1. BUSTER: TOO-BIG MEALS
Big dinners sends blood to the digestive tract and away from muscles and other areas that need it for energy, says Michael Roizen, M.D. (chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic and author). The sugar dump from a big plate of food produces more cell-damaging free radicals than your natural antioxidant defense can handle, and your mitochondria (the cell’s energy factory) may take a hit.
BOOSTER: SMALL SNACKS
Eat throughout the day for ongoing energy. Every snack should have complex carbs plus protein, says Elizabeth Ward, RD, author of several nutrition books. Peanut butter or cottage cheese are good snacks as well.
2. BUSTER: YOUR “BAD” BACTERIA
Your gut is home to an array of bacteria, some beneficial, others not. You eat too many things that hurt your gut and this will lead to inflammation, which saps energy.
Start taking a probiotic pill every day to repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
3. BUSTER: YOUR MEDS
Sometimes the drugs you take to keep you healthy can have an impact on energy production. Certain diuretics deplete potassium, for example. That can lead to an energy slump.
BOOSTER: FILL IN THE GAPS WITH SUPPLEMENTS
Talk to your doctor. You’ve got to drill down and find the potential nutrient interactions and compensate.
4. BUSTER: LACK OF PROTEIN
Women especially are really short on their protein.
BOOSTER: EAT PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL AND SNACK
Ward says getting 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal is a very good way to give your body a steady source of amino acids that it needs to build neurotransmitters, which help you to feel in a good mood and more energetic or awake.
5. BUSTER: YOUR WEIGHT
Being overweight saps your energy
BOOSTER: WALNUTS BEFORE MEALS
Try this – 30 minutes before a meal, have six walnuts halves. That decreases your desire for food because when it this your intestinal wall, it decreases ghrelin (a hormone that makes you hungry) production.
6. BUSTER: SUGAR
Sugars give you that energy rush, but you’ll pay for it with an energy crash, says Ward. In the long term, sugary food and drinks inhibit your blood flow. Without good blood flow, nutrients aren’t delivered where you need them for get-up-and-go.
BOOSTER: COMPLEX CARBS
Food rich in complex carbs almost always have vitamins, minerals and fiber in them. Complex carbs take longer to digest, so you get a more even source of energy rather than the sugar rollercoaster, says Ward.
7. BUSTER: MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Thyroid dysfunction is one common cause of low energy.
BOOSTER: GET YOUR THYROID CHECKED
You’ll need medications if your levels are low.
8. BUSTER: TOO MUCH SITTING
“Sedentary people typically have lower-than-average energy levels,” says Patrick O’Connor, PhD, a professor in the department of Kinesiology at University of Georgia.
BOOSTER: ANY TYPE OF EXERCISE
A single 20 to 40 minute bout of exercise reliably increases feelings of energy, says O’Connor.
By: Marianne Wait