These plant-based foods can help combat weariness if you’re feeling exhausted.
Unless you possess superhuman abilities, your energy levels will fluctuate throughout the day. However, it is aggravating when exhaustion strikes and there are still tasks to complete. There are numerous causes of fatigue, ranging from the obvious lack of sleep caused by late-night binge-watching to insufficient water intake.
In our always-connected society, it is all too simple to burn the candle at both ends, which is not a pleasant experience for anyone. And when this occurs, you need assistance.
However, this does not necessitate downing glasses of coffee or reaching for the candy bowl. There are superior meals that provide a natural energy boost.
Sugar and caffeine will provide you with a short-lived boost, which is frequently followed by a crash. Therefore, if you want prolonged energy, seek for foods with complex carbohydrates (which typically contain fiber) and protein.
We’ve compiled a list of foods and beverages that will help you overcome exhaustion, as well as those that may hinder your efforts to become energized.
If you need assistance overcoming morning lethargy and noon fatigue, continue reading to learn about vegan meals that can provide an energy boost.
Can food assist with fatigue?
Almost all foods contain calories, which are a unit of energy. The calories obtained from meals provide the body with the energy necessary for survival.
When you consume food or liquid, your body converts calories into energy via the metabolic process. This energy is then either used immediately or stored for later use, depending on the body’s current needs.
Calories offer you the energy to walk and run and allow your body to perform critical tasks such as protein metabolism, blood circulation, and respiration. This implies that zero-calorie foods, such as shirataki noodles, give a negligible amount of energy.
So, what foods provide energy? Out of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat), carbohydrates come out on top. There are either basic or complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates consist of sugar, while complex carbs consist of fiber and starch. Complexity is what you desire. It may feel like eating a handful of candies will make you feel more alert and energized, but research indicates that it is really related with increased weariness.
The FDA states that most people require 2,000 calories per day. However, your needs may be more or lower according on your age, height, weight, gender, and degree of activity.
Other variables influencing your energy levels
Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and author of the book Recipe for Survival, explains to VegNews that food and drink aren’t the only things that influence your energy levels.
“The amount of sleep you’ve gotten, your diet, whether or not you’ve exercised, potentially the time of your meals, and possibly the timing of whether or not you’ve consumed caffeinated beverages”
Also essential is staying hydrated. Even though water contains no calories, staying hydrated can help prevent fatigue. In the opposite case, dehydration might cause you to feel lethargic, irritated, and unfocused. Why?
“Hydration is crucial for combating weariness, and it may be related to blood pressure and oxygen levels. “If you are dehydrated, your blood volume and, consequently, your blood pressure decline, which might cause fatigue,” explains Hunnes.
What about an espresso?
Coffee, tea, matcha, yerba mate, caffeinated sodas, guarana, and other caffeine-containing beverages are often the first thing that individuals consume when they awaken in the morning.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and reaches its peak within 30 minutes to one hour. When it enters the brain, it inhibits adenosine, a substance that induces a greater demand for sleep. Therefore, caffeine use increases sensations of alertness and vitality. Even research indicates that coffee can reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and suicide.
However, there are some drawbacks. “Caffeine can assist with fatigue, but if you consume it too late in the day, it can have the opposite effect and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, which will actually make you more fatigued in the long term,” explains Hunnes.
However, some individuals may develop agitation or anxiety after consuming coffee. You should also be aware that a strong cup of coffee cannot remedy a lack of sleep; research indicates that after five hours of sleep, caffeine loses its effectiveness.
Additionally, drinking coffee too soon after waking up is undesirable. Most experts believe that if you get up at 6 a.m., you should wait until 10 a.m., when your cortisol levels are at their lowest, to consume caffeine.
Plant-based diets that combat fatigue
Despite the aforementioned, certain vegan foods can help prevent drowsiness.
“The majority of the foods listed below are rich in vitamins and minerals, which aid in maintaining your metabolic rate,” adds Hutnes. They are also anti-inflammatory, and since inflammation may sometimes produce weariness, consuming anti-inflammatory foods might help combat this condition.
Though you may initially consider food for energy, dehydration may be the true cause of your lethargy.
The next time you feel exhausted, try guzzling plain water. Water transports vital, energetic nutrients to your cells, so when you don’t consume enough of it, you may feel depleted.
In addition, dehydration can cause headaches, impair attention, and alter your mood, and who needs that?
2. Fresh produce and fruits
Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbs, which provide prolonged energy to the body. Bananas are one of the most energizing fruits you can consume. A study published in the journal PLoS One discovered that eating a banana before a long bicycle ride improves performance and endurance exactly as effectively as consuming a carbohydrate drink.
Apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, avocados, and oranges are more fruits that can give you an energy boost.
“They are also incredibly hydrating, as fresh fruits and vegetables contain a great deal of water, which helps fight fatigue,” Hunnes explains.
Certain vegetables can combat weariness, but only certain types. Due to their high concentration of complex carbs, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn are effective energy sources. Carrots, beets, and other varieties of winter squash have less starch than tubers, but they can still provide some energy. However, vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, but they will not fuel your engine.
3. Complete grains
Avoid refined grains such as white rice, white bread, and white pasta and replace them with whole grains. These are rich in complex carbs and dietary fiber, particularly oats, which your body digests and absorbs slowly. For a breakfast that will provide you with lasting energy throughout the day, try this Apple Pie Oatmeal prepared in a slow cooker and topped with nuts and fresh fruit.
4. Beans and lentils
Legumes, such as lentils and beans, are an excellent source of complex carbs, protein, fiber, magnesium, and iron. Because your body digests food slowly throughout the day, the latter two nutrients are particularly effective at supplying energy. Similarly, legumes are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is typically a sign for a number of chronic problems, such as heart disease, therefore lentils and beans offer a wide range of health advantages in addition to boosting your energy.
5. Seeds and Nuts
Walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds, among others, are excellent providers of protein, fiber, fat, calories, and vitamins and minerals that provide energy.
If you are suffering persistent weariness, it may be a sign of an underlying health condition, and you should consult a physician.