Chronic fatigue is a problem for over one million Americans, and more often than not what we put into our bodies is what causes our distress. Aside from lack of sleep, an unhealthy or unbalanced diet causes a myriad of health problems. More importantly it can drain our energy, which causes us to drink more coffee or eat more to keep those levels up, which in turn throws us further into the cycle of tiredness.
Many of our favorite foods to snack on during the day may be the answer to our slow demise. Foods loaded with salt, sugar or even caffeinated beverages cause a quick rise in energy followed by a “crash.” Debi Sibler, M.S., R.D., and president of Lifestyle Fitness Inc., says that sugar gives us energy but also causes us to crash and leaves us looking for more. She says that one tip to cutting back on sugar is bringing low sugar snacks with you when you need a pick-me-up.
Here’s a list of some foods that are draining your energy. By avoiding these foods, you may find that your energy is thriving, you’re getting better sleep, and your general wellbeing is increased.
There are few people who don’t rely on a morning cup of coffee, and there are many who sip on multiple servings a day. Even coffee in the morning and some sort of soda, tea, or other caffeinated beverage in the afternoon can be detrimental to your energy supply. Sibler says that caffeine can leave us “tired and wired.”
“If we need sleep and we choose caffeine instead, we continue to throw off our natural sleep cycle,” Sibler says.
Try tapering down the amount of caffeine you drink or limiting yourself to one serving in the morning to see how it affects your quality of sleep. Our body is meant to regulate our energy supply, but constantly fueling it with fake energy only leaves us more tired each day.
2. Fatty foods
Ever eat a thick burger and begin dozing off soon after? We’ve all been there. Fatty and greasy foods like burgers, fries, or almost any fast-food meal will cause an energy depletion by the end of the day – guaranteed. These foods are tough to digest and truly suck the energy out of us as they do so. Red meat is the biggest culprit in this category because of its high fat content.
3. Red wine
Alcohol is a depressant and although wine may be the most common drink (aside from beer) to sip on during lunch or dinner, think again if you have a long day or night ahead. Red grapes are high in melatonin, a natural hormone that facilitates sleep. Although wine may lull you to sleep, don’t rely on alcohol to get you to bed at night.
4. Muffins, donuts, and other sugary breakfasts
Although muffins and donuts are among some of the greatest tasting foods there are, forgo these energy-draining nightmares for a successful day. The next time someone brings in donuts or muffins for an office breakfast or meeting snack, keep your willpower in full force. Like it was mentioned before, sugar quickly ramps up your energy supply, and the next moment, depletes it. Sugary breakfasts include sugary cereal and yogurts, which brings us to our next food…
5. Most yogurt
Yogurt can be one of the healthiest foods on earth: high in protein, low in sugar, and packed with probiotics — that is if you get the right kind. Yogurt seen on commercials should be avoided. Typically, yogurt is full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial fruits, and other pesky chemicals. Opt for Greek yogurt or any variation of non-fat, plain, low-sugar yogurt.
6. Salty snacks
Snacks like potato chips, or other options like Cheeto’s or Bugels, are full of unhealthy fats and refined carbs that have zero nutritional value. There is so much sodium packed in these snacks that they cause us to feellethargic, to need more water, and feel overall to feel very unhealthy. In addition, these salty snacks are full ofharmful chemicals.
White bread is typically the culprit when it comes to losing energy because it is composed of refined carbohydrates that produces high levels of insulin. Insulin “shuttles away the rapidly absorbed sugars you’ve just eaten out of your bloodstream, where they present a danger to your body.” This is the best condition for weight gain because these sugars are then stored as fat. White bread, bagels, and other refined carbs have no nutritional value.