Fitness Article : The Ultimate Diet (Energy and Happiness) Part I

Its very intuitive, that you are what you eat. And recently studies have proven that foods affect our mood as well. The study which was done by in 1983 which involved 184 adults that either consumed a protein-rich or carbohydrate-rich meal. After two hours, their mood and performance were tested.

The effects of the meal differed across gender and age. For example, females reported greater sleepiness after a carbohydrate meal whereas males reported greater calmness. In addition, older participants (40 years or older) showed a decline in tests of sustained selective attention after a carbohydrate-rich lunch.

Are you getting enough energy or are you going to crash and burn ?

Food affects our energy levels

Food mainly affects our mood and energy levels as well. Our sleep cycle (circadian rhythms) influence our energy levels and memory. Most mammals are diurnal, however we show clear preferences for energy levels during certain times of the day according to preference, this is affected by food choice. “Early birds” feel most productive the first part of the day and their food choices become particularly important during lunch and throughout the afternoon. “Night Owls” feel most energetic later in the day and should pay attention to their breakfast choices as they can increase or decrease energy levels and influence memory.

An important factor to consider is also the glycemic index as well, which is how quickly the food gets transferred to energy. This is on a scale of 1-100, at while the higher the scale the faster it gets absorbed by the body. Pure glucose has a glycemic index of 100 which means it immediately can be used as a source of energy for the body. Eat too much of foods with high glycemic index and experts at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance , or DBSA, note rapid changes in blood sugar often cause elevations in mood and energy levels. These elevations tend to be in short bursts of of time, and are followed by a crash which produces lower mood and loss of energy. And all mothers can attest to that after their kid goes crazy then cranky after a candy bar.

Food Affects our Moods

There are many foods that affect moods of such a few are interesting

Chocolate is like Cannabis

Chocolates contains a number of potentially psychoactive chemicals which stimulate the brain in the same way as certain drugs (like cannabis) does.  Nevertheless, these substances are present in chocolate in very low concentrations. However, chocolate can serve as a powerful mood enhancer amd as an ultimate comfort food, which might explain why it is the food of choice for people when they are unhappy. Bas thing is that it causes a insulin crash that leaves you feeling fatter and worse.

Caffeine the most socially acceptable “drug” or stimulant. Coffee is regarded as a  stimulant (in the same class of amphetamines). They enhance alertness, vigilance, and reaction time but also increases anxiety and nervousness. Caffeine helps in promoting alertness, memory and is a strong antioxidant but has a host of effects including anxiety, loss of done density and rapid heart rate increases. (Top 15 effects of Coffee)

Omega 3 Fatty Acids influences mood, behaviour and personality. According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, low levels of  omega-3 fatty acids are linked to depression, pessimism and impulsivity. They can also play a role in major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse and attention deficit disorder.

Iron and Folic Acid – Iron deficiency as a result of anaemia can result in depressed mood, lethargy and problems with attention and decreased ability to exercise. A low iron status is most common among menstruating women , children, vegetarians, and people who follow a diet.


7 responses to “Fitness Article : The Ultimate Diet (Energy and Happiness) Part I

  1. I like your blog. Informative and cool. Plus i’ve been reading a lot about the glycemic index lately

  2. I like your blog. I’ve been reading about the glycemic index a lot lately. Informative and cool.

    • Thanks ! I think there alot more to glycemic index, and the combinations of foods as well as the energy levels they give. I guess why some people have more energy than others is more food and attitude also. Thank you for your kind comments . 🙂

  3. Great post! I look forward to Part II. I can personally attest to all of your findings; especially, the spikes in blood sugar and its effect on mood.

    • Hey thanks. I guess it explain why we feel tired mostly at 3pm and get sluggish at certain times of the day. I am experimenting with brown rice and high fibre grains and find that they dun give you the 3am slowdown that most fast food (white rice and white bread ) does. Will definately research and post more on Part II. Thanks again for the encouragement ! @Grins@

  4. Oh yeah. You hit the big ones here, coffee, chocolate, glycemic index. I have reactive hypoglycemia, so I have to be very careful about eating high-glycemic foods. I have found that plain, dark chocolate doesn’t spike my blood sugar like other chocolates and just a bite or two will calm any cravings, so that’s what I try to do. As for coffee, well…I love coffee. It actually has a calming effect on my system. I suspect it has something to do with my ADD, but I don’t know. Everybody’s different, though. Great post. I can’t wait to read the second part!

    • Its always sane to indulge i think. And i think strict diets dont really work, so i look forward to junk days as well. Thanks for being encouraging. 🙂

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