Low Energy & Fatigue #1 Complaint Heard By Doctors

by Vicki Zerbee on 2010/02/25

It doesn’t have to be that way…

low energy

Need More Energy? Can’t get enough coffee all day long? Are you dragging yourself out of bed in the morning and stumbling through the rest of your day?  Why are you so tired?

(Also see the sister: Energy article to this one is more technical but also a great read for understanding more about how we get energy from our bodies.)

Low energy is a very common complaint from people, in fact it may be the #1 reason people go to doctors.  That low energy or fatigue report from a patient will often lead to a full blood work up, checking for thyroid problems, anemia, and even cancer.  When you consider the large numbers of people nationwide, more often than not the usual outcome is that everything is normal. Well it doesn’t seem ‘normal’ to be so tired – right?

The reason for low energy is often not a disease, but dietary and lifestyle factors that affect energy production in our cells.  Some questions to consider:  Do you feel tired on a regular basis, or just certain ebbs of low energy?  Do you wake up tired and never feel like you have energy?  Or do you feel fatigued only when you don’t get enough sleep?

Your Energy Levels

Some examples:  a young mom who is always tired may want to consider what your sleep patterns are, if you are eating balanced meals, how much stress is in your life (can you find ways to lower stress), if you have recently lost or gained weight, and how much support you have at home.

Athletes:  it should be determined if you are eating the right balance of carbs and proteins, getting enough sleep and adequate recovery between training, and if you are not getting the best results from workouts or are tired frequently?  We will discuss more in a minute about how an extra boost can help an athlete get to the finish line.

The busy executive, new parents, the sleep deprived student, grandparents who are babysitting grandchildren and trying to keep up with them are more examples of people who may complain of low energy and fatigue.  How about you?  What brought you to this page?

Why Am I Tired or Have Low Energy?

It helps to determine what is behind the low energy, and to be smart and proactive about taking care of yourself.  The body needs adequate rest and has definite nutrition needs for the demands of each day.

Supplying a little extra energy to certain parts of your body can safely boost your body’s energy.  When you get those low energy or tired feelings, think about why your body needs that energy boost.  Have you eaten lately?  Are you under stress?

The first thing to realize is that a donut or sugary soft drink is not the answer, because a little while after eating or drinkig sugar you will have a blood sugar crash.  Food that is a balance between protein, carbs and fat will help you for a much longer time. Look for low-glycemic foods – they balance your blood sugar better.

Sometimes you don’t actually need more food, and your body can benefit from a small boost to your system.  This is what caffeine will provide – either coffee or tea.  Caffeine can speed up your heart rate, blood flow, and respiratory rate for several hours, and help give your metabolism and overall energy a measured boost.

Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, giving you better focus, and an improved mood.  Green tea is also a good way to boost metabolism.  Both coffee and tea contain antioxidants and polyphenols that can have healthy benefits.  The key is to realize that you can get these energy boosts with a cup or two of coffee or tea.. not the whole pot.

Coffee_Addict

Energy Boosters That Are Not So Healthy

In terms of the energy drinks and shots on the market, there are some big promises made.  What’s important to consider is that, in addition to a possible energy boost, you might be getting some ingredients that are not good for your body.  High amounts of sugar and calories can cause you to crash an hour later, and these drinks can contribute to weight gain and more.

Artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and artificial preservatives are all associated with various energy drinks on the market, and not a welcome addition to a healthy diet.

So what is the optimal fuel for our body?

1)  Eat a good breakfast with 15-25 grams of protein, fruit or whole grain cereal.  This will jumpstart your energy for the day.  Skipping breakfast takes longer for the body to start burning calories.  Eating small meals throughout the day helps keep energy level up.

2)  Increase activity because it increases energy – even walking is better than no exercise.

3)  Consider taking a power nap, especially if you didn’t get adequate sleep the night before – and even if you did if your days are busy.  Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night is highly recommended.  Studies by the National Institute of Mental Health have determined that a 60 min power nap can reduce the mind numbing effects of information overload, and may help us better retain what we are learning

4)  Reduce stress and deal with anger.  Stress has a negative effect on our health AND stress impacts our metabolism by redirecting blood flow away from the digestion system and preferentially storing fats around the vital organs where it is harder to reduce
through exercise.  It is important to understand that stress is the result of anxiety, and anxiety uses up a whole lot of our energy.  When low but chronic levels of stress erode energy levels, over time you find yourself doing less but feeling it more.

Note:  while for many folks increased exercise burns off the chemical effects of stress and anger, others find relief in quiet pursuits:  listening to music or just talking on the phone.

5)  Eat more whole grains and eat less sugar – the key is to keep blood sugar levels steady so your energy can be consistent.  Whole grains provide a steady release of fuel for your body.

6)  Drink more water and less alcohol -  thirst can also masquerade as fatigue.  It is important, after exercise when body is craving fluids, to drink water that will help boost energy.  Many types of alcohol are loaded with sugars and leave you dehydrated.

7)   Don’t forget the sustaining power of protein – a protein shake can provide 15-25 grams of protein and is very energizing.

When our lifestyle choices are not quite enough, and we need an energy boost to get through an athletic event, a busy day of meetings, or staying up late to study, there are healthy energy boosters to consider.  Many energy drinks on the market, or capsules, chews, etc. have artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives, too much caffeine, and too much sugar.

Healthy, Safe, Nutritious Energy Choices that can fit very easily into your life:

Having enough energy can also boost your mood along with making you more productive and able to enjoy whatever you choose to do each day.  When you think you need a little extra help with your low energy or fatigue, that your regular lifestyle isn’t providing for you, there are safe, healthy, natural choices.

Click:  NATURAL ENERGY BOOSTERS that provide all-natural ingredients to help boost your energy, alertness, and focus – all which can make a huge difference in your life without side effects.  If I am feeling tired or starting to drag mid-way through my day, I chew one of these little ‘vitamin energy chews’ as I like to call them – and within about 15 minutes I am alert and focused again.. and most important I don’t feel tired anymore.  There’s no big burst of energy – and no crash to look forward to.  It’s just a natural feeling that I have energy again.

For one of the healthiest meals you can have, that also contains energizing soy protein, consider trying a 180 SMOOTHEE.  It’s risk free – with a 100% money back guarantee.  It also has leucine that helps you maintain lean muscle that burns calories to help your weight management (or weight loss) goals.

Need More Energy?

Need More Energy?

  • http://jupiterflhomes.com/ DJ Morris

    Thanks for sharing Vicki…for me, I gained a lot of energy when I started eating 5 smaller meals a day and working out on a daily basis from 30-60 minutes. Losing the little bit of extra weight changed everything for me: proper diet, cardio, weight training, yoga works for me :).

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  • Susan K.

    For me Omega3 Fatty Acids do the trick. I use salmon oil (http://bit.ly/9UGbls) to keep my Omegas high. Thanks for the awesome article!

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  • Heather

    This was a great article and there are some tips in there that will be very helpful. I try to do my best to eat small meals thru out the day but I sometimes get busy and forget and that is when I find I get really tired. You are right though eating breakfast is a big help and I used to think I could lose weight by not eating breakfast, boy was that stupid.

  • Juan

    Isn’t it true that a heart condition can cause fatigue as well? I agree though with your article review your life before running to the doctor every time you get tired. The wrong food, not enough water, stress or depression can all cause you to be tired all the time. Review these things and make changes if need be then see what happens.

  • Sharon

    I have to agree with commenter DJ Morris. When I started eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day and exercising every day the energy does get a good boost and it last longer it isn’t like a sugar spike. It can actually last all day. I get up in the morning and eat a bowl of scrambled eggs or oatmeal and I get the energy I need right away.

  • Sherif Girgis

    It is enlightening to see that low energy and fatigue can lead to other problems. Seems like it would be better to address them with some holistic choices to avoid more serious illnesses.

  • cullavathrenz

    Low energy and tiredness are feelings I have experienced. We live busy lives and natural solutions like these can really provide benefits.

  • Gil

    I am always trying to get an advantage over the rest of the population in the form of having extra waking hours so that I can work longer than my competition. The tradeoff for me is less sleep. Some days I sleep two hours. I go to sleep at 4AM and sleep till 6AM. I then stay awake for the rest of the day, but I tend to get really sleepy after dinner around 7PM. Sound strange?

  • Nikki Claudio

    I am one that struggles to get through the day at work and would really feel better boosting my energy levels.

  • Theo

    This really must be a primary topic of dialogue and medical concern for doctors when you consider the recent explosion of energy drinks and now, the newer trend of three or five hour energy herbal remedies. As if that were not enough, I saw a preview on TV about this weeks up coming episode of the show, The Doctors, in which the panel of medical practitioners will address the issue of fatigue and its link to laziness.

  • Joshua

    I know the reasons for my lack of energy. It is solely because of my lack of sleep. The problem for me is that I cannot sleep long hours and on some nights, I can only sleep 2 hours at a time. As a result, my sleep tends to be broken. I’ll sleep 2 hours and then feel tired early in the evening and take a 1 hour nap. I drink coffee because I have yet to find anything better for energy.

  • clarrinstock

    The aging process and targeted answers are broken down well here. From increasing energy due to low energy, to increasing the immune system and providing vitamin ratings data, this site is a great resource.

  • Diane

    I have to admit that when you get out of bed and you are tired and have no energy and it is that way everyday so you go to the doctor and he tells you after all the tests that you are perfectly normal, it is a bit discouraging. I am that way and I eat what I would consider pretty healthy so why am I so tired all the time?

  • Gordon

    This information is helpful to those who really have no clue how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. This is what I would consider general information. I was actually hoping to discover some secret formula or product that would jolt you with energy like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart. I suppose that is too unrealistic to wish for. It would be kind of like asking to be given a few extra hours in the day.

  • Megan

    I am always on the quest to diminish the effects of chronological aging. So I am willing to try just about anything that promises to give me more energy. I am athletic and I try to work out six day per week. But sometimes I will skip a day or two just because I don’t always feel up to showing up for the workout. I’m willing to try Shaklee energy chews. Are these chewable as the name implies?

  • Terrance

    Despite being relatively physically fit and athletic, as I have gotten older, I have gotten less sleep (I now get about 2 to 5 hours per night) and noticed lower levels of energy throughout the day. I know sleep is very important in many aspects of health and aging. So I am not quite sure how much of a factor my low levels of sleep have to do with my fatigue – probably a whole lot.

  • Arnold

    I think it stinks that our need for sleep is a great equalizer for all people. Some of us can try and deprive our bodies of rest by sleeping less in order to gain an advantage on others who may be competing for the same rewards and remuneration, but sooner or later, there will be an accounting. Your body will eventually feel tired and you will have to make up that lost sleep on the back end.

  • Earnest

    This was a very good article. I wake up tired almost every day unless I get over eight hours of sleep, the problem is I have work to do and if I sleep longer than eight hours I get a headache and sometimes a backache. We thought maybe is was our mattress and we weren’t getting quality sleep but now we have a sleep number bed and it isn’t that. What can it be?

  • Mark

    I try to eat right and exercise to build up the energy I need to get through the day the way I am supposed to but I can’t eat carbs without gaining weight, even the carbs that take a while to digest like whole grains. I know I need them for energy and fuel for my body but I can’t bring myself to break my diet, what should I do about this?

  • Caroline

    I have read before about the energy that green tea can give you. So I think I will try these Shaklee Energy chewable tablets. The price seems very reasonable at only twenty one dollars. If this can help me get the needed energy that can motivate me to start my daily workout, I will become a life long consumer of this product. I am a coffee drinker, but I would gladly add green tea to my diet.

  • John

    It is amazing not only how many new energy products there are on the market, but also, how many of the more traditional and well established brands of products have decided to tap into the energy craze and grab their share of this lucrative market. I could only nod my head in amazement while I was watching TV tonight, when I saw a commercial for one of my favorite water flavoring powders, Crystal Light. They are now marketing an energy version of their product.

  • Jacqueline

    When do you know that there is something more wrong then just being tired. I am tired when I get up, I doze of at the computer when I am doing my work and I have no energy to do anything later on in the day either. I force myself to work out every day and I am afraid that I am getting no benefit out of it because I am so tired.

  • Jeffery

    I’ve been wondering lately if I’m tired because I am depressed or stressed or just bored. Maybe it is a combination of all three. I do know that there are some very stressful things going on in my life right now and I do find it easier to just sleep through most of them so I don’t have to deal with them. I know this is hurting me but I don’t know what to do.

  • William

    It is amazing how much more energy the body has when a person exerts their body with physical activity and exercise. It sounds counter intuitive, the idea that you could actually have higher levels of energy by exerting energy. Conventional logic would say that you should feel more tired if you exercise, but such is not the case. I guess it has to do with the elevated levels of endorphins that your body tends to produce.

  • Neal

    It seems like I am tired a lot more than I used to be. On any given day I have to force myself to work out and I am afraid that by doing that I am getting no benefit out of the workout because I am only half heartedly going through the motions. That isn’t a good way to exercise especially when lifting weights. What do you think is there something wrong with me?

  • Grace

    I feel I must ask this question because it is very likely that many people are wondering this. In fact, those who may be trying to decide whether to buy any of the Shaklee energy products may come to a decision once we know if it is possible to increase your energy levels by using the Shaklee chewables if we are already doing everything to maximize our energy – things like proper nutrition, sleep , etc.

  • Gloria

    I appreciated the informative video presentation on the right side panel of this web blog. I really drove home the importance of boosting your body’s immune system by using supplements and this natural product, Interferon. I am interested in giving it a try. Younger people tend to take their immune system for granted because they enjoy the vitality of their youth, but the reality is anyone can catch an airborne pathogen at any time or place.

  • Patricia

    I used to think of the aging process in simplistic terms – as the slowing down of the cellular reguvination process which takes place every twenty four hours. But I feel more educated about aging now that I have watched the video clip which shows the female medical professional really breaking it all down by explaining all of the various factors which contribute to the aging process. Despite its complexity, knowing these details actually helps me to make better decisions about the supplements I decide to take.

  • Charles

    The times that I have felt too low on energy to do anything are days that follow evenings where I barely sleep. I used to think I was more vital than other people because I could sleep less than 5 hours, but after careful examination, I realized I was actually struggling to get through all of my tasks of each day. And even if I got through it all, I was performing at a low level of efficiency. Everyone needs at least 5 hours of sleep in order to feel good throughout the day.

  • Katie

    I wish there was a cure all for hangovers and for losing fat. I suppose if anyone ever came up with a universal remedy for either of these maladies (both of which are related to low energy), they would become billionaires overnight. Maybe that is why you can read about countless concoctions and methods that claim to give you more energy or curb your hunger — as if starving yourself can actually burn fat, Hah!

  • Florencio

    I hate the fact that this country has made the sale of cocaine illegal. The war on drugs has proven to be a complete failure and it is about time substances like marijuana and extracts from the cocoa plant become decriminalized so that the legalization can spark innovation in energy boosting products. There is a sensible way to legalize it and still prevent its abuse from becoming a scourge for our society. Drug crimes exist because these substances are illegal.

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