10 min read
No matter how we describe it, we’ve all experienced that sluggish feeling. While it can be tempting to reach for a coffee, there are more sustainable ways to fight fatigue.
The first step in helping to reverse fatigue is identifying the cause. People might feel tired because they didn't get enough sleep or had a rough weekend. Often, more difficult lifestyle changes have to be made to beat fatigue.
You’re not eating a balanced diet
Food is fuel. While it’s okay to enjoy a juicy burger with friends once in a while, you should generally look at your diet as a primary way to keep your body and mind healthy and energized. Opt for lots of full colored fruits and vegetables and dark leafy greens, whole grains, complex carbohydrates, brown rice, beans or oatmeal. If you want to eat meat, opt for produce, lean meats. Try to avoid packaged snacks and overly processed foods.
Eat less, (but more often)
A good way to keep up your energy throughout the day is to eat regular small meals and healthy light snacks every 3 to 4 hours, rather than a large meal less often. Digesting food takes lots of energy. So when you experience fatigue after lunch or dinner, your body needs all the energy for digestion. Smaller meals are more easy to digest and require less energy.
Dehydration can feel like fatigue or brain fog. Sometimes you feel tired simply because you're mildly dehydrated. Two big glasses of water ( or three : ) will do the trick. Make it a habit to hydrate especially after exercise.
Drink less alcohol
Although a couple of glasses of wine in the evening can help you fall asleep, you sleep less deeply after drinking alcohol. The next day you'll be tired, even if you slept a full 8 hours. Cut down on alcohol before bedtime. You'll get a better night's rest and have more energy. We recommend having at least 4-5 alcohol-free days each week. And skipping alcohol for some weeks may be surprisingly refreshing and energising.
If you’re tired, you might feel that exercise is the last thing on your mind. But, in fact, regular exercise will make you feel less tired in the long run, so you'll have more energy. Moving activates the energy machines (mitochondria) in the body. Especially moving outside will give you an energy boost because mitochondria need oxygen to make energy. That is why breathing is so important during exercise. Even a single 15-minute walk can give you an energy boost, and the benefits increase with more frequent physical activity. Start with a small amount of exercise. Build it up gradually over weeks and months until you reach the recommended goal of 2,5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
Or...You're exercising too much
This is a case when there can be too much of a good thing. While staying active is part of an overall healthy lifestyle, giving your body time to rest is just as important. Building recovery days into your workout schedule is a very healthy habit.
Get your sleep
If you’re regularly going to bed late, waking up early, and prioritise other tasks or projects over going to bed, it can start to take a toll on your performance and alertness during the day. Make it a goal to sleep for seven hours each night.Tips for sleeping well include:going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time every day avoiding naps during daytime taking time to unwind before you go to bed fresh air, sleep with your window a little bit opened, no screen time before bed, a good sleep supplement that supports the transition to sleep.
You're really stressed
Chronic stress can take a serious toll on your body. Chronic stress causes the body to enter a state of hyper-arousal which is, essentially, a heightened state of stress or anxiety as a result of a specific event. This event can be a recent event, for example something professional. It can also be from the past, like trauma. Chronic stress leads to overworked adrenals leads to low cortisol. Cortisol is meant to balance and restore the body after a stressful event, and that response will not occur when chronically stressed out. Try to recognise when your body feels stressed, and try to counteract the stress by for example deep breathing, going for a short walk outside, listening to music, do some light exercise, do yoga (we recommend yin yoga). Whatever relaxes you will improve your energy.
Less on the caffeine
Caffeine is a super boost for your body. But when stressed out and fatigued, it will more likely wipe out your system. After coffee your adrenals will work even harder and you will not feel energized and focussed but instead you'll feel super nervous. If you want to try cutting down on coffee, you may experience some headaches in the first two or three days. If this happens, cut down more slowly on the amount of caffeine that you drink. Instead of coffee, you can take a natural energy supplement to give your body the same energy boost but without the adrenaline and nervousness. Furthermore, a natural supplement does not have the famous crash you may experience a few hours after consuming coffee.