We caught up with Nutritional Therapist and founder of Dynabites Rosie Millen to talk energy control and some simple tips for keeping you energised and healthy this summer.
Much of our energy control is to do with our blood sugar! Your body can only deal with one to two teaspoons of glucose in the blood at any one time. Every time we eat the levels of sugar in our blood rises. This triggers the release of a hormone called insulin who’s role it is to regulate blood sugar levels by taking sugar out of the blood and into the cells.
The more sugary the food the higher the blood sugar level will rise. So, if, for example, you drank a bottle of Lucozade, (which has 21 teaspoons of sugar) the sugar in the blood would rise steeply. The problem with rapidly rising sugar levels is that they will come down at an equal speed. The initial energy rush that the sugar will give you will be followed by an energy slump as the sugar levels come crashing down which is when we start to experience many physical and mental symptoms such as dizziness, faintness, headaches, nausea, blurred vision, sweating, palpitations, cravings and irritability. This happens about an hour after the sugary or refined food has been eaten. This can also happen when we skip meals.
The usual response is to reach for more sweet foods or stimulants such as tea, coffee and chocolate to boost energy levels. However this only raises blood sugar levels again which adds to the roller coaster of high and low blood sugar levels.
How can you tell if blood sugar balance is the problem?
-Get tired & irritable
-Feel more stressed
-Crave sugar/sweet foods, coffee, chocolate, tea, cigarettes
-Yawn a lot
-Have mood swings regularly
-Cannot go long without eating
-Become less productive at work
-Poor concentration and memory
-Drink tea, coffee or smoke during the day
-Weakness and fainting
Balancing your blood sugar levels is key to maintaining your energy levels. If you can keep blood sugar levels on an even keel throughout the day you are more likely to have better energy levels.
Top tips for balancing blood sugar levels (and having loads of energy)
1. Eat little and often. Avoid large meals and don’t skip meals!! Especially not breakfast (4-5 times per day = 3 meals and 1-2 snacks)
2. Eat protein at every meal and snack – especially breakfast.
3. Eat low sugar (low GI) foods such as wholegrains every day as apposed to refined foods such as white bread, cakes, biscuits etc
4. Eat fresh vegetables at least twice daily
5. Eat fresh fruit twice daily (but not all day)
6. Reduce or avoid cigarettes, coffee & tea, & drink water during the day
7. Eat slowly, not quickly
8. Avoid all processed veg fat (trans fats) & fried food
9. Exercise for 30 mins daily (e.g. brisk walking, yoga or pilates)
10. Speak to your nutritionist about taking effective supplements for you needs.
Find our more about Rosie at www.missnutritionist.com