It seems that nearly everyone is lacking energy these days. Everywhere you look, there are products that promise to increase your energy levels and grant you a new outlook on life. Low energy levels or fatigue can have many causes and it can be hard to find a single solution that will suit everyone. There are however, some basic practices that you can put into place to help boost your energy levels every day.
Causes of fatigue
Fatigue is a constant feeling of weakness or tiredness that doesn’t go away when you rest . Each year about 1.5 million Australians see their doctor complaining of feeling fatigued. Fatigue can be caused by a combination of physical, mental and lifestyle factors. The main causes of fatigue can include:
• Poor diet
• Lack of sleep
• Lifestyle factors such as smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol
• Blood sugar irregularities
• Hormonal changes
• Low iron in women
Causes of fatigue differ between men and woman, with women being more likely to suffer from low iron levels and hypothyroidism.
Changes can you make to increase your energy levels
Diet plays a big role in determining you energy levels for the day. If you fill your body with poor quality fuel (in this case, your food) then it will not work at an optimal level. Highly processed food can drain your energy levels and leave you feeling fatigued. It’s important to provide your body with all the necessary nutrients to produce high levels of sustainable, natural energy. This includes getting your vitamins and minerals from a wide range of foods, including vegetables and fruit.
If you’re worried that you’re not getting all your nutritional needs from your diet, think about supporting your vitamin and mineral intake with a multivitamin. A multivitamin is a combination of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are necessary for the proper functioning of your body. With these nutrients present, your body can operate efficiently to produce energy, vitality and good health.
Choosing your multivitamin
There are many multivitamins available on the market, but how do you know which one best suits your needs? When purchasing a multivitamin it’s important to consider:
• Nutrient strength - vitamins and minerals should be in adequate doses. Don’t forget to look at the B vitamin content. These are particularly helpful in increasing your energy production and preventing nervous tension and anxiety.
• Specific herbs - good multivitamins will contain added herbs in high strengths to support energy production and support optimal body functioning.
To make sure you get the right nutrition, it’s best to buy a multivitamin that’s been formulated specifically for your gender. Men and women have different physiologies and require different levels of nutrients to support optimal health. A good multivitamin will contain high amounts of energy supportive herbs to complement the action of the B vitamins.
Men’s multivitamins should contain higher amounts of selenium and additional nutrients such as lycopene, to provide antioxidant protection for the prostate. A good men’s multivitamin will contain added herbs to assist in energy production. This may include:
Tribulus - increases energy levels by indirectly supporting the production of testosterone (a hormone produced by men).
Siberian Ginseng - helps to increase physical and mental performance levels while under stress.
Women’s multivitamins should include higher amounts of iron to prevent anaemia, and iodine to support thyroid health. Additional herbs can include:
Grape seed - provides powerful antioxidant properties that protect cells from free radical damage. Grape seed also assists in maintaining healthy blood vessels and capillaries.
Milk thistle - if your liver is sluggish you may begin to feel tired as your liver struggles to breakdown toxins. Milk thistle supports the liver detoxification process and can be helpful in improving your energy levels.
If your children are fussy eaters and aren’t eating a wide variety of foods, it can be easy to miss out on essential nutrients. Making sure your children are getting all their required vitamins and minerals is important because they need extra nutrients to support connective tissue growth and repair.
Children’s multivitamins are available in naturally flavoured ‘children friendly’ chewable tablets, so you can give your children their vitamin intake with no arguments! Make sure your child’s multivitamin is free from artificial preservatives, colourings and sweeteners by choosing a brand that uses xylitol or stevia as the sweetener in their tablets.
Don’t forget to exercise!
Exercise is a great way to get you and your children active and increase your energy levels at the same time. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do when you’re tired, but being active for 30 minutes a day can increase your energy levels and reduce stress levels. Additionally it’s important to get healthy sun exposure in the mid-morning or afternoon for your body to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D.
A deficiency in vitamin D can contribute to low energy levels and poor mood. This is because of its relationship with melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces during the afternoon to make you feel tired. Because melatonin and vitamin D work in a balance, if your vitamin D levels are low, your melatonin can be high, leading to feelings of tiredness. If you’re unable to get adequate sun exposure you can get your daily vitamin D intake by supplementation. Vitamin D is available in capsules or convenient spray.
Written By Juliet Cox
Juliet Cox holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) and has been involved in the natural health industry for 10 years. With a passion for nutrition and herbal medicine, Juliet loves to share her knowledge to help people achieve their health and fitness goals.
Fatigue, Better Health Channel. Retrieved on 27/2/2015 from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Fatigue_explained
Fatigue. Retrieved on 27/2/2015 from http://www.nps.org.au/topics/signs-and-symptoms/fatigue
Can a lack of Vitamin D cause you to feel fatigued? Retrieved on 27/2/2015 from http://www.livestrong.com/article/402454-can-a-lack-of-vitamin-d-cause-you-to-be-fatigued/
Vitamin D, Better Health Channel. Retrieved on 27/2/2014 from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Vitamin_D
Products that you may consider to help you boost your energy levels include Herbs of Gold Children’s Multi Care, Men’s Multi, Women’s Multi and D3 Spray.
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