With the average person eating about 150 pounds of sugar a year, the likelihood of going on a sugar binge once in a while is very likely, especially when you eat one too many dark chocolate bars. What if additional exercise, however, could erase the effects of that sugar binge from the dark chocolate you just ate?
Well, you may be happy to hear that new research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggest that exercise may blunt the negative effects of sugar. Researchers had adult subjects consume an additional 75 grams of fructose a day that came from soda. Subjects were then asked to be highly active or very inactive for separate two week periods. During their active period they used a pedometer and walked 12,500 steps a day (about 6 miles) while during their inactive period they decreased their step count to 4,500 steps a day. Blood samples following a meal showed the inactive participants with high fructose intakes had 88% higher triglyceride levels and signs of higher inflammation. When subjects were active these markers did not exist.
“When you consume extra fructose, your liver responds by releasing fats into your blood stream. When you’re active your body increases the production of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase and this enables your body to absorb those fats that are circulating in your bloodstream and then use them for energy” according to Amy Bidwell, PhD, co-author of the study and an assistant professor at SUNY Oswego.
It is still very important to keep yourself on a “budget” to help monitor your daily added sugar but now you know you have a little room to play with and not feel guilty if you go on that sugar binge, as long as you’re highly active that day.
Source: Can Exercise Erase a Sugar Binge? by Jessica Migala.
For additional reading on this topic see Gretchen Reynolds NY Times blog post on How Sugar Affects the Body in Motion.