How can food intake affect energy/fitness levels?
First, what and when you eat greatly affects your energy level. Meals that are too high in refined carbohydrates and lacking in protein may lead to a quick rise in blood sugar, followed by an equally rapid drop that can make you feel less energetic after just an hour or two. On the other hand, a well-balanced meal with healthy carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables and whole grains – coupled with a good source of protein (fish, poultry, egg whites, lean meats, nonfat dairy products and protein powders) will not only help to keep blood sugar on a more even keel, but will keep you mentally alert, too. Skipping meals will leave your energy flagging, too. Since food fuels all activity – both physical and mental – you’ll have a hard time functioning if your tank is empty. If you skip a meal, you’ll likely be tempted to grab the quickest food available – which is typically less nutritious fare. Plan to keep healthy snacks around – fruits, yogurt and soy nuts for example – and if you lack ti