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Draining and Regaining Energy Through Food

The Healthy EmployeeBoosting energy Draining and Regaining Energy Through Food

Draining and Regaining Energy Through Food

Energy levels will fluctuate throughout the day, however, these fluctuations can be severe and leave you feeling grumpy, lethargic and in need of an instant energy boost when the wrong foods are consumed.

Some foods will help to replenish your energy levels giving you that boost you need to get through until your next meal time. Other foods will zap any remaining energy you have and leave you feeling flat as a pancake and in need for another quick pcik-me-up within the hour.

So which foods are guilty of draining your energy, and which will help you to regain that energy when it’s running low?

 

DRAINING

White bread, pasta and rice

  • Highly processed with the fibre stripped away through preparation

Foods with added sugar

E.g. Breakfast cereals, yoghurts, cake, juices

  • High sugar levels will spike blood sugar, leading to a slump in energy
  • Could create the craving for more sugary foods, leading to an energy-depleting cycle

Alcohol

  • Can cause poor sleep, leading to a restless nights sleep and tiredness

Caffeine

  • If consumed regularly, you will become more tolerant to caffeine, reducing it’s effectiveness, reducing energy over time

Fried and convenience foods

 

  • High in fat and low in fibre, leading to slow down your digestion, which will reduce the speed at which energy-boosting nutrients will enter the body
  • High fat foods can often leave you feeling sluggish and low on energy

Low-calorie foods

  • Opting for low-calorie foods could lead to a calorie deficit throughout the day, leaving you running on empty and in need of fuel to perk yourself back up
  • Running on empty could increase cravings and the likelihood to overeat at the next opportunity, leaving your blood sugar and energy levels to spike and crash

 

 

REGAINING

Bananas

  • High in potassium and vitamin B6

Fatty fish

E.g. Salmon, mackerel, tuna

  • Rich source of fatty acids, B vitamins and protein
  • Fatty acids shown to reduce inflammation which help to reduce fatigue

Brown rice

  • Rich in vitamins minerals and fibre
  • Contains high levels of manganese, a mineral that helps your enzymes break down carbohydrates and proteins to generate energy
  • Low glycemic index, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and therefore maintain steady energy levels

Sweet potatoes

  • Digested slowly, therefore providing sustained energy

Eggs

  • Rich in B vitamins, helping to break down food to use for energy
  • High in leucine, an amino acid known to stimulate energy production

Apples

  • High in natural sugar and fibre, helping to sustain energy for longer
  • High in antioxidants, shown to slow the digestion of carbohydrates and therefore release energy from the foods you eat at a steady pace

Dark chocolate

  • High in antioxidants, shown to increase blood flow throughout the body, therefore helping to deliver oxygen to your brain and muscles, improving energy levels and function

Goji berries

  • High in fibre, vitamins and minerals
  • Rich in antioxidants, helping to increase performance and energy and decrease fatigue and lethargy

Quinoa

  • Low glycemic index for slow absorption and sustained energy levels
  • High in protein
  • Rich in magnesium, manganese and folate, all of which have been shown to boost enzyme efficiency in producing energy

Oats

  • Contains soluble fibre, causing the stomach to delay digestion, leading to slow and steady energy release

Hummus

  • A complex carbohydrate containing fibre and healthy fats which are slowly absorbed, avoiding a spike in blood sugar levels

Lentils

  • High in fibre, leading to slow digestion and more controlled blood sugar levels
  • Contain folate, manganese, zinc and iron, leading to more efficient energy in cells and breakdown of nutrients

Strawberries

  • Rich in fibre, carbohydrates and natural sugars which will enhance energy levels
  • High in antioxidants which will combat inflammation and fight against fatigue

Seeds

E.g. Chia, linseed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

  • High in omega-3 fatty acids which are linked to decreased levels of inflammation and fatigue
  • Fatty acids are also a great source of stored energy
  • Slowly digested, leading to sustained energy levels

Nuts

  • High in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help to increase energy levels and fight inflammation
  • Rich in manganese, iron, minerals, B vitamins and vitamin E, helping to increase energy production

Dark green leafy vegetables

E.g. Spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage

  • High in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, C, E and K as well as folic acid, fibre and antioxidants
  • Iron content will help to boost energy – fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency
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