Chances are you’ve heard this before: You eat a big, hearty meal that makes you feel sluggish for the rest of the day. You’ll see this often happen during the holidays, especially during Thanksgiving. But did you know that there are some foods you might eat in your normal routine that would make you feel sluggish for reasons other than eating a lot of them?
We asked our experienced dieticians to name their choices for the worst foods that will make you feel sluggish. Read on to find out what they are and for more information on ways to keep yourself energetic, here are 30 best foods that give you energy throughout the day, according to experts.
Soda is an easy drink to take from the refrigerator or when you’re drinking from a fountain. It is also a common beverage to drink when it is a hot day and you need something refreshing. However, it’s likely high in added sugar, which won’t keep you happy all day.
“Sugary drinks such as sodas cause an immediate rise in blood sugar levels, followed by a rapid drop,” says medical committee expert Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Complete, Finally Subtle And The Portion Plan. “These blood sugar fluctuations can affect your energy levels. Pure sugar like soda is also associated with inflammation that can lead to fatigue.”
Instead, Young recommends trying substituting water or, if you like fizzy drink, sparkling water.
Similar to soda, candy can be high in sugar and cause many of those same effects.
“This may be followed by a sugar crash shortly thereafter, which ultimately makes people feel lazy and generally not that big,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT and author of The recipe book of the mother’s first pregnancy, The recipe book for a healthy pregnancy with 7 ingredientsAnd Feeding male fertility
According to Manaker, high sugar consumption inhibits the production of Orexin, a chemical in the brain that stimulates the feeling of being awake. Therefore, the more sugar you eat, the more sleepy you will feel. It contradicts the perceived goal of actually keeping you excited.
Refined grains are enriched grains, grains in which some of the nutrients lost during processing are replaced. Cereal products consisting of cereals or cereal flours have been significantly modified with respect to their natural composition.
According to the Mayo Clinic, whole grains act as a better source of fiber and other important nutrients, such as B vitamins, iron, folic acid, selenium, potassium and magnesium.
“Refined grains like white bread and white pasta can contribute to low energy levels,” says Young. “They are digested quickly, leading to a spike (and then a rapid drop) in blood sugar levels. When blood sugar eventually goes down, energy levels are depleted.”
Here are the dangerous side effects of eating white bread.
Fried chicken is packed with flavor, a nice crunchy texture, and all around gives you a comfortable food feeling when you eat it. However, similar to other deep-fried foods, with all the fat and other flavor additives, it’s not exactly at the top of a healthy list.
“While this dish is sure to be tasty, eating it can make people feel lazy after the meal is enjoyed,” says Manaker. “Fried foods, such as fried chicken, can be difficult to digest and tend to be more of a ‘heavy’ food. The combination of fat and salt used to prepare this dish can make a person feel heavy and not feel super lively.”