We all know that certain foods are great for giving you a boost and helping you get through the day, but it seems that teaming certain foods and drinks together could have the opposite effect.
Not only can some food pairings leave you feeling tired and lethargic – despite both foods being great for energy individual – they could also mean you’re more likely to gain weight.
New research has found that combining a sugary drink like fruit juice with a meal that is packed with protein could leave you struggling to get through the day and have an impact on your waistline.
Scientists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in the US have found that teaming high protein foods with high-sugar drinks can trigger the body to store more fat. On top of this, the food and drink together disrupts the body’s energy balance, leaving you feeling drained.
Leader of the study Dr Shanon Casperson said: “We found that about a third of the additional calories provided by the sugar-sweetened drinks were not expended, fat metabolism was reduced, and it took less energy to metabolise the meals.
“This decreased metabolic efficiency may ‘prime’ the body to store more fat.”
Researchers discovered that the combination of a sugary drink with a meal that was 15 per cent protein slowed fat oxidation in the body by around 7.2 grams. This went up to 12.6 grams when the meal was 30 per cent protein.
Fat oxidation is when fat molecules start to get broken down, meaning less fat is stored. A decrease in fat oxidation results in more fat from your meal being kept by your body, which can ultimately mean you put on weight.
While sugary drinks do mean more energy is used to metabolise the food you’ve eaten, it doesn’t balance out the extra calories added to your meal. On top of this, once the sugar has worn off, you’ll tend to feel a lot more tired.
However, the scientists have said that more research into the findings are needed to see if everyone reacts the same way. They only used young, healthy-weight adults in the study, which ran for just two days, and so people of different weights could respond differently to the combination of protein and sugar.