Is Your Diet to Blame for Your Energy Levels?
June 19, 2019 | Published by Brandon Hoenisch
If you wake up feeling tired and sluggish every morning, you could be experiencing adrenal fatigue. Moreover, your diet could be part of the problem. What and how you eat is crucial to your overall wellbeing, including how much energy you have throughout the day. In this blog we offer some diet tips to help restore some of that missing energy.
Ditch the morning coffee and eat a healthy breakfast
You’ve likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but approximately 25% of women skip breakfast in lieu of coffee. (1) Not only does this deprive your HPA Stress Axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands) of the nutrients they need to help regulate energy, but the additional caffeine sends your blood glucose levels on a roller coaster ride and can worsen your adrenal fatigue and hypoglycemia. (2)
Get rid of the sugary cereals and foods and replace them with a meal that will support your HPA Stress Axis. Include protein, fats (oils) and a small amount of starchy unrefined carbohydrates with every breakfast meal. Substitute your coffee with green tea. Even though it has a small amount of caffeine, it contains high amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients. It is pleasant tasting, refreshing, easy to make, and can be taken hot, cold, or at room temperature.
If you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, you’ve probably also noticed you start feeling lethargic around 10am. If you wake up around 7am, this is typically when your blood sugar tends to drop off. Thankfully, you can combat this drop in energy with a healthy snack. Some raw seeds or roasted nuts are a great adrenal-friendly snack, or even some organic soy beans with a little soy sauce sprinkled on top.
Water is a necessity for maintaining normal body function, but it’s also important for energy as well. Dehydration leads to fatigue. You feel more awake and alert when you are hydrated because being dehydrated slowly eats away at your body functions throughout the day. (3)
If you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue and find it difficult to consume water, or if you feel more tired after drinking water, try adding a little sea salt to each glass. The balance of sodium and potassium significantly affects the symptoms experienced by people with adrenal fatigue. To help balance the ratio, try adding ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt to a glass of drinking water, especially in the morning. (2)
Eat less more often
Cortisol, the stress hormone, moderates your blood sugar between meals, especially during the night. This is done by signaling the liver to release glycogen, your body’s stored sugar, when there isn’t food on board. (1) During longer periods without food, the adrenals work harder by requiring them to release more cortisol to keep your body functioning normally. Therefore, people with compromised energy levels get along better by eating smaller meals more regularly.
Try meal reversal
Meal reversal is another option inspired by the work of American bio-psychologist Professor Kurt Richter. This relatively new way of thinking about how we eat is based on the fact that our bodies are designed to work on a time-pattern.
This science, called biochronology, uses the understanding of gastrointestinal peak performance and down times to help improve our digestive and overall health. The practice of meal reversal involves a larger meal for breakfast, a medium size meal for lunch and a smaller meal for dinner.
If you feel like you’re lacking energy, there are many dietary options out there that may be right for you. Be sure to check in with your healthcare practitioner to see if these, or any other methods, are right for you.
- Bakker, E. What to Eat for Fatigue. ericbakker.com. http://ericbakker.com/what-to-eat-for-fatigue/
- Wilson, J. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome.
- Zeeburg, A. 11 Reasons to Never Neglect Water. Men’s Journal. https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/5-reasons-never-neglect-water/
Categorised in: Nutrition