Energy boosters – Do they work?

November 12, 2012

Energy boosters – Do they work?

There are many different foods and drinks said to be energy boosters. Those in need of a boost can choose their favourite option and then feel the benefits, or maybe not. Many energy booster ideas on the market would not withstand any form of research into their energy boosting properties. Some of the more common options include ‘miracle’ or super foods, energy drinks, detoxification and vitamin supplements.

Superfoods

Due to lack of research the idea of superfood is still a marketing notion. No one can actually define superfood, no one can explain why it works in a manner that will convince a scientific mind, and yet many examples that people give of superfoods are normal healthy foods. For example celery, beetroot and broccoli have all been labelled superfoods in recent times. The idea that eating just one type of food to the exclusion of all other foods in a healthy balanced diet does not seem reasonable.

In Europe the EU has banned the word superfood on any packaging until proper research has been carried out. Because it really is a case of comparing apples to oranges any claims made are almost impossible to prove, or from the marketing perspective, disprove.

The only way to feel energetic and lively is through healthy eating of a range of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish amongst others. The idea that eating lots of one type of food will never be successful as your body cannot get all the nutrients it requires from one food source.

Energy drinks

Energy drinks are now very popular for those looking for a boost of energy. In one sense these do work. Because the drink is loaded with caffeine it will act as a stimulant. That has been researched and accepted as true. However the effects are short term and the drink is also full of sugar which has all the known issues of weight gain and tooth decay. They have also been known to cause blood pressure to increase whilst making you feel restless or irritable.

If you feel that you need a boost then drink water to ensure that you are not becoming dehydrated and then eat a banana or some other small piece of fruit.

Detoxification

Detoxification , or more commonly detox is a method of removing the toxins from our bodies which will then cause our body to be full of energy. But if you dig a bit deeper and ask anyone with a little medical knowledge they will tell that the kidneys remove the toxins from the body and most people know soon enough if they are not working properly. So if it’s really toxic the kidneys remove it, that must mean that the only substances left behind the body can deal with.

If only life was that simple. Try telling that to an advocate of detox. They will then explain how your body really does need that colonic irrigation or how a week eating raw vegetables is the answer. Perhaps ten days eating fruit and drinking fruit juice will detoxify your body. The British Dietetic Association does not think so, they refute any notion of detoxification and say that there are no pills, potions or diets that can remove the toxins in your body, if there really are any. It is also doubtful if these diets would leave you feeling more refreshed and full of energy.

There may be a psychological effect whereby people believe it works so they do feel better but whatever was inside the body is still there. The real answer is living a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet.

For the vast majority of people, a healthy, balanced diet based on starchy carbohydrates (wholegrain where possible), with lots of fruits and vegetables, some milk, dairy, meat or other source of lean sources of protein, is a better way to protect your health. Your balanced diet must contain a range of foods to guarantee you get the all of the nutrients your body requires. Other good advice would include drink alcohol in moderation and avoid fatty foods, especially saturated fat. High sugar foods should also be avoided.

Vitamin Supplements

Many people swear by their multivitamin supplements but if your diet is healthy and balanced you will get all the minerals and vitamins your body needs. Generally the human body works better when it gets its vitamins from food rather than pills or capsules. If you have enough vitamins and minerals in your body taking more is not going to make you feel less tired or more energetic.

We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us because they do not have a lot of fat, usually none, and they contain minerals and vitamins. But they also have fibre and other nutrients to help your body function better. Before going on to a vitamin supplement try adding some more fruit and vegetables to your diet first.

There are some groups of people that the Department of Health recommends certain supplements for. For example pregnant women should take folic acid and breastfeeding mothers should take vitamin D and some younger children from around 2 to 5 years may need a supplement if they are very fussy eaters.

Everyone’s aim should be to eat a healthy balanced diet this is the only sure way to ensure that you body gets all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins it needs in the correct quantities.

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