This may come as a surprise to many of you. The heavy consumption of energy drinks is sending more people to the ER than ever. Would you believe a lot of the visits are men over 40 years of age? So it is not just the young people who need to understand that too many energy drinks do more harm than good. Boomers, folk over 50, are downing energy drinks just to make it to bedtime. There are many things you can do to increase your energy levels without depending on heavy consumption of energy drinks. Often the dumping of massive amounts of caffeine into our system increased blood pressure and heart rate and other symptoms that can be mistaken for a heart attack.
There are simple ways to tackle energy sappers that are healthier than depending on energy drinks all the time. Michael F. Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic and author of several books says a huge dinner sends blood to the digestive tract and away from muscles and other areas that need it for energy. He tells, “Over time, those big meals probably cause damage to mitochondria, the cell’s’ energy factories”. The sugar dump from a big plate of food at the dinner produces more cell-damaging free radicals than our natural antioxidant defenses can handle.
For more energy eat small snacks throughout the day. Elizabeth Ward, RD, and author of several nutrition books says, “Every snack should have complex carbs plus protein”. So if you eat pretzels for a snack add a little peanut butter or cottage cheese.
Are you aware that your gut is home to good and bad bacteria? Dr.Roizen says, “You eat steak, you change gut bacteria to those that like steak”. Too many bad “bugs” can lead to inflammation that saps energy. Taking a probiotic pill every day may help repopulate the gut with “good” bacteria.
Some people over 50 have trouble absorbing nutrients, such as B12, from natural sources. “It’s recommended that you get the majority of nutrients in fortified foods or as dietary supplements,” says Ward. Some people find it helpful to take half a multivitamin in the morning and half at night. This may keep the level in your body steady as you lose soluble vitamins in 12 to 16 hours.
The team at Weigh to Wellness is more than willing to discuss with you any concerns you may have about your energy levels. For example, some diuretics can deplete potassium in your body and that can lead to an energy slump. You may need to discuss changes in your medication with your doctor. Do not stop or change your medications before discussing it with your healthcare team.
Elizabeth Ward says “I find people, especially women, are short on their protein. They save it up for dinner.” It is better for your energy level to have protein at every meal and snack. Eating 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal gives your body a steady flow of amino acids. Amino acids are needed to build neurotransmitters, that help you feel more energetic and in a good mood.
Contact the team at Weigh to Wellness to find out healthy ways to increase your energy levels. Call them at 205-994-2393 or check them out at weightowellnessllc.com.