Tiredness: food and fluid

Caffeine intake often increases when tired, to battle the fatigue and maintain output.

Coffee itself contains almost no energy - a long black is about four calories - but the milk, sugar, cream and syrup can all being to add up.

Most people increase caffeine intake by consuming coffee more frequently, as opposed to bigger doses, which leads to increased energy intake.

An extra coffee might provide an additional 150 kcal to their days energy budget, whereas changing a standard coffee to a double-shot would amount to an extra 4 kcal.

When it comes to food intake when tired, it’s not so much about adding an extra meal - like the extra coffee - but more so about having less capacity to resist the treat meal or get food delivered.

If you’re tired at 7 am in the morning, having just risen, imagine how tired you are going to be at 7 pm when you need to organise dinner.

Cooking often seems unappealing, so we gravitate towards meals with minimal or no preparation.

Minimal preparation or delivered foods can still be healthy, but usually, we order something we really crave or treat ourselves when it comes to buying these meals because we want the taste/pleasure to be worth the extra cost.

If these food and fluid changes are every now and then, when tired, they are negligible and not worth worrying about.

However, frequently the decreased sleep becomes a habit and then so does the increased food and caffeine intake along with it. 

The extra couple of hundred calories a day begins to create a caloric surplus which leads to weight gain, if left unchecked.

To make matters worse, if your energy intake is creeping up due to tiredness, there’s every chance your energy expenditure will drop.

But we’ll get to that tomorrow.

Tom Fitzgerald