With my addiction to sugar, I really try to keep it under control and I think I am often better when I am not training hard because I am more conscious that what I eat wont actually be burned off because I am not exercising as much. That being said, I usually try to only eat the serving size of 3 oreos or 6 peach rings (although that doesn't always work out for me). I often tend to overdose on sugar and then feel guilty about it. The worst time of day for me is after dinner around 8:30/9pm when I get a little bored and end up in the kitchen, rummaging for a snack. Sometimes I eat sweets out of boredom and sometimes I eat them because I feel like I deserve them.
This summer in an effort to fuel my body better I have cut out the cookies at lunch. At first I went from cookies to animal crackers but recently I have even cut back on those. I have been trying to eat less of the sugary stuff in the middle of day since I usually just sit on my butt from 8am-5pm.
A few weeks ago I did a little bit of research on when the best time to eat the sugary sweets would be and found that the best time to eat cookies is after a workout. I think that is the best news ever.
When you run (or do any type of exercise) you use up muscle glycogen for fuel during the workout. So after that intense workout, your body becomes more sensitive to sugar intake because it is trying to refuel. Your body wants something with a high glycemic index so that it can be digested quickly and then rushed to the muscles that need replenishing (source).
The best part is that when you ingest the carbohydrates post workout, your body produces insulin that then injects the digested carbohydrate molecule into a muscle cell for use later as energy. If you didn't workout and ate those same carbohydrates, the insulin in your body would instead cram the molecule into a fat cell (source).
I am not saying that eating just cookies after a workout is a good idea. Ideally eating a balanced meal after a workout and then eating some cookies would be a good idea because you are actually helping your body refuel and repair the muscles that you just used.
Over the past few weeks I have tried to not eat cookies after dinner unless I have done an afternoon workout. That actually doesn't really work well for me. I sometimes don't have good self control and I really enjoy an after dinner sweet. So instead I have really focused on limiting myself to one or two cookies and making sure that I fill up on good foods.
Eating less sugar really is a process, I know there is a lot of research out there that says sugar is bad for you. I just haven't found the will power yet to completely give up sugar and sweets. It really is about accessing your own body and seeing where you want to make improvements that work for you. As for right now, I don't think I am going to be completely giving up my cookies anytime soon!
If you are a runner - do you give up all cookies and candy while in training? Do you find not eating sugar actually helps your performance??