Watch your energy levels

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BY GABRIEL ISAAC OTUK

Your    energy levels  during the day’s activities are affected by the kind of meal option you take for breakfast, lunch, or  a snack.   They may be to blame for your fall in energy levels.

As a  researcher in the field of nutrition, I have discovered that certain foods are energy sappers, while others will boost your energy as the day progresses.

If the foods listed below are your favourites, then they  are the biggest culprits for your flagging energy.

Coffee

While this   may seem counter intuitive,  but drinks rich in caffeine like coffee and tea may     be the cause of you feeling      tired in          the middle of the day. This is because they give you a quick  state of alertness due to increased blood circulation upon intake.

This means that indulging in caffeine will require that you take it  sticking to around 200 milligrams a day  but drinking it in small doses, and     preferably  before  noon.

Therefore, that cup  of coffee   i s  ideal. For  it will        keep       you going until 3pm. Nevertheless, morning breakfast is   the   best energy   fix  for  you  It’s  a meal that   literally     breaks the fast you experience during the night, hence helping you power up your day.

Sweets

When you have sweet treats   after lunch, they can put you in a food coma faster than you can imagine. The amount of sugar going into your body causes a surge of insulin from the pancreas.

This  sugar surge  frees up a lot of the  amino acids called tryptophan from the brain,      making       you sleepy.  So, skip the after-lunch pastry and wait to indulge until such a time when it will not be a huge deal if you start dozing off.

White bread

White bread contains carbohydrates which have a high      glycemic index (foods that quickly turn into glucose upon intake). High glycemic index carbohydrates have less fibre, and they get digested and absorbed very fast into the blood system.

This creates a short-term energy supply, making you feel tired a few hours after the meal.

High glycemic index carbohydrates have less fibre, get digested and absorbed very   fast into the blood system.

This creates a short-term energy supply  and not a long term flow of energy,         making you feel tired after   some hours of the meal.

Keep your energy boosted

  • Eat more of  iron from plants. Certain nutrients especially iron may help a woman feel more energised. Women between ages 20 and 49 are iron deficient, which can cause fatigue and impair physical and mental endurance. Iron is  needed to deliver oxygen to cells and too little  has been shown to decrease immunity. Its sources include Beans, lentils and spinach.
  • Eat the right food combination. In this context, the right formula for maximum energy is: Fruits Vegetables, whole grainslean protein plant-based fat/spice. Your  breakfast has to contain more energy-giving foods. Always have high antioxidant fruit.

Gabriel Isaac Otuk is a nutritionist and consultant with  the UCU sports department

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