Do you always get that exhausted, tired feeling around 3pm? Are you fighting to keep your eyes open in that afternoon meeting? Physically drained and mentally not with it?
Well you are not alone.
Let me dive into six reasons you may be lacking in energy.
1. You’re not sleeping enough
There is a lot going on inside of the human body during sleep. In particular, human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is a protein made by the pituitary gland. Its role is to make bones strong and muscles healthy. It also has an impact on how our body collects and stores fat. Not to mention it plays a huge role in brain function. When this is suffering that’s when you will feel fatigue, decreased stamina and even signs of depression. The target for sleep really needs to be a minimum of 7 hrs a night.
2. You’re eating too much junk
When you are low on energy then you crave calorie dense food. One quick way of filling the void is chocolate. However, chocolate is full of sugar and saturated fat. Yes, it is going to give you a quick peak followed by an even bigger drop. Aim for snacks that have a mixture of carbohydrates and good fats and some protein. Think quinoa or nut butter on rye as go to snacks. And don’t skip breakfast!
3. You’re not drinking enough water
Often fatigue is confused with dehydration. The point you feel thirsty is already too late and you are likely to be dehydrated. Aim for 2L of water every day. Keep a bottle on your desk and force yourself to drink water on regular intervals. Try not to rely on caffeine (I’m terrible at this) as your go to pick me up.
4. You’re low in vitamin B
B vitamins purpose is to transform mitochondria into glucose which then turns to energy. Often, we don’t get enough from our diets. You can find Vitamin B foods high in folate in meats such as beef, also in grains and dark leafy vegetables. If you struggle to get the correct amounts through food then try taking B vitamins in a pill as this is absorbed well. Vitamin B is crucial for controlling the nervous system. As a general rule, I always aim to have one dark green vegetable a night (kale, spinach, broccoli etc).
5. You need to move more
Try movement every morning. Even if it is an intense 15 minutes. You will find that mental alertness throughout the day will be far higher. When you move, your blood vessels dilate allowing circulation and blood flow to move more efficiently around your body. This will help more nutrients to your cells. If you find yourself sitting at your desk for more than 60 minutes get up and walk around the office or do a flight of the stairs! As a final tip. If you think you will save it for the evening it generally won’t happen so commit to the morning.
6. You’re insulin resistant
This can often be the beginning of diabetes. A real danger for men that carry a lot of weight around their stomach. If you are insulin resistant this will make sugar or fuel more of a challenge to go to the working muscles. If we are not using it correctly the sugar will bypass the cells needed to produce energy and instead be secreted for fat storage. Focus on medium GI foods to eat such as basmati rice or sweet potato.
There you have it. Six areas that can be improved to increase energy. Do yourself a favour by getting enough sleep, movement and avoiding sugary dense snacks. Be more aware of your body. When you implement these changes, you will notice an immediate positive response with energy levels increasing almost instantaneously.
Success in fitness,
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