There’s no debate – sugar is NOT your friend when it comes to strengthening your pelvic floor or core. It’s inflammatory effects prevent your body from building good quality tissues.
A sugar habit goes far beyond the gorgeousness of a cupcake, or even the habit of a biscuit or seven with a cuppa. It’s brain science – neuroendocrinology.
Sugar triggers the release of the hormone dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Sugar gives you the dopamine rush, it makes you feel pleasure – at the same time as it delivers a wallop of sugar giving you an instant energy rush.
But dopamine goes to the reward centre of your brain – just like cocaine, gambling, alcohol. And dopamine downregulates it’s own receptors. This means that the next time you have the rush, you need more sugar to create the same effect. This happens again and again until finally you’re having a big hit of sugar to get no rush – that’s tolerance. Pretty soon after that, the neurons in your brain get fried from all the hits and actually start to die. That’s the brain science of addiction.
And if you don’t get enough sleep, your neuroendocrinology means you produce levels of hormones that mean you crave food, and particularly sugar.
The reason you can’t walk past the biscuit tin or say no thanks to the cake isn’t a weakness. Your hormones and your brain have created a state where your free will is weaker than your addiction.
Nonetheless, sugar sucks. It’s dreadful for your health. It messes with your metabolism, leads to future illnesses like cancer, and increases your chances of becoming obese more than any other source of calories. And for our purposes, it stops you building a better core & pelvic floor.
When you take a break from refined sugar (even by replacing it with fruits and dried fruit snacks), the first three days are rotten – but by day 5 you’ll notice some real changes. For me these include great skin, tonnes of energy, no PMS symptoms, and an incredible positivity and lust for life that I haven’t felt for ages. So I know how good it is to get off the sugar too.
(I to and fro with sugar so all this is testimony as well as information!)
Cutting sugar out is brilliant. But alternatively can you focus on getting the good stuff in – veggies, protien, healthy fats – and the sugar cravings will subside as sleep returns eventually.