Do you wake up feeling tired every morning? Lack energy throughout the day? Or feel wiped out by 3pm? It could be that you have fatigue.
Fatigue is when the tiredness is often overwhelming and isn’t relieved by sleep and rest. It is common and can affect many of us at some stage in our lives.
It can cause a vast range of other physical, mental and emotional symptoms, including:
- headaches and dizziness
- sore or weak muscles
- slow reflexes and responses
- poor decision-making and concentration
- moodiness, irritability or depression
- a loss of appetite
- a poor immune system
- short-term memory problems
- a lack of motivation.
The problem is, if left undealt with, you can get into a cycle that’s hard to break. It becomes difficult to stay motivated and we feel that constant tiredness emotionally, physically and mentally, making simple everyday tasks difficult.
In this article I will give you some nutritional and lifestyle tips to help you with fatigue.
My advice to stay motivated is to introduce these changes slowly and build on them.
What are the causes of fatigue?
You could be experiencing fatigue for several reasons.
- Because of a constant lack of sleep, or too much sleep.
- Being dehydrated and not drinking enough water.
- A poor diet in processed foods resulting in a sluggish liver.
- Emotional concerns and stress.
- Consuming too much caffeine or alcohol.
- Not enough exercise.
- Your body not absorbing nutrients from your food.
You could be experiencing fatigue because of a medical condition, infection or illness. It’s important you see your doctor to rule out anything. If you have been diagnosed with low iron or low thyroid, which cause tiredness, then seek the help of a nutritional therapist.
Here are some tips to help reduce fatigue
Drink more water
Drinking enough water is so important for removing toxins, and keeping cells well hydrated. Try to start your morning with a large glass of water and add some lemon or/and apple cider vinegar, as this will help stimulate your digestive system and improve your nutrient absorption. Then aim to drink 2 litres a day!
Get the right kind of sleep
This is tough for many, including myself, yet getting into a healthy sleep routine is essential for brain function. Inadequate sleep will leave you feeling exhausted and unable to function properly.
Here are a few tips you can try to improve your sleep:
- Do not eat later than 7pm. Ideally, you want to go to bed 2-3 hours after your dinner.
- Turn off all screens two hours before bed. The blue light emitted from your devices is a major sleep disruptor and will overstimulate your brain, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
- Before bed, find ways to unwind and relax. Personally I love a relaxing Epsom salt bath, or you could read a book, play some relaxing music or listen to a guided meditation. A magnesium supplement taken in the evening will help to regulate melatonin.
Watch your caffeine and alcohol consumption
Too much caffeine will overstimulate your adrenal glands, and will put your body into a stress response. Cut back, and do not consume any at least 6 hours before bed.
Alcohol is a depressant and slows the nervous system, which disturbs normal sleep patterns. You may find you fall asleep after drinking, but you will wake up again in the night.
Consume sugar and refined carbohydrates in moderation
A diet that is too high in sugar and refined carbs will put pressure on your digestive system and can cause constant fatigue. Cut back on sugary drinks, biscuits, pastries, chocolate, sweets and white bread and pasta.
This doesn’t mean never eating these foods again. Just be mindful when you consume them, have 1-2 biscuits rather than half the pack, and a small slice of cake rather than the whole cake. It’s all about balance. If you really cannot have treats in the house without binging on them, then find alternatives.
Include more of the following:
- A variety of fruit and vegetables.
- Whole grains like brown rice, millet, and oats.
- Quinoa, nuts and seeds.
- Healthy sources of fats like oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, avocados, and flaxseed oil.
- Good quality protein like organic eggs, meat, lentils, chickpeas and beans.
- Super foods such as spirulina, wheatgrass and maca.
Magnesium, CoQ10 and B Vitamins
These are all key nutrients that cells need to make cellular energy that will help your body to function properly.
Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and rocket. It’s also found in broccoli, kidney beans, avocado, wholegrain rice, lentils, pumpkin seeds, almonds and cashews.
B vitamins are found in seeds, legumes, nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pecans, oatmeal, tahini, eggs, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, poultry and seafood.
CoQ10 is found in nuts, especially pistachios. Other excellent sources include olive oil, sesame seeds, fruit and vegetables like strawberries, oranges, avocado, cauliflower, poultry, trout, mackerel, sardines and eggs.
Sometimes, you may need to take supplements. I would always suggest having a blood test to see what you are deficient in, then see a qualified nutritionist who can help you choose the right products.
Siberian ginseng, ashwagandha and rhodiola
These are all amazing herbs for energy and supporting your nervous system, especially when you feel stressed. I can especially recommend rhodiola. When I used it I noticed a vast difference. It really improved my energy levels, especially when hiking! It was quite impressive.
Manage your stress level
So many of us, including myself, have too much stress in our lives. Living in constant stress will wreak havoc on your body and eventually lead to disease. Stress also affects our digestive system, meaning we may not be assimilating the nutrients from our diets effectively.
It is really important to address the stress in our lives, whether it be financial, work related, family life or health.
Having a good network of friends, a coach, therapist or health professional you can talk to is beneficial when trying to solve stress and problems.
Movement and Exercise
I am a big fan of moving your body. It is just so important. A sedentary lifestyle is so unhealthy. No one expects you to run a marathon or spend hours at the gym – unless you want to of course. Simply walking and doing 10,000 steps every day is good enough.
Exercising regularly is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce anxiety and stress and improve concentration, motivation, memory and mood. Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels, all of which affect your attention and ability to focus. The endorphins released during exercise will help your mind stay sharp and focused.
I hope you have found these tips and advice useful. If you want some help overcoming fatigue then get in touch for a chat – I work with individuals and groups to help them take control of their health, weight and energy and improve their lives.