Sugar and Inflammation

Why your child does NOT need lollies after Saturday sport

So here’s a newsflash that might put a few people off kilter….. your kids do NOT need lollies after sport on Saturday.

Unless they are elite athletes who have just exerted themselves to the equivalent of running a marathon and are planning on doing the same again very soon they do not need to replace their glycogen stores with sugar, artificial colours and additives.

And, when did lollies after sport become a thing anyway?

I have four kids, and after every game they get offered a lolly. 

Lollies at sport has crept into our lives so quietly we don’t even remember when it happened, and our kids don’t remember a time when it wasn’t a thing.

My daughter used to play netball and it was a rostered duty. There was scoring duty, water duty, fruit duty and LOLLY DUTY. Now it’s just a ritual – someone always has a bag of lollies and is happy to share the love.

I’m calling on all coaches, managers, parents to make a stand – lets BAN the lollies at  sport.

What’s wrong with a couple of lollies with the team after the game?

Hmmmm. Well my kids went back to school this week after a couple of weeks off and on the first day back my daughter walked out of class holding a cupcake and very proudly claiming that she already had one at lunch time. A large iced cupcake decorated with lollies. While I don’t have a problem with kids having treats for celebrations occasionally, this is a great example of how our kids are probably getting too many treats.

What about the food colourings?

Think artificial dyes are a harmless ingredient? Consider this…

  • Food companies add more than 6 million kilos of artificial food colourings to foods each year (Over five times the amount added to the food supply when our parents were children)
  • Artificial food dyes have been linked to behavioural problems, various types of cancers and other problems.
  • The European Union requires foods with food dyes to come with a warning label and has banned many of the dyes still used in the US
  • Many people come in contact with food dyes without even realizing it in toothpastes, crackers, pickles, yogurt, potato chips, pastas and other foods that would not be obvious sources of dyes

What kids should be eating after playing sport

Real food.

Give them an apple, a banana, watermelon and hydrate them. Kids need to drink more water. If you think they are hungry, pack a wholegrain/wholemeal sandwich that is nourishing. A handful of nuts or a couple of medjool dates.

Hydration is more important than the lollies…..

Sugar and additives and inflammation

When we eat too much glucose-containing sugar, the excess glucose our body can’t process quickly enough can increase levels of pro-inflammatory messengers called cytokines. And that’s not all. Sugar also suppresses the effectiveness of our white blood cells’ germ-killing ability, weakening our immune system and making us more susceptible to infectious diseases.

Several animal studies have shown that a diet high in added sugar leads to obesity, insulin resistance, increased gut permeability and low-grade inflammation. Human studies confirm the link between added sugar and higher inflammatory markers.

A study of 29 healthy people found that consuming only 40 grams of added sugar from just one 375-ml can of soft drink per day led to an increase in inflammatory markers, insulin resistance and LDL cholesterol. These people tended to gain more weight, too.

Another study in overweight and obese people found that consuming one can of regular soft drink daily for six months led to increased levels of uric acid, a trigger for inflammation and insulin resistance.

Drinking sugary drinks can spike inflammation levels. Moreover, this effect can last for a considerable amount of time.

Consuming a 50-gram dose of fructose causes a spike in inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) just 30 minutes later. Furthermore, CRP remains high for over two hours.

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