The food you consume becomes the fuel your body uses to perform its numerous, amazing functions. While anything with calories can technically be converted by the body into energy, not all fuel is created equal. You need the right fuel for your workouts, and you’ll quickly find that eating the wrong foods can negatively impact your ability to reach your fitness goals.
Not only is sugar a poor fuel that comes with many undesirable side effects, eating sugar takes the place of more nutritious foods that you need in order to fuel your body for maximum progress. By cutting sugar out of your diet, you increase your body’s potential and ability to reach all kinds of fitness goals.
Ditch Sugar to Lose Weight
The most obvious way that going sugar-free gets you closer to your goals is by helping you lose weight. Even if losing weight isn’t one of your specific objectives, getting to (or maintaining) a healthy weight will help you reach your other fitness goals. Sugar consumption is linked with obesity and undesired weight gain/retention, and eating a nutritious diet free from sugar is the fastest and healthiest way to lose weight.
Sugar Is Keeping You from Reaching Your Goals
Fitness goals are unique to each person, and they can vary over time. Common goals revolve around performance, weight gain or loss, physique, specific skills or ability, endurance, strength, consistency, and more. Whether your personal goals include running a marathon, working on your abs for swimsuit season, keeping up during your weekly basketball games, or nailing an advanced yoga pose, your diet has a direct impact on your performance and potential.
Think of it like this: you can work hard and even make great progress when your diet is a mess, but your potential is limited. There’s a cap on how much your body can accomplish in that state. You can reach a certain level of fitness and feel okay about that, but you’ll always feel that cap. When you clean up your diet, however, you increase that potential and set new limits for yourself that far surpass your old ones. Your nutrition impacts your muscles, joints, brain, energy systems, bones, blood supply, organs, and every other body system. This is why professional athletes pay such close attention to their nutrition.
Other fitness benefits of cutting sugar from your diet include:
- Having more energy to push yourself during workouts
- Increased motivation
- Fewer health problems and lower disease risk, allowing you to push yourself towards your goals
- No sugar crashes to interfere with progress
- Not feeling sluggish or “blah” during workouts
- Improved muscle recovery
Fitness, Sugar, and Water
Proper hydration levels are essential for all fitness goals. By cutting out sugary drinks from your diet, you can increase your water consumption significantly. Use sweeteners without sugar to flavor your water instead, and track the water you drink throughout the day to ensure you are getting enough.
Eating Right to Reach Your Goals
To optimize your nutrition to reach your fitness goals, make your snacks and meals count. Choose foods that are high in essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients (healthy carbs, fats, and proteins). Before your workouts, focus on eating complex carbohydrates and small amounts of protein in order to fuel your activities. Keep consumption of fats to a minimum in order to avoid gastrointestinal distress. For morning workouts, try a healthy breakfast of sugar-free pancakes or granola.
After your workouts, it’s important to replenish essential carbs and proteins. A 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins is often recommended. Use peanut butter powder sweetened with monkfruit instead of sugar in your post-workout recovery shakes. Blend one cup of unsweetened almond milk, half a banana, 3 Tbsp of peanut butter powder, 1 (optional) Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder, and a scoop of ice for a healthy and filling shake.
Cutting the sugar from your diet is a concrete, beneficial step you can take towards reaching your goals. If you decide to take the plunge and make the commitment to yourself and your fitness goals, try our products to help you get there.