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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Lori

Our bodies take glucose from our diets and oxygen from breathing to make the energy to fuel our brains and muscles. Our perceived level of energy relates to our mood, general happiness, and productivity.

How Diet Affects Energy   

After being on a plant-based diet for five and a half months in a study looking at how an inflammation-reducing diet could affect persons with depression, a group of overweight or diabetic individuals reported increased energy, along with improved digestion, better sleep, better work productivity, and an increase in physical functioning, general health, vitality, and mental health.

In a study treating women’s painful menstrual periods with a vegan diet, the women not only had fewer cramps, but lost weight and experienced increased energy, better digestion, and better sleep.

Raisins worked as well as commercial energy supplements in a study looking at replacing glycogen stores—the body’s source of quick energy—during athletic performance.

Among other things, caffeine increases energy availability and expenditure, and decreases fatigue and the sense of effort associated with physical activity.

Beets can enhance energy production at the subcellular level and thereby improve athletic performance. Human energy production (mitochondrial efficiency) was improved by consuming a beet-juice beveragebeet juice.

Energy and Fatty, Sugary Foods

Fatty and sugary foods are energy-dense foods, but eating a calorie-dense diet leads to a numbing of the dopamine response, making it harder to feel satisfied without increasing our consumption.

 

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