Feeling sluggish and even exhausted on a daily basis? There are a number of reasons (most remediable) that may be tiring you out. The following are five of the most common reasons many Americans are struggling to find energy and vitality:
According to the Journal of Nutrition, even mild dehydration can make you feel as though you want to crawl back into bed. Dehydration is also linked to slower cognition, dry skin, headaches, constipation, dizziness, sunken eyes, and the list goes on.
If you aren’t thirsty, this doesn’t mean you aren’t hydrated. By the time we are thirsty, we are usually between 1 and 2 percent dehydrated.
Beyond water, you can gain hydration from non-concentrated fruit juice, sports drinks, non-caffeinated teas, vegetable juice, most fruits and vegetables, and various water containing foods.
Action Plan: Drink between eight and 10 glasses of water per day (at least), and you’ll be on the right track.
2. Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
It is essential that you gain enough vitamin B12 to assure the growth of red blood cells. This is commonly gained through animal products.
If you have recently given up meat, dairy, eggs and fish, you may not be getting enough B12. Vegans are commonly faced with this problem and need to turn to daily supplements for a boost.
Head to your doctor for a blood test if you question your B12 levels. You can also supplement your diet with fortified cereals and nutritional yeast. In extreme cases, your doctor may give you a shot of the vitamin.
3. Not Enough Iron in Your Blood
According to Nancy Berliner, MD, chief of Hematology at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, more than 10 percent of women are iron deficient. This is often caused by heavy periods, childbirth, and failure to consume enough iron.
It is also common for long distance runners and serious athletes to experience iron deficiencies. Repetitive exercises and impact on pavement can damage (and even destroy) red blood cells.
If you suspect you have an iron deficiency, don’t simply begin taking iron supplements. It is important that you have a blood test, as consuming too much iron can cause major problems for your body. Once your levels are checked, your doctor will prescribe supplements if needed.
4. Daily Caffeine Overdose
Researchers from Harvard have discovered that you shouldn’t consume more than a quarter or half-cups of coffee at a time. Beginning the day with a huge mug of coffee will most likely set you up for an afternoon crash.
When coffee is over consumed, your adrenaline levels are thrown into a “fight or flight” mode. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered that large doses of caffeine produce shallow breathing, increase blood pressure, and stimulate the heart.
It has been discovered that it takes a full 24 hours for caffeine to work itself out of the body. Thus, if you have a large doses of coffee throughout the day, the substance has the power to negatively affect the quality of your rest, reducing rapid eye movement sleep.
This is why you may wake up in the morning feeling like you need another huge mug of coffee. It’s the cycle that never ends!
5. Lots of Carbohydrates for Breakfast
Beginning your day with massive amounts of refined carbohydrates via pancakes, waffles, sugary cereals, and concentrated juices causes your blood sugar to spike and then plunge in a few hours.
Instead, eat complex carbohydrates and foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Also, it is a much better policy to eat a piece of fruit and juice fresh fruits and veggies than to fill your stomach with concentrated juices.
Bonus tip: Dr. Michael Lam, M.D., asserts that most people don’t eat the correct diet for their blood type, which causes Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Discover your blood type and then study the foods that will best support your health.
And of course, don’t forget to exercise at least a few times a week. This will help tremendously.