Check out the point of sale area at your nearby grocery store or gas station. Energy drinks have crowded out most other products. People are exhausted, have extreme fatigue and frequently need a boost. They see energy drinks as a way of salvaging their day. There are several lifestyle changes you can make to help overcome extreme fatigue and not have to feel so tired all the time.
Most of these drinks are a simple mixture of caffeine and sugar with some other herbs to boost adrenal output. In spite of FDA scrutiny on these drinks, sales are up 5% to $14 billion per year in 2017. There are better ways of reducing extreme fatigue beyond the energy drink approach of whipping a tired horse.
Modern lifestyle and hectic work schedules have made people struggle with low energy levels and chronic fatigue. Persistent lack of energy is often caused by interaction of a set of complex factors such as poor diet, leaky gut, stress, and sedentary lifestyle. However, the good news is that there are many ways you can boost energy levels naturally by identifying the underlying cause and taking steps to heal your system.
Why am I always tired?
Poor Diet: “You are what you eat,” as your body uses the food you eat, as a fuel to provide you energy. In the fast paced life of these days people either skip meals or eat readily available processed foods. These high-glycemic load (GL) foods are made of refined carbohydrates and simple sugars, which cause an initial high and then a crash in blood sugar levels. These wild swings in blood sugar makes you feel anxious, moody, exhausted, unable to concentrate, and you will be tired all the time.
These poor quality diets are also low in fruits and vegetables that lead to nutritional deficiencies (vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) causing excessive fatigue.
Leaky Gut: Often blood sugar imbalances caused by high GL foods, inflame the digestive tract causing leaky gut. In people with leaky gut syndrome, toxins are able to pass through the perforations into the bloodstream, which triggers an autoimmune reaction that puts constant stress on adrenal glands resulting in a feeling of exhaustion the reason you always feel tired.
People suffering from leaky gut also have altered intestinal bacteria with an overgrowth of “bad” microbial flora and too little “healthy” gut flora. This causes digestive problems such as bloating, gas, reflux, alternating diarrhea and constipation along with severe tiredness.
Food Allergies: Processed foods are often pro-inflammatory, as these are rich in refined carbohydrates and dairy, which can cause allergic reactions in the body; often a reason for always feeling tired.
Further, food allergies and leaky gut syndrome go hand in hand, where on one hand passage of undigested food particles through the leaky gut leads to the development of food allergies and on the other hand allergic reactions to certain foods increase the permeability in the lining of the intestine.
Inflammation: Poor diet, leaky gut syndrome, food intolerance or other factors cause chronic systemic inflammation that promotes excessive tiredness. As, significantly higher blood markers of inflammation such as C-reactive proteins (CRP) and cytokines lead to decreased activation of the brain’s reward center i.e. basal ganglia that help in controlling motion and motivation.
Chronic inflammation also causes persistent stress on body’s immune system that leads to extreme fatigue.
According to a study published in the Journal of Gerontology, there is a clear relationship between chronic inflammation and fatigue in adults.
- Stress: Hectic work schedules and unforeseen mental and emotional challenges cause chronic stress in our bodies. Chronic stress puts excessive and prolonged pressure on body’s stress management system causing one to always feel tired.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle causes general lethargy and makes you prone to depression, which increases the risk of extreme fatigue.
So, if you are always feel tired, first find out which one (or more) of these above causes is affecting you and then develop a strategy based on the following suggestions to cure your persistent tiredness.
How to stop feeling tired
There are many high energy foods that can be used as natural remedies. Healthy dietary choices and lifestyle modifications are found most effective in curing tiredness and supporting the immune system:
Chose high energy foods
Switch from pro-inflammatory diet to anti-inflammatory diet: A pro-inflammatory diet rich in processed junk foods will provoke inflammation, while an anti-inflammatory diet naturally lowers your chances of food allergies, inflammation and leaky gut syndrome; which all contribute to feelings of tiredness and lethargy.
One of the most important components of anti-inflammatory diet is complex, low glycemic load (GL) carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. These high energy foods are high in fiber, so they are digested slowly and give steady release of energy, which help in balancing sugar levels.
Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which also help in reducing inflammation and as a result can help stop you from always feeling so tired.
Food sensitivities may make you feel tired
To address chronic systemic inflammation watch out for food sensitivities such as if you are allergic to gluten then go 100% gluten-free by completely eliminating gluten from your diet.
Heal Your Gut: To treat chronic fatigue you need to increase the count of probiotics (friendly bacteria) in your gut that play crucial role in maintaining overall health. Eat “Prebiotics,” complex carbohydrates that act as food for these bacteria i.e. whole grains, banana, onion, garlic and honey. Also, take nutritionally rich fermented foods like yogurt, fermented vegetables (cabbage, cucumber, carrots, and beets), coconut milk and even tea.
Use Anti-inflammatory Spices:
- Turmeric: The anti-inflammatory compound curcumin in turmeric helps in reducing inflammation associated fatigue. Here are some other other benefits of turmeric.
- Ginger: This immunity boosting wonder spice relieves inflammation and helps in reducing the feeling of always feeling tired.
Drink 2-3 liters of water: The constant supply of this elixir of life will help you feel energized throughout the day.
Lifestyle modifications to reduce extreme fatigue
Exercise every day
Daily exercise helps in fighting fatigue by reducing stress and improving energy levels. To feel more energetic, find opportunity to include physical activity in your everyday life.
Stress is a common reason why so many people always feel tired. We need the tools to manage all the demands in our lives. So, start incorporating these stress management techniques in your life to better manage your everyday stress.
Yoga & Deep Breathing: Besides reducing stress, adding yoga practice and deep breathing exercises in your everyday life can help in improving your energy levels by increasing blood circulation. Also make a conscious effort to belly breathe during the day.
Meditation: Meditation reduces stress levels by keeping the mind calm and relaxed. A few minutes of meditation everyday makes you feel fresh and energized.
Take adequate Sleep: When you are sleep deprived, your body experiences increased stress. Take a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep to boost your energy levels. A power nap during daytime also helps in reducing excessive tiredness at the end of the day.
Have your doctor check your blood values. Low hormones (e.g. DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol) can lead to chronic fatigue.
Next time you ask yourself “Why am I always tired” consider the above possibilities for your fatigue. Please consult your medical professional.