Fatigue and burn out are two of the most common issues that women come to me seeking help in finding solutions and increasing energy. One of the first recommendations I make to my tired clients is to look at foods and lifestyle factors that may be draining energy, affecting the adrenal glands, and disrupting blood sugar regulation.
Here are 5 significant energy drainers:
Sugar and refined carbohydrates are digested quickly, are then released quickly into the blood stream and trigger a spike in blood glucose levels. This spike provides a boost of energy but it is often followed by an even bigger crash. This blood sugar rollercoaster results in difficulty maintaining energy throughout the day. Cutting sugar out can improve sustainable energy and reduce energy dips.
I admit it – I love coffee. But I’ve had to curb it to fight my own battles with adrenal fatigue. Caffeine gives you an energy boost by signaling the adrenals to release cortisol which initiates the fight or flight response. This also triggers the release of insulin which regulates blood sugar levels and signals the need for more glucose for fuel. This cycle can be very taxing to the adrenal glands and it can lead to even greater fatigue. Keep caffeine consumption below 200 mg per day – that equates to one 8 oz cup of brewed coffee, 2 cups of black tea and 3 cups of green tea. If you are struggling with adrenal fatigue, I recommend quitting caffeine all together while you re-balance your endocrine system. A gradual reduction is best to avoid withdrawal headaches. If you opt for decaf coffee, try to make sure that is decaffeinated via the Swiss water process to avoid chemicals. Even better, try caffeine free herbal teas.
Alcohol is an anti-nutrient. This means that it actually inhibits the absorption of nutrients like B-vitamins and zinc which are necessary for energy production. Alcohol can also impact sleep. Even though it may help you to fall asleep, it negatively impacts the quality of sleep which can leave you feeling more tired. Drink in moderation and don’t rely on a glass of wine to help you sleep.
4) Technology before bed
Electronics like computers, tablets or smartphones release blue light. This light can suppress the production of melatonin which makes it harder to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Looking at content on your gadgets before you go to sleep can also keep you stimulated and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Make it a point to turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before you get ready for bed and don’t bring technology into the bedroom.
Stress, worry and anxiety can be exhausting. Quite often you can’t change circumstances that may be stressful, but you can try to let go of worrying about things you can’t control. As a grade A worrier, this is one of my biggest struggles. When I start to worry obsessively about something or feel stressed out, I look at the situation, determine what action I can take to make an impact, acknowledge what I am already doing, and then I try to let go of the rest (this is the tough part). Things that I find help with letting go are meditation, prayer, exercise, talking to a friend or my husband, and breathing particularly in the moment when I am feeling anxious.
Over to you: What are things that you find drain your energy? What are ways that you can eliminate these things in your life? Leave comments below.
To your vitality,
PS. If you would like support in feeling more energized and vibrant, check out my Energy Reset Program