"Stress is perceived as a need for more sugar/energy." “The first reaction to a decrease of blood glucose, at least in healthy individuals, is to increase the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, with an increase in adrenaline, which causes the liver to release glucose from the glycogen stores. The effect of adrenaline on the liver is very quick, but adrenaline also acts on the brain, stimulating CRH, which causes the pituitary to secrete ACTH, which stimulates the the adrenal cortex to release cortisol, which by various means causes blood sugar to increase, consequently causing the sympathetic nervous system activity to decrease.
Even when the liver’s glycogen stores are adequate, the system cycles rhythmically, usually repeating about every 90 minutes throughout the day…With advancing age, most tissues become less sensitive to adrenaline and the sympathetic nervous stimulation, and the body relies increasingly on the production of cortisol to maintain blood glucose.” -Dr. Ray Peat
Bottom lime: When you are stressed, you crave sugar for a reason, your body needs more fuel. If your liver is properly fueled, liver glycogen reserves will get released into the blood, attempting to regulate blood sugar. If your are under eating, restricting sugar and carbs, and/or chronically stressed, the liver will become depleted quickly. At this point, your body will rely on the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol to break down tissue to regulate your system. The BEST thing to do to avoid the catabolism of your tissue, under stress, is to consume adequate sugar.** **Always best to consume nutrition filled sugars like fruit, roots, milk, juice, honey and even white sugar. Sugars should be combined with adequate protein and fat, and consumed at ratios and frequencies that work with YOUR body.
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