Raise your hand if you’re sick of being chronically tired. I mean seriously, how many times have you used the excuse “I’m too tired” to skip the gym. It's the number one reason why most adults don't exercise. What if I told you that exercise will actually boost your energy levels? What if I told you that trying to fix the problem with more caffeine will only make it worse? Here are some of the most common causes for chronic fatigued that myself or my clients have experienced, and why you might be struggling too.
You’re not eating enough. Your body requires food each day in order to perform its basic, life-sustaining functions. Your brain uses 60% of the total calories needed to live. You use your brain for literally everything, so it makes sense, but this is just another (big) reason why starving yourself is not the answer. Food is fuel measured in calories, which are used by your body to think, sit, stand, digest, walk, and everything else that goes on within your body. No wonder why undereating will cause fatigue.
You are not active enough. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Living a very sedentary lifestyle will cause chronic fatigue. While it might seem strange, being more active will actually boost your energy levels.
You drink too much caffeine. Though it’s true that caffeine is a stimulant and will wake you up, overconsumption of it will have the opposite effect on your body. According to Mayo Clinic, 400mg of caffeine a day seems to be safe (that’s about 4 cups of coffee - and when I say one cup, I actually mean 1 cup, the standardized unit of measurement, not the coffee mug you’re using). Honestly, I don’t know the science behind it, but I can say from experience that this is absolutely true. Caffeine is a drug and it is quite addicting. You will need more and more of it to get the same effects, causing you to progressively increase your intake to unhealthy levels. The more caffeine you consume, the less sensitive to caffeine you’ll be. Get yourself to a place where all you need is your morning coffee to get your through the day.
You are dehydrated. Tired, hungry, irritable, happy, sad--the solution could be water. Dehydration is the culprit of a lot of issues you could be experiencing. Drink up!
You are not getting enough quality sleep. Sure, this is the most obvious answer to the problem. Quality and quantity are not the same thing. I’d rather take 5 hours of sound sleep than toss and turn for 9 hours because I know the quality of sleep will determine how I feel the next day.
You are sleeping too much. Seems backwards, doesn’t it? But it's the truth. Much like how living a sedentary lifestyle will cause fatigue, sleeping too much will make matters worse.
You’re not eating a balanced diet. You’ve heard it a million times-a balanced diet consists of complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and loads of vegetables. Each macronutrient, carbohydrates, protein, and fats, serve unique functions within the body. They are all necessary to consume as well a getting micronutrients from greens. Lack of any macro or micronutrient would result in your body not being able to optimally function and therefore cause fatigue.
You’re eating too many simple sugars. Refined carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar levels, leading to a subsequent crash, and make you exhausted.
Now, this list is not all-inclusive. There absolutely are serious health conditions out there that will cause chronic fatigue. The above are things that you’re able to control, but if you think your problem is stemming from a deeper root, please consult your doctor.