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effects of junk food on energy levels


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#1 gib65

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 09:24 PM

It's common knowledge that eating healthy gives you more energy. So here's a question: does eating junk food reduce your energy even if you've taken your daily requirements of health foods? For example, suppose for a full day, someone ate a balanced quantity of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and lean dairy products. He ate the required daily amount for someone of his type. He's getting enough good quality sleep and he's staying away from drugs and alcohol. If on top of all that he had a fair amount of junk food (say a bag of chips, some pop, a donut, and some buttered popcorn at a movie) would he still have his energy levels up at what they would be if he cut out the junk food or would the junk food push down his energy levels (even though he had the full amount of daily required health food)?
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#2 rktpro

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 02:41 AM

He wouldn't have the energy level up because junk food provides fat which can't be used for immediate energy. But balanced food provide carbohydrates.
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#3 gib65

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:44 PM

He wouldn't have the energy level up because junk food provides fat which can't be used for immediate energy. But balanced food provide carbohydrates.


Some junk foods provide fat, but others provide sugar (eg. candy bar). Are you saying so long as he consumes enough carbs (whether from health foods like fruits or junk foods like candy bars), his energy levels will be up?
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#4 rktpro

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:21 AM

Some junk foods provide fat, but others provide sugar (eg. candy bar). Are you saying so long as he consumes enough carbs (whether from health foods like fruits or junk foods like candy bars), his energy levels will be up?


As long as he takes it in an appropriate amount. Excess of everything is bad.
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#5 gib65

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:59 PM

As long as he takes it in an appropriate amount. Excess of everything is bad.


Hmm. I would assume though that if he is to get most of his carbs from junk food, he'd have to take some vitamin suppliments, no? I mean there's more than just carbs to consider when trying to boost up one's energy, right? I heard B6 and B12 are very important.
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#6 rktpro

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 02:04 AM

Hmm. I would assume though that if he is to get most of his carbs from junk food, he'd have to take some vitamin suppliments, no? I mean there's more than just carbs to consider when trying to boost up one's energy, right? I heard B6 and B12 are very important.


A balance is really important. Not single food can boost you up. That's why they say to take a balanced diet. Proteins are necessary for growth, building new cells and repairing of worn out ones. Vitamins functions as antioxidants, acts as mediators for cell regulation, tissue growth and differentiation. Vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 play key roles in converting homocysteine into methionine, one of the 20 or so building blocks from which the body builds new proteins. Folate also plays a role in it. To keep the metabolism stable, all of the supplements are required.
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#7 John Cuthber

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 01:49 PM

The simple answer is that he would get fat.
If he were doing enough exercise that he burned off the "junk food" calories then they wouldn't be "junk"- he would be in trouble without that extra fat etc.

Being overweight is known to be associated with poor health.
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#8 gib65

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:05 PM

So I'm getting the impression that the answer is that added junk food on top of a complete diet of one's daily requirements would not decrease one's energy levels (not in the short run anyway).

Please note (just so there's no confusion): I'm not talking about how much energy one takes in but how 'energized' one feels. Compare a day of drinking coffee with a day of abstaining. If all else is equal (i.e. same food intake), the coffee drinking day would count as 'high energy' in my thinking even though on both days the body takes in the same amount of energy.
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#9 Mr Skeptic

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 04:29 AM

Part of the problem of junk food relates to insulin levels. The way insulin works is that a spike in sugar input has to be followed by a large increase of insulin. The insulin sets your body to storing sugar, but at some point the excess sugar all gets stored and much of the insulin remains. Then, the blood sugar dips below the normal blood sugar level and you get a sugar crash. Another problem with junk foods is that our body sees energy as a precious resource, and doesn't just dump all the excess sugars and fat but stores them for later... and later... and later...
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#10 amanda more

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Posted 5 July 2011 - 10:42 PM

Part of the problem of junk food relates to insulin levels. The way insulin works is that a spike in sugar input has to be followed by a large increase of insulin. The insulin sets your body to storing sugar, but at some point the excess sugar all gets stored and much of the insulin remains. Then, the blood sugar dips below the normal blood sugar level and you get a sugar crash. Another problem with junk foods is that our body sees energy as a precious resource, and doesn't just dump all the excess sugars and fat but stores them for later... and later... and later...


Energy in this sense is hype from diet plans. Ridiculous. A skateboarding 15 year old boy -needs- 4800 calories a day. Unless you have the $48 a day for each child then he eats calories from any source. He pretty much has to eat some "empty" calories because he -needs- calories. So adding calories keeps him active and growing. If he only has the $7 a day allocated by his parent's foodstamps he will be hungry and nutritionally compromised. Lethargy ensues here yes because he is hungry. If his city has $1 apples with only 100 calories he compromises his calorie needs. There is no data I've found that starving or dieting increases energy- just the opposite. Promotes lassitude.
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#11 Marat

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Posted 6 July 2011 - 04:05 PM

Energy is energy, and it knows nothing about the political correctness principles of the current food wars. Since junk foods typically provide a lot of refined carbohydrates it easily assimilable form, they will give you an energy boost. In contrast, healthy foods like grains, vegetables, and fiber-heavy nutrition are digested very slowly and so don't help current strength levels much at all.

While it is true that a bolus of concentrated carbohydrates can cause a blood sugar spike which then calls up excess insulin, which is in turn not used up as completely or as fast as the sugar is metabolized, thus causing a potential energy dip later from mild and transient hypoglycemia, this is only a clinically significant problem in hypoglycemics. Those with a normal pancreatic beta cell response will be able to smooth out the glucose curve well enough to remain essentially asymptomatic. Keep in mind that marathon runners have sometimes been recorded to have a blood sugar of 40 mg/% (normal is 80 -120) at the end of a race, and yet they were still running just before this test, so the dip from transient and mild hypoglycemia caused by carbohydrate overload in a normal individual will not be all that syptomatic.
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#12 amanda more

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Posted 7 July 2011 - 10:34 PM

Energy is energy, and it knows nothing about the political correctness principles of the current food wars. Since junk foods typically provide a lot of refined carbohydrates it easily assimilable form, they will give you an energy boost. In contrast, healthy foods like grains, vegetables, and fiber-heavy nutrition are digested very slowly and so don't help current strength levels much at all.

While it is true that a bolus of concentrated carbohydrates can cause a blood sugar spike which then calls up excess insulin, which is in turn not used up as completely or as fast as the sugar is metabolized, thus causing a potential energy dip later from mild and transient hypoglycemia, this is only a clinically significant problem in hypoglycemics. Those with a normal pancreatic beta cell response will be able to smooth out the glucose curve well enough to remain essentially asymptomatic. Keep in mind that marathon runners have sometimes been recorded to have a blood sugar of 40 mg/% (normal is 80 -120) at the end of a race, and yet they were still running just before this test, so the dip from transient and mild hypoglycemia caused by carbohydrate overload in a normal individual will not be all that syptomatic.




I suppose the culture has not adjusted its thinking to skew from old middle class majority to the current socioeconomics. The upper class that fell to the middle class can feel higher by believing in the food wars. Health scientists refuse to acknowledge the number one risk factor for an early death in the USA. test question: Besides gender what is the biggest risk factor for an early death?

Edited by amanda more, 7 July 2011 - 10:35 PM.

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#13 fiedel

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:06 AM

Even if you eat food without skipping , but when you eat junk food along... it will cause the following Problem on energy level.

The Junk Food causes energy level to spike, which people like but then energy levels plummet equally fast sending one back for another quick snack. In addition Junk foods can cause moodiness and make it difficult to get enough sleep at night so energy levels are never restores to normal.
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#14 amanda more

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 08:06 PM

Even if you eat food without skipping , but when you eat junk food along... it will cause the following Problem on energy level.

The Junk Food causes energy level to spike, which people like but then energy levels plummet equally fast sending one back for another quick snack. In addition Junk foods can cause moodiness and make it difficult to get enough sleep at night so energy levels are never restores to normal.


If the junk food contains fat, it will not cause energy levels to spike. It is the combination of foods. Foie Gras is all fat and one wouldn't expect much difference physiologically from fried pigs feet.



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#15 Ahsan Iqbal

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 11:16 AM

The real problem with junk food becomes visible in the long run. It is one of the major causes of obesity. So when someone tells you that you should eat healthy balanced diet, his purpose would be to ensure that you live a healthy life. Clean food doesn't give a boost to the energy level. In fact, some junk food may give you more energy than clean balanced food, but the real problem is that how is your body going to react to that in longer run.

Clean food would make you stay fit and healthy, while junk food will get you into troubles like obesity, cardiovascular diseases and lot of other stuff.
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#16 Realitycheck

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:53 PM

I would say biggest risk factor for early death is poor diet (ie. junk food) causing heart disease (since it is the #1 killer), as described in other thread, though I guess early death and biggest killer is not necessarily the same thing. What perplexes me is how it is supposedly ignored by health expert.

Also, since fats and sugars tend to be inflammatory in nature, this would tend to have a depressive effect on people, not to mention the typical effect of sugars causing a temporary rush, then crash.

Edited by Realitycheck, 10 August 2011 - 10:03 PM.

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#17 JorgeLobo

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 10:23 PM

I'm with Marat. "Junk food" is a subjective and political term as is the term "empty calories" - neither have much to do with science. They're more related to the food police attempting to control others and governments that would manage citizens like a herd of cattle rather than serving those same folks.

Look at the specific components of that "junk food" - be they salt, lipid, carbohydrate, etc. and the dietary needs and dynamics of the consuming groups. There are data that would help us understand the specific effects. And's the mass of data that is significant - not individual studies that are often designed to prove rather than test an assumption.

BTW - Really loved the news that junk food causes "moodiness." Tho' wouldn't be srprised that biased someone designed a study, defining such a subjective term, that "proved" this one.
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