How to stop being scared of sugar?

Is anyone ever worried about the effects of sugar for fueling, as far as sugar causing/feeding cancer cells?
It scares me to death… but also affects my ability to properly fuel…


My personal understanding is that some cancer cells are more dependent of insulin spikes than of the sugar in itself. These are the type of cancers that respond well to a keto diet. When you are doing a keto diet your blood sugar is constant, in a normal range. It’s the insulin that is suppressed.
When you fuel sugar during exercise, the insulin response is limited, and the sugar goes directly in the muscles using a different pathway.
Again, personal understanding.


Listen to the Peter Attia podcase with Richard Johnson. The problem with sugar is fructose. I’ve been using Hammer products that us maltodextrin which is a glucose polymer. No fructose.


When I grew up I was scared of proteins (and red meat). Then it turned out fats were the big bad villain. Now many people are scared of sugars.

I decided a few years back to ignore all the noise and believe for myself that the body needs what it needs, based on what it does. Too much of anything is bad if you don’t need it. But why be scared of sugars if you burn all of them?

Most of us watch our weight, we know how many carbs we eat (within a few 100kCal), we know how many kJ we burn with high accuracy (thanks powemeters)! That is a very, very different situation from the couch potato binging on pop corn with extra caramel and a large coke.

Give a cactus the same amount of water as a fern, and it will quickly die. If you observe a population of 90% cactii and 10% ferns, you can print the sensational headline “New findings prove you should avoid watering all your plants at all costs”! Think of all the ad revenue you’d generate :star_struck::heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign:

I really start to feel old at 37, listening to the unending stream of generalisations and noise permeating our lives. I love the deep dives on the podcast, and other podcast that invariably conclude: “it’s complex, and it depends on individual circumstances. We could talk about this topic for months !” Feels more realistic to me than the click bait and sound bites that replicate over the web and become wildly held beliefs by the sheer force of volume and repetition.

So my way to avoid fearing sugars is just to tune out the sensationalist noise and focus on fuelling the work when I need to, and eating whole foods as much as I can manage.

Just my two cents, rant over. Others may feel differently on the topic.


Not to mention caries…

but seriously our body needs top consume exactly 0 carbs to perform, so why eat something which causes so much harm…


As far as I know consuming sugar immediately before and during exercise isn’t that bad for you. It’s when you eat sugar all the time and you don’t exercise that can create problems. Plenty of other great advice here.


What’s this?

I’d like to see where you got this info and what you mean by ‘perform’.

What harm is it causing to consume carbs/sugars during exercise?


Carbs? The most appropriate food for humans? Just look at many millions of healthy Chinese people living on 85% of carbs a day.
And especially for athletes (cycling) it’s even more necessary to consume carbs/sugars.


I’m scared by how little I’m scared of sugar.


Tooth decay - it’s the French word for it.

I never said there is anything wrong with carbs. I said there’s a problem consuming sugar and sitting on your butt. If you consume sugar before and during exercise that is the best “window” for your body to process them. if you want to go that route it all depends where you people live and the conditions they live in. How did the eskimos survive living in artic conditions? Not too many carbs there.

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Did I miss a landmark study that shows sugar causes cancer? Nor correlation, but causality?

The idea that we can perform just fine without carbs is simply wrong. We can exercise at a certain level without carbs, but some levels of intensity are simply not possible on a sustained basis w/o carbs.


Your lifetime risk of cancer of any variety is currently close to 50% if you live in North America or Europe. Probably lower because I assume if you’re posting on TR you are more active than the average person and don’t smoke, but it’s still going to be north of 20-30%.

If you eat sugar, your lifetime risk of getting cancer will be…

the same. Because while in vitro studies suggested that sugar helps cancer grow, actual human studies showed that dietary intake of sugar did absolutely nothing to cause or promote cancer.

Eat all the sugar you need/want, just don’t get fat, because being overweight is associated with an increased risk of cancer.


Caries is tooth decay/cavities caused by bacteria feeding on sugar.


I have the same fear and have switched to UCAN with good results. I do not work for them nor is this an advertisement. In the end it is a starch that releases steady carbs to the bloodstream. I think there are many on this forum who agree with @dmalanda and this person more vibes with me. Be sure to think about your intensity regarding high sugar loading. If it’s a 2 hour ride at zone 2, take something that is slower steady release as you will not need that super punch from Maurten etc…If you are going all out in a race then yes calculating both calories and carbs prior is a good idea to stay fueled. Even the TR podcast has started to say the word intensity when they speak of carbs per hour. That was not the case earlier and many just blindly sucked down sugar but did not think about intensity or length.

Off bike nutrition is also key. I make a fantastic Neapolitan pizza, but limit it to once every two weeks. Mostly lean meat and veggies. My son is a Men’s Physique competitor, I cannot eat like he does (17yo compared to 51yo dad). So much food of all kinds mostly lean proteins. But I can eat recovery food like he does after a lengthy 2+ hour ride with carbs of course. Food not always product, except for whey in my smoothie.

Each body is in individual. Go with what works by experimenting. Sometimes I just need a tsp of honey to get through 30/30 Vo2 or threshold and hold the watts for the 90 minute wo. That depends on what was put in the tank two hours before. It’s a total calorie/carb intake in the equation Amber mentioned many moons ago. I love my oatmeal with natural peanut butter or oatmeal with pecans and a small amount of maple for longer rides. Costco sells Morning Sunrise Cereal. I LOVE the taste but can burn through that like a mad hummingbird.

Be healthy first and ride fast second. It will be more enjoyable even if you race gravel…(how I miss real road races locally) hahahaha.



Just, no.


A good summary of the current state of research concerning keto diet and cancer

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The Nobel prize committee would like to have a word with you

Your teeth rot but the stuff that literally makes our teeth rot properly isn’t bad for the rest of our body…

1 in 4 Americans get cancer, not 50%.

Sidenote: there have been studies which show that cancer isn’t actually hereditary, it’s familial.

Eg Chinese kids adopted by American parents have the same rate of cancer as Americans and vice versa. It is not your genes which seal your fate as much as who raises you

Another sidenote: a recent study which spans multiple generations shows that higher consumption of fat (including saturated fat) lowers the risk of heart disease. Fat on your heart and in your arteries is bad but it was a false assumption that fat in your diet leads to those dangerous conditions

Back to the topic: ppl have a weird attitude toward self care bc healthcare is so expensive. Before any change in exercise or diet, go get a full panel of tests (kidney function, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc). Make a change and then test again 3 months later.