Food is fuel and what you eat affects how your body runs. I find as the seasons change, and the days slowly become shorter, I feel a bit sluggish. If you don't want to putter along through your last weeks of Summer, check out these foods that zap your energy so you can avoid them.
- Sugary Breakfast - Refined carbs, both sugar and white flour, may give you an energy spike, but they will drop kick into doze mode quickly. Sudden jumps in blood sugar, caused by food like doughnuts, actually shut down the production of brain chemicals that help keep you alert. Skip the doughnut and opt for a breakfast with some protein.
- Energy Drinks - Energy drinks work in the short term with a boost of sugar and caffeine, but ultimately your blood sugar levels will drop lower than before, leaving you drained. Instead of sipping on an energy drink, reach for water to quench your thirst since being slightly dehydrated can make you sluggish.
- Fatty Foods - Simply put, fatty and fried foods are more difficult to digest. Your internal organs pull blood away from your extremities to aid digestion, which can take anywhere from six to eight hours. With your energy directed towards digestion, you will feel less energetic in general. Fatty foods also negatively impact your short term memory and muscle function, making it hard to find your keys after eating fish and chips!
- Low Iron Foods -Iron is the middleman for helping you utilize the energy, aka calories, you have consumed. If you're running low on iron you're going to feel tired. Eating a high-in-iron chicken thigh is a better option than breast meat. Also, munching on iron rich pumpkin seeds for an afternoon snack can help stave off the energy drain.
- Red Wine - A glass of wine with lunch might seem like a good idea, but alcohol is a depressant after all and will drain your energy. Red grapes are also high in melatonin, a sleep-producing hormone. Creating a one-two knockout punch of the sleepies. Add to this the fact that alcohol can impair sleep - just one drink. Don't use alcohol as a sleep aid, try a glass of warm milk instead.
- Skipping Meals - On crazy stressful days, it can be all too easy to skip a meal, but unfortunately not eating will seriously drain your energy. Your body thinks a famine has started and begins to conserve energy. Plus your chances of getting cranky increase dramatically, which is the last thing you need during a stressful day
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