Eat for Energy

Eat for Energy

Regular exercise has been found to ease many types of pain, including arthritis, back, and joint pain. But it can be hard to exercise when you're in pain, especially if you don't eat well. Studies show that what you eat can boost or sap your energy.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing

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Categories: Food

Duration

7

Max Your Morning

To get the energy to face your day and fit in exercise to boot, you need to start it off right with a healthy breakfast. Studies show that missing breakfast may lead to a higher weight, increase hunger later in the day and result in poor blood sugar control, which can sap energy. Should you front-load carbs or protein for a high-alert day? Your best option is to choose a combo of lean protein and healthy carbs, like Greek yogurt with fruit and granola mixed in or a veggie omelet with whole wheat toast.

Prompt: Skipping breakfast?

CTA: Don't skip the morning meal.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing

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Categories: Food

Water Yes, Alcohol No

Even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Make sure you're getting plenty of fluids throughout the day by having water handy and drinking to quench your thirst. But watch that glass of wine. Although moderate alcohol consumption --  1 drink for women, two for men -- is probably okay, remember that alcohol is a diuretic and dehydrates you . Don't like water? Add a wedge of fresh lemon or lime to add flavor.

Prompt: What to drink?

CTA: Hydrate with the right fluids.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing

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Categories: Food

Avoid Anemia

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, and it's a big contributor to fatigue. Women of childbearing age are particularly at risk. Prevent the effects of anemia by eating plenty of iron-rich animal foods such as beef, turkey, chicken and tuna. Iron-fortified ready to eat cereals, lentils, beans, tofu and green, leafy veggies are also good, but your body more easily absorbs the iron in meat. To increase the absorption of iron in plant foods, include a source of vitamin C, for example, citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, or tomatoes. If you're a vegetarian, talk to your doctor about optimal iron levels and iron-rich substitutes.

Prompt: Increase your iron.

CTA: Add iron-rich foods to your diet.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing

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Categories: Food

Don't Slash Carbs

Low-carb diets make lots of weight loss promises, but they don't mention how important carbohydrates are to your energy level, espeically during exercise. Studies have found that carb-slashing diets can leave you more prone to fatigue and less eager to be active. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends healthy carbohydrates to keep active people fueled during exercise. A fully balanced diet -- not one that omits any important nutrients -- is an essential source of sustained energy. Need help creating a healthy nutrition plan? Talk with a registered dietitian.

Prompt: A carb boost?

CTA: Low-carb diets can drain your tank.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing

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Categories: Food

Bone-Friendly Foods

Calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients when it comes to keeping your bones healthy and strong. And strong bones help support your body during physical activity. Some calcium-rich foods include milk, cheese, yogurt, fortified orange juice, and sardines. Also reach for foods that contain vitamin D, such as egg yolks, fatty fish, liver, and fortified milk. But because so few foods contain vitamin D, ask your doctor if supplementation might be right for you. A dietitian can also provide suggestions on diet and supplements for the best bone health.

Prompt: Calcium and vitamin D.

CTA: Bone up on calcium and vitamin D.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia

Symptoms: aching, lower back pain, pain when standing, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, difficulty standing up, difficulty sitting down, difficulty walking, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, pain when standing

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Food

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 26, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Iron Disorders Institute: "Iron Deficiency Anemia."

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2003.

Holt, S. International Journal of Food Science sand Nutrition, January 1999.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003.

Clemson Cooperative Extension: "Fluid Needs."

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