Why You Should Be Feasting on High-Energy Foods
Posted: September 16, 2015
Food is fuel for your body and therefore affects your energy level. To maintain optimal energy for your lifestyle, you have to be smart with your nutritional choices.
Ironically, the very foods associated with quick energy — concentrated sources of sugar, such as candy or soda — are the very foods you should avoid if you want to maintain a consistent energy level.
Here’s how your body works: Food is used for energy by turning it into blood sugar, or glucose. Carbohydrates convert most easily into sugars, making them your macronutrient of choice for energy eating.
The problem is that sugar, a simple carbohydrate, tends to break down fast. After giving you a quick burst of energy, blood sugar levels deplete rapidly. Low blood sugar leaves you feeling tired and drained, far from the ideal state you need to stay on top of your daily schedule. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, pasta, and vegetables, replace this fluctuation with a steady energy supply that keeps you going, making them a better choice in the long run.
While carbohydrates provide us with a quick and readily available energy source, we also need some endurance. Our other main source of energy in the body is fat. Fat is just the opposite of carbohydrates: It takes longer for the body to uptake, but we have a much greater supply to draw from, no matter our body type or fitness level.
A “no fat” diet is actually counterproductive; we need some healthy fats in our diet. Foods such as nuts, seeds, and eggs provide healthy fats that our body uses for energy. You can certainly eat too much fat (just like you can eat too many carbs), but eliminating it altogether sabotages your energy levels and overall health.
So what is the ideal mix if you want to have consistent energy to face a demanding lifestyle?
- High (complex if possible) carbohydrates
- Moderate protein (for muscle building and tissue repair)
- Low (but not no) fat
One example would be a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with low-fat mayo, a small serving of spaghetti and meatballs, or a bowl of chili. “Certain eating strategies will definitely help you ward off fatigue,” says Stacey Whittle, RD, a registered dietitian at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
The fewer ingredients in a food or meal the better. And drink water: Dehydration is also a leading cause of fatigue.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.