Energy Draining Foods

”Man with energy level meter"
Photo by graficallyminded –

It has been a widespread perception that all foods help in increasing our energy levels, which in turn aids our bodies in performing our daily activities more efficiently. But that is not the case in today’s world.

Have you ever felt lethargic after devouring certain foods and imbibing certain drinks? If yes, this languid feeling is an indication that your energy levels have dipped considerably following the ingestion.  There are certain foods and drinks that can lead to this feeling.

Today, with the commercial food establishments vying towards creating more and more processed foods, we must be vigilant in selecting the right foods that will effectively aid in strengthening our metabolisms and energy levels. Let’s take a look at what foods we should avoid:

Processed Grains

Variety of whole grains
Variety of Grains

We all know the bad effects of that processed grains have on weight and the digestive system. But the negative effects don’t end here. These grains, highly enriched with carbohydrates, are also responsible for draining the stamina out of our systems. Even though this food is packed with energy in the form of high caloric content, in actuality, the processing in the body results in contrary results.  

There are two important factors to which bread, rice and pasta made of processed grains are energy drainers.  

They Quickly Raise the Blood Sugar Level

Processed grains lack the outer fibrous layer called bran. The insufficient amount of fiber in the processed flour makes them easily digestible and consequently, the glucose content is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.

This happens in a very short time window and raises the sugar levels in the blood. To regulate this and to revert the glucose levels back to their healthy state, insulin is secreted from the liver cells. All this activity needs energy and as a result, the person may feel drowsy once the blood sugar gets in its normal range.  

Make sure you look for the label that confirms the grains inside the food item contains the bran and germ nutrients required for healthy digestion, sufficient antioxidants and energy level support.

Devoid of Nutrients Help in Increasing Energy Levels

The germ of a grain is also removed during processing. It contains several beneficial micronutrients that act as catalyzing elements in the physiological reactions to yield energy. For instance, Vitamin B plays an integral role in harnessing energy in the body but this vital nutrient is absent from processed grains because no germ is present in them. Learn more here.

Alcohol-based Drinks

Alcohol-based drinks are usually consumed for their relaxing effects. The concept of sipping wine while having dinner entails that consumption of alcohol helps with better sleep. However, this is a half-truth.  Consumption of alcohol, if it goes beyond a certain level, can make you feel restless and drained throughout the next day.

Alcohol increases the sleeping hours of the body from what is actually healthy and enough. Therefore, getting too much in your system, particularly during night can ruin the following day.  

Food Items with Added Sugars

Added and excessive sugar can be detrimental to human health in many different ways. One of the least known facts about the consumption of foods with added sugar is their draining effects on the energy levels of the body. They affect the energy level the same way that we have discussed in the section of processed grains.

Most of us have a habit of starting off our day with breakfasts containing packaged fruit-based cereals. People think of it as a healthy dietary routine. However, that’s not quite the case. Many of these off-the-shelf cereal products are rich with added sugars in the form of artificial fruit flavors. The amount of fiber present in such products is at an insignificant level. Therefore, these cereals do more harm than good.

Similarly, flavored yogurt and fruit juices are also considered healthy but they drain energy in the same manner as with any food item with added sugar. Sugary foods are also known to increase the craving for more meals. So, consuming all these foods and drinks items that are supposed to be healthy can trap the body into an endless cycle where you would constantly feel drained.

Excessive Consumption of Tea and Coffee

Tea and coffee are the most popular caffeine-based drinks. Caffeine is a psychoactive substance known for its stimulant effects. It also helps in temporary spiking the energy levels in the body. However, over-relying on such drinks to make you feel energized can become counterproductive.

If you are not taking care of your diet and sleep and just trying to maintain your energy levels with coffee and tea, then you are making things difficult for a long run. With excessive administration of caffeine in one form or the other, the body can develop a tolerance for its effects. Therefore, when an individual doesn’t get her coffee on time, she may suddenly start to feel exhausted. Furthermore, over-dependence on caffeine can disrupt your sleep cycle, another factor which also plays a part in draining the energy from the body.

Fried foods

Fried foods particularly the junk ones that we always love to munch on contain attributes that make the digestive system perform its function at a slow pace:

  • They are rich in fats
  • Fiber content is non-existent

This decelerated activity of the stomach gives way to a delay in the delivery of energy usually anticipated after a meal. Fried foods are also devoid of ample amount of micronutrients, which are a precursor of many bodily reactions that produce energy.

Fried junk foods are not just heavy on your pocket and make you fat. They are also not good if you have to indulge in the activities that need energy after consuming the food.

Low-calorie dietary choices

Food items with low caloric values are very popular among people who want to eat well and maintain a healthy BMI. However, getting overboard with such foods can impose negative effects on your body. Depriving your body of the number of calories necessary for everyday activities can have detrimental effects on the hormonal mechanism and metabolism, resulting in drained energy levels.  


Try to stay away from processed grains and look for the label that confirms the food items have the required nutrients. Avoid sugary items whenever possible and stay away from fried food items.

Leave a Reply