Why You're Always Tired

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN

Your hectic schedule isn't the only thing that is making you tired. Have you considered the other factors at play?

Perhaps it’s not your job, the traffic jams or your long list of responsibilities. Perhaps it’s something fundamental that you’re doing — or not doing.

Below we’ll concentrate on six factors that could be to blame for your lack of energy. Have you considered these yet?

Your Diet Can Make You Tired

Your car doesn't just run on any form of energy. The same applies to your body. Is it receiving the right kind of "fuel"?

Simple carbohydrates in the form of sugar can help to jump-start your “engine,” but this type of fuel runs out quickly, leaving you feeling “burned out” in the end.

You need long-lasting fuel in the form complex carbohydrates. Vegetables, beans, and whole grains contain long-chain carbohydrates which are “burned” slowly. Eat them!

Running Low on ATP Makes You Tired

The body’s primary energy molecule is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It fuels every metabolic reaction in your body. As you age, your supply dwindles, which can explain why younger people tend to have more energy.

In order to make ATP, your body needs “help” from different sources. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and an antioxidant called pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) are active “participants” in the process.

You can boost your production of ATP by taking these supplements.

A Sluggish Thyroid Can Make You Tired

If you feel tired all the time, consider checking your thyroid function. The thyroid regulates the rate at which your body consumes energy.

Even if your thyroid hormone levels are slightly off, you can still feel fatigued. Make sure to ask your doctor for a comprehensive thyroid panel which screens for TSH, T4, T3, plus free T3 and free T4 levels.

Testing TSH by itself will not provide enough information!

Not Sleeping Well Makes You Tired

If you don’t get enough sleep (seven hours), you’ll probably never feel energetic. Sleep helps your body recharge.

Research shows sleep increases the levels of ATP in the brain,1 which may explain why an all-nighter can leave you mentally drained the next morning.

Dehydration Can Make You Feel Tired

Are you sure you're really drinking enough water? Research shows that even mild dehydration may cause fatigue.2, 3, 4

If you’re not getting eight glasses a day, load up on fruits and vegetables that are hydrating, such as spinach, cucumber, celery, and tomatoes.

A Medical Condition Can Make You Feel Tired

If you are constantly tired despite making lifestyle changes, you may want to see a doctor. It's always a good idea to rule out anything more serious.

Persistent fatigue can actually be a symptom of anemia, anxiety, depression, allergies or even heart problems. If none of the suggestions above are working for you, please consider getting a professional opinion.

References

  1. J Neurosci. 2010 Jun 30;30(26):9007-16. 
  2. PLoS One. 2014 Apr 11;9(4):e94754. 
  3. Br J Nutr. 2011 Nov;106(10):1535-43.  
  4. J Nutr. 2012 Feb;142(2):382-8.

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