In today’s post we’re going to look at foods that will increase your energy and give you some simple tricks to keep us balanced and more sustained and stable throughout the day.
Do you live on a constant roller coaster of energy, with continuous ups and downs?
Why do I not have energy?
There are a multitude of factors that zap our energy.
To better understand the issue, we have to look at several of these categories.
To begin with:
There are conditions that inherently reduce your energy levels.
Any serious chronic illness comes under this category (autoimmune rheumatic diseases, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease or cancer, to name a few).
On top, there is also medication that will reduce your energy levels.
These are the factors we’ll work on most in this post.
Your diet directly influences your energy levels, as does your rest, your work, your ability to cope with everyday stress and many other factors related to your personal context.
This category includes obvious factors, such as age, and also genetic factors that are unchangeable.
They could fall under the physiopathological factors, but I prefer to give them an individual category.
Why? Because there is a pandemic of metabolic disease that undoubtedly diminishes the vitality and energy levels of the population.
You know what we’re talking about: type 2 diabetes, obesity, being overweight, metabolic syndrome.
Importance of a healthy diet
Foods are one of the main ways through which you can increase your energy levels, but it’s not the only one.
What is the best diet for giving energy?
In this respect, you can have good energy levels with different, even radically different, diets.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan, paleo, keto, mediterranean or do intermittent fasting
- It’s about applying the principles we’re about to look at.
And above all, it’s about understanding that it’s more important to think in negative than in positive.
What do I mean by that?
- That when you eliminate the “energy thieves” from your life, which we’ll mention, your energy levels will naturally rise.
- Another point to note is that we stop the use of stimulants and other drugs that will naturally raise your energy levels.
Foods and supplements that increase your energy levels
Follow the following tips to improve your energy levels without much effort at all:
Change the speed of absorption of fast absorbing sugars.
Eliminating simple sugars and refined carbohydrates is the first step to avoid that “rollercoaster” of energy.
I’m talking about energy peaks and troughs, resulting from the simple sugar-hyperglycaemia-insulin peak-glycaemia-decline-simple sugar cycle.
As I know that eliminating them completely is extremely difficult, being very present in our diet, what if I told you there’s a way to lower the glycemic index and speed of absorption of fast absorbing carbohydrates?
Add an exogenous source of soluble fibre to your main meals, it’s as simple as that.
Your digestion will slow down and your energy levels will stabilise.
- My favourite is guar gum (which works as a thickener).
- But there are a lot of options: psyllium husk, xanthan gum, apple fibre, etc.
Add a source of slow absorption carbohydrates
This recommendation is most useful if you’re an athlete, because if you’re a sedentary person, overweight or insulin resistant, I wouldn’t dare increase your carbohydrate intake indiscriminately.
But, if you are active and training, adding an exogenous source of slowly absorbed carbohydrates will help you a lot. Here we have to differentiate several substances that are always confused: dextrose, dextrin and highly branched cyclic dextrin.
- Dextrose is simply a glucose, a simple sugar and therefore of ultra-rapid absorption. In large quantities it can cause digestive discomfort and, except for very prolonged endurance competitions, I don’t recommend its use.
- Dextrin is an oligosaccharide from starch (usually potato).
- But the most interesting source is highly branched cyclic dextrin.
Personally, it’s the one I use, and it’s brilliant.
So, it doesn’t produce the typical short-lived energy shot, but is more a “sustained release” energy source.
- I doesn’t have any simple sugar content, or a sweet taste.
- Additionally, it dissolves perfectly in water and has a low osmolarity (reduces digestive discomfort).
- It digests great.
Add MCTs or Medium Chain Triglycerides to your diet
In terms of fat, medium chain triglycerides or MCTs are a “fast moving” source of energy; they are digested and metabolised much faster than conventional fat, and cause less digestive discomfort.
This makes them a “fast” source of energy.
The ideal context for their use is in a ketogenic diet, when intermittent fasting or in a low carbohydrate diet, but this doesn’t mean your body won’t use them if you follow a high carbohydrate diet and are someone with good metabolic flexibility.
Other tips to increase your energy through the foods
Eliminate energy zappers
As I said, it’s just as important to know what to add to improve your energy levels as it is to know what to take away.
- Have you noticed the drop in energy that happens after eating that incredibly delicious cake for dessert?
- Or after a few beers with friends?
Avoid this type of food.
But I’m going to mention another that has nothing to do with diet: the digital hyperstimulation of our time. I won’t go any deeper right now, because this point deserves a full post.
We all have a hypothalamus, the brain region that makes sure we drink when we need to.
But there are exceptional work or sports situations where the hypothalamus is not as efficient in performing its function.
I’m talking about endurance sports competitions that last longer than 60 minutes, or shifts that last longer than 24 hours where you forget where you head is (and the bottle of water), to give just two examples.
2% dehydration reduces performance by 15-20%.
So, a very simple thing you can do is make sure from time to time that you drink enough.
Now you have more tools to increase your energy levels. We’ll see you in the next post, stay empowered!
- Have you every wondered how to construct a Healthy Diet? Visit this link and find out.
- Everything you need to know about MCT, or Medium Chain Triglycerides: Go now.
- Avoid these foods that will ruin your diet.