Any hour, day or night, you can turn to a magazine, online article or book and receive advice about nutrition. Is the information that you hear completely accurate? Who has placed the article? What are their intentions? We hear so much conflicting information that we want to help you set the record straight. This article will give you some tried and tested facts about how different foods affect us. We’ll break down the foods and beverages that boost energy and those that, in fact, make us feel more tired and sap our feeling of strength. When noon rolls around and that midday slump starts to creep in, most of us turn to an extra cup of coffee or a sweet snack for an extra boost to get us through the day. As this becomes a normal part of our daily routines, we rarely stop to consider what causes our energy levels to fall in the first place. More often than not, that fatigue can be attributed to a poor diet.
Where does our body’s energy come from?
The foods we consume and liquids we drink supply our bodies with the nutrients needed to complete our everyday tasks. Although products containing sugar and caffeine provide us with quick boosts of energy, they fail to replace carbohydrates, protein and fats as the primary nutrients necessary for fueling our bodies.
So-called energy boosts may actually drain energy
Ironically, many go-to energy boosters are more harmful to our bodies than helpful. For example, drinking coffee to compensate for lack of sleep or proper nutrition can drain our energy over time and negatively impact our sleep quality, contributing to long-term fatigue. Similarly, foods that are high in sugar like energy drinks and granola bars cause our energy levels to spike then plummet, often leaving us more tired than we were before consuming those goods. Low-calorie foods like 100-calorie dieting snacks are particularly deceptive. Although they present themselves as healthier than other processed snacks, the consumption of too many low-calorie snacks may lead to an insufficient number of calories throughout the day, which can severely reduce energy levels. Eating too few calories may also increase cravings and lead to overeating in the future. That is why it is important that we are intentional about the foods and drinks we consume.
Eat small frequent meals throughout the day for sustained energy
Studies show that it is more beneficial to eat small meals and snacks throughout the day than it is to have three large meals, which unfortunately is the norm for many of us. Because our brains have very few energy reserves, they require a steady supply of nutrients. Many people experience symptoms of fatigue after just a few hours without food. The best way to combat this is by consuming smaller meals and snacks every few hours. However, it is important to ensure that those snacks and meals contain nutrients that will provide your body with long-lasting energy.
Small meals but not salty or sweet snacks
Although processed snacks are popular and available in just about any vending machine, they are often filled with added sugars and high sodium and are lacking the adequate nutrients necessary to fuel your body. Some of these processed snacks fail to provide the mental boost in energy that our bodies crave, and can leave us feeling even more tired than before.
The case for fruit and nuts and complex carbs
Fruits and nuts are great alternatives to processed snacks because they are high in fiber and essential vitamins that allow your body to sustain high energy levels throughout the day. Remember that fresh fruits are better Similarly, complex carbohydrates like whole-grain pastas, dried beans, and starchy vegetables are great for providing lasting energy. Because they are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates take a longer time to digest, causing them to release sugar into the blood slowly, which prevents energy dips and overeating.
The greatest nutritional aid of all? Drink lots of water!
One of the simplest ways to boost energy levels is by drinking water. Because water is the main component of blood, it is essential for carrying nutrients to the cells. Consequently, we often experience fatigue when we our dehydrated, despite having consumed nutrient rich foods.
If you suffer from continued fatigue and low energy, find out why
The food we eat and the way we eat it has a profound effect on our health and strength. If you experience fatigue, even when you’ve had enough rest and eaten fairly well, it may be time to check out if there is some underlying condition at work. Fatigue can be a symptom of so many disorders, some of them diet-related, others not. A visit to your primary care physician or a gastroenterologist can help solve some of these problems, many of which may not be serious, in any case you want answers and the answers like not on the internet, but in your doctor’s office. Your primary provider or a specialist in gastric disorders will look at you as an individual and get to the root of your problem. So when in doubt, call Premier Medical Group and make an appointment.