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Increasing Energy Levels while Aging

By September 11, 2015Aging in Place

People age, their bodies lose muscle mass, they lose energy. That’s just how it goes, right? In fact, many steps can be taken to increase energy in later years.

What older people eat, and how often, can determine the amount of energy their body is producing. Sugars in the food we eat are absorbed into the bloodstream and used by the muscles. After a large meal, the blood is flooded with insulin, which creates a temporary energy boost as the sugar is being absorbed. As it is used up, it leaves too little sugar, resulting in an energy crash. This is why eating three big meals a day may not be advisable for older people. Instead, seniors should try eating smaller meals often, creating a constant supply of nutrients rather than a “quick fix.”

Alcohol can also contribute to low energy levels. A glass of wine with dinner may help some fall asleep, but later on it may act as a stimulant; drowsiness may come first but it may also cause one to wake up at 3 am. Omitting alcohol from meal time may be a necessary step in order to maintain a stream of energy throughout the day and head into a full night’s sleep.

Studies have shown that water has the power to enhance performance throughout the day. All but the most demanding activities will be aided by staying hydrated with water. Fatigue can be one of the first signs that the body needs water. Without it, the body cannot carry nutrients to the cells and dispose of waste products efficiently.

When it comes to food, it’s important to be aware of how the sugars from particular meals will actually dissolve into the blood. Doughnuts, corn flakes, or cheese pizza will dissolve their sugars too quickly, leading to an energy boost followed by an energy crash. The sugars in low-fat yogurts, fruits and vegetables are absorbed more slowly, helping to maintain a more even energy level.

Getting older doesn’t have to mean a loss of energy. The willingness to adjust one’s diet can be the best solution. While this seems like a big change, it doesn’t have to be. It can be a series of very small changes that add up to larger benefit, and better for health. Even just one small step helps the body to process the nutrients it needs to stay happy, healthy, and energized.

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