Watch the short video below for an interview with Dr. Mark Hyman discussing a groundbreaking study that explains the physiology behind sugar addiction.
2. Lack of Energy and Tiredness
Orexins are a type of neuropeptide (an amino acid chain that forms protein in the brain). These neurotransmitters in the hypothalamus are responsible for the sleep/wake cycle, among other things. They are sensitive to sugars and respond to glucose levels in the body. (3) Even small increases in blood glucose inhibit orexins’ transmission of neural signals, thereby inducing a sleep state. (4)
So while you experience a sugar “high” shortly after eating/drinking, the “crash” that follows is how you experience the shut-down of neurotransmitters: you feel tired.
3. Weight Gain
Excess sugar consumption makes you fat. Of course, there are other factors such as activity level and metabolic rate that come into play, but the body burns sugar first for energy. What it can’t immediately use, it stores for when you need it—as fat.
In addition, eating too much sugar makes you overeat by suppressing the hormone leptin, which tells the body when to stop eating. If you feel tired and lethargic from consuming sugar, you’re less likely to exercise, too.