Do you sometimes get that part of the day where all your energy seems to disappear and it’s not because you need to catch up on sleep but you feel so tired. Well it’s could be down to the foods that you are putting into your body are not low glycemic.
Sometimes with our busy lifestyles it’s so easy to just grab something from the local coffee shop on the way to work and again in our lunch hour pick up something quick to eat while we’re working. Perhaps a little time spent the night before and a little advance planning and you could hike those energy levels up again.
Instead of a bowl of cereal in the morning, most cereals contain high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, (sugar has been linked to chronic fatigue) and refined carbohydrates, try rolled oats or steel cut oats instead as they are low glycemic. These could be soaked the night before and they are ready to go in the morning, five minutes to a creamy bowl of porridge, add some chopped fruit and you have a meal that will keep you going until lunchtime. The instant porridge packs aren’t a good idea as they are loaded with sugar.
If cereal is not your thing perhaps you pick up a bagel which are often made with refined grains such as white flour, are usually high on the glycemic index (foods that affect blood sugar and insulin levels), so try a whole wheat bagel. Or is it a muffin you choose, these are mostly are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, the excess salt can also make us feel heavy and tired from increased water retention. You could try making your own healthy muffins, that way you’re in control of the sugar and salt and keeping them low glycemic. Also by making a batch and freezing them you’ll save time.
Try sticking to black coffee with a splash of milk, or sip a cup of green or black tea instead of grabbing one of those coffee shop drinks that contain a lot of sugar and syrup, as well as artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
Beware that some juice isn’t 100% juice. It contains high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavours and colours, and added sugar. But even then don’t fill up on lots of fruit juice, try adding orange or lemon slices to water for a refreshing drink or have a whole orange instead.
Drinking fizzy drinks regularly can have a negative effect on brain function and thinking processes. They contain lots of sugar and the diet kind have artificial sweeteners. Try plain fizzy water and add fresh fruit slices.
Shop bought smoothies often contain high levels of sugar. Try eating whole fruit instead, or blend your own and cut down the sugar content by adding kale or spinach.
Many sandwiches bought from shops are made with white bread and often filled with processed sandwich meat which can contain sodium nitrate and additives such as MSG (both linked to fatigue). Again try making your own at home using 100% whole-wheat bread and all natural deli meat, lots of green salad and take it with you to work.
Yoghurts don’t contain high levels of healthy probiotics (which makes for easier digestion) and dairy without a good source of healthy bacteria, can also cause energy problems. It would be better to take a plain Greek yoghurt and accompany it with some fresh chopped fruit.
High-fat foods have also been linked to greater levels of sleepiness, so that bag of crisps full of unhealthy fats and salt is not the answer to a quick snack. Try some nuts or seeds, or make your own crisps using kale, carrots or turnips.
Try to avoid burger and chips, it’s just loaded with oil and trans fats. While healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado can help our energy, these unhealthy fats clog arteries and can slow us down. Some grilled chicken and a bowl of salad will keep your energy levels boosted.
Just a little planning could help you feel more energised during the day. Your chicken and salad may not hit the spot the way the burger and chips does to start with but when you realise how much better you feel, how much more you can do in a day without that energy slump, you’ll soon be converted.
And don’t forget, as your personal trainer would always advise you, not drinking enough water can leave you feeling groggy and drowsy. Water is important not only to help you stay hydrated, but also to flush out toxins and keep your energy levels up. So keep a big bottle of water close by and keep hydrated.