Happy Pre-Christmas Season! Or also: Happy snacking! Now the tasty gingerbread, printen and chocolate Santa Clauses in the supermarkets and roasted almonds and sweetened mulled wine at the Christmas markets are tempting again. Many pounce on the sugary treats as if they had never grown up, but still 5 years old, only with enough money in their pockets.
But the nibbling, licking and feasting is not only funny, it can even have serious consequences. If you overdo it with the sugar rush, there’s more than just tooth decay and a little hip gold.
What happens in the body through high sugar consumption?
In the long run you can get fat and have bad teeth. If you don’t suppress your jieper, you’ll need more and more sugar for the same kick at some point, eventually you’ll be threatened by a veritable sugar craving.
But even in the short term, eating too much sugar has serious health consequences, which we break down for you below. You can find out what happens in your body when there is an excess of sugar in your diet by looking at our timetable to the minute.
0-15 minutes after snacking: Caries attack!
The first parts of your body that sugar attacks are your teeth and gums. The sugar mixes with the bacteria from the spit. This results in an acidic mixture that removes the protective enamel: Now caries bacteria are having a carnival, because now they have an easy time attacking your teeth.
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Mulled wine, candied apples & co: there are many sugary treats lurking on the Christmas market. © Sebastian Siebert / Shutterstock.com
15-30 minutes after sugar consumption: body fat alarm!
Next, the sugar reaches the intestines via the oesophagus. In the small intestine, the sugar is broken down to be able to enter the bloodstream. So far, so good.
The sugar must be converted into energy and distributed to the various muscle tissues of the body. To start this process, the pancreas now comes into play and provides insulin. But the body can only convert a certain amount of sugar – and if you give it too much to process, it has no choice but to convert the excess sugar into fat in the liver.
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As this happens, the adrenal gland interprets the high sugar intake as an increased stress situation. It reacts by releasing cortisol and adrenaline. The stress hormones are supposed to support the body in the apparent distress, but in return they push up your blood pressure and increase sweat production. Well, wet forehead?
30-45 minutes after snacking: sugar rush!
The high sugar intake has reached the brain, where the happiness hormone dopamine is now released, triggering a wonderful sugar rush or sugar high. But the euphoria does not last long, but is soon replaced by a sugar crash, a noticeable low.
The hormones and insulin levels still have to work at full speed to control the sugar overload, which lowers the blood sugar level. Lethargy and irritability are the result, replaced by a sugar hangover, usually in the form of headaches. The drastic drop in the blood sugar level then causes the body hormones to withdraw as much sugar as possible from the liver to bring the body into balance.
The fact that the flood of sugar has to be hectically absorbed and processed in the stomach and intestines over a long period of time results in gases that are felt as stomach aches and flatulence.
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Hot cocoa with marshmallows is good on cold days, but contains too much sugar. © Soloviova Liudmyla / Shutterstock.com
45-60 minutes after the sugar binge: immune shock!
The rising and falling hormone levels have completely blocked the white blood cells in your blood, which has negative consequences for your immune system: In the next few hours your body is not able to eliminate pathogenic bacteria, i.e. the risk of infection increases. Did someone just sneeze?
So many calories in hot drinks from the Christmas market
Let’s recap: A sugar binge therefore has an effect on your teeth, your digestive system, your hormone balance, your mental state, your general well-being and on your immune system. It’s like partying hard: you can do it once, but you don’t have to be constantly.
How can I tell if I have consumed too much sugar?
If you go over the top, it usually has no long-term effects on your health, at least if you don’t have diabetes. However, people who often eat far too much sugar increase their risk of developing diabetes 2. The warning signs for this are:
- Constant, strong thirst
- Cravings Attacks
- Frequent need to go to the toilet
- Fatigue and concentration problems
- skin problems and dry, itchy skin
- Increased susceptibility to infection
- Poor wound healing
If you notice several of these signs, you should pull the emergency brake and make a sugar withdrawal. You will find that this will also completely change your entire taste experience!
Usually we like to tell you not to repress the child inside you. But when it comes to sugar, we tell you to be careful. Sugar overkill is pure stress for your body and can have a serious effect on your health in the short and long term. Try to eat sweets consciously and slowly. When enjoyed in moderation, snacking is not a problem.
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