We could all do with a little bit more energy...
Carbs are at the forefront when it comes to energy. Our bodies easily convert them into glucose which gives us the energy to function. Research has shown that during a workout, two thirds of our energy comes from carbs.
Fats and carbs work in harmony to ensure that our bodies have energy to rest, work and play. Most of our fat intake should come from foods such as avocado, oily fish and nuts. Fats help to keep blood sugar levels stable and help us avoid that mid-morning energy slump.
Protein is the third line of defence for energy. The body breaks down proteins into amino acids, which in turn manufacture new proteins for maintenance of body tissues and muscles. These amino acids can be used for producing energy, but this only happens when the body is depleted of carbs and fats. Under these circumstances, our bodies will break down tissue and muscle proteins to release amino acids, which we will then use as energy.
Magnesium allows our bodies to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a chemical form of energy which keeps are muscles, heart and kidneys performing at optimal levels. If we have a magnesium deficiency, we’ll feel tired, suffer from cramp and probably have trouble sleeping.
- B Vitamins
Eating foods which contain B vitamins contributes to our energy levels. These vitamins support our metabolisms and help convert food into energy.
Iron also allows our bodies to produce ATP as well as being vital for the production of haemoglobin. It’s haemoglobin that enables our bodies to circulate oxygen. If our iron levels are low, we’ll feel tired, breathless and lacking in energy.
Finally, let’s not forget that we need to keep hydrated in order to maintain our energy levels and brain and bodily functions.