Unfortunately, some of your usual go-to foods and beverages may interfere with your energy levels. You cannot afford to have that happen, right?
Below, sports scientist Rachael Attard shares some of the common culprits that might be responsible for your persistent fatigue and explains why they have this effect.
“The foods you consume play a pivotal role in determining your energy levels throughout the day. White bread and pasta, most breakfast cereals, potato chips, and similar snacks can be major contributors to fatigue due to their high sugar, low fibre, and low-nutrient content.
“Making mindful food choices and opting for whole-grain, low-sugar alternatives can help you maintain consistent energy levels and ward off that relentless tiredness that often accompanies poor dietary decisions.
“Remember that small changes in your diet can lead to big improvements in your energy and overall well-being,” says Attard.
White bread and pasta
White bread and pasta are dietary staples for many, but they can be significant contributors to fatigue. These products are made from refined grains, where the outer bran and inner germ layers are removed during processing.
This results in a product with little fibre and a high glycemic index, meaning it is rapidly converted into sugar in your body.
When you consume white bread and pasta, your body quickly digests them, leading to a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, accompanied by an equally rapid drop.
This blood sugar roller-coaster can leave you feeling tired and lethargic as your body struggles to maintain a stable energy supply.
To combat this energy drain, consider replacing white bread and pasta with whole-grain alternatives that are higher in fibre, such as whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta.
These choices provide a more sustained release of energy, helping you stay alert and energised.
Most breakfast cereals
Breakfast cereals are a convenient morning choice for many, but not all cereals are created equal. Most commercially available breakfast cereals, especially the highly processed, sugar-laden ones, can contribute to fatigue.
These cereals typically offer a quick burst of energy thanks to their high sugar content. However, this energy surge is short-lived and is soon followed by a crash.
To avoid the energy slump associated with sugary breakfast cereals, consider opting for whole-grain or low-sugar alternatives. Look for cereals with high fibre content and minimal added sugars to provide a more stable source of energy to kickstart your day.
Potato chips and similar snacks
Potato chips and similar snacks are notorious for their ability to drain your energy. These snacks are typically high in unhealthy fats and low in essential nutrients.
When you consume such foods, your body expends a significant amount of energy on digestion while receiving little in return. Additionally, the high salt content in potato chips can lead to dehydration, which can also make you feel tired.
The combination of unhealthy fats, low nutritional value, and dehydration can leave you feeling lethargic and fatigued. If you are in need of a snack, consider healthier options like nuts, yoghurt, or fresh fruits and vegetables.
These choices provide your body with valuable nutrients and sustained energy without the subsequent energy dip.
Sometimes, if you are constantly feeling tired, it is crucial to consider your calorie intake. Not eating enough calories can lead to persistent fatigue.
Eating too few calories means your body lacks the energy it needs to function optimally, and you may also miss out on essential vitamins that help manage energy levels.
Keep in mind that your calorie needs depend on factors like your age, height, goals, and activity level, but it is generally recommended that adults consume a minimum of 1,200 calories.
Ensuring you meet your calorie requirements is a vital step in combating chronic tiredness and maintaining optimal energy levels.