How to prevent the sugar crash?

How to prevent the sugar crash?

  • Sugar crashes can get inconvenient, especially if they happen at work
  • Eating fat with each meal will help level your blood sugars so they don’t get too high
  • Avoid sources of quick, refined sugar

You know the feeling all too well. It’s two in the afternoon, and you suddenly feel a dip in your energy. You meander to the vending machine for your usual candy bar as a pick me up, which works, temporarily. But after an hour or so, you feel the crash again, and you wonder where all your energy went.

This is typical of what most people call a “sugar-crash.” This just means that our blood sugar takes a dip, usually after it has gotten too high. You may have a carbohydrate-heavy lunch which leaves you feeling full and energized, but a couple hours later, you crash and burn, and your energy is non-existent.

Sugar crashes can get inconvenient, especially if they happen at work or when you are trying to play with your kids. They can be especially frustrating if you are trying to get an afternoon workout in! But it is possible to have steady energy throughout the day so that you feel balanced and energized all day long, instead of riding a roller coaster ride of energy all day.


So how can we prevent this sugar crash and reclaim our afternoon energy? Here are some quick and easy tips:

Firstly, eat more healthy fats. Eating fat with each meal will help level your blood sugars so they don’t get too high. If blood sugars rise too much, they will crash even more dramatically, causing your low energy, dizziness, and afternoon moodiness. Which is why candy gives you a quick boost of energy, but makes you more tired and lethargic in the long run.

Balancing out your meals with healthy fats will stabilize your blood sugar and your energy. For example, breakfast should include egg yolks, not just whites, oatmeal with peanut butter and not plain, or even just a handful of nuts. Having these healthy fats will help keep your blood sugars balanced instead of sending them on a roller coaster ride all day long.

Avoid sources of quick, refined sugar. This means avoiding sweeteners in your coffee, bakery sized muffins, and foods that are made up of all carbohydrates such as pancakes and pasta. Add some healthy fats and proteins to these, such as eggs or chicken. Choose complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. These foods have fiber in them, which means they are NOT a quick sugar source, but rather absorb slowly into your bloodstream.

The fiber “holds back” the sugar response, which means you don’t experience such a quick rise, which in turn will prevent a dramatic crash. Complex carbohydrates filled with fiber are your best bet when trying to avoid a sugar crash!

Eat carbohydrates throughout the day. Many people avoid all carbs throughout the day, then binge on them in the afternoon, sending your blood sugars mixed signals. It is much healthier for your blood sugar to eat moderate amounts of carbs throughout the day so that your levels stay balanced. Again, choosing complex carbohydrates will help your blood sugar levels stay as balanced and steady as possible, giving you steady energy throughout the day!

By following these guidelines, you should experience steady energy throughout the day and avoid the afternoon sugar crash. Balancing our blood sugars are so important as they affect our energy, moods, and overall disposition.

The foods we eat directly affect our energy and our ability to function well at work or at home, so make sure you are choosing high quality, complex carbohydrates, filling up on healthy fats, and avoiding quick sugar fixes.



About the author

Tveen Verano [MPH, RD] is a registered dietitian nutritionist from Southern California. She is currently working as a renal dietitian and has a private practice as a registered dietitian and online wellness coach. Her passion for nutrition and real food drives her to keep up with current research and provide relevant and applicable information to the public to help stop the trend of obesity and provide vitality and health to everyone.