- What is glucose?
- Does it dangerous for our body because it could cause diabetes?
- Should we avoid glucose?
The answer of the third question is absolutely no. Glucose is one of the essential substances required by our body, without which some deficiencies and medical conditions will occur and the effect could be much more dangerous than diabetes. This article will focus on what is glucose and why it is important. It is true that one of the causes of diabetes is the excessive amount of glucose in your body that could cause the raise of blood sugar but it could be avoided and prevented, the question is ‘how to control the blood sugar?’ and not ‘should we avoid glucose?’
What is glucose?
Glucose is carbohydrate. If you consume foods that contained carbohydrate means you also consume glucose. Is glucose sugar? Well, glucose cannot be simply called as sugar but yes glucose is simple sugar or a monosacchride and sometimes glucose also called dextrose. Simple explanation, sugar consists of glucose while glucose is one of the primary molecules that form it. Fructose and sucrose are also sugar but they are different from glucose though they are important for human’s health. Fructose is also carbohydrate, so in other words you could consume food consists of glucose and fructose and they are both called sugar.
The digestive process will free glucose from other sugar units obtained by carbohydrate that consumed. After that process, glucose will be absorbed into the blood stream and later used by cells to do whatever functions glucose is for. Below is the list of benefits of glucose in human body:
Glucose for Daily Life
One of the reasons why people avoid carbohydrate is because it could cause weight gain. Perhaps learning about the connection of carbohydrate, glucose and weight gain will give you a certain perspective. Because carbohydrate is essential for human body, avoiding it could cause some deficiency. Below is a list of the benefits of glucose for human body and reasons why you shouldn’t avoid it. Instead, making sure that you have a certain management and discipline could act as control mechanism to make sure that glucose in your body is under controller.
- Glucose as Energy Source
To support your daily activity you need energy. Without which you will easily get tired. So, how energy in your body is produced? You need glucose to produce energy and you need to consume carbohydrate for glucose. After glucose is freed through digestive system and absorbed into the blood stream, glucose will be turned into glycogen which will be stocked in the muscle. Glycogen will be turned into energy and if it is required it could be turned back into glucose.
- Glucose for Body Endurance
As mentioned above glucose is the source of energy. In other words, glucose also has significant role in maintain the body endurance. The more stock of glycogen you have in your muscle the more energy you have so you will have longer time before your body starts to feel the exhaustion.
- Glucose as Cognitive Booster
Recent studies have found that even brain needs glucose to function optimally. The same researches also showed that learning process could deplete the stock of glucose in the brain, once the stock is depleted, students will get hard to focus on their study and weak on memorizing.
- Glucose as Energy Recovery
Glucose is not only needed to produce energy so you could do all the activity daily without the sign of exhaustion but glucose is also needed as part of the recovery. When you get home after a very long day at work, you still need glucose to recover your energy so you have enough energy to start your day tomorrow. During your resting time, glucose will rebuild and restock the glycogen in your cells that can be used again wherever you need it.
- Glucose as Energy for Physiological processes
What are physiological processes? Physiological processes are like muscle contraction, relaxation, respiration, body temperature and heart rhythm. Those processes are required glucose. Actually, all processes in your body from heart beat up to muscle contraction required energy and without glucose the stock of energy will be drained off.
- Glucose as Body Temperature Regulator
To keep your body warm you need energy as well. The glycogen in your muscle is one of the reasons why your body has temperature. It is closely related to the fat in your muscle. That’s why people with weight problem will easily get hot due to the excess amount of fat in the muscle.
- Glucose Oxidase for Natural Preservative
Glucose oxidase is not glucose it is an enzyme, the type of enzyme which is commonly found in bacteria and fungus which later will be used as natural preservation in foods and acts as powerful anti bacteria agent. This type of enzyme can be found in the process of making yogurt or dried products. However, to activate this enzyme, glucose is needed.
Glucose for Working Out and Bodybuilding
Exercise or working out is one of the important activities you should do regularly. There are a lot of types of exercises; you don’t even need to go to the gym just for exercising. Walking and climbing the stairs are already considered as exercise. So, there is no reason for you to not doing it. Exercise is good to keep you feel fit and keep your body in shape. Believer it or not, regular exercise could help in preventing some dangerous even chronic diseases. However, even to do it you need glucose.
- Glucose as Fuel
When doing exercise, you will require all of your body and muscle to move. The movement of muscle required glucose as the source of energy. Actually, to move your muscle also needs oxygen and when the oxygen stock in your body is less available, the only option left is glucose which is stocked in your muscle. Actually, those stocked glucose which is also well known as glycogen if it is not used regularly will be turned into fat that could cause weight gain.
- Glucose to Build Muscle
Well, the more intense the workout is the more glucose you need. It is because glucose is not only needed during exercises but also after exercises. Your muscle required new stock of glucose for energy and together with protein glucose is also required to rebuild the muscle after the workout.
- Glucose Optimizing the Creatine Absorption
In bodybuilding, the main purpose is increasing the mass and the strength of muscle. To reach that creatine is a substances required by muscle to increase the muscle mass and strength. Glucose has prominent role in making sure the optimal absorption of creatine.
From the explanation above we could sum it up about the connection between carbohydrate, glucose and weight gain. Glucose is obtained through carbohydrate that consumed, through digestive system, glucose is freed to be carried by insulin in the blood stream to be distributed to cells. In cells, glucose will be turned into glycogen to be stocked and whenever you need energy, that stocked glycogen will be released as energy. However, if those stocked of glycogen is not used regularly, the number will be excessive and that where the weight gain problem is started, the excess stocked of glycogen in your cells.
Now, let’s move to the next question. Could glucose endanger the human body? The answer could be yes and no. It depends on how your lifestyle is. In other words, glucose could be friend and foe at the same time but whether it will be your friend or foe is depending on you. Above is the explanation that glucose could be your best friend and below is the explanation that in some cases glucose could be your foe as well.
However, too much glucose in your body could cause the raise of blood sugar level that will lead to diabetes but it’s not the only factor. The level of insulin is also having important role in causing diabetes because insulin is an important hormone that will distribute glucose to cells which later will be turned into energy. If the ratio of insulin in the body is not compatible to the amount of glucose in the body, the effect is diabetes because the excess glucose in the blood stream which cannot be distributed to the cells will remain in the blood stream and affect the blood sugar level. There are two factors that cause the ratio of insulin is lower than glucose:
- First, the excess consumption of glucose that could lead to obesity and could cause the insulin intolerance. This condition happened in patient diabetes type 2.
- Second, there’s problem with the insulin production which happened to patient diabetes type 1.
In other words, glucose is closely linked to diabetes but it’s not where you should put the blame.
- Weight Gain
It is true that there is a strong link among carbohydrate, glucose and weight gain. As in diabetes, glucose is not the only reason of weight gain. Glucose is essential source of energy, after it is absorbed in the blood stream, insulin will taka role as the carrier and distributes glucose to cells. In cells, glucose will be turned into glycogen to be stocked in the muscle.
This stocked will be used as energy when body is doing activity and control the body temperature. However, unused glycogen in the muscle will be accumulated and that’s where the problem is coming. The accumulation of glycogen will be turned into fat that will cause weight gain.
Hypoglycemia is a condition when the level of blood sugar or glucose in your blood is low or below normal. The low level of glucose in your body will starve your cells since the stocked of glycogen already drained out to be released as energy. It could cause a rapid weight loss. This condition will lead to anxiety, dizziness and cognitive problem likes confusion, difficult to speak, easily distracted. That’s why no matter what, glucose is important for human body, avoiding it is not a wise move.
So, what we should do if avoiding glucose is not the option? Well, diabetes, weight gain and hypoglycemia are not medical condition that cannot be avoided or controlled. Below is the list of what you could do to deal with or get rid of them:
- Exercise Regularly
Exercise regularly has prominent contribution in utilizing the stocked glycogen in your body for energy so it will not have chance to be turned into fats that could cause weight gain. Weight gain or obesity could lead to diabetes type 2. Besides that as the bonus you could get stronger muscle, fit and shape body.
- Healthy Diet
Healthy diet management is also important. Carbohydrate is essential for human body but consume them too much could be dangerous. Obesity is not only about gaining weight but the condition could be lead to some serious and even chronic medical condition, like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and many more. Sugary product like candy and sweet snacks may act as instant energy booster but consume them too much is not recommended either. In other words, poor carbohydrate choice could lead to the dysfunction of diet like eating too much carbohydrate found in junk food will make you eat more and give you the sugar rush.
- Healthy Lifestyle
Lifestyle is also important in making sure that glucose in your body will be absorbed optimally. Exercise is part of lifestyle but having regular schedule is also important like having enough sleep, reducing the alcohol consumption, eating regularly, avoiding too much snacking time could control the level of glucose in your body.
- Regular Medical Checkup
Well, you cannot just measure the level of glucose in your body manually, that’s why regular medical checkup is required. It is one of the preventive actions that most people take for granted. They thought they are okay until everything is too late. Regular medical checkup will keep you update about your current condition so whenever there is a problem with your body you will be able to find out in early stage.
Glucose from Foods
The next question is ‘what to eat?’ Glucose could be manufactured from living organism as well as from plants. Almost all of carbohydrate contained glucose from breads to fruits (read : Benefits of carbohydrates ). Below is the list of foods that are containing relatively of glucose, some are high so diabetic patient should avoid it but some are adequate so safe to be consume regularly for glucose intake:
- Dried Fruits
Some example of dried fruits are like raisin, prunes, dried apricot and many more. Dried fruits are one of the efforts so fruits could be durable in longer time. The process required the additional of sugar and salt so dried fruit will contain higher sugar than the fresh one. For you who are looking for instant source of glucose intake, consuming dried fruits are highly recommended but if you are already diagnosed with diabetes, avoiding dried fruits in all cost is highly recommended.
Syrups, especially syrup made from fruit is another effort to make fruit durable in longer time. The process of making syrups is also involving high amount of sugar. Sugar here could act as the preservation as well as the flavor enhancer. In other words, all types of syrup, natural or processed are high in glucose. That’s why syrups is good to be consumed after an intensive time of workout, besides it is very refreshing, it could bring back the energy your body needed. However for the sake of body building, combined it with protein is recommended like making milkshake and syrup because without protein there is no muscle and mass building.
- Fresh Fruits
It could be said that all fruits are containing glucose but the level could be different from one another. You could guess that just by tasting it, the sweeter the fruit is the chance of that fruit having high glucose level is higher. However, no matter how high the glucose contained in fresh fruits is glucose will not harmful for your body as long as you’re not consuming it in high dosage. It is due to the fiber contained in fruits. The fiber will contribute in slowing down the digestive system so the absorption of glucose could be slowed down as well.
- Grains, Beans and Vegetables
Carbohydrate contained in grains, beans and vegetables could be considered as healthy carbohydrate because of the level of glucose is relatively low compared to other types of foods. Besides that, those types of food are rich of other nutrients that will provide a balance mechanism to assist in controlling the level of glucose in the blood.
Learning about the benefits of glucose is not as simply as reading the list. Glucose is a complex substance that has a lot of functions. Glucose level has prominent role in affecting your body system, you cannot have too high or too low glucose in your body. Besides that if glucose is combined by other substances like enzyme, hormone or even nutrients the function will also change. Being a smart consumer is good but being a wise consumer is a must.