The folks at EatThis,NotThat! have gotten together with a group of dietitians and have come up with a list of foods that make you feel sluggish instead of energetic. Here are the four that they picked as the worst offenders (and they probably won’t surprise you):
- Soda – Convenient to drink, but full of added sugars which can cause a quick rise in blood sugar levels. That matters because according to author/expert Lisa Young, blood sugar fluctuations can affect your energy level and while there’s a lift, there’s also a corresponding crash. A better choice? Water – flat or sparkling.
- Candy – Another high-sugar culprit that can lead to some of the same fluctuations, but high sugar consumption also inhibits the production of Orexin, a brain chemical that stimulates an awake feeling. Therefore, more sugar means you will be sleepier according to Lauren Manaker, author of several health-related books.
- Refined Grains – These are grains or grain flour modified from their natural state. We’re talking white bread and white pastas – and they offer the same sugar-type fluctuations that lead to low energy levels. Better choice? Whole grains. There’s more fiber and also contain iron, folate, B vitamins, potassium, selenium and magnesium.
- Fried Chicken – It’s a great-tasting comfort food, since it’s fried it can be hard to digest…and is full of fat and salt. Laura Manaker says “this dish can cause a person to feel weighed down and not feel supper peppy.”