Feeling low in energy from time to time is normal, however, it could be the food that may be contributing to your drained energy
There are various factors that affect the natural ebb and flow of energy levels. While it is quite normal to experience high and low energy throughout the day. But knowing what causes your energy to drop will help you maintain your energy levels from depleting.
Factors such as inadequate sleep, poor quality of sleep, less nutritious diet, lack of physical activity and the food choices can have a great effect.
Generally, having a meal or snack tends to refuel your energy levels, helping you feel more energetic. However, some foods may actually zap your energy.
Here are seven foods that causes energy loss
– Low-calorie food – Choosing low-calorie food instead of wholesome food during snack hour may seem like a healthy option but not necessarily. When your calorie intake does not suffice your daily requirement, you may experience low energy levels.
Foods low in calorie can actually leave you feeling starved or you may end up overeating without realising. This may lead to hormonal problems, and slow down your metabolism. On the other hand, it is essential to be informed that calories help sustain basic body functioning such as breathing, heartbeat and thinking.
It is essential to consume an adequate number of calories in a day to maintain good energy levels.
– Processed Grains – Foods such as white rice, pasta and bread are made out of processed grains, which can cause more harm than good to your energy levels.
Food made out of processed grains are low in nutrients and are low in fibre content. The fibre-containing layer, bran, is washed away during processing which makes these grain refined and less nutritious. When you consume processed grains in any form it gets digested easily spiking your blood sugar levels. This leads to a drop in your energy levels.
On the other hand, if you consume whole grains it will help you regulate blood sugar levels, provide the essential nutrients and keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
– Fried foods – Indulging in fried foods can be the reason behind your low energy levels. These foods are delicious indeed but can slow down your digestion as they are high in fat and low in fibre content.
Frequently eating fried foods and eating too many too fast can cause you to feel fuller and can drop your energy levels. Fried along with fast foods are low in vitamins, and other essential nutrients. However, gradually switching to nutrient dense food will help maintain your energy levels.
– Foods with added sugar – Most ready-to-eat foods, juices, muffins, breakfast cereals and pre-packed foods contain added preservatives and sugar in it that may cause your energy levels to drop.
Starting your day with breakfast cereals is a good way to start your morning, however, there is a variety of cereals available that are packed with sugar which is not good for your health, since these cereals are low in fibre and high in sugar content.
The combination of high sugar and low fibre spikes the blood sugar levels that contributes to fall in energy levels. Instead opt for cereal that is high in fibre content and low in sugar. There are a lot of healthy cereal choices available in the market that promote high fibre content with no added sugar. An alternative way is to incorporate whole foods that are fibre-dense to keep your energy up.
– Sugary drinks – Relying on energy drinks is a big No. They are packed with sugar and may give you a short energy burst but can have a huge effect on your sleep. Any energy drink contains a high amount of sugar that can cause your energy to spike instantly and then drop sharply leaving you feeling fatigued.
For instance, an energy drink contains 200 mg of caffeine per 1.93 ounces (57 ml). This is about four times as much caffeine as you would find in the same quantity of coffee.
When the recommended daily limit of 400 mg of caffeine exceeds, it can cause jitteriness, anxiety and heart palpitations. It can also worsen panic attacks.
– Coffee – Drinking coffee in moderation can benefit you in a number of ways. However, if you drink too much of it, it can cause adverse effects. Coffee contains caffeine that is a stimulant that helps boost energy for a short period of time.
On the other hand, regularly drinking coffee will cause your body to build a tolerance level that may make you dependent on it for those short bursts of energy. In a longer run relying on coffee for energy kicks instead of eating nutritious food and adequate sleep will only leave you feeling tired and drained most of the time.
Another negative aspect of coffee is it will disrupt your quality of sleep and reduce your energy levels over time. Having a few cups in the day should be fine, just try to avoid drinking after sunset as it will keep your wide awake and disrupt your sleeping hours.
– Alcohol – A peg may help you unwind and provide you with a relaxing effect. However, the quantity you consume may actually drain your energy by causing you to feel tired hours later.
Low to moderate amounts of alcohol consumption may help you relax and sometimes help you sleep better. However, a large amount of alcohol will drain your energy and leave you dehydrated.
Consumption of low to moderate amounts of alcohol differs between men and women. For women having one-two glasses of wine should be alright while for men one-two small pegs should be more than enough. So, make sure that if you are consuming alcohol keep it at the lower end to keep your energy levels high.
The food choices that you make can boost your energy levels in a much effective and sustainable way. What you eat and how much you eat matters, not all foods are the same but choosing a healthy option will certainly help you maintain your energy levels mentally as well as physically.