How Do We Metabolize Excess Sugar?

If we have eaten too many sweet foods, it's important to steer clear of carbohydrates in the rest of the meals in order to compensate.
How Do We Metabolize Excess Sugar?

Last update: 02 December, 2022

Most people are aware that excessive sugar consumption can quickly increase blood sugar levels and lead to uncomfortable symptoms. Despite this, there are certain times when it seems impossible not to give in to temptation and end up taking more than the right amount. So, how do we metabolize excess sugar?

In general, excessive sugar intake isn’t recommended because it’s one of the potential causes of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. However, its moderate consumption isn’t a risk and can be compensated by adopting several healthy habits.

Sugar or carbohydrates?

Sugars are part of the well-known carbohydrates. These macromolecules are indispensable for obtaining energy in the human body and for the formation of various cellular structures.

In general, carbohydrates are branched chains that result from the grouping of different types of sugars, according to studies. They range from monosaccharides, such as glucose, fructose and lactose, to disaccharides, such as galactose, sucrose and maltose. The most complex forms include starch and cellulose.

How do we metabolize sugar?

The metabolization of sugars begins in the digestive tract, from the moment food is swallowed. In the mouth, stomach, and intestine there are enzymes specialized in breaking carbohydrate chains to transform them into smaller molecules.

Disaccharidases, such as lactase and galactase, are enzymes present in the wall of the small intestine, whose function is to break down sugars into their most elementary units, according to research. Monosaccharides are absorbed and pass directly into the bloodstream.

In response to the sugar load in the blood, the pancreas is responsible for producing and releasing insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for reducing blood glycemia, and increasing the entry and storage of sugars in muscle, adipose tissue, and the liver. The brain’s only source of energy is sugar, so it doesn’t depend on insulin for its uptake.

7 tips to metabolize excess sugar in the blood

As we know many people worry when they realize they’ve consumed too much sugar, we want to share 7 key recommendations to neutralize it in a short time.

1. Do physical activity

A woman running.

One of the fastest and most effective ways to control glucose is to do vigorous physical activity for at least half an hour.

This practice increases insulin sensitivity and makes the muscles take that sugar and transform it into energy during and after training.

In fact, exercises are necessary for all people with diabetes, regardless of the type you have.

The most recommended in this case are cardiovascular exercises, which increase the heart rate and burn energy effectively.

2. Drink water

Water is the healthiest drink because it contains no calories and no sugars. Drinking one or two glasses after eating sugar helps to dilute it in the blood and then expel it through urine.

If, after drinking water, your sugar level doesn’t go down, you can drink two more glasses until an improvement is achieved.

However, it should be drunk at different times and without exceeding more than 8 glasses a day because the body can become overhydrated.

3. Cut carbohydrates from the next meal

To prevent blood glucose levels from continuing to increase, all carbohydrates should be cut from the meal after your sweet binge.

Dinner should be based on proteins and vegetables. Bread, white rice, potatoes, and all foods with such characteristics should be avoided.

4. Take an infusion of cinnamon

Cinnamon infusion.

A cinnamon infusion is one of the natural remedies recommended for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It has an active ingredient called cinnamtannin B1 that stimulates insulin receptors to regulate blood glucose.

Its consumption on an empty stomach or after meals helps to support the function that transforms this substance into energy.


  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (2.5 g)
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml)


  • Boil the cup of water and dilute the teaspoon of cinnamon in it.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes and consume it.

5. Eat raw garlic

Raw garlic releases an active compound known as allicin, whose effect enhances insulin activity to regulate glucose levels.

This is because it helps the sugar to enter the cells for subsequent use as fuel for the body.

In addition, it has been shown to be a stimulant of certain cells of the pancreas that help to increase insulin secretion.

To that end, it should always be eaten raw, either after eating a lot of sweets or on an empty stomach to prevent problems.

6. Eat food rich in protein

One of the main consequences of consuming a lot of sugar is that after triggering their levels in the blood, they drop sharply and cause strong hunger pangs.

In this sense, experts recommend eating a protein-rich food once you feel that strong craving to eat more.

A boiled egg, Greek yogurt or a handful of nuts don’t provide more than 200 calories and immediately curb the desire to eat more sweet things.

7. Drink warm water with lemon

Water and lemon.

Drinking this classic drink is effective thanks to the fiber and antioxidants provided by the lemon.


  • 1 lemon.
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml).


  • Boil the cup of water, add the lemon juice and drink it after a sweet binge.

Excess sugar compromises health

In general, an excessive consumption of sugar and other carbohydrates increases the risk of diabetes and multiple disorders associated with hyperglycemia. Some symptoms that suggest excess blood sugar are increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and nausea.

As you can see, there are several alternative measures that can be taken into account when sugar levels rise. However, the best way to avoid its effects is to avoid this substance in the diet as much as possible.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Chattopadhyay, S., Raychaudhuri, U., & Chakraborty, R. (2014). Artificial sweeteners – A review. Journal of Food Science and Technology.
  • Lustig, R. H., Schmidt, L. A., & Brindis, C. D. (2012). Public health: The toxic truth about sugar. Nature.
  • Andreyeva, T., Chaloupka, F. J., & Brownell, K. D. (2011). Estimating the potential of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce consumption and generate revenue. Preventive Medicine.
  • FAO, F. and A. O. (2006). The double burden of malnutrition. Case studies from six developing countries. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper.
  • Vilaplanta M. Hidratos de carbono simples y complejos. Recomendaciones dietéticas. Offarm. 2008; 27(2): 54-57.
  • Luna V, López J, Vázquez M, Fernández L. Hidratos de carbono: actualización de su papel en la diabetes mellitus y la enfermedad metabólica. Nutr. Hosp. 2014; 30(5 ): 1020-1031

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.