Do you ever get to that point in the day where your energy levels begin to slump, and you have no idea why you're feeling so tired despite the eight hours sleep last night? Well, it might not be down to the shut-eye you're getting, but in fact the food you're putting into your body. Quill.com have put together this handy little information pack to help us know what foods we should avoid if we're wanting to tick plenty of things off our to-do list:
1. Bagels - foods with refined grains such as white flour, are usually high on the glycemic index (foods that affect blood sugar and insulin levels).
Alternative: Choose a whole-wheat bagel or English muffin.
2. Cereal - most cereals contain high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. Sugar has been linked to chronic fatigue.
Alternative: Choose rolled oats or steel cut oats instead. Don't think instant porridge packs are good either, they're loaded with sugar.
3. Muffins - most are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, the excess salt can also make us feel heavy and tired from increased water retention.
Alternative: Consider making your own at home.
4. Coffee drinks - your favourite coffee-shop bought drink will generally contain a ton of sugar and syrup, as well as artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and sulfites. Alternative: Stick to black coffee with a splash of milk, or sip a cup of green or black tea instead.
5. Orange juice - Some of it isn't 100% juice. It contains high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavours and colours, and added sugar. Yuck.
Alternative: Add orange slices to water for a refreshing beverage, or have a whole orange instead.
6. Fruit smoothies - Shop-bought smoothies often contain high levels of sugar.
Alternative: Enjoy whole fruit instead, or blend your own and cut down the sugar content by adding kale or spinach.
7. Sandwiches - aside from the large slices of white bread, many shop-bought sandwiches also use processed sandwich meat which can contain sodium nitrate and additives such as MSG (both linked to fatigue).
Alternative: Make your own at home using 100% whole-wheat bread and all natural deli meat.
8. Yoghurt - Unfortunately, many yoghurts don't contain high levels of healthy probiotics (which makes for easier digestion). Dairy, without a good source of healthy bacteria, can also cause energy problems.
Alternative: Plain Greek yogurt with your own natural sweeteners such as honey or fresh fruit.
9. Crisps - Most crisps contain refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats and lots of salt. High-fat foods have also been linked to greater levels of sleepiness.
Alternative: Satisfy a craving with some nuts or seeds, or make your own crisps using kale, carrots or turnips.
10. Fizzy drinks - These contain a lot of sugar (or artificial sweeteners if it's diet). Drinking these drinks regularly can have a negative effect on brain function and thinking processes.
Alternative: Choose fizzy water and add fresh fruit slices.
11. Fried foods - This one's a no-brainer, fried foods such as burger and chips, are loaded with oil and trans fats. While healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado can help our energy, these unhealthy fats clog arteries and can slow us down.
Alternative: If you go out for lunch to eat, choose a sandwich or salad instead and try not avoid that deep-fat fryer.
12. Water - Not drinking enough H2O can leave us feeling groggy and drowsy. Water is incredibly important, not only to help us stay hydrated, but to flush out toxins and keep our energy levels up.
Alternative: Invest in a big water bottle to keep at your desk to stay hydrated.