Food is fuel, and what you eat affects how your body runs. As the seasons change, it can cause you to feel a bit sluggish. If you don't want to putter along through Autumn, check out these foods that zap your energy so you can avoid them.
- Sugary Breakfast: Refined carbs such as sugar and white flour may give you an energy spike, but they will dropkick you into doze mode quickly. Sudden jumps in blood sugar shut down the production of brain chemicals that help keep you alert. Skip the doughnuts, and opt for a healthy breakfast that contains 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. Since being slightly dehydrated can make you sluggish, reach for water to quench your thirst.
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- 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 toward this process, you will feel less energetic. 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 bowl of low-cal lentils with cooked spinach is an excellent lunch choice. Also, munching on iron-rich pumpkin seeds or edamame for an afternoon snack can help stave off the late-day energy drain.
- Red Wine: A glass of wine with lunch might seem like a good idea, but alcohol is a depressant and can drain energy. Red grapes are also high in melatonin, a sleep-producing hormone creating a one-two knockout of the sleepies. 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.