How diet plays a role in energy levels

Are you feeling sluggish and lacking energy throughout the day? Are you constantly wishing you could take a nap or working out ways not to go to the gym?

This lack of energy could be tied to the food you’re putting into your body and how much of it you are eating. Here are some steps you can take to fill up your body’s energy tank.

Step 1: Make sure you’re eating enough

The recommended caloric intake for women is around 1,600–2,400 calories per day and for men, it’s around 2,200–3,000 calories per day. This is not set in stone since everybody has different caloric needs and activity levels, but this is a good baseline.

That energy is used in three different ways: 10% of the energy goes toward digestion, 20% goes toward physical activity and 70% goes toward basic functions. Be careful though, because the excess energy we don’t use is stored as fat in our cells. This is especially dangerous if we continue to consume more calories than we exert each day.

But, missing a meal or not eating enough food in one day can result in side effects like dizziness, brain fog, and, you guessed it, low energy. Not eating enough takes a toll on our blood sugar levels as well, making them drop and causing us to feel light-headed and unable to focus.

Step 2: Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet

In a lot of cases, the more calories you take in, the more energy your body will have. But, we shouldn’t pay attention to just the calorie count because eating a lot of unhealthy food high in sodium, trans fat, and calories can lead to you feeling sluggish as well. It’s all about finding balance in your diet.

This is not to say that you can’t have pizza or cookies every once in a while. Still, it’s important to try and fill your plate with the right amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats for most meals. This will help your body get fast-acting energy with the carbs, lasting energy with the protein and nutrient absorption with fats.

All of these components will help you feel energetic not only when you eat the meal, but for hours after you eat as well. And to help you fill in the gaps throughout the day, eat snacks that combine protein and carbs like apples and peanut butter or yogurt and nuts.

Step 3: Make sure you’re drinking enough water

You can eat all of the healthy food you want, but if you’re not hydrating correctly, then you won’t be able to reap the benefits of those healthy meals. Not drinking enough water can result in lethargy, irritability, and even nausea. Mild dehydration can make you feel tired and drained of energy, so make sure to keep your water bottle full and next to you at all times.

The recommended amount of fluids you should be drinking per day according to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.

You also shouldn’t wait for the feeling of thirst to set in before you drink water. Sip on a water bottle throughout the day and try to avoid drinking too many caffeinated and sugary drinks. These types of drinks will give you the quick energy boost you’re looking for, yet it will cause a major sugar crash and leave you feeling even more tired than before. Instead, try one of the delicious Vitapod pods to fill you with nutrients and minerals with zero sugar.

As long as you follow these steps and pay attention to your body, you will be well on your way to feeling energetic for the entire day.

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