One of the most common questions I hear from patients that I coach or counsel is, “why am I so tired all the time?” They have no energy and they always want to know what they can take to get more energy or what can I do to have more energy. There is not a simple answer to that question in most cases. There are so many different reasons why people are lacking energy or feeling tired all the time.
When someone comes to see me for help with their issues with low energy or excessive fatigue I take them through a series of questions to try and determine the cause of their problem. There are multiple underlying causes but I am only going to cover a few in this blog post. There are several simple causes of low energy levels with simple solutions and most of these are behavior or lifestyle related. I believe that most people can simply correct their low energy issues by changing a couple bad habits that they may not even be aware of.
The number one problem is lack of sleep. That’s obvious right? Well a lot of people don’t realize that’s a problem until they have it pointed out to them. Of course you aren’t going to have enough energy to make it through the day if you aren’t getting enough sleep at night. Now I’m not talking about people who try to sleep but aren’t able to sleep or who go to sleep but can’t stay asleep, that’s a whole other issue that I will discuss in another blog. Sometimes we just need to go to bed at a decent hour, get that good 7 to 8 hours of sleep that our bodies require, and we’ll have the energy that we need.
Another often overlooked and underlying problem is lack of nutrition, not eating at proper times or skipping meals. One of the first questions I ask people that are suffering from low energy is “Do you eat breakfast?” I am often surprised at how many people say no. As I teach in my Fit in 49 program, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it sets the tone for the day. It energizes you! It gets the neurons firing in your nervous system! It stimulates your brain to think and to work! It energizes your muscles! I don’t understand people that don’t eat breakfast! The simple solution is eat breakfast! However it does matter what you eat for breakfast. If you eat a high carbohydrate breakfast such as cereal, pop tarts, or high sugar pastries, like donuts and honey buns you will probably have plenty of energy for about 2 hours before you come crashing down from the rapid drop in your sugar levels. So when I say eat breakfast, I mean a good healthy balanced breakfast with the right amounts of protein, carbs, and fat. If you do that you should have all the energy you need to sustain you until lunch.
The third simple underlying cause is called nutrient depletion. This is most often caused by the medications that the patient is taking, and most of the time the patients have no idea this is happening. There are so many medications on the market that cause nutrient depletions. Thankfully this problem is easy to correct by taking the necessary supplements to restore and replace what’s being depleted by the meds. I discussed an example of one of these in a recent blog, Statin drugs which deplete Coenzyme Q10, a vital nutrient that we need for energy. In fact every cell in our body needs CoQ10 for energy! Since we’ve been talking about heart health this month in our blogs, I will tell you that there are many blood pressure medications that cause nutrient depletions as well. These meds often deplete the minerals in our body that are essential for energy and muscle function, such as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are available in over the counter supplements and can replace what is being depleted. My advice to you though is don’t go and start buying a lot of supplements until you have been tested to see if you have a depletion or you know for sure that you are taking a medication that depletes these nutrients from your body. To find out if any of the medications you are taking may be causing nutrient depletions check out drug nutrient depletion guide from chiro.com!
Before starting any kind of supplement regimen I recommend you speak with a qualified health professional that can give you good advice on what supplement you should take and how much to take. If you’re suffering from low energy and you want to correct it, make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals (especially breakfast), and are checking to see if any medications, prescription and over the counter, are causing nutrient depletion. We will discuss more low energy recommendations in our next blog so be sure to check back next week!
This past week we officially launched the Feeling Good Podcast! You can click here to visit the page on iTunes and download the first two episodes! Every week we’ll be answering your questions and talking about the major health issues of our day! If you want to have your question answered then please email [email protected] or click on the microphone on the side of the page!