When it comes to maintaining good health, managing blood glucose levels is a foundation of all other systems. Glucose is a primary source of energy for the body, and much like managing the addition of fuel into an engine controlling the rate of input and use has both performance impacts directly at the time, but also will impact the "wear and tear" of how your body ages over time.
In this discussion, we will explore the reasons behind the significance of managing blood glucose and how it can positively impact your overall well-being, mainly by not messing up every cell in your body and allowing it to do what it wants to do... This article is to provide context for why integrating glucose-management-positive-lifestyle-habits is a valuable pursuit.
Finding a shorter way to say that would be helpful too.
Ultimately this is a primer to provide context for more technical-ish nerd articles that mostly no-one will actually care about also. I think it's cool.
What is Glucose and its role in our body?
Glucose is what is known as a simple sugar, and is the main source of energy for our bodies. Other simple sugars you may know are "fructose" and "lactose", and complex sugars are larger chains of molecules - also known as starches. All of these molecules fit into the food group known as carbohydrates.
When we consume foods that contain carbohydrates they are broken down into glucose, which is then transported through the bloodstream to provide energy to our cells. A measure of how much glucose is present in the blood is what we call "blood glucose", which of course will rise when we consume carbohydrates, and then should decrease over time as our body responds in turn. It does so by releasing insulin, which then signals increased uptake of glucose into tissues throughout the body.
Why is Managing Blood Glucose Important?
To set the scene, presented here is the mainstream "common" reasoning courtesy of AI generation, modified to be more concise.
A lot of broad statements there, but ultimately it's fairly simple.
Our body's ability to effectively manage glucose is pivotal.
Poor management can lead to deprivation of glucose to cells, leading to cell damage and eventually cell death.
Or where excessive glucose present may cause undesireable glycation, (bonding of sugars to proteins, DNA, or fats) creating what are now known as AGE's (Advanced Glycalated End products) which alters or prevents function of that original structure.
Think sugar gumming up the gears of the engine. That's going to lead to all sorts of malfunction and encourage further damage.
So here we can understand that either of these situations will lead to both functional issues at the time by:
- the cell doesn't have the fuel to do the job, therefore cannot perform temporarily;
- the structures of the cell have been modified/damaged, therefore cannot perform at all;
And on a very relatable level, both excess, lack of glucose, or unpredictable swinging tends to result in a neurotransmitter and hormonal cascade promoting feelings of tiredness, anxiousness and poor cognitive function.
There's a lot of different theories going about right now as to what exactly is the ideal way to manage glucose, how much it should be kept down and how much it should be allowed to rise. Or what sort of challenges should be thrown at it to maintain flexibility ecetera.
But a general rule that seems consistent however is that smoother increases and decreases in glucose (like rolling hills as opposed to mountains and valleys) tend to be associated with better health and performance outcomes. So less quick sugar dumping and massive insulin stimulation - or exogenous injection in many cases.
Good solutions aren't glamorous
So we've identified the problem, and some of the goals. Right now I'm sure you're expecting the magic tool "quick fix" delivered for a simple affordable price? Well damn that marketing gimmick excrement to hell.
And yes this article is now deviating off the serious educational path and into the realm of banter. Here's your flag.
Yes, I personally and the other guys involved in NSC are a big fan of ingredients such as berberine, ALA and cinnamon bark extract. But that's not the point of this article, but rather that you might ask more questions as to "what can be done" in every scope of life.
Effective support for your body's long term glucose management is based on the same non-glamorous and easily accessible pillars as always:
- quality nutrition;
- light exposure;
- and other social and environmental factors.
After addressing those is where extra steps like drug or supplement interventions and other cool tools like continuous glucose monitors are damn interesting to explore.
So be curious, read around and experiment, talk to some other people with more experience and get into some real nerd action on it. Listen to a podcast or something and become the next Huber-bro.
"According to the studies" <insert *nasal nerd voice* OR *modern brosicence bro*> it will pay off big time, long term and short term.
Want to some supplements anyway? Okay fine. Check out Berberine HCl here, it's my favourite of all the glucose management supporting ingredients and I do use it near religiously... and put bloody too much effort making sure we had a high quality extract for it to just be used by myself and mates. It's damn hot stuff and I'm proud of it. No pressure.
I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I have writing it, although you probably haven't (your loss). Any questions, very happy to help, just be sure to come to the table informed.
Here's a podcast on how carbs I recorded way back, you may find it interesting:
First to study, then to chat sh*t. -Thomas
Published: 11th November 2023