During the days when I used to train and not fuel my body adequately looked like this….:
I would take an energy pill, drink, or gel when I was experiencing extremely low energy. Typically, that little boost would wear off and I would experience what I now know is a blood sugar crash. At the time I didn’t know what was happening. All I knew was I was getting very shaky and feeling extremely disconnected from myself. I would also frequently feel very lightheaded. I felt very weak and jittery inside.
Usually, I would have no idea what was causing these symptoms, and I would just tell myself “this has happened before—I just have to ride it out, and it will pass.” Once these symptoms passed, I would get re-connected and perform better than ever. But, during those 15 minutes (and sometimes up to an hour), it was extremely unsettling, and sometimes I would break out in cold sweats. At the time, I did not realize that I was in an extreme hypoglycemic state.
After my workouts I was usually so starved that I would not even be able to talk to anyone until I got food in my system. I was extremely irritable and angry. I would snap at people all the time. My close friends and family called me ‘Dark Laura’ when I got this way. Nobody realized (least of all, me) these mood swings were happening because my body thought it was actually starving to death.
Looking back now these symptoms all makes sense. I would not have fueled myself properly at all. Sometimes, I might have just had a sports gel or energy bar earlier in the day leading to that insulin spike and inevitable crash.
The first step for me to preventing this terrifying symptoms was to get off of sugar and carbohydrates completely. The transition took some time, but I slowly became fat adapted and no longer had those crazy bouts of hypoglycemia. Now, I am very happy to experience stable blood sugar and energy throughout the entire day. I never feel like I am starving. I also don’t feel like I’m going to kill somebody if I don’t get food in two minutes or less.
My message here is to really be smart with your nutrition. Make sure you are giving the body the proper fuel and nutrients it needs to perform at the level you’re demanding. Once you get it dialed to the proper and adequate intake, you will be amazed how much better you feel and your mood will improve dramatically as well.