Stay Fit and Healthy
Are You Craving Sweets After Meals?
Stress, caffeine, and lack of sleep can all over stimulate your HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, the body’s stress response system. Researchers believe chronic overstimulation of that HPA axis can impair its function, leading to poor immune activity, memory, and metabolism.
Calorie-dense food like sweets, researchers believe, stimulate the body’s endogenous opioid system, which releases endorphins and has a pain-relieving, analgesic effect on the body. It may also help decrease the activity of the HPA axis, helping to calm that overstimulation. If you’re constantly craving sweets, it could be your body’s way of telling you to chill out, get more sleep, or cut the caffeine.
Of course, there are other reasons why you may crave sweets, particularly right after a meal when you’re presumably full. If you're keeping fit and healthy a poorly fueled workout could be to blame.
“It's recommended to have a small carbohydrate snack around 45 to 60 minutes before a workout,” says sports dietitian Marni Sumbal. She recommends eating 30 to 60 grams of carbs and five to 10 grams of protein and fat before a 60 to 90-minute workout. Try eating half a piece of pita bread with a teaspoon of peanut butter, or a small banana and a few nuts before getting sweaty.
During your workout, you should drink water, Sumbal says, but if you need a boost of energy, she recommends sipping on a sports drink. And do not skimp on a post-workout snack. Try downing 15 to 20 grams of protein and some carbs—a glass of chocolate milk works—right after your workout to maximize recovery.
“It's normal to crave sweets after a workout because glycogen (digested carbs) is a primary, quick, immediate fuel during high intensity workouts,” Sumbal says. “The body is naturally asking you to replace what was burned during activity if you find yourself with heavy sweet cravings post workout.” That makes immediately post-workout a better time to indulge, if you desire.
Chilled out and relaxed, been fueling properly, laying off the caffeine, and sleeping enough— It’s possible you’ve just conditioned yourself to expect sweets after every meal by, well, eating sweets after every meal.You don’t have to break that habit entirely, Sumbal says, just switch out those indulgences for other items that have more health benefits. “Naturally sweet foods like dates, figs, or fruit can also provide vitamins and minerals,” which can aid your recovery.
Read more here
Be the first to add your comments
Comment on this article
Login to submit a comment
What we offer
GajGal is an expanding community of mothers helping mothers. Our motto “Get a Job | Get a Life” is based on the belief that for mothers wanting to get back into the workforce, finding a job with “the right level” of flexibility, empowers working mothers to live life on their own terms and better control their own destiny.
GajGal aims to address this “new reality” through four core components:
- 1. Job Search and Matching tools to streamline finding the perfect fit for flexible work arrangements.
- 2. Access to Benefits that in the traditional work environment have been provided by full time employers. GajGal helps to provide a critical mass of members to ensure access to a range of benefits options that we are continually working to expand and improve on.
- 3. Working Mother Community to provide access to news, blogs and articles of interest and importance to working mothers and a social networking community that working mothers can interact with and draw on for support.
- 4. The Entrepreneur Zone is for mothers aiming to start their own business and expand on the concepts of working mothers helping working mothers succeed.
“Using your Benefits link made it easy to select from a wide range of health insurance offerings and narrow down the various plans available that best fit my needs. Being able to make a side by side comparison of the details further helped me make an informed decision on a plan with great rates. The application is swift and uncomplicated”
“ WOW this is a fantastic idea aimed at a true need. I have had a hard time preparing to go back to work after staying home with my two kids for the past 4 years. I am so excited to start adding my requirements and get started on the search. The Latest News and Benefits are an excellent idea. I would come here to read this even if I wasn't looking for a job right now”