CANTIKA.COM, Jakarta – Did you know, rates increase blood sugar in the morning is actually a natural phenomenon known as the dawn effect. When you wake up, your body produces the hormone cortisol, which can cause a spike in blood sugar that usually peaks around 7 or 8 a.m., according to Kunal K. Shah, MD, a board-certified internist and assistant professor in the Division. Endocrinology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson in New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
With that in mind, it’s even more important to practice a healthy morning routine to keep blood sugar under control throughout the day.
1. Drink a glass of water
Staying hydrated is one of the simplest ways to keep blood sugar levels under control, experts say. That’s because when you’re dehydrated, your body has less water, and as a result blood sugar levels are more concentrated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Having higher blood sugar can actually cause a diuretic effect,” says Dr. Shah, quoted in Live strongAug 2, 2023. This means, high blood sugar can make you urinate more often, which can make you even more dehydrated.
So, start your day by drinking a large glass of water, then continue to make hydration a priority throughout the day. Aim for between 11 and 15 cups total, according to the American National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
2. Eat a balanced breakfast
Eating a protein- and fiber-rich breakfast within an hour of waking can help stabilize blood sugar levels, says Anthea Levi, a registered dietitian and founder of Alive+Well Nutrition based in Brooklyn, New York, US. you throughout the morning. Why is that?
“Starting the day with a balanced meal helps us avoid the spike in blood sugar that can happen when we skip breakfast, then reach for carbohydrates later in the day when our energy levels dip,” she explains.
Levi recommends a breakfast that includes protein, healthy fats, and sugar-stabilizing fiber, such as a veggie scramble with avocado and a slice of whole wheat toast, or chia pudding with butter and Greek yogurt.
3. Limit sugar in coffee
If coffee is an important part of your morning routine, you may need to limit your use of added sugar. The CDC notes that while some people are very sensitive to caffeine and may notice a spike in blood sugar from just black coffee, the real problem when it comes to coffee is what you add to it, says Levi.
For example, Starbucks’ grand caramel frapuccino provides 54 grams of added sugar – that’s more than many people should consume over two full days (and if you have diabetes, your treatment team will likely recommend you have even less).
“The best blood sugar way to consume coffee is to avoid adding sweeteners altogether or use very small amounts if you really need it sweet,” says Levi.
Instead of sweetened cream, Levi recommends using unsweetened whole cow’s milk, almond or soy if you prefer plant-based milk. Sipping your coffee with breakfast can also help provide steady energy.
4. Set an alarm
Stress puts you in “fight-or-flight” mode, which in turn prompts your body to produce more cortisol. And this hormone has a direct effect on your blood sugar levels, says Dr. Shah, to stimulate your muscles and liver to release more sugar into your blood.
This is a normal body response, and an important one. If you are in a dangerous situation, this extra sugar will give you the jolt you need to act quickly and swiftly. But if those cortisol/blood sugar spikes happen regularly because you’re rushing to get dressed, get your kids ready and go to work, then that’s not ideal.
That’s why Dr. Shah recommends giving yourself as much time as possible to get ready in the morning.
“Managing stress is easier said than done for everyone, myself included,” she said. “But if you can get up a little earlier so you don’t rush to do things, that can help.”