5 Energy Draining Foods and 5 Energy Boosting Foods
Food is absolutely essential for energy, however, there are some foods that can have the opposite effect and drain your energy levels.
You have foods that give you stable, long lasting energy and boost your mood. Then you have foods that can leave you feeling tired, lethargic and in a poor mood.
Let’s take a look at some of these energy zappers and energy boosters.
5 Energy Zapping Foods
1. White carbohydrates – bread and pasta.
White carbs like bread and pasta have had their fibre removed from the grain. Fibre, found in your brown, wholegrain varieties is essential in slowing down digestion and providing stable long lasting energy levels. Without fibre, these foods are digested into your body at a super fast rate causing a rapid energy spike, followed by a rapid energy drop. This can make you feel tired, lethargic and in a bad mood for the rest of the day! Find out more about exactly what happens to your body when you eat white carbs vs wholegrain carbs here.
2. Fried foods
Fried foods, like those found in fast foods or things like doughnuts are massive energy zappers! These foods are typically high in white carbohydrates which we know drains our energy. They are also very high in unhealthy fats. Eating too much fat at one time can prevent absorption of other nutrients into your body leaving you feeling flat and probably bloated. On top of this fried foods are very low in other nutrients and vitamins that will help to boost your energy.
3. Foods with added sugars
A lot of foods found in supermarkets like breakfast cereals, yoghurts, muesli bars and confectionary can have a heap of added sugar in them. Eating too much sugar at one time will momentarily spike your energy then it will quickly drop giving you that ‘sugar crash.’ This will leave you feeling lethargic and moody. Check out our simple guide to reading nutrition labels on packets to find out how much sugar to look out for when making food choices.
Although alcohol may feel like it relaxes you at night so you can fall asleep, it actually makes you feel more tired, lethargic and flat when you wake up. Having the odd glass of alcohol here and there is okay, but drinking larger quantities regularly throughout the week is going to be an energy zapper. Also consider all the other negative effects alcohol has on your brain, body and overall health – it’s best to keep it at a bare minimum!
Try to stick to these guidelines:
- have no more than 2 standard drinks on any day
- have a glass of water in between drinks
- ensure you have at least 3 alcohol free days every week
- try to take small sips and drink slowly
5. Soft Drink and Energy Drinks
One can of soft drink can have up to 10 teaspoons of sugar in it. They also have zero other helpful nutrients in them. Soft drinks are setting you up for a guaranteed energy slump. Find out more on how to track your sugar intake. Although energy drinks contain energy boosting ingredients, they are also packed full of sugar which makes it all a bit counterproductive. Energy drinks can also have other side effects which can give you heart palpitations, feelings of anxiety and poor sleep quality. It’s best to stick with a balanced diet rather than relying on energy drinks!
5 Energy Boosting Foods
1. Meat, poultry and eggs
These foods are all high in iron which is an essential nutrient for energy and keeping you feeling sharp and switched on.
2. Sweet potato, capsicum, broccoli, kiwi fruit, berries and citrus fruits
These foods are all high in Vitamin C which will help your body better absorb iron from food.
3. Brown bread, brown pasta, rice, oats and other wholegrains.
These foods are all high in fibre which will slow down digestion, providing you with stable long lasting energy levels.
4. Vegetables, lentils, beans, chickpeas and fruit
These foods are all high in fibre and lots of other essential vitamins and minerals that are involved in producing energy in your body.
Dehydration can be a major cause of fatigue and mood swings. It’s absolutely essential to stay hydrated in order to remain energetic. Aim for 2L per day. Keep a drink bottle on you everywhere you go. Try out our fruit-infused sparkling water options for a yummy twist on water.
Need to make some more healthy eating changes?
Download our Love Your Legumes recipe e-book. We make healthy versions of your favourite meals and boost their nutritional value by adding in legumes. Start feeling healthier now!
Download your very own food diary!
Keep a track of your food, mood and exercise. Start to make healthier changes, then start to see the changes in your mood, energy and body. This is a great place to start if you are wanting to make real change.
Need some more inspiration?
Head to our RECIPE VIDEO HUB – we have lots of healthy snack ideas you might want to try!
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