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Eliminating sugar - Benefits?

Old 08-08-16, 09:05 PM
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CanadianBiker32
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Eliminating sugar - Benefits?

If one were to fully go sugar free? would it be possible to see gains in fitness, speed and cycling in general? faster?


I still eat cookies now and then, could eat much more cleaner.


Would I see benefits going totally hardcore - almost sugar free. And also not using artificial sweeteners


for those who done this? did you see gains in your fitness? thanks
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Old 08-09-16, 12:16 AM
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Asking the faddists if they love their fad? How could they be faddists if they didn't? Silliness with no basis in either science or experience. Please continue . . .
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Old 08-09-16, 12:20 AM
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I am no expert, but your body needs sugar. Not necessarily added sugar but natural one broken down form carbohydrates. Broken down sugar is essential for your body to create energy to survive.
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Old 08-09-16, 02:44 AM
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If anything, you'll get slower.
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Old 08-09-16, 03:05 AM
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just eliminate processed junk and refined white sugar
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Old 08-09-16, 03:26 AM
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Why don't you try it ??...Experiment and see for yourself how it makes you feel and perform and what effect it has on you body.
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Old 08-09-16, 07:14 AM
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1. If you are used to eating some refined sugar each day and cut it out completely, you will feel crappy and low energy for a day or two, but after 3-4 days should feel better and cleaner.

2. If you do the above and eat a good amount of complex carbs (whole grains), and fruit, you will be fine, and your energy levels will likely be more even throughout the day. You will likely have healthier body systems in general and if you are overweight, may lose some fat, since extra refined sugar contributes to fat storage.

3. If you actually cut out all carbs and sugars completely, you will die in a few weeks.
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Old 08-09-16, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
If one were to fully go sugar free? would it be possible to see gains in fitness, speed and cycling in general? faster?


I still eat cookies now and then, could eat much more cleaner.
Why, did the cookies fall on the ground? Brush them off. Maybe use the five second rule.

Sugar doesn't make you slow.

A lot of people think they need some kind of detox, like a tea or a fast or an enema or whatever. You're not walking around with a bunch of toxins in your body. Your kidneys detox you anyway. Sugar isn't some magical, impish thing with the power to rob you of your fitness and speed on the bike. Unless you try to pedal through molasses.
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Old 08-09-16, 09:35 AM
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There isn't anything inherently bad about sugar. It's not much different than most other things we eat in that too much of it becomes bad for us. Reduce your sugar intake by eliminating some of the excess refined sugar you eat, and don't add as much sugar to foods you prepare. I've found over the years that when baking or cooking using a recipe that the amount of sugar called for can usually be decreased with little or no noticeable effect. No need to eliminate sugar from your diet. Just decrease it and then see what happens. You may not notice any discernable changes. Then again, you might.
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Old 08-09-16, 10:42 AM
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electricity -> battery -> electricity
sugar -> fat -> sugar

Get the idea?

One more baseline fact: all carbs are basically sugar, some just take longer to digest than others.

Your blood carries some amount of sugar at all times. Estimates range from 1000 to 1400 calories worth. That means you can burn about that much, without eating or drinking anything to replace it.

If you have zero body fat, then you absolutely need sugar to exercise beyond the amount in your blood when starting.
If you have zero endurance base then your body isn't able to unlock the sugar it has stored as fat efficiently when needed, so you need sugar to exercise beyond the amount in your blood when starting.

Exercising past the glycogen storees without eating requires two things: a trained endurance base that is (more) efficient at metabolising fat, and management of your exertion levels (zones) so that you stay aerobic / endurance and not anerobic.

I have done 2200 kj rides on two 250 cal bottles, a 1700 calorie deficit. But I did them mostly in zone 2 and 3.

Common theme: "you need carbs to replace the glycogen you burned during the ride you just finished" This is true, but the huge unspeakable is... where do you want those carbs to come from? If you simply do NOT replace them, your body will scream for sugar. I want Candy! I want Soda! I want Snacks! But if you willfully ignore it, like a whining child, it will eventually stop whining and get to work extracting what it wants from the toy box... from the sugar it has happily packed away as fat.

Now this depends on you not being hypoglycemic, or otherwise not able to convert the fat back to sugar. If you get light headed, faint, or such.. then that is an issue. If you are just grumpy or hungry or feeling blah, then that is just a test of your mental strength. Who's the boss? You? Or your poor sugar and fat storage cells screaming for attention?

Now, after you exercise hard, your body wants protein. So give it protein. meat. yogurt (zero fat zero added carbs). eggs. fish. DON'T give it carbs. The muscles will grab all the protein, there will be no carbs, and the body will give up and go take some sugar out of the storage locker.

Most people do NOT need a recovery drink after a workout, and the few who did work hard enough to need one, really need protein, and not fat and not carbs (no sugar, no bread, no potatos, no rice). 50g of protein, 8oz 1% or skim milk, 300 calories. Full stop.

TADAAAA. Muscle growth, more power, AND fat loss.
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Old 08-09-16, 10:49 AM
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If you ate no sugar at all, you'd probably die because I don't think you can avoid it. Now eating things like m&m's, it's impossible to quantify the results on any individual as it's largely dependent on one's previous intake of added sugar, and what they put in that added sugar's place to fuel their system.

PS - There is nothing wrong with sugar. And there is nothing wrong with eating things sweetened with sugar, in moderation.
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Old 08-09-16, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
Common theme: "you need carbs to replace the glycogen you burned during the ride you just finished" This is true, but the huge unspeakable is... where do you want those carbs to come from? If you simply do NOT replace them, your body will scream for sugar. I want Candy! I want Soda! I want Snacks!
I mostly want starches (which are just long chains of sugars) after a hard ride. I don't want candy and I don't even want to look at soda, but sure, I'll have some chips. Intuitively it feels like a crunchy salty thing would be the polar opposite but that's just how my body wants its easy post-exercise carbs. These days I give myself raspberries, milk, and protein powder instead.
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Old 08-09-16, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
If one were to fully go sugar free? would it be possible to see gains in fitness, speed and cycling in general? faster?
Only if you're also a vegan Crossfitter who drives a Prius.
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Old 08-09-16, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
3. If you actually cut out all carbs and sugars completely, you will die in a few weeks.
Built in assumption: You have only a "few" weeks of calories stored as fat.

Let's test the assumption:

You have 25 lbs of excess fat. (I was 6' @ 174 and have cut to 153, and it looks like I can reasonably hit 149 with no muscle loss and still have a little fat left over the love handles. That would be 25 lbs of excess fat, which people think you have to 230 lbs to have that much extra. But they are wrong.)

25 lbs * 3500 calories = 87,500 calories.

Eating nothing on a 2500 calorie base metabolism, you have 35 days of calories. You will burn muscle however, so it will take well over 35 days to "die".

Eating 750 calories of protein and 250 calories of fat per day, on the same 2500 calorie metabolism, you have 58 days worth.

If you eat 1500 of protein and 500 of fat, and zero carbs, and you walk 3 miles (300 cal) a day EVERY day, on top of your 2500 calories base metabolism) you will lose the 25lbs of excess fat in... wait for it... carry the 3... 109 days.

So a few weeks, meaning 4 to 12, sure.
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Old 08-09-16, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
electricity -> battery -> electricity
sugar -> fat -> sugar
Your body can convert sugar to fat.
However, it CAN NOT convert fat to sugar.

The body can use proteins. to make sugar (gluconeogenesis), and use fat to help provide energy for the process but the basic carbon/oxygen/hydrogen structure of the sugars must come from proteins.

Much of the body can use fat (ketones) for energy. However, the brain mostly uses sugars for energy, so some sugar is good for brain health.

As far as sugars, the body easily converts from one form of sugar or carbohydrate to another. You certainly will get sugars if you eat fruit and some amount of carbohydrates from many other foods.

Personally my favorite "diet food" is blackberries. The more I eat, the easier it is to lose weight. I think because the seeds pass through, and are filling without usable calories. And, I like just a little sugar to sweeten them.
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Old 08-09-16, 01:04 PM
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Actually, it does turn it into sugar (glucose) which is then reconverted into glycogen.

End of the day "sugar -> fat -> sugar" is close enough to the truth to be far more useful than any tl;dr of the full technical details.

Burn the sugar, don't replace it, let the body reclaim it from stored fats. It really is that simple in practice even if the actual biological / chemical processses are far more complex.
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Old 08-09-16, 03:22 PM
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Here's what you can do...You could eliminate simple sugars from your daily diet and use sugars only during racing events or intense workouts. If you do decide to eliminate sugar then make sure to eat a lot of starches or else you won't have any energy to race or do intense workouts.
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Old 08-09-16, 03:27 PM
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you'd have to pry the Haagen-Dazs out of my cold, dead hands...
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Old 08-09-16, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Here's what you can do...You could eliminate simple sugars from your daily diet and use sugars only during racing events or intense workouts. If you do decide to eliminate sugar then make sure to eat a lot of starches or else you won't have any energy to race or do intense workouts.
But starches are sugars! So you're for sure not eliminating sugar if you do this.
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Old 08-09-16, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
But starches are sugars! So you're for sure not eliminating sugar if you do this.

Starches aren't sugars. Our body converts starches to sugars...It takes some time for starch to be converted to sugar... Which is healthier a potato or a can of pop ??...Does eating a potato have the same effect on human body as drinking a can of pop ??
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Old 08-09-16, 04:04 PM
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Technically, starches are long chains of sugars. You're right that our bodies have to break the chains apart to get at the energy they contain, and that it's a slower process than eating cane sugar. But, at the end of the day, it's sugar.
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Old 08-09-16, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
you'd have to pry the Haagen-Dazs out of my cold, dead hands...
Forget the Haagen Dazs and give this stuff a try.



It tastes a little different (and weighs a little less) but it's still yummy. The mint chip one is very buttery and creamy, but it's not really chips so much as tiny shavings of chocolate.

But it's made with stevia instead of sugar. A whole pint has 240 to 280 calories (not much more than a gatoraid), and something like 25 grams of protein.
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Old 08-09-16, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Starches aren't sugars. Our body converts starches to sugars...It takes some time for starch to be converted to sugar... Which is healthier a potato or a can of pop ??...Does eating a potato have the same effect on human body as drinking a can of pop ??
bwaaahahaah. actually it does. both are almost pure sugar.

a potato (111) can be more glycemic than table sugar (100).

GI Database
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Old 08-09-16, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If anything, you'll get slower.
This is an accurate prediction in my experience. You lose that burst energy & hi revs, but you'll run cooler, longer. For a competitive athlete, avoiding sugar/carbs is a problem. For the rest of us, not so much.

No, you don't need to add sugar to your diet to be healthy. Your body does an efficient job of breaking fat into ketones if there is insufficient carbs and sugars in the blood.
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Old 08-09-16, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
bwaaahahaah. actually it does. both are almost pure sugar.

a potato (111) can be more glycemic than table sugar (100).

GI Database

So are you saying that table sugar has the same health benefits and nutritional benefits as whole potato eaten with skin ??...Glycemic index has nothing to do with how healthy or how nutritious food is. Judging the healthiness of foods based only on glycemic index is fallacy based on faulty reasoning.
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