We’re in the midst of an energy crisis. No, not that one. This one: We’re tired. So. Completely. Tired.
You’re not sleeping enough. Making you feel tired.
OK. So this one is kind of a gimme, but not for the reason you think. Sleep isn’t just about resting; there’s a lot going on inside while you’re conked out for the night. Case in point: human growth hormone. Growth hormone, a protein made by the pituitary gland, plays a role in making muscles healthy and bones strong. It affects how our bodies collect fat (especially around the stomach area) and it helps balance the ratio of good to bad cholesterol. It’s also essential for normal brain function. Not enough it of leads to fatigue, decreased strength and stamina, and depression symptoms. Since growth hormone is secreted primarily when we sleep, seven and a half or eight hours of high-quality shut-eye each night will help keep weight and pain down and boost up your energy.
You’re low in vitamin B.
You need B vitamins for your mitochondria to turn glucose into energy. We can absorb B vitamins well in liquid or pill form, but 99 percent of us don’t get enough from our diets. Try taking a vitamin in the morning and evening. This will keep levels stable and get you energized, and there’s no harm in it since you’ll excrete any excess water-soluble vitamins.
If you’re having symptoms of low energy, check your vitamin B12 and D levels, and, in any case, have them checked annually. If you find you have the rare case of not absorbing them well into your intestine and stomach, you can get a B12 injection yearly.
You’re not drinking enough water.
Many people can’t identify when their fatigue is due to dehydration. A glass of water may be the jolt you need, rather than sugar (see above). Drink as much H2O as it takes to keep your mouth moist throughout the day. And remember this rule of thumb: Your pee should be light yellow to clear. If it’s brighter and darker yellow, you need to drink more water.
You need to move more.
You can jump-start your energy with an activity as simple as walking. When you get moving, nitric oxide is released from the artery linings to allow blood to move freely through your vessels. This helps get more nutrients to your cells. Your body responds to your actions. If you tell your body you’re watching re-runs all night, it will downshift energy production. If you tell your body that you need to have a brisk morning walk, it responds by giving you the energy you need to do just that.
You’re eating too much junk
We think of sugar as a quick way to boost energy, but in the long run it does just the opposite. All those that end in -ose, like glucose, dextrose, maltose and sucrose, are just going to leave you sluggish. Research shows that fast food also puts you in biological slo-mo. Try this all-day energy meal plan, instead.