Updated: Jan 2
It is such a drag to slog through the day feeling groggy and foggy. Feeling overwhelmed and under productive. And...feeling like you want to crawl back under the covers for a nice, long nap to catch up on the sleep you didn't get at night. I don't know about you, but when I used to go through my days dragging and tired, it put me in a really bad mood.
Low energy issues sneak up on you and a lot of the time you don't even realize how much better you could feel if you weren't so fatigued. It's easy to get used to the fatigue as well as the overwhelm, the brain fog and the moodiness that comes along with it. However, it's not normal to feel that way!
How would it be to feel invigorated every day with excitement because you have the energy to accomplish all that you want to do and feel great while doing it? If you aren't feeling this way, then it's time to examine the reason or reasons that you may be feeling less than awesome.
5 common causes of low energy
There are many causes of fatigue and low energy which are usually a combination of many different factors. This is why it is important to do what you can to lessen the impact of each one while determining what works for you as an individual.
Circadian Rhythm Disruption
The circadian rhythm is your internal system that regulates your body’s own natural sleep and wake cycles. It is based on a 24 hour biological clock which is built into your brain and is tied to the rise and fall of the sun.
During the daytime, the circadian clock ensures that your metabolism shifts to a state of energy production and energy storage. During the night, it promotes sleep and your metabolism shifts to a state of mobilization of that stored energy. When the sun goes down, your tissues are signaled that it is soon time to sleep and fast. During the day, the sunlight signals that it is time to be awake and feeding.
Disruption of this natural rhythm causes biological changes to your hormones affecting many different systems throughout your body. This natural rhythm is tied to many functions including sleep and rejuvenation and affects your daytime alertness. It affects your energy regulating hormones, your metabolism regulating hormones, your appetite regulating hormones, your stress hormones, and also the neurotransmitters that affect your energy and mood.
Disrupted circadian rhythm is the largest contributing factor in the cause of fatigue causing the mitochondria, the cellular energy generators, to become weaker and weaker over time and eventually dysfunctional.
In addition, you become less efficient in rebuilding mitochondria and the balance of important neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, becomes disrupted. You will not be able to address fatigue and energy issues unless you first successfully manage your circadian rhythm patterns and get the sleep that your body needs to keep your immune system strong and your energy levels stabilized.
Circadian rhythm disruption that contributes to chronic sleep deprivation weakens your mitochondria, can increase inflammation, can impair blood sugar regulation, can increase risk for chronic diseases, can be a factor in weight gain, can be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and it can be associated with depression, anxiety and mood disorders.
A major influence on your energy levels is hydration. Drinking the proper amount of water each and every day is a non-negotiable if you want to have good energy all day. It does not take much to become dehydrated, in fact most people walk around mildly dehydrated and don’t even know.
Dehydration can be a big player in your fatigue issues. Proper hydration allows your body and all systems to work at their optimum levels and supports normal weight, healthy skin and internal functions.
Mild dehydration actually affects your mental and physical performance. It can be the cause of constipation, headaches, lethargy, mental confusion and lack of concentration. Chronic low level dehydration can result in joint pain, gastric ulcers, asthma and allergies and more.
Being properly hydrated is important for all bodily functions all the way down to the cellular level. The adult body is 60%-70% water. Water is the primary component of all of the bodily fluids and involved in almost every bodily function. You need to stay hydrated in order to detoxify your body and for the maintenance of your digestive system. Good levels of hydration are also needed for the functioning of your kidneys where toxins that are generated by the body or that you have consumed are eliminated.
Blood Sugar Imbalances
Balancing blood sugar levels is necessary in order to have more consistent energy throughout the day. In addition, by keeping your blood sugar in balance you should notice a more stable mood, less cravings, and reduced brain fog. Balanced blood sugar also helps to balance hormones, decrease inflammation and lower risk of chronic disease.
It is very important to maintain an even blood sugar level as it is the key to maintaining balanced energy levels as well as appetite and weight control. When blood sugar is too high, you turn the excess into fat and when it is too low, you feel lethargic. The result of constant blood sugar imbalances is type 2 diabetes. Once diabetic, the risk factor for heart disease goes up 8 times!
When you are eating foods your body has to struggle to digest and they do not provide the nutrients you need, you are ultimately robbing yourself of valuable energy. Your mitochondria rely on the proper nutrients from food to function optimally and to thrive.
If you are eating foods that are void of the nutrients you need to strengthen your mitochondria, which in turn help you produce energy and feel good all day, then you will continue feeling poorly with low energy.
If you provide your body with the proper nutrients, you will optimize your diet to give you the fuel to energize your day, your body will feel better and you will have a clear mind. In order to balance your energy throughout the day, it is of utmost importance to eat a variety of nutrient rich foods that will keep all systems operating without draining your energy or causing blood sugar spikes and crashes.
You need a combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat to fuel your metabolism providing the correct balance of energy that your body needs to function. When you are regularly eating a clean and nutrient dense diet, you should start to feel a difference in how you are feeling, have more energy and feel balanced and whole.
Stress is a major player when it comes to decreased energy. It affects your ability to get deep, restorative sleep and can be a drain on your energy levels during the day. If you are in a constant state of stress and not getting the rest that your body needs to repair and regenerate, you eventually run yourself into the ground making it even harder to get healthy and feel good again.
When your mitochondria are subjected to constant stressors, which can be in the form of psychological, emotional or physical stress, exposure to toxins in food and environment, sleep deprivation, poor gut health and many others, they shut down their energy production and move into cell defense mode.
This means less energy for you to have to devote towards your regular body functions resulting in fatigue, brain fog, mood disorders and digestive issues. Your resistance to stress parallels the health of your mitochondria. When you are under stress, energy is being diverted from the normal jobs of digestion, cleansing and rejuvenating. Every minute that you spend under stress you are literally speeding up the aging process in your body.
When your mitochondria suffer, your energy suffers. It is important for everybody to take some time to themselves, practice self-care and focus on managing stress. Learn what techniques work best for you to manage your stress and increase your resilience.
These are 5 areas you can start examining for yourself and working on today to see if you can increase your energy to face every day with enthusiasm and spend your time being healthy, happy and energized!
Ready to start living your life with abundant energy, better moods and optimal health? I have a proven methodology that gets results! Give me 12 weeks and I can get you there. Jump on a FREE call with me and I’ll tell you all about it. Go here to book--> Abundant Energy Strategy Session
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About the Author
Kristi Ryan is the founder of Kristi Ryan Holistic Nutrition and the creator of the Abundant Energy Method for Busy Women. As a holistic nutrition and health coach specializing in energy wellness she supports, educates, motivates and empowers busy women with nutrition, mindset and lifestyle transformation using her proven methodology to bring abundant energy and vitality into their lives.
Disclaimer: The information I share is for general information only and is not intended to replace medical advice. I do not diagnose, treat or cure disease, prescribe treatments or medications, or recommend medical treatment or surgery. You should speak to your physician prior to making any changes to your diet, lifestyle, exercise or medications or acting on anything you have read or discussed with me. If you don’t, you are doing so at your own risk.
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