Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Side Effects

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/02/25

Head Noises unknowingly reminded me of an experiment I did in high school. I am frequently reminded of the experiment so it’s not her fault.

Back in the early 1980s, I was in track and cross-country in high school, so I needed all the energy and stamina I could find. I decided I would perform a month-long experiment with my diet. I eliminated sugar from my diet to see how it would effect my energy.

In my experiment, I gave up candy and chocolate and sweetened beverages. It took a while to get used to strong unsweetened iced tea. I even decided not to eat apples and oranges and the like because they contained sugar.

I was very much surprised by the results of my experiment. I was more alert throughout the day. I was also very much less lethargic. And my times improved noticeably in my endurance events. It was very obvious to me that removing sugar from my intake had very noticeable positive results all the way around.

My decision after the experiment was “Various experts are right. It takes more energy to break down sugar than the energy sugar provides.”

But the side effects? For the past 28 years, I have been unable to eat creme sticks and many other sweets. They are far too rich for me. Before the experiment, frosting was the only good part of cake. After the experiment, there is no good part of cake.

And the side effect caused a precarious social conundrum. My girlfriend bought me a creme stick on my 16th birthday. I forced myself to eat half the creme stick but couldn’t bear to eat any more of it. After carrying the nasty thing for half an hour, I finally apologized profusely to my girlfriend as I threw it in the trash bin.

And the moral is: Don’t perform experiments on yourself if you’re not ready to accept unexpected side effects.

2 Responses to “Side Effects”

  1. Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said

    *laughs* I’ve given up sweets– one year I even gave up chocolate, in all forms– and I still adore the stuff.

    For that matter, in boot camp I didn’t even us sugar at the table.

    Came out sugar starved…..

    So, sadly, I fear I’ll retain my fondness for sweet alcohols. (Hard to beat a good coffee with decent Irish Creme…..)

    Although I’ve drank diet sodas so long I get a stomach ache from a full can of normal coke!


  2. John said

    When I went thru boot camp, I was deprived of my nicotine and caffeine. As soon as I got out of there, I bought a pack and a pepsi. Now, that was ecstasy!


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