While all foods provide energy, eating a wholesome diet rich in complex carbs may be the best way to avoid energy crashes throughout the day. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in food provide calories to fuel exercise and energise your body.
While vitamins and minerals do not themselves provide any energy, they are involved in the process of converting nutrients into fuel for energy and are an important part of a healthy diet. But some foods that we eat without a second’s thought, might actually be sapping our energy.
The Energy Sappers
Things like instant oatmeal, flavoured almond milk and other processed foods and drinks, can have a lot of added sugars, and these sugars are can cause weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and leave you feeling tired by mid day.
Processed food can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, and then, just as quickly, drop. If you can replace these high-sugar foods with ones that your body processes more slowly, you won’t get those spikes and you’ll see an improvement in your energy levels.
That Low-Cal Diet Lunch
Salad for lunch is fine, as long as it’s not just a helping of lettuce and carrots doused in dressing. Simply eating a bowl full of veggies that’s low on protein and carbs isn’t going to give you enough calories to power you through the rest of your day.
Think about it, if you’re eating a 200-calorie pile of broccoli and lettuce, it’s no wonder you feel hungry and tired by 4 p.m. It would be far healthier instead to bulk up your salad with chicken, nuts, chickpeas, quinoa and edamame, for slow-burning energy. Just beware of sugary salad dressings, like honey mustard and raspberry vinaigrette. Olive oil and vinegar are a better choice.
Snacks Rich In Dairy
If you’re noticing a lack of energy after eating yogurt or cheese, you could be suffering from dairy intolerance, which is commonplace as we age (for some people).
Our bodies mistakenly develop an immunological reaction to the proteins in dairy, building an army of antibodies to mobilise against the proteins whenever they show up, resulting in feelings of fatigue. So if you suspect that you might be lactose intolerant, skip the yoghurt and milk snacks and see if you feel more energetic.
More Than One Glass Of Wine
After a full day of commuting and working, who doesn’t need a drink or two or more to wind down. We most certainly do. But the thing is that while having a glass of wine in the evening can help you fall asleep more quickly, drink more, and you may sleep fitfully and wake up feeling not quite rested.
Studies have found that imbibing too much can interrupt REM sleep, which is vital for concentration. Another reason for women to reconsider a second glass of wine, especially as a study conducted in 2011, found that women are more likely than men to toss and turn after too many drinks.
We hope these tips help you feel less tired in the new year. Do let us know if you tried them and what your thoughts were.