Sugar Consumption and the Athlete

Happy October!  The month of CANDY!  I have a sweet tooth that does not stop, so I am preaching to myself as I write. 

The World Health Organization recommends that both adults and children should consume no more than 10% of their daily caloric intake from free sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods and drinks, and naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. *This does not include the sugars in whole fruits and vegetables.) 

The WHO also reported that a further reduction of sugar to below 5% of daily caloric intake (25 grams of sugar or 6 teaspoons per day) would provide additional health benefits.  

Take a look at the surprising sugar content in these common foods:

  • 20 oz Soda = 65 grams sugar
  • Ketchup = 4 grams/tsp 
  • Fruit Yogurt = 19 grams
  • 10 Gummy Worms = 44 grams
  • Gatorade Energy Chews = 16 grams
What does this mean for athletes?  To have optimal health that leads to optimal performance, begin to monitor your sugar intake more carefully. Athletes are in a unique position to lead others to better health by living healthfully themselves. Athletes can set an example and standard for their peers and families. Is it easy? Not at all. But neither is all the work you put into your sport every single day.

It's a lifestyle.

~Coach Marli