Fast Relief for Hypoglycemia: What to Eat When Blood Sugar is Low

Whether you’re diabetic or you just haven’t eaten in a while, it’s important to consume food if you have low blood sugar.

Severely low blood sugar — also referred to as low blood glucose levels — can lead to a condition called hypoglycemia, which can cause dangerous complications. 

If you are experiencing symptoms like shaking, sweating, rapid heart rate, or dizziness, it may be a sign that you need to eat something to increase your blood glucose levels.

In severe cases, not consuming food to raise your blood sugar levels could lead to convulsions, coma, and increased risk of accidents and injuries.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the best foods to eat to beat blood sugar dips. We’ll also share advice on how to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.

What Causes Low Blood Sugar?

There are several reasons why hypoglycemia occurs, including: 

  • Skipping or delaying a meal: The body relies on the glucose from the food we eat for energy. When you skip a meal, the body’s stored glucose in the liver and muscles gets depleted, leading to low blood sugar levels.

  • Taking too much insulin: The insulin medication that diabetics take facilitates glucose absorption from the bloodstream into the cells for energy and storage. When the body has too much insulin, it causes more glucose to be removed from the blood than necessary, leading to a rapid drop in blood sugar levels.

  • Eating too few carbohydrates: When we eat foods containing carbohydrates, they’re broken down into glucose during digestion and then enter the bloodstream. Consuming too few carbohydrates means there may be insufficient glucose to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

  • Drinking alcohol: Alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to drop rapidly as consuming it can reduce the amount of glucose released into the body.

  • Exercising strenuously: During strenuous exercise, the muscles in the body use glucose at a much higher rate to meet the increased demands for energy. This can deplete blood glucose levels quickly. 

8 Foods to Eat to Raise Blood Sugar Quickly

If your blood sugar is low, try these foods:

Glucose tablets or gel

Glucose gel and tablets are designed to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. As a result, they raise blood sugar levels rapidly, providing fast relief from hypoglycemia symptoms.

Each tablet or package of gel contains a specific amount of glucose. This allows you to control your glucose consumption, making it easier to manage and adjust the dosage based on the severity of your symptoms. 

It’s worth noting that serving sizes will vary depending on the brand of gel or tablet, so ensure that you read the product label and follow the instructions carefully.

Glucose tablets and gel travel easily and are quick and convenient to use.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is high in protein and fat, which provides your body with sustained energy that can stabilize blood sugar levels.

Try eating all-natural peanut butter with no added sugar. You can eat peanut butter on crackers to boost and maintain your blood sugar levels even more effectively. 


Fruits contain natural sugars — primarily fructose, glucose, and sucrose — which can help raise blood sugar levels quickly. These sugars are easily absorbed into the bloodstream, providing a fast source of glucose to counteract hypoglycemia.

For a more sustained blood sugar response, try combining fruit with a source of protein or fat like peanut butter or cheese. This helps to maintain blood sugar levels after the initial rise provided by the fruit.

Bananas, oranges, grapes, and apples are particularly good sources of natural sugars that increase low blood sugar levels.

Drinking juices like grape, apple, pineapple, or cranberry can also be effective. Opt for 100% pure fruit juices without added sugars or artificial sweeteners, as these provide the most effective natural increase in blood sugar levels.

Honey or maple syrup

Both honey and maple syrup are rich in simple sugars like glucose and fructose, which are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This should raise blood sugar levels effectively.

As these sugars are in liquid form, they are absorbed more quickly than complex carbohydrates, providing fast-acting relief for hypoglycemia.

The fructose in honey helps sustain your blood sugar levels after experiencing hypoglycemia.

You can consume honey or maple syrup in a spoonful by eating about 15 grams (one tablespoon) directly. Alternatively, you can dissolve them in water or tea or spread them on bread and crackers.


Candy typically contains high amounts of simple sugars, which are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly.

The simple carbohydrates in candy are also easily digested by the body, leading to a rapid increase in blood glucose levels.

Prepackaged candies often come in measured portions, making it easier to consume an appropriate amount of sugar.

Try keeping gum drops, gummy bears, jelly beans, or Life Savers on hand so that they’re easily accessible if your blood sugar levels drop too low. A handful of candy typically contains 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates, which is recommended to treat low blood glucose.

Sugar in water

When sugar is dissolved in water, it creates a solution that is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This rapid absorption helps raise blood glucose fast. 

The sugar-water solution is also easily digestible as it doesn’t require the body to break down complex carbohydrates. This means glucose enters the bloodstream almost immediately to combat hypoglycemia.

Typically, dissolving one tablespoon (15 grams) of sugar in a small glass of water is enough to raise blood glucose levels effectively.


Raisins are naturally high in sugar, including glucose and fructose. These sugars can quickly be absorbed into the bloodstream, providing a rapid increase in blood glucose levels.

The carbohydrates found in raisins are easy for the body to digest, making them a good choice if you need to increase your blood sugar quickly.

You only need to eat about a handful of raisins (approximately 15 to 20 grams) to raise your blood glucose levels sufficiently.


The body can absorb the natural sugars in applesauce into the bloodstream quickly. As it is in a semi-liquid form, it’s easily digestible, so sugars are absorbed faster.

Although you’ll want to check the carbohydrate content on the applesauce label, you should consume about half a cup to raise blood glucose levels enough.

What to Do After Treating Hypoglycemia

If you’re diabetic, you should check your blood glucose levels once you’ve eaten something to help with hypoglycemia.

If you’ve managed to treat hypoglycemia by eating one of the foods listed above, the next step is to eat again.

Once your blood glucose levels have stabilized, you should eat a more balanced snack or meal that includes protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. This helps you maintain a more stable level of blood glucose and can prevent further drops.

Examples of a good follow-up snack include a peanut butter sandwich, cheese, whole grain crackers, or fruit with yogurt.

Advice on Preventing Low Blood Glucose Levels

To prevent significant dips in blood sugar levels, here are some practical steps you can follow:

  • Eat regularly: Regular consumption of balanced meals and snacks that include a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat can help you maintain stable blood glucose levels.

  • Avoid skipping meals: If you are taking medications to lower your blood sugar, you should avoid skipping meals. If you can’t eat a full meal, have a snack to keep your blood glucose stable.

  • Check your blood sugar regularly: Check your blood sugar levels regularly, especially if you have diabetes or are prone to hypoglycemia. This can help you address low blood sugar before it becomes more severe.

  • Plan your physical activity: If you plan to exercise, check your blood sugar before and after physical activity. You can then adjust your food intake accordingly. 

  • Moderate alcohol consumption: Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid consumption on an empty stomach. Drinking alcohol with a meal may help you maintain blood sugar levels.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Low Blood Sugar

You should see a healthcare provider if you experience the following:

  • Recurring hypoglycemia: If you have frequent episodes of low blood sugar despite following a treatment plan, there may be a need for medical evaluation.

  • Nighttime hypoglycemia: If you frequently wake up with symptoms of low blood sugar, you may need medical assistance.

If someone experiences loss of consciousness, seizures, or the inability to swallow, they may have severe hypoglycemia. In these cases, contact emergency services or take the person to the nearest hospital.

Where Can I Learn More About Stabilizing Blood Sugar? 

At LifeMD, you can consult a team of licensed healthcare providers to learn more about what causes low blood sugar levels and what you can do to prevent severe dips.

We’re also able to provide comprehensive treatment for diabetes and other conditions that may be affecting your blood glucose levels.

Make an online appointment today to get started.

LifeMD makes it easy to stay on top of your health because talking to a doctor, filling your prescriptions, getting your labs done—and more—are all easy and cost-effective. Come discover a healthcare solution built around you and your life.

Connect with a doctor now!

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency.

Feel better with LifeMD.

Your doctor is online and ready to see you.

Join LifeMD today and experience amazing healthcare, discounted labs and prescription medications... plus around-the-clock access to medical guidance.