7 Signs You Have Blood Sugar Spikes


We’re hardwired to enjoy eating sweet food and drinks. Our brains respond to the sweetness of a cookie or cake with a hit of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that tells us something feels good.

However, carbs and sweet foods can trigger a rapid rise in our blood sugar, known as a blood sugar spike, with a wide range of negative effects. And it happens more often than you think. As many as 88% of people experience high blood sugar spikes.

Just a single spike in blood sugar after a meal can increase oxidative stress and cause inflammation in the body. As insulin floods the body to remove the excess glucose from the blood sugar spike, the resulting crash in blood sugar can cause you to feel hungry again, setting up a damaging cycle.

Too much sugar is toxic to the body, creating metabolic dysfunction that affects how we feel every day, and raises our long-term risk for diabetes and heart disease. Over time, repeated blood sugar spikes can lead to insulin resistance and stubborn weight gain.

How can you tell if you have blood sugar spikes? There are seven common signs to watch out for to know if you have dysregulated glucose levels.

1. Hunger Soon After Eating

If you feel hungry within 90 minutes to two hours after your last meal, it’s likely you had a blood sugar spike. A rapid rise in glucose creates a corresponding rapid fall, which unleashes more of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) signaling us that we need to eat again.

2. Cravings for Sweet Foods

Reaching for chocolate or a sugary snack between meals is a classic symptom of a blood sugar spike. Research shows that when our glucose levels crash rapidly after a sugar spike, cravings for sweet foods intensify, making us want something sweet again, repeating the hunger-cravings cycle.

3. Brain Fog or Lack of Focus

Blood sugar spikes can affect our thinking power in two ways. High sugar levels can impair cognitive function making it hard to think clearly. And blood sugar spikes can also disrupt sleep, often causing wakefulness in the night, so you feel tired and groggy in the morning.

4. Dips in Energy Levels

Ever feel like you could fall asleep after lunch? That’s your blood sugar crashing after a meal. While most people reach for some caffeine to get through the sleepiness, avoiding a blood sugar spike at lunch is a more effective way to keep your energy steady all day.

5. Acne or Skin Breakouts

Many skin issues are worsened by a blood sugar spike and the inflammation it triggers. Research shows that a flatter glucose curve means less acne. In one study, scientists recruited young men to follow a low-glycemic diet so they could evaluate the impact on acne. Dermatology assessments showed the group eating low-glycemic foods had significantly improved acne compared to the control group.

6. Constantly Feeling Exhausted

While our cells need glucose, too much too soon can negatively impact our mitochondria, the tiny energy producing hubs of our cells. When our cells don’t produce energy as effectively, we feel constant fatigue as a result, causing our everyday actions to make us feel exhausted.

7. Stubborn Weight Gain

A blood sugar spike triggers the release of insulin, which stores some excess glucose as glycogen in our liver and muscles. However, most of the excess glucose from a high spike gets stored in our fat cells. Once existing fat cells are filled, more fat cells are created to store excess glucose, trapping us in a fat-storing mode that makes it hard to lose weight.

7 Signs You Have Unhealthy Blood Sugar Spikes Visual Infographic


As awareness of the effects of blood sugar spikes has increased, diets that limit sugar and carbs have risen in popularity. However, strict keto, paleo and low-carb diets are hard to sustain for most people, and keto diets in particular are associated with long-term health risks.

Fortunately, there are easier ways to help flatten the glucose curve, so that you can avoid having blood sugar spikes every day. Best of all, with these simple steps, you can still eat carbs, even dessert, and maintain healthy glucose levels.

How to Reduce Glucose Levels Before You Eat

First, there are a few things you can do before you eat to help slow the release of glucose from a meal. One is to eat fiber before anything else. Soluble fiber forms a gel that makes it harder for glucose to quickly enter the bloodstream. Fiber can be from a salad, a veggie, or you can try Organic Super Fiber.

Additionally, a new breakthrough in plant-based enzymes means you can significantly reduce the amount of glucose released from what you eat, naturally. A specific type of plant-based enzyme can target glucose in the gut and convert it into a resistant starch, preventing its release and helping to flatten the glucose curve even when you eat carbs.

How to Minimize Blood Sugar Spikes During a Meal

There is also a simple switch you can make during a meal. You don’t change what you eat, but simply the order in which you eat it. Eat veggies first (fiber), then protein and healthy fats, then any carbs, and if you like, dessert or fruit.

This works because fiber-filled foods slow the passage of food through the stomach, and once in the intestines, it slows the release of glucose. Research by Cornell University found this form of food reordering can reduce your overall glucose spike by up to 73 percent.

How to Prevent a Glucose Spike After You Eat

You can also lower your glucose levels after you eat. Simply include 10 minutes of movement within an hour after a meal. It can be walking, dancing, strength exercises, anything really. It works because our muscles voraciously consume glucose when they are active, so more glucose is used up.

The Bottom Line

Experiencing blood sugar spikes can impact your health on a daily basis, and raises the risk for long-term damage. Common signs of a blood sugar spike include feeling hungry often, experiencing cravings for sugary foods, having dips in energy levels, and weight gain that is hard to lose.

By being mindful of the signs of unhealthy blood sugar spikes, you can take some simple steps that can flatten your glucose curve. As a result, you may find yourself sleeping better, experiencing more energy throughout the day, not needing to eat constantly, and having fewer cravings. You may also find that you lose weight, simply by managing your glucose levels. Most importantly, your metabolic health will be better.

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