How often do you feel like you drag yourself out of bed in the morning? Do you feel like you can’t possibly function, let alone stay awake without coffee or caffeine? Do you feel exhausted by the time you’ve reached home from work?
Poor energy levels are a common issue amongst my clients. Not only can it impact on productivity (work or home life), it puts the brake on our motivation, where we’re more likely to procrastinate or put things off such as exercising.
So what’s the cause?
The top 6 factors that have a huge impact on our energy levels include:
1) Unstable blood sugar levels
From irregular blood sugar control upon awakening, to the foods we eat, to food cravings we experience (that can be difficult to resist!), all play a role on how tired you feel. Unstable blood sugar levels can be caused by different factors, but food directly affects this control. Eating a diet high in processed carbohydrates and refined sugars quickly spikes blood sugar levels (sugar rush), that quickly comes crashing down, causing fatigue, low mood and hunger.
2) Nutrient deficiencies
People tend to focus on macronutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates) but forget about micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Certain nutrients are KEY in maintaining healthy energy production that include iron, Vitamin B12, folate, Vitamin D, B Vitamins and zinc. Without proper amounts, your ability to function and concentrate can be affected.
So are you sure its coffee you need or are you nutrient deficient?
Chronic stress negatively impacts on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. When we are stressed, we’re less likely to be in a good mood, or wanting to add more to our “To Do” list. Stress can also cause anxiety and affect our SLEEP, that is vital in replenishing our energy “batteries”.
Bacterial overgrowth, yeast, viral or even a parasitic infections WILL affect nutrient absorption, especially IRON. Certain organisms feed off your Iron intake, where your body doesn't receive what it needs. Treat the infection and energy levels will improve.
5) Poor Gut Health
Inability to breakdown foods due to inadequate stomach acid, digestive enzymes or bile acids, will make it difficult to absorb your vitamins and minerals. Best to do some testing to see which aspect of digestion you may need support with.
6) Mitochondrial dysfunction
You've heard of "The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell" in high school Biology. Thats exactly right. The mitochondria is where energy is produced. If this isn't working optimally, you will feel chronically fatigued. A diet high in refined carbohydrates & vegetable oils, as well as chronic inflammation will clog up the cell's ability to create energy efficiently.
7) Chronic Inflammation
Short term inflammation is necessary for healing. However long term, untreated inflammation will make you feel tired and drained. Causes can be from poor diet, poor sleep quality, stress, infection, injury, an Autoimmune condition, and others.
What Do I do Now?
>Find the cause of your fatigue eg. infection, blood sugar, cell dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies, or others
>Diet and lifestyle change that include more fresh, wholefoods such as plenty of vegetables, quality protein and healthy fats.
>Investigate and support digestion and absorption
>Address nutrient deficiencies by getting proper testing and supplement as needed
>Manage stress through mindfulness practice, joining a yoga class and taking time out for self-care.
Address your health in a holistic manner. Everyone has the right to feel good about themselves, to have the energy and MOTIVATION to tackle the day’s events. If you’re tired of being TIRED, get in touch now! :)
Until next time, Bonny. C ~