What’s Draining Your Energy?

When we’re young, it feels like we have unlimited energy. Now, as I’ve gotten older, I can get tired just watching kids play at a park!

Our energy, unfortunately, does have limits, and it can wane as you age. Luckily, you don’t have to go gracefully into the night. If you find yourself wishing you had more energy most of the time, check to see if an energy drainer is at play in your life.

The sugar trap

As noted by WebMD, sugar is great for quick energy, but it tends to take more than it gives, leaving you drained pretty soon after you consume it (https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/whats-zapping-your-energy). Try to plan out snacks for the day ahead of time so you’re not so tempted to grab a candy bar out of the vending machine. Aim for snacks with some protein and a complex carb to keep you full and energized, such as low-fat cheese with whole grain crackers or a nonfat, plain yogurt with fruit mixed in.

The caffeine crutch

Like sugar, caffeine can leave you tired and edgy. It can also impact your sleep, and you need quality sleep if you’re going to have any energy the next day. If you discover that too much caffeine is keeping you up at night or impacting your sleep quality, try aiming for decaf beverages instead.

The exercise dilemma

Working out can actually ding your energy in two ways: lack of energy from not exercising enough or exercising too much. Although not working out at all is an obvious energy zap, the concept of too many sessions being an energy drain is often a surprise to people. This happens because you delete your reserves of energy and break down your muscle when you work out too much, which leads to weakness over time.

The right amount of exercise for you largely depends on your goals and current fitness state. If you are not sure what your targets should be, work with a fitness trainer to develop a routine that’s right for your body.

The dehydration blues

A lot of people simply don’t drink enough water, but you need water to keep tissues hydrated, flush toxins out and keep your energy levels up. If plain water simply isn’t your thing, try adding some fruit or a sprig of mint to it for some flavor. You can even get infusion pitchers meant for this purpose so you can have water flavored in advance and at the ready when you need it.

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