Atomic Sugar Shock

3 April 2008

Photo by Heather Leah Kennedy

I unabashedly love Cadbury Crème Eggs. The whole gooey, chocolaty mess enthralls my taste buds, which otherwise shy away from prodigious concentrations of refined sugar. Only Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies (an excellent post-marathon treat) rival Crème Eggs as a discipline-smashing guilty pleasure.

Drooling excessively on my keyboard as I write of the Egg’s many indulgent virtues, I dream of the luscious rippling chocolate shell holding its succulent cargo of silky, flowing sweetness. I’m lost in the moment.

Oh yeah, I eat a lot of Crème Eggs.

No longer content to buy one Egg at a time, I purchase them in packs of four. I devour the first, and in the dizzying haze of my newfound sugar high, reach for the second; only to discover an empty box. I never recall eating all four. Is that a bad sign?

The Eggs satisfy my emotionally suspect chocolate urges, but they don’t do much for my training regimen. Have you ever run ten miles through trails fueled only by a handful of Crème Eggs? I assure you it’s not a pretty sight.

One Egg provides more carbs than the average (disgusting) Gel pack, but you also get enough fat content to sink a battleship. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, each Egg offers 17% (3.5g) of the Recommended Daily Allowance for saturated fat. I shudder at the prospect of multiplying this by four. But face it; if you’re downing multiple Crème Eggs in one sitting, you’ve blown the 2000 calorie diet to smithereens anyway.

What will I do? Maybe I can link my passion for running with my chocolate egg addiction. Perhaps Cadbury will sponsor me in a marathon. I’ll work the expo, wear a custom singlet, and agree to eat one egg per aid station during the race. I’d blow through at least a dozen. That’s impressive, right?

But there will be repercussions. High sugar concentration slows down stomach emptying, impeding the flow of real fuel to the muscles. That doesn’t bode well for endurance running. More pointedly, the harsh ebb and flow of insulin levels in my bloodstream would make for a spasmodic marathon experience. I’d drag listlessly into every aid station, down an egg, and zoom out like a Lovey Howell hopped up on sugar beets. I’m sure mathematicians could predict my rollercoaster sine wave splits based on some complex formula involving VO2 max and sugar calories per Egg.

This could work. But I’d only be able to train with Eggs a few weeks each year, when the Cadbury Bunny leaves her limited supply at convenience stores across America. And now Easter is over and they’re gone until next year.

Gone and we are lost! Lost, precious! Losssst!

– Dean

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