How Fast Does Sugar Hit the Bloodstream?

Foods move through the bloodstream at different rates. Some items gallop toward a person's circulatory system, while other choices in cuisine step gingerly into someone's veins. Understanding the varieties of food groups helps answer the question, "How fast does sugar hit the bloodstream?" This insight can go a long way in maintaining steady blood sugar and weight levels, as well as minimizing the chances of developing diabetes.


Everything that goes into the digestive systems eventually becomes a form of sugar, according to Diabetic Diet for Diabetes. Each food type impacts the bloodstream at a different speed. Sweets and fruits immediately enter the blood. Carbohydrates require one to two hours to enter the circulatory system. Proteins take about four hours to show up in a person's blood, and fats make their grand entrance between six and eight hours after a meal.


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Enzymes in saliva are the launch point of the whole digestive process. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach breaks down foods even more before releasing everything at intervals into the small intestines, says Carbs Information. Digested foods eventually trickle into the bloodstream as glucose, a form of sugar that is the foundation of human energy levels. The pancreas squirts insulin into the bloodstream to act as a mop against extra glucose, which gets stored in the liver as glycogen.


Simple carbohydrate foods like candy and cookies enter the bloodstream faster because they already are glucose based, according to Carbs Information. Fruits require more time to seep into the blood because their natural sugars—called fructose—must convert to glucose. Digestive rates of complex carbs like bread products depend upon their complexity, reports Diabetic Diet For Diabetes. Those slow-moving proteins include chicken or fish. An example of a fatty meal that takes hours to hit the blood system is red meat.


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Soft drinks reach the bloodstream with rapid-fire speed. And not only do these fizzy beverages move with great momentum, excessive consumption is a fast pathway to diabetes, according to ABC News. A test subject's glucose level shot from 79 to 107 within 40 minutes of guzzling 20 ounces of cola on an empty stomach. Those swallows of soda pop equaled 16 teaspoons of table sugar. The test subject's glucose spiked to 111 and returned to normal two hours later, ABC News reported.