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Down and out?

The get-up-and-go quotient in children is a matter of great envy for us grown-ups. The fast-paced, hectic adult life with duties, commitments and deadlines blocks the very vital force of life — energy.

NO-CAFFEINE DRINKS
Herb tea,butter milk,fruit juice,coconut water.

Can we be half as sprightly as the little bundles of energy we see around us? Lack of energy drains us dry and makes day-to-day activities a huge burden. It results in tiredness, exhaustion, lethargy, daytime sleepiness, loss of motivation, poor concentration, difficulty in making decisions and feelings of depression. Are you feeling pooped and run down before the day has even started?

While some super foods have great effects on levels of energy and vitality, there are others that rob the body of vital nutrients and send blood sugar levels out of whack.

Cut down on…

Caffeine

Most of us are dependant on tea, coffee or cocoa to kick-start our mornings. We feel that a certain level of consumption is indispensable to maintain our energy levels.

However, these foods as well as chocolate and soft drinks contain caffeine, which can certainly improve energy levels for a short duration, but the boost is normally followed by a period of increased fatigue, which leads to another shot of caffeine and you gradually lose count of the cups of tea and coffee consumed. Find yourself caught in this vicious circle? Stimulants such as coffee and cigarettes initiate the stress response leading to release of adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones), calming you down instantly. The constant abuse of adrenal glands may result in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Sugary foods and drinks

High and regular consumption of foods such as candies, cookies, cakes, soft drinks and sweetmeats cause rapid rises in blood sugar and then a sudden drop (low blood sugar), leaving you physically and mentally tired later on. In the long term, sugar may deplete your body of nutrients such as B vitamins, which play an important role in the generation of energy, leaving you exhausted. Reduce your craving for sugary snacks by making sure you eat regular meals, thereby avoiding low blood sugar. If you need a snack, choose a low-sugar alternative.

LOW-SUGAR SNACKS
Fresh fruits,nuts and seeds,whole wheat crackers,vegetable crudites

Alcohol

It works in the same manner as high-sugar foods in the body. It gets rapidly released in the bloodstream and leads to problems of low blood sugar later. Many alcoholic beverages contain substances called congeners that contribute to hangovers and also deplete the body of energy. Try adding more non-alcoholic mixers — that are also low in sugar — to alcohol to reduce the alcohol content of your drink.

Unhealthy diets

These diets are low on nutrients and do not supply sufficient energy.

But you must also remember that getting energy from our diet is a complex process and not simply a matter of putting the right foods in our mouth. Watch out and improve your sleep, stress levels, digestion and level of physical activity.

Despite making the necessary lifestyle changes, if you still feel worn to the bone, see your doctor or nutritionist to rule out…

Anaemia

Nutrient deficiency disorder

Asthma

Underactive or overactive thyroid

Insomnia

Sleep apnoea

Pregnancy

Depression

Anxiety disorder

Next week, Hena Nafis tells you how to boost your energy levels.
For queries on healthy eating write to t2@abpmail.com
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