8 Foods That Can Drain Your Energy (And 5 That Boost It)

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  • 04 Apr 2024
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Doesn't it seem as if there is never enough energy to go through the day? You may sleep seven to nine hours a night and still feel exhausted all the time. 

But did you realize that what you eat could be draining your vitality and leaving you feeling depleted? Some popular foods may be draining your vitality in ways you are unaware of. 

If you're looking for an explanation for your zapping energy, our list below will most likely help. Let's get right to it.


8 Foods That Drain Your Energy

Here are eight popular foods that can unexpectedly drain your energy levels.


1. Processed Grains and Other Simple Carbohydrates

While a bagel for breakfast may be your go-to morning pick, this early dosage of simple, refined carbohydrates could be the direct cause of your poor energy. 

White flour bagels and bread, white potatoes, white flour tortillas, white pasta, and white rice are all examples of simple carbs that elevate blood sugar before dropping it a few hours later. This can make you feel fatigued. 

However, not all carbohydrates are made equal. Complex carbs are processed more slowly, resulting in more consistent blood sugar levels.

Whole-grain or sourdough bread, brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas, sweet potatoes, bran cereal, bulgur, and whole oats are all nutritious carbohydrate options. These choices will not have the same impact on your blood sugar and may provide you with more sustained energy. 

Another fantastic alternative I propose to my customers is to combine a carbohydrate with protein and a healthy fat for long-lasting energy. 

Instead of eating just carbs, try a whole-grain bagel with an egg and avocado.


2. Orange Juice

Orange juice is frequently marketed as a healthy breakfast beverage, and it may provide an initial energy boost. However, this fades rapidly when your blood sugar levels fall, leaving you depleted of energy. 

The explanation is the same as for processed grains. Simple carbohydrates—also known as sugar—are easily absorbed, resulting in a rapid rise and decrease in blood sugar levels. 

Many orange juices contain high fructose corn syrup, extra sugar, and artificial colors and flavors. You can substitute these sweet drinks for water.

There are numerous techniques to make water more appealing. To flavor your water, add berries, lemon, lime, cucumber slices, or mint leaves. You can also try freezing berries into ice cubes and mixing them with water. 

Artificially sweetened beverages are also not an ideal choice. According to WebMD, studies on animals and humans reveal that artificial sweeteners may elevate your blood sugar levels more than if you indulged in sugar-sweetened beverages and pastries.


3. Processed Foods With Added Sugars

Many foods available today have added sugars, which can deplete your energy if consumed too regularly. 

Breakfast cereals and snack bars are excellent examples of ubiquitous processed foods high in added sugars. 

Most morning cereals include very little fiber but a lot of added sugar. In reality, sugars account for up to 50% of the total weight of several popular breakfast cereals, even those promoted to youngsters!

This combination of high sugar and low fiber content can cause blood sugar and insulin levels to jump, resulting in an energy boost followed by a crash, zapping your energy and expanding your waistline.


4. Coffee and Energy Drinks

There's no doubting that caffeine in coffee and energy drinks can deliver a short-term energy boost, but it may also cause an energy drop later on. 

This up and down cycle might have a significant impact on your energy levels. Over time, you will require increasing amounts of caffeine to achieve any impact, assuming it still works for you. 

Energy drink producers use a variety of stimulating chemicals in their formulas, including ginseng and ginkgo biloba. However, studies believe that the sugar and caffeine in these drinks are responsible for the majority of their energy-boosting benefits.

Many energy drinks contain outrageously high levels of sugar, often up to 10 teaspoons (52 grams) per container.

As previously said, taking significant amounts of sweets might cause your energy to jump and then drop rapidly, potentially making you feel more tired than you did before drinking the beverage. 

Caffeine can also dehydrate you, robbing you of energy. 

To gradually reduce your caffeine intake, switch to half-caffeinated, half-decaffeinated coffee or caffeinated tea, which has less caffeine. Then, switch to herbal tea and try to drink 64 ounces (8 cups) of water each day.


5. Red Wine

Wine is frequently used as a stress reliever and, in certain cases, a sleep aid. What they don't comprehend is that any type of alcohol can make your sleep less restful.

Sleepers who drink heavily before going to bed are more likely to have delayed sleep onset, which means it takes them longer to fall asleep. As liver enzymes digest alcohol during the night and blood alcohol levels fall, these people are more prone to have sleep interruptions and poor sleep quality.

Instead of alcoholic beverages, consider sparkling water with muddled berries and a lemon twist, or kombucha, a fermented tea. Calming herbal teas such as chamomile are an excellent addition to your sleep routine. 


6. Fried/Fast Foods

Fried fast foods can deplete your energy since they are rich in fat, low in fiber, and lack vitamins, minerals, and other essential components. These things may induce sluggish digestion.

Consuming too many fatty foods at once may also leave you feeling bloated. In certain situations, this can sap your energy or enthusiasm to do anything for the next few hours.


7. Low-Calorie Foods/Snacks

It was once thought that calorie restriction was the only method to reduce weight. The calorie restriction diet became extremely popular as a result of incorrect research and marketing.

The problem is that our bodies are not mathematical equations. Our health is more than just the number of calories we consume and expend. However, persistent calorie or energy restriction depletes your body's energy reserves. 

Calories are a unit of measurement that estimates how much energy a food will deliver to your body after digestion. Your body need calories to maintain basic processes such as breathing, thinking, and heartbeat.

Regularly feeding your body significantly less calories than it needed can cause hormonal imbalances and slow down your metabolism, leaving you feeling exhausted. 

Eating too little calories at meals or snacks may also trigger cravings. This can cause you to overeat at your next meal, leaving you feeling bloated and sluggish.


8. Low Iron Foods

Inadequate iron intake may produce fatigue and weakness, as well as a decrease in energy levels. 

The amount of iron required varies according on age and gender. Men need at least 8 milligrams per day, while women aged 50 and younger require 18 milligrams.

Iron from the meals you consume is absorbed in your small intestine. Celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease might impair your intestines' ability to absorb iron. 

Surgery, such as a gastric bypass, which removes a portion of your intestines, and stomach acid-lowering medications can all have an impact on your body's ability to absorb iron. 

Consume more iron-rich foods, such as: 

Beef, pork, liver, poultry, duck, and seafood. 
Leafy greens include broccoli, kale, turnip greens, and collard greens. 
Peas, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and pinto beans 
Iron-fortified cereals and other grains 
Dried fruits like raisins and prunes 
These eight meals can deplete your energy, however there are several items that you can begin incorporating into your diet now that can pleasantly increase your energy.


5 Energy-Boosting Foods

Here are five energy-boosting foods that you can incorporate into your diet to help keep you feeling energized.


1. Eggs

Eggs are high in protein and minerals like thiamine, riboflavin, folate, and vitamins B12 and B6, which are necessary for energy synthesis.

They are notably high in leucine, an essential amino acid that aids in energy metabolism and muscle recovery during exercise.


2. Bananas

There is no better snack than a banana for a quick energy boost. Bananas include naturally occurring carbohydrates sucrose, fructose, and glucose, as well as fiber. 

A banana provides an instant and consistent source of energy in a simple portable snack. It contains potassium, fiber, vitamins, and the ideal quantity of carbohydrates to give you a natural energy boost.


3. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds may be an effective source of sustained energy due to their carbohydrate content, healthy fats, and satisfying fiber. 

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain around 24 grams of carbs and 4.8 grams of omega-3s, which are heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory. 

For daily use, a couple tablespoons of chia seeds in your morning smoothie or a scoop in your afternoon yogurt may provide just enough energy to keep you going.


4. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts provide long-lasting energy, take up little space, and include a high calorie content combined with fiber, which slows absorption and prolongs energy activity. These fruits include essential fatty acids such as oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acid, which the human body cannot produce and must obtain from the diet. 

As an added advantage, eating nuts on a daily basis improves your immunological response to viruses and common infections, as well as strengthening your immune system to prevent various diseases.

Nuts, like bananas, are an excellent portable snack for those who are constantly on the go. Consider almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Raw, unsalted versions are preferred.


5. Avocados

Avocados are popular among health and wellness enthusiasts due to their high nutritional value. They have been linked to a variety of health advantages and are often referred to as superfoods.

Avocados are high in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins C and E, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and folate. Eating avocados on a daily basis will assist to enhance the overall quality of your diet.


Bottom Line

The old adage "you are what you eat" remains true to this day! By eliminating these eight energy-zapping items, you may naturally enhance your energy while also reaping other incredible benefits such as clear bright skin, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even a reduced waistline!


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