Have you ever woken up feeling tired, even after a good night’s sleep?
Do you feel tired after meals or workouts?
Do you find it difficult to stay productive throughout the day?
While it’s not always easy to pinpoint the exact reason you're feeling low in energy, you may be dealing with extreme fatigue.
Life can take a toll on you and cause you to burn out. It’s important to find time to relax and let your body recharge.
Food also plays a significant role in fatigue. Therefore, you have to understand that what you eat affects your levels of energy throughout the day.
We’ll look at the symptoms and causes of fatigue to help you better understand what you might be dealing with.
Here are some healthy eating tips to help you manage your energy level and combat fatigue.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Your body needs enough fluids to function properly.
Water helps remove toxins and waste from our bloodstream so we can feel refreshed and energized throughout the day.
Dehydration can affect you both physically and mentally.
Physically, when you're dehydrated, your organs and muscles are overworked, causing cramping, exhaustion, and your body to shut down.
Mentally, when you're dehydrated, you may have trouble concentrating and perform simple tasks.
Ultimately, dehydration causes you to feel exhausted due to the negative toll it takes on your brain, which controls bodily functions, leaving you lethargic and heavily fatigued.
EAT TO LIVE, DON'T LIVE TO EAT
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.”
If you’ve been eating for fun, it’s time to start eating for fuel. Food provides nutrients to your body for nourishment.
Whatever isn’t absorbed comes out as waste.
When you overeat, your stomach expands beyond its regular size to adjust to the intake. This expansion causes your stomach to push against your organs, causing discomfort.
The discomfort results in fatigue...commonly known a food coma. Where you've heavily indulged in non-nutritious foods and are an uncomfortable, overstuffed being for the next couple of hours.
Avoid fatigue and the put your food coma days to rest, by being mindful
To avoid fatigue caused by food coma, limit yourself to eating smaller food portions. You can always go for that second helping, at which point you’ll realize you don’t really need it.
WATCH YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
Don’t you just love the smell of fresh coffee in the morning? It’s just what you need to kickstart your day.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system causing you to feel alert when it reaches the brain and boosts your low energy mornings into productive daily life.
The rush you get a few minutes after drinking coffee is the effect of caffeine.
The euphoric feeling is what makes coffee addictive as your body craves it more and more. When you rely on caffeine to give you energy, your body loses its natural energy regulation over time.
If you're struggling with tiredness and fatigue, try slowly reducing your caffeine intake and allow your body to naturally balance its energy levels. Don't make the mistake of going cold turkey, gradually reduce your caffeine intake over time.
- Replace a full cup of coffee with 1/2 caffeinated, 1/2 decaf.
- Replace carbonated energy drinks with sparkling water.
- Drink more water throughout the day.
- Incorporate more exercise into your daily activities.
For a good night’s sleep, start making healthy lifestyle changes by minimizing caffeine in the evening to allow your body to wind down naturally.
EAT YOUR "BREAKFAST"
"Breakfast" is the most important meal of the day.
Why? It breaks your fast, no matter what time of the day you choose.
When you’re asleep, your body goes into fasting mode allowing your system to reset.
When you consume your first meal, your fast is broken, and your body is able to break down nutrients at optimal levels.
Make sure to break your fast with smaller portioned, nutrient dense foods that will fuel you for the day.
Stick to these guidelines when breaking your fast:
- Smaller Portions
- Bone Broths
- Easy to Digest Proteins (Fish, Poultry, Eggs)
- Fresh Fruits or Vegetables
- Healthy Fats (Grass Fed Butter, Avocado, Ghee)
AVOID SKIPPING MEALS
Skipping meals can reduce energy levels and in most cases is a common cause of fatigue in those who lead unhealthy lifestyles.
When you skip a meal, your blood sugar levels dip, causing an overwhelming urge and craving for sweets.
Hence, snacking on anything within reach.
If you're struggling with fatigue, it's important to prioritize your health by making simple lifestyle changes that will set you on the right track.
Instead of skipping meals entirely, incorporate smaller portioned meals that can be consumed throughout the day to keep your energy levels up and fatigue low.
Incorporate these smaller and nutritious meals into your diet to improve energy:
- High Protein Shakes
- Fresh Fruits
- Fresh Vegetables with Hummus
- Boiled Eggs
STICK TO A HEALTHY DIET
The reason why crash diets don't work, for long-term goals, is that they aren't sustainable.
Typically used for short-term, focused, and quick results, crash diets get the job done, but if you're looking to crash diet for an extended period of time, you're more than likely to hit a few road blocks.
Instead of crash and fad diets, think long term.
Small changes can turn into amazing results if you stick to them and keep the end goal in mind.
A healthy mind and body require a nutritious diet that will nourish your body from the inside out and provide you the fuel you need.
Incorporate these types of foods into your diet:
- Grass-Fed Protein Sources
- Whole Foods
- Organic and Non-GMO Ingredients
- Natural Supplements
TAKE NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS
Food provides essential nutrients to keep you healthy, but sometimes it’s not enough on its own.
Strenuous physical activities can cause severe fatigue.
When you physically strain for an extended period of time, your body runs out of carbs to burn and turns to muscle and fat tissues for energy.
Burning fat and muscle can lead to aches and tears, inducing fatigue. Conversely, fatigue caused by physical burnout makes your muscles relax to help the body repair worn-out tissues.
Taking natural supplements can help prevent physical causes of fatigue, such as muscle wear and tear during extreme workouts.
- Whey protein supports muscle functioning and recovery.
- Natural pre workout supplements supplement energy sources.
- Adaptogens decrease fatigue and boost immunity.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF FATIGUE?
You know you’re suffering from fatigue if you exhibit:
- Sore/aching muscles
- Excessive tiredness
- A lack of concentration
- Difficulty with short-term memory
- Low motivation
WHAT CAUSES FATIGUE?
The causes of extreme exhaustion are classified into three.
Extreme fatigue can be a drug side effect or a sign of an underlying medical condition. Therefore, it’s essential to seek medical attention when you experience fatigue without cause.
Some of the health conditions that cause fatigue include:
Heart disease includes several conditions that affect your heart. When the heart’s functionality is impaired, it causes a reduction in oxygen supply to the brain and muscles. When your brain and muscles are deprived of oxygen, you feel fatigued.
The most common side effect of using certain medications that treat heart conditions, such as beta-blockers, is fatigue. However, if you stop taking the drugs, your body will go into medication withdrawal which is just as harmful to your health.
Diagnosis of heart conditions is conducted in a variety of ways. A blood test, urine tests, an echocardiogram, or an electrocardiogram.
The role of the thyroid gland is to produce hormones that regulate metabolism. Thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism (overactive) and hypothyroidism (under-active) affect the production of thyroid hormones.
Hormonal problems linked to your thyroid lead to a dip in the body’s energy production, causing fatigue.
Other symptoms of thyroid disease include:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Weight loss
- Enlarged thyroid gland
An under-active thyroid is detected through blood tests and overactive through a medical history and a physical exam.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder. The warning sign of CFS is experiencing fatigue for at least six months without a medical diagnosis, and the condition doesn’t improve with rest.
Other symptoms of CFS include:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Headaches and dizziness
- Heart palpitations
CFS is not curable. Treatment options are often centered around symptom relief.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 continuous hours of sleep for adults each night.
However, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea interfere with sleep quality, leaving you feeling tired when you wake up.
Some of the disorders that affect sleep quality include:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
|Narcolepsy||An autoimmune neurological disorder where the brain can’t control its sleep||
Sudden sleep attacks.
Excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleeping at inappropriate times
|Obstructive Sleep Apnea||Breathing stops and starts multiple times during sleep due to a blockage of the upper respiratory airway.||
|Restless Leg Syndrome||A neurological disorder where a person gets an uncontrollable urge to move their legs||
Pain in the legs.
Discomfort during sleep.
Difficulty falling asleep.
Feeling fatigued without a diagnosed sleeping disorder is an indication of poor sleep habits. Adopting good sleep processes will help you relieve fatigue. Go to bed at the same time every night and make sure you get a full rest.
Keeping your body healthy takes more than just eating right. You need to make smarter lifestyle choices to be and stay healthy and avoid fatigue.
Poor lifestyle habits that cause fatigue include:
- Alcohol and drug use
- Lack of physical activity
- Excess physical activity
- Poor diet
- Poor sleep hygiene
Mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression cause a reduction in serotonin levels.
Serotonin is the hormone that helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion.
Fatigue is the most common symptom of depression. When you’re depressed, you feel sleepy because of the constant lack of energy.
Other symptoms of depression include:
- Low mood
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep difficulties
- Weight loss
OTHER SYMPTOMS OF EXTREME FATIGUE
Having looked at the common symptoms of fatigue, it’s important to note other worrying symptoms to look out for.
Fatigue presents itself as:
- Impaired judgment
- Slowed reflex responses
- Blurred vision
Experiencing these symptoms could also be a sign of any other health condition. Seek medical attention and get a physical examination and medical tests to get the proper diagnosis.
Health conditions caught early are easier to treat, preventing them from developing into chronic diseases.
Don't let fatigue bring you down.
Prevent fatigue by living a healthier lifestyle and making better choices to optimize your health and performance and improve your lifestyle.
- Stay Hydrated
- Eat Nutrient Dense Foods
- Moderate Caffeine Intake
- Eat Smaller Portions
- Use Natural Supplements
Don’t allow fatigue to get in the way of your physical health.