Expert advice

Linda Cumines Nutritionist

Linda Cumines is an accredited practising dietitian nutritionist who has held positions at Sydney's Lidcombe Hospital under the late Victor Chang. ASK ME A QUESTION

Increase energy levels

Thursday, April 11, 2002
Good protein sources include beans and legumes like Soya beans, low fat dairy, lean meat, chicken and fish.

Is there any specific food or diet that I can get to improve my energy levels? I have exercised regularly (until recently) for many years and never seemed to have any energy at all. Eating well doesn't make an awful lot of difference. Could there be something I'm eating that is slowing me down?

Carbohydrates of higher Glycaemic Index (GI) levels will give a quick boost to your energy levels but beware — the energy peak won't last long — say 30-60 minutes. Foods that fall into this category include potatoes, dates, white bread and glucose. However, sooner or later, all the carbohydrates provided by these type of foods will be used by the body to make glucose and hence give the muscles energy.

Foods with a lower GI raise your blood sugar levels less but are better for prolonged energy and limit the effect some people get of feeling tired after eating a meal. Low GI foods include wholegrain breads, basmati rice, apples, grapes, peaches, yoghurts and legumes.

Also try to ensure you eat adequate protein, which is important for repair and maintenance in the body. Good protein sources include beans and legumes like Soya beans, low fat dairy, lean meat, chicken and fish.

You should also think about how and when you eat. Eat before you get the symptoms of lethargy, tiredness or hunger. Eat earlier meals and have little snacks of lower GI or protein sources and you should start to feel better.

Milk or no milk? Sugar cravings Mineral water or tap water? High iron levels

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