Caring for the Caregiver: Don’t reach for the sugar

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Caregivers fatigue is a common occurrence. Caregivers sometimes don’t get enough quality sleep because they may be “on call” 24-7. Unfortunately, when we are tired, we tend to reach for a cup of sweetened coffee, a soda or a candy bar, looking for that temporary energy lift. However, once the lift wears off, our energy levels drop and we may feel more tired than before.

Consumption of simple carbohydrates like sugar rather than complex carbohydrates like whole grain products or whole fruit is a major culprit behind those roller-coaster energy rides. Additionally, scientists have discovered that too much sugar in our diets contributes to chronic inflammation, a common underlying factor of many conditions and diseases including obesity, heart disease, arthritis, allergies, diabetes, some cancers, and more.

Sugar facts

  • 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. Check the nutritional facts on all the foods and drinks you consume.
  • Daily Sugar Recommendations range from 6 teaspoons a day for women to 10 teaspoons a day for men.
  • 1-12 oz can of regular soda has about 40 grams of sugar which is the equivalent of 10 teaspoons.
  • Sweetened Teas, Lemonade, Fruit Punch, and Power Drinks all contain high levels of sugar. Drink
    Water or Unsweetened Tea instead.
  • Whole fruit is much better for you than juice because the fiber found in fruit slows down the absorption of sugar and helps to maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Sugar is found in many foods including milk, cereal, condiments, snack foods, and more. Read the labels on all food to make an informed choice.

Natural Energy Boosters

  • Deep Breathing. Take 5 deep breaths, making your exhale longer than your inhale.
  • Sunshine. Spend a few minutes outdoor soaking up the sun.
  • Drink water. Often we feel tired when we are dehydrated.
  • Exercise, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  • Eat an apple. Whole fruit is a great energy booster.


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