Can Foods Sap Your Energy?
Does tiredness get in your way of life?
Lacking energy for work? Your eating habits can definitely have a huge impact on your energy levels and performance.
If you're always feeling exhausted, you should think about what's the reason behind.
If you are often consuming any of these foods, you may endure yawning during the mid-evening meeting!
Let’s explore few energy sappers and see how many are a regular in your life.
Energy Level Vs Food: -
What and when you eat can also impact your energy levels!
As caffeine keeps us awake despite having a need for sleep, adding caffeinated beverages to our diet will sabotage our natural sleep patterns.
If your body is not getting the proper sleep cycle, your energy levels are drained unknowingly.
Healthy Alternatives: Herbal tea, lime juice, tender coconut water, lemon & mint tea, buttermilk can be chosen to boost your energy.
Sugar = instant energy and results in quick energy rush followed by a heavy crash.
It fails to provide sustained energy to tackle your day and increases your blood sugar levels.
Sugar contains empty calories, with no essential nutrients. People who are inactive and consume large amounts of fructose from added sugars gets converted into fat in the liver.
Healthy Alternatives: Whole fruits, dry fruits (dates, raisins) and sweets made with jaggery.
3. Refined foods
These foods contain simple carbs and they spike your blood sugar levels instantly and increase triglyceride levels.
Moreover, processed foods provide empty calories with no nutritional value. Regular consumption of refined foods results in obesity and associated health risks.
E.g., Products made using Maida/refined flour like bakery products, pastries, desserts, pasta, pizza, white bread, etc.
Healthy Alternatives: Multigrain/whole wheat flour, millets, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
Are you drinking enough water?
Most people ignore the symptoms of thirst and become dehydrated which is the underlying cause of deficiencies. This makes person a weaker, tired and inactive. Being properly hydrated helps raise energy levels.
Without enough fluids, the volume of your blood goes down, lowering your blood pressure and keeping your brain from getting enough blood, causing lightheadedness.
Even mild cases of dehydration can cause feelings of tiredness and impact your body's ability to perform essential functions.
Healthy Alternatives: Include more fluids such as buttermilk, tender coconut water, lime juice, green tea and soups.
5. Carbonated Beverages/Energy drinks
Consuming large quantities of added sugars from carbonated beverages spikes your energy levels and drops down drastically. This eventually results in fatigue and tiredness.
Additionally, energy drinks contain hidden sugars and more caffeine leading to restless sleep according to researchers.
Healthy Alternatives: Herbal tea with mint/ginger, buttermilk, fresh fruit juice, lemonade.
6. Added Sugars and Packed Foods
The high amount of sugar in some foods can deplete your energy instead of boosting it.
In addition, they may make you crave other sugary foods, creating a vicious and energy draining cycle.
Read the food labels of the product/brand to understand their health claims and hidden sugars.
E.g., Breakfast cereals, packed juices, flavoured yoghurt, etc.
Healthy Alternatives: Limit intake of packed foods, choose cereal varieties without added sugars.
7. Fried Foods
Fast foods drain your energy and keeps the appetite full with energy dense calories rather than nutrients.
Deep fried foods cause improper digestion, gut health issues, acidity, bloating and sap your energy with less activity.
Healthy Alternatives: Baked papads/chips, roasted/grilled dishes, tossed veggies.
Energy Level Vs Age Factor
According to studies, our metabolism slows down as we age and the rate of breakdown of food decreases by 10 percent after 20’s.
Metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body uses to maintain itself. The number of calories your body burns when it’s at rest is determined by your basal metabolic rate as well as how much you exercise and your muscle-to-fat ratio.
At the age of 50’s there is a drop of 30% which indicates that the food we eat determines the energy balance in the body.
Being less active, losing muscle mass and the aging of your internal components all contribute to a sluggish metabolism - as it is responsible for 10–30% of your daily calories burned.
To boost your energy level, restrict the above-mentioned foods and incorporate healthy alternatives to fuel your body with necessary nutrients.
But if the tiredness persists often, then it's time to look for the underlying cause among the mentioned reasons and consult your health care professional to treat accordingly.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Indu Vaishnavi R, Dietician