My Sugar-Hacking Stack

I try to avoid eating any meals that will cause significant blood sugar spikes. But nobody is perfect, and sometimes having a few sweets is well worth it. What makes us biohackers is how we utilize the understanding of our own biology to cap the downside of these decisions.  This is a brief overview of the tools and tactics that I use to make sure my digestion is operating smoothly and blood sugar stays well controlled.

General Rules

  1. Avoid sources of concentrated fructose. – The liver processes only 20% of consumed glucose but 100% of fructose.
    1. Whole fruits are good. Fruit juices are almost the same as soda.
  2. Exercise at medium intensity (60-80% VO2 Max) for ~30 minutes, starting 30-45 minutes after eating. This has been shown to have the greatest impact on lowering blood sugar spikes, redirecting it from the blood stream to the muscles. NOTE: Avoid high intensity exercise during this window as it can have a deleterious effect.
  3. Don’t eat late at night – the same amount of sugar will spike blood glucose 10-20% more when consumed in the evening.
  4.  Chew properly – Twice as long as you think necessary. Don’t angle head downwards.

Digestive Aids

These can be beneficial both for those with gastrointestinal problems and for the consumption of particularly large meals (or meals where your macronutrient breakdown is significantly shifted from what your body is accustomed to).

  • Bitter foods stimulate digestion (gastric acid, pancreatic enzymes, and bile)
    • dandelion greens, arugula, green olives, sesame seeds, radishes and other raw cruciferous veggies like cauliflower
  • Fresh herbs ( rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, and oregano)
  • Fermented foods
  • Cocktail bitters
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Digestive enzymes

Supplements For Blood Sugar Control

For best effect these should be taken at least 30 minutes before starting to drink, but not more than 2 hours beforehand. The advantage of getting them individually is that it’s possible to get the clinically proven dosages.

  •  Berberine – 500mg 3x daily before meals for long term blood sugar management (similar impact to metformin)
    • Lowered Postprandial Blood Glucose from 19.8 ± 1.7 to 11.1 ± 0.9 mmol/L1
  • Ceylon Cinnamon – 3-6g before or during a meal. I throw a tablespoon of this into my yogurt and it’s delicious (more of a mild flavor than normal cinnamon). NOTE: Avoid consuming large quantities of normal (cassia) cinnamon23
    • Lowers the fasting blood sugar levels by 10–29 %4
    • Lower postprandial blood glucose by up to 50%5
  •  Bitter Melon Extract – 1.25-3g before or with a meal
    • 20mg/kg extract reduced fasting blood glucose by 48%67
  • Milk Thistle Extract 8
    • 135mg daily lowered fasting glucose by 14%
    • 200mg lowered postprandial glucose, HbA(1c) levels and BMI after 120 days
    • Triglycerides decreased 186 mg/dL to 111 mg/dL

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/?report=classic
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3854496/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20024932
  4. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/85/6/1552/4632985
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23102179
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12902059/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5301041/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17887949
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