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Nutrition
2010-03-18

Nutrition

Food when converted into glucose is the source of brain energy. Glucose cannot be stored. As blood sugar it requires constant renewal. If glucose is not renewed the body and the mind shows evidence of fatigue, mental confusion, faintness, headache, memory loss, dizziness, vision problem, cold hands and feet.

Reduced blood pressure, tension, depression and hunger are all symptoms of hypoglycemia. This can be caused by the lack of a balanced meal within the past five hours. Ten hours without food will severely affect decision-making ability, alertness, coordination, and perception. Skipping breakfast causes fasting hypoglycemia. All hypoglycemia types can be aggravated by other physiological factors.

Altitude can incapacitate a pilot through dehydration. Increase your fluid intake prior to and during flight. What you eat is just as important as just eating. Reactive hypoglycemia can cause lack of consciousness. This is a reaction to the doughnut/candy bar meal. The student pilot who does not eat because of possible airsickness is endangering himself if flying solo. High sugar meals cause the pancreas to create excess insulin. Insulin allows the body to use sugar. Too much insulin and deplete sugar to such a low level as to incapacitate the body and mind. Adding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine acerbates the problem. Flying should be preceded by a balanced meal. Neuronutriments are the vitamins and minerals that the body can change into neurotransmitters. Trace minerals such as potassium, zinc, iron, and chromium are essential to control the body’s sugar burning process. The more balanced our meals the better will be our mental functioning and memory.

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