By PHASE IV staffChronic exhaustion isn’t fun. It can affect your focus, productivity, social life and health. Most people will try to get by with an extra cup (or three) of coffee or guzzling down an energy drink to make it through their workout, but many of these “energy” foods can actually further deplete the body of energy and make the situation worse. Below I will share 6 reasons you may be tired all the time and what you can do about them.
Studies have shown that 1 in 3 adults in the US are not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Poor sleep has been linked to obesity, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, heart disease and stroke. To have a better night’s sleep, try the following:
- No electronics 1-2 hours before bed
- Sleep in a dark room
- Listen to relaxing music, stretch or read before bed
- Maintain consistent bed times and wake times
- Sleep in a cool room
- Don’t drink caffeine after 1 or 2pm
Stress causes the adrenal glands to produce stress hormones that help the body manage its stress response. However, continuous stress will eventually deplete the adrenal glands and cause fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, sugar cravings and even sleep issues. Another hormone that stress deplete is thyroid hormone which regulates metabolism, cognitive function, immunity and detoxication.
In addition, when stress is chronic, it will deplete the endocannabnoid system, a biological system in the body that is involved with energy regulation, alertness, regulating inflammation, managing the body’s stress response, as well as fear, anxiety and pain.
Chronic stress also depletes the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine, which can contribute to depression, anxiety, racing thoughts, poor focus, fatigue and binge eating
Prolonged stress will also decrease the body’s ability to regulate cortisol levels and inflammation, which can lead to fatigue and many other diseases, as well as suppress the immune system, which can welcome more viral infections that attach the mitochondria (energy centers) in our cells.
And lastly, stress will hamper digestion, which will interfere with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. When your cells are starved you won’t get the necessary fuel your body needs for it’s daily functions, which will cause nutrient deficiencies and fatigue.Make sure to incorporate daily stress reducing activities like gentle to moderate exercise, mediation and breath work.
3. SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE
A study out of the University of Georgia in Athens found that 20 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day boosted energy. Another study found that people who exercised regularly had less fat than those that did not. If you tend to sit all day, invest in a standing desk or use an app to remind yourself to stand up every half hour to hour. Use your lunch hour to take a walk, take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and park farther away to get in those extra steps.
4. EATING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE
Not eating the appropriate amount of food or amount of macronutrients in your meals can cause sluggishness and fatigue. If you’re not eating enough, you can risk crashing your metabolism and energy levels, because your cells won’t get the nutrition they need. If you eat too much, this can bog down the digestive system, increase blood sugar levels, lead to weight gain and low energy levels. A RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) Test determines the amount of calories you burn per day and can be an accurate measure of how much you need to consume to stimulate weight loss and maintain balanced energy levels.
Next time you feel tired, drink some water. Dehydration can lead to food cravings, fatigue, lack of focus, irritability and constipation. Aim to drink 80oz of water a day, more if you’re very active.
6. TOO MANY CARBS AT BREAKFAST
Just recently I noticed my energy was crashing mid-morning. I decided to swap out my usual overnight oats and cereal with a protein shake. Almost immediately I began noticing more energy during the day and felt a lot more satiated until lunchtime. Carbhydrates break down into glucose in the body. When this happens, your pancreas pumps out insulin to reduce blood sugar levels and deliver that glucose to your cells. This drop in blood sugar will cause fatigue, brain fog and even sugar cravings. Protein and fat are digested more slowly than carbs, so including healthy sources of both at breakfast will help to start your day off right. Thing eggs and veggies or yogurt with walnuts and berries. The rest of your day, swap out your bread and pasta for low-glycemic carbs like vegetables and whole grains.Want a personalized nutrition plan to help you increase energy and improve your health? Our Nutrition Programs include an RMR Test, Body Composition Analysis, Food Diary Assessment and a comprehensive Health History Intake. All of this data is used to create a personalized nutrition program designed to help you reach your goals and stick with them! Call us to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more: (310) 582-8212