Sugar and Migraine

Are you scared of sugar???

I can understand why you would be – sugar has been made the enemy by diet culture for quite some time (we had to find something new to hate after low-fat stopped trending, am I right?). But there’s really no need to be afraid of sugar!

Let’s do a quick science refresher – carbohydrates are made up of glucose (aka sugar) and are your body’s preferred source of energy. Anytime you eat carbohydrates, whether it be from butternut squash or candy, your body breaks it down into sugar and uses it for fuel. We actually NEED sugar!

Want your mind blown even more? Even when your body uses protein and fat for energy, it turns them into SUGAR first. Sugar is a largely unavoidable part of life! (There are some exceptions to this, mainly when you’re eating a strict keto diet, but that’s definitely not the norm for most people!)

Other reasons we don’t need to fear sugar?

Sugar can help with hydration! Often times you’ll see it added to electrolyte drinks and with good reason – without a little sugar, it is much more difficult for electrolytes to cross over into the cells where we need them to be. 

If you feel like you don’t do well with sugar, I encourage you to take a look at HOW you’re eating it rather than trying to cut it out completely. Eating sugar or carbohydrates by themselves can cause the sugar to hit your bloodstream too quickly, causing a blood sugar spike followed by a blood sugar dip. This can be a migraine trigger for many people and just make you feel crappy!

Try pairing sugar and carbs with other macros like protein to slow sugar absorption – this allows you to reap the benefits of sugar without feeling worse for wear!

Want more support managing migraine using a gentle, holistic approach? Click HERE to learn more about how I can help.

Written by: Kathryn Darsillo

Reviewed by Kelli Yates, RD, LD, CLT

Published by Kelli Yates, RDN, LD, CLT

Kelli Yates, RDN, LD, CLT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in holistic migraine management and fellow migraineur!

Leave a Reply