming artificial sweeteners such as cancer, insomnia, migraines, vision problems, memory loss, depression and more.

But new research is also showing that consuming artificial sweeteners may actually cause you to gain more weight that if you were eating sugar! So don’t opt for an artificially sweetened food to avoid sugar. Stay away from processed foods and diet sodas all together.

The Fructose Epidemic – Why it makes you Fat!

So how does excess sugar consumption actually make you fat and cause fatigue and disease?  And isn’t fructose good for you if its found in fruit and vegetables?

Well prior to the 1900’s fructose consumption was about 15g per person per day. By 1994 fructose consumption had risen to 55g per person per day! Today in the typical American diet children are estimated to consume 72.8g of fructose per day!!

And part of the reason why is because HFCS is in everything!

Cereals, salad dressings, snack foods, crackers (even healthy ones), fruit juice, microwave or prepackaged dinners, condiments, granola bars, yogurt and more! Children aren’t eating 6 apples every day to make up 72.8g of fructose.

The thing is that although all the cells in your body can use glucose, only the liver metabolizes fructose. When you eat a lot of fructose your liver turns the sugar into fat. It also causes insulin resistance.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that regulates human metabolism and energy use.  It helps your body deliver glucose to the cells from the blood stream where it can be used. Without insulin whenever you ate a high carbohydrate meal your blood sugar levels could potentially become toxic to your body. Insulin also signals to your fat cells to collect more fat from the blood stream, which leads to you storing more fat from the food you are eating.

So when insulin levels are elevated or your body becomes insulin resistant you start to store more fat while at the same time still feeling hungry. Not a great combination for weight loss.

Leptin Resistance

Excess fructose also causes leptin resistance, which also leads to weight gain. Leptin is a hormone that affects how hungry you feel and is released by your fat cells. How the mechanism is meant to work is that when you eat food some of that food is stored in fat cells.

The fat cells then secrete Leptin to tell your brain that you have had enough, no more food required, stop feeling hungry. It also helps signal to your body to start to burn the stored fat.  However if you are leptin resistant your brain never knows that you are full and you eat more and burn less fat leading again to weight gain.

Why Sugar also Affects Your Mental Performance

Eating foods high in sugar can cause fatigue, depression, irritability and affect your mood and productivity. All the people who I have worked with who have removed sugar from their diet have reported back increased ability to focus, increased energy levels and productivity and less mood swings.

Excess sugar consumption also effects the composition of bacteria in your gut, which can have a whole range of issues for not only your mental health but the health of your whole body. (For more information on why the health of your gut is so important check out my previous article on this topic HERE)

Avoid Processed Foods

In order to really skyrocket your energy levels, productivity and to elevate yourself to high performance you need to be reducing or eliminating all together the amount of sugar you are eating on a daily basis.

For information on reducing carbohydrates to kick yourself into fat burning mode check out my article on why we should be eating more fat HERE.


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