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Everything You Need to Know About Energy Levels and Carbs

Posted on Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Written by Live Life Get Active
Category: Nutrition

How carbohydrates can both boost and plummet your energy levels

Busy lifestyles, demanding jobs, kids and poor sleep patterns can be a cause of low energy levels and fatigue. One major thing that is usually not considered to be the cause of low energy levels is your eating. What you’re putting inside your body can be directly related to how much energy you have – or don’t have!

Firstly, a quick digestion lesson…

carbs energy digestion

How food gives you energy…

Carbohydrates are what our body uses for energy, so foods with carbs are vital to us! Carbohydrates break down into tiny pieces called glucose (sugar!), which our body uses to make energy.

How processed carbs and sugar make you tired…

Processed carbohydrates including white bread and pasta, doughnuts, cookies and cakes (anything high in sugar, including soft drink), travel into our blood an extremely fast rate. Our bodies aren’t designed to handle so many carbohydrates (or sugar) at once. This is where things go wrong, one of these things being low energy levels.

You may receive a sudden burst of energy from the sudden burst of sugar in your blood. But, this quick burst is also followed by a quick drop! Your body uses the energy it needs at the time, then stores away the excess sugar (usually as fat).

All of a sudden your blood sugar levels have quickly dropped, leaving you feeling tired and fatigued. This also makes you crave high sugar foods to get that quick fix of energy again…sounds much like a drug addiction doesn’t it!

How wholesome carbs give you long lasting energy…

Your healthy carbohydrates (low GI carbs) are found in wholegrain breads, pasta and cereals, fruit and vege, legumes, nuts and seeds. These foods are jam packed with fibre! Fibre slows down the process of the sugar, crossing over into your blood.

With fibre, sugar is released into your blood at a slow rate over a long period of time. This gives you a steady rate of energy over a long period of time. You don’t feel a sudden energy slump and you don’t suddenly crave high sugar snacks.

To sum up…

We are not saying never eat high sugar foods again. A small amount here and there is absolutely fine and won’t affect your energy levels. But eating them every day and all the time will leave you feeling more fatigued than you should be.

What we are saying is try to eat mainly wholegrain carbohydrates and lots and lots of veges!

It’s not an overnight fix, but if you create this new healthy habit, you should start seeing changes in your energy levels!!

Weekly Recipe

Check out this recipe full of fibre which gives you a steady rate of energy over a longer period of time!


Serves: 1 Time: 15mins Cost: $2.50(approx.)

Ingredients
• 2 eggs
• big pinch of grated parmesan
• big pinch of parsley
• ¼ cup spinach
• ½ cup mushrooms
• ¼ tomato
• ¼ avocado
• ½ tsp butter
• ¼ tsp crushed garlic
• 1 wholemeal wrap

Method
1. slice mushrooms, dice tomato and avocado, finely slice parsley
2. whisk together eggs, parmesan, parsley, a splash of water and pinch of salt & pepper, put aside.
3. heat butter in pan on low-medium heat.
4. add mushrooms and garlic, cook for 5 mins, put mushrooms aside.
5. drizzle olive oil in same pan, add egg mixture, cook for 2-3 mins, stirring to scramble eggs.
6. Prepare wrap: line up spinach, tomato, avocado, mushrooms and egg in middle of wrap. Fold in sides and roll.

Serve!

Sources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/eating-to-boost-energy
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224210/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2654909/

Live Life Get Active is building a fitter, healthier and happier Australia and we want people to have fun along the way. With the help of Local Government and Corporate Australia we provide FREE health, fitness and nutritional education both online and in the parks, suburbs and cities of Australia.