Hey, Healthy Crushers. (I don’t think I’ve ever said that before, but I kinda like it).
Let’s talk about something important. It’s called being tired. Being tired feels GREAT when you’ve had a long, productive, fun day, or when you’re done with a kickass workout. But being tired feels EXTREMELY NON-GREAT when you don’t want to be tired. Feeling tired really sucks when you need energy to do things (i.e. most things besides sleeping).
One of the things I’m most interested in when it comes to nutrition and health has always been energy and mood, because different food/beverage/lifestyle changes really affect me in those areas. Lately I’ve been waking up feeling more tired than usual and I can link it to a combination of verrrry specific things.
Feeling exhausted can creep up on us unexpectedly, and it’s usually the result of a few particular habits. The good news is, most of them are pretty easily fixable.
Do you feel like this?
Here are 8 reasons you might be exhausted:
1) You’re drinking too much caffeine.
Caffeine is cool, but if you’re managing your energy all day long with caffeine you’ll likely be exhausted — you’re dipping way below your natural energy reserves in order to stay alert. When you drink a lot of caffeine and you’re already tired, it can lead to eventual burnout and a reliance on more and more caffeine to get through the day. This becomes a pretty miserable cycle – one that I’m way too familiar with. There’s a difference between using caffeine to perk up and enhance the day, vs. using caffeine to actually be able to make it through the day. Read my post about curbing caffeine addiction. My suggestion? Have your caffeine if you want it…but if you’re needing a constant refill all day long, cut back and swap with fresh, hydrating water.
2) The QUALITY of your caffeine is terrible
Something I recently learned from Dave Asprey is that the QUALITY of the caffeinated beverage you’re drinking can have a huge effect on how it makes you feel. In his book the Bulletproof Diet, he notes that before he started paying attention to the quality of his coffee, he was always on that coffee high/coffee crash rollercoaster. Most coffee is loaded with toxins, especially if you’re not getting it from an organic source – it’s one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops. Same with tea – if you’re not getting organic tea, a lot of tea has been sprayed with pesticides or contains artificial flavorings (read Vani’s post – Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?). My suggestion? Don’t just drink any random coffee from the local gas station, especially if you’re already feeling exhausted.
3) You’re not drinking enough water
Did you know that staying hydrated has a huge effect on how much energy you have? After my hydration challenge was over and I wasn’t so focused on drinking water, I noticed a big dip in my energy levels. Upping your water intake will make you more alert, awake, and will keep every cell in your body full of life. Try it. Trust me. I aim for 2-3 liters of water per day for optimal energy, but just increase whatever you’re drinking now and you will see a difference. (And if you want to help other people around the world get more clean drinking water, you can donate to my Healthy Crush Charity Water page here – it’s all done directly through Charity Water for total transparency in where your money is going!)
4) Your sleep habits are ineffective
I know, it seems obvious. If your sleeping habits are off, you’ll be tired. But really, there is so much that goes into good sleep. Read more in my post here – 8 Ways To Supercharge Your Sleep.
5) You’re having too much sugar or alcohol
Just like caffeine, sugar and alcohol can both be very taxing on your energy. If either of these 2 things play a big role in your life, try cutting back or eliminating them – even just for a few days – and see how you feel. I wrote a whole manifesto about sugar and sweeteners here, but the bottom line is that your body is not functioning optimally if you are pounding yourself with sugar and alcohol. You know it. I know it. If you’re exhausted — cut back.
6) You aren’t exercising
Contrary to what you may think, if you’re feeling low energy, movement might be exactly what you need, not more rest. The key is to get out of that “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to exercise. You don’t need to push yourself to a 90 minute long workout class in order to reap the energizing benefits of exercise. Get out for a 15 minute jog to get your blood pumping. Do a headstand to refresh your energy. Do 20 squats. Get in the habit of doing some type of movement when you’re feeling low energy, and you’ll get a natural boost quickly. (On the contrary…you might be over-exercising).
7) Your house is a mess
Sounds weird, but it’s true. Having clutter around your house can lead to you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted. Read more about how clutter can affect your entire life. If you’re feeling tired, your first order of business might be to clean up your house and get rid of all the crap that’s literally weighing you down.
8) You’re saying “yes” to too many things
Do you have trouble saying no? If so, this might be why you’re exhausted. You’re over-exerting yourself and leaving no time to recharge. If you know this is true, try saying “no” to the things you normally would say yes to out of obligation, and only say yes to things that make you excited and energized. Say no to things that drain you. I promise you — once you get started on your “no” extravaganza, you’ll feel so good you won’t be able to stop. :) I also promise you that there are some things in your life you think you “NEED” to say yes to that you really don’t. Try it. Saying “no” is one of my all-time favorite methods of self care.
Do you resonate with any of those 8 things? If so, great news – you can change all of them…today!! I’m willing to bet that if you change just a few of these habits, you’ll begin waking up with way more energy.
Feel like you’re doing everything right but still need an extra boost? There are a few supplements that can help with energy.
Just put your email in the box below and I’ll send you my top recommendations for energy-boosting supplements. We use all of them at Dr. Frank Lipman’s office, and patients usually feel great results. The supplements are herbs and vitamins that can help boost your adrenals (your body’s response to stress) and give you health-supporting nutrients to enhance your natural energy.
Regarding supplements, I wouldn’t RELY on them — try the lifestyle changes I recommend above, and use supplements as a way to gently support you along the way. Also, I’m not a doctor, I’m a health coach. So please definitely consult with your doctor before adding these supplements to your life. :)
What do you think? Are any of these energy-zappers affecting you? Let’s hear it.