These Foods Help Fight Fatigue in a Big Way
These foods will help you fight midday drowsiness and fatigue.
It is mid afternoon and your eyes are starting to droop. Quickly, you reach for a beverage—something to help you stay awake. You need energy, and you need it fast.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” you tell yourself, as you grab a caffeinated beverage or a handful of sugary snacks. Soon you realize you’ve been telling yourself the same thing for a week, and the desperate measures are your new normal. Been there. Done that.
Complex and simple carbohydrates
Rather than attempting to fight fatigue with unhealthy foods, take control of your day from the get-go, starting with breakfast. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends protein for endurance and carbohydrates for energy. Try a few of these foods to start your day.
- Hard-boiled eggs coupled with a whole wheat pita
- Oatmeal with raisins
- Scrambled eggs, fruit, and toast
- Whole-grain toast with peanut butter and fruit
As the day goes on, a well-balanced diet will sustain your energy levels. If you need a quick pick-me-up, simple carbohydrates like those found in fruits, veggies, and honey are best. The hard part is choosing those over the soda, chocolate, and other treats.
Regan Wilson, a dietitian at Intermountain Health, says the ideal would be for each meal to have a consistent amount of carbohydrates. “If we keep the amount even throughout the day, our blood sugar gradually rises and falls instead of having big spikes and then going really low.”
Related: Counting Carbohydrates
The body needs more complex carbohydrates that take longer to burn to sustain its energy levels throughout the entire day. Complex carbohydrates include:
- Rice and beans
- Whole grains, pastas, and breads
- Green vegetables and carrots
“The amount of carbohydrate that we need depends on age, gender, activity level, and whether you’re trying to lose weight. Most women need to have 30-45g of carbs per meal and men need about 60-75g,” according to Wilson.
Drink a lot of water
Did you know that dehydration is linked to low energy levels? Water plays a key role in producing energy molecules in your body. Then there’s the obvious: the more water you drink, the more nature will call, forcing you to get up and walk to the restroom. The extra movement may increase your blood flow and may help you shake off the drowsiness.
Related: Drink More Water
If you feel like your nutrition is in check but you’re still tired during the day, it may be time to analyze your other behaviors that affect energy—like regular exercise and sufficient sleep. Don’t wait to start feeling great. Do what it takes to find balance in your diet, exercise, and sleep and you’ll notice a difference in how you feel throughout the day.
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