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6 Foods That Drain Your Energy Levels

Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem

2 min read

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While it is natural for your energy levels to rise and fall throughout the day, the spikes and crashes are affected by various factors such as stress levels, sleep, physical activity and what you eat. Even though we consume food to refuel ourselves, some foods actually defeat the purpose by zapping your energy. Here are some foods that drain energy make you weak:

1- Breakfast cereal and other foods that have added sugars

Many foods on the market are loaded with added sugars, which, when consumed too frequently, can take a toll on your energy levels.

For instance, many people consider breakfast cereals an important part of a healthy and energizing breakfast routine. However, many varieties actually fail to deliver the expected energy-sustaining start to the day.

That’s because most breakfast cereals contain very little fiber yet significant amounts of added sugars. In fact, sugars make up as much as 50% of the total carbs found in many popular breakfast cereals.

This combination of high sugar and low fiber content can spike blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to a rise in energy, followed by a crash.

What’s more, some research suggests that eating foods high in added sugars may increase the likelihood you’ll crave other sugary foods, potentially creating an energy-depleting cycle.

To avoid the energy-zapping effect of sugar-filled cereals, opt for varieties without added sugar that contain at least 4–5 grams of fiber per serving.

Other popular breakfast foods that tend to contain high levels of added sugars include flavored yogurts, juices, muffins, granola bars and even some types of bread.

If you’re looking to keep your energy levels high, you’ll likely benefit from avoiding them or finding less sugary alternatives.

2- Certain Grains

Even though carbs are one of the most efficient sources of energy, processed grains such as white pasta, white bread, and white rice can actually drain your energy levels. When grains are processed, the outer layer which contains the fiber bran is removed and so, processed grains are left with a low amount of fiber. That’s why they are digested and absorbed quickly by the body resulting in a quick increase in blood sugar level, followed by an energy crash.

Comparatively, whole grains stabilize blood sugar levels keep your energy constant. The germ, which is high in B vitamins and used by your body to create energy, is also missing from processed grains.

3- Energy Drinks

Energy drinks provide a temporary boost to energy levels by supplying caffeine and sugar to your body. However, once that initial effect starts to wear off, your sugar levels plunge even lower than before and make you feel tired. Energy drinks are also very dehydrating which can make you feel exhausted. Instead of opting for energy drinks, try natural energy supplements when you feel low on energy.

4- Fried Food

Fried and fast foods are usually low in fiber and high in fat and are harder for your body needs to work very hard to digest them. This takes a toll on your body as blood is redirected from your extremities to your internal organs. Moreover, slow digestion also means that the rate at which your body absorbs nutrients is reduced and this leaves your body without the vitamins and minerals it requires to sustain energy levels.

5- Low Calorie Foods

When you drastically cut down the number of calories you consume, your body enters the starvation mode and slows down your metabolism. Your energy levels also decrease because of the insufficiency in the number of calories you consume every day.

6- Coffee

When consumed in moderation, coffee can have positive physical and mental effects.

For instance, studies show that coffee may help reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by 26–34%.

A review of 18 studies further reported that each cup of coffee a person consumes per day may reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 7%.

Caffeine, the stimulant in coffee, has also been reported to create a short-term boost in energy and brain function, which many people rely on when they’re feeling tired.

That said, regularly drinking coffee will cause your body to build up a tolerance, which will reduce the power of its effects. More importantly, regularly relying on coffee instead of getting proper nutrition or sleep can drain your energy over time.

Too much caffeine can also negatively affect the quality of your sleep, which can reduce your energy levels over the long term.

Even though diet can affect your energy levels, it is recommended that you visit a doctor if you feel tired constantly. You can find and book an appointment with top nutritionists in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem - Author Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem is among the Best Nutritionists in Lahore. Ms. Qurat Ul Ain Aleem is a Nutritionist and Dietitian. She has a BSc. (Home Economics), MSc. (Food And Nutrition), PGDD and M.Phil (Public Health) degree along with an experience of 5 years.
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