I am on a flight and I notice how the girl on my side is constantly eating candies during the whole journey, in a slightly notorious stressed way.
It gets my attention immediately.
Right before landing, she gently balances her body towards the seat in front of her, breathing deeply. I suddenly understand how she is experiencing some fear of flying.
Why the constant need of having sugar?
Because under stressful circumstances, no matter what or where, the body produces a rush of adrenaline – a substance that helps the body react under emergency situations. Meaning danger, worrying or similar.
Adrenaline makes the body go into quite a basic state of survival and makes sure that every single resource is well used and distributed, so that every system can go automatically and rapidly into saving mode.
Let me explain with a few examples you will probably can relate to:
1. Saving water within the body: that’s why we get all dry on our mouths, eyes and wherever there are humid areas in our body. We suddenly feel thirsty after the adrenaline rush in order to regain normal status.
2. Pupils dilate so the eye can get more and better information as well as light. This will keep us aware of our surroundings. Really aware, sending proper information to our brain.
3. The brain: it just shuts down all of the nonsense thinking we usually make. Instead, it makes us react without us even noticing. And after everything has passed we don’t even understand how was it possible for us to do this or that! Because the brain took over and managed the situation. Saves a lot of energy which the body needs on moments like these.
Internally and chemically speaking, our main fuel as an organism is sugar. Hundreds of foods we ingest daily are broken down by the cells into sugar. For example, carbohydrates. Meaning bread or rice or pasta or cookies. Just to mention a common few. Which is also important to difference between good and bad sugars (natural vs. processed). But during emergency times, the body will use its sugar storage anyways no matter what kind of sugar that is.
So, whether you have a fear of flying, a motion sickness issue or anything that makes you feel stressed in specific situations, it will always be smart to simply have some candies in your purse/backpack/suitcase.
Another anecdote just recently while in London’s St. Pancras Station:
An old lady comes to the seat next to me at St. Pancras Station accompanied by a man who was just a stranger. The lady sits down and takes a deep breath while closing her eyes. She looks pallid on the lips. She speaks no english but french and a bit of italian, which I fortunately speak as well. Apparently the old lady has been running around and suddenly felt dizzy. Also, she’s diabetic. I suddenly know that she is having a drop on her sugar blood levels.
There is another woman on the other side of the bench, so I quickly ask for a candy or chocolate, if not I’d run to buy one. Luckily, the woman has two tiny chocolates which she kindly hands to the old lady. It is almost an immediate relief as she takes the first bite.
The young woman replies to me:
– «How lucky that you thought about the sweet bite. I wouldn’t have thought of it and it makes perfect sense!». She then smiled and walked away.
The old lady feels better after a couple of minutes. Grateful and calm, she walks away too in order to catch her train.
How to prevent a drop on sugar blood levels?
1. Whether you have a medical condition or not, always carry candies in your pockets or purse.
2. Try to put something in your stomach every 4-5 hours. This will help the pancreas regulate properly the sugar blood levels. That’s one of its main functions.
3. Keep hydrated. Dehydration affects all the basic functions of the body, including sugar supply in your bloodstream.