New Study: Sugar blocks body's ability to control iron levels

Most physically active individuals (including myself until a few years ago) didn't think twice about the consumption of sugar / sugary beverages (sports drinks, energy gels, etc.). Why? Well because we are "physically active", we are burning it all off! So it's all well and good right?

No, not even close.

As I've discussed in many a previous blog post: regular consumption of sugar has a significant detrimental impact on our health and increases risk of metabolic disease (yes, even in the most active of athletes).

What this new study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reveals and why you should care:

  1. Iron overload is a common "modern day" problem;
  2. Iron overload REDUCES cardiovascular fitness;
  3. Exercise helps the body control Iron levels and avoid overload;
  4. Sugar consumption BLOCKS the body's ability to keep iron levels "in check".

As this study discusses: while iron deficiency is a concern worldwide, most "modern" societies have the opposite problem: too much iron, causing iron "toxicity", which is a serious health concern leading to a variety of health issues.

The body functions best when it keeps iron in a "happy medium": not too high, not too low.

Exercise has been found to be one of the best ways to keep iron "in check": it allows the body to reduce iron absorption if it's too high, and increase storage if it's too low.

However, this study demonstrated that adding sugar (glucose & fructose) to exercise BLOCKS that benefit: sugar increases iron absorption regardless of exercise.