Over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken with people who are chronically tired and wish they had more energy. If you’re one of them, here are three somethings that may be causing this and some little things you can do to help.
The first something is lack of vitamin D: it’s hard to get enough at these latitudes, especially if you didn’t see much daylight over the winter.
Vitamin D is found in oily foods and can be supplemented; choose the D3 form paired with vitamin K2. If you are feeling absolutely wiped out, please get tested for low vitamin D (and B12 while you are it).
The next something is your mitochondria – these miniscule organelles are in all your cells and are responsible for producing your energy from the food you eat. You have trillions of these amazing structures, but they still need nurturing.
The third something are the damaging ‘free radicals’ (FRs) released as a natural by-product when your mitochondria make energy.
When strong, mitochondria produce a lot of energy and a trickle of FRs; when weakened, they produce little energy and many more FRs.
Free radicals can be neutralised by antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C and E), but when your diet is poor or you are stressed, your mitochondria suffer and underperform.
You end up feeling tired: this can range from the constant need for coffee to full blown chronic fatigue or ME.
Mitochondria don’t just produce your energy but also act as defence systems: the problem is, if there is too much to defend, there won’t be enough strong mitochondria to produce the energy you need.
This means your body’s capacity to handle stressors is very important – when that capacity diminishes, so does your health.
If you are tired, have a look at the total stress load you get from sleep (disrupted), diet (little variety, eaten in a rush), exercise (too little or too much), gut health (bloating, pain), environmental toxins (glyphosate, oestrogen mimickers, heavy metals, dirty air, etc), relationships (strained), community (loneliness) and look at small, positive changes you can make over the coming weeks.
Another way to strengthen your mitochondria is through Intermittent Hypoxic Training. Much easier than it sounds, here is one way to do it: non-asthmatics, when walking, exhale as much as possible and keep walking until you gasp air back in. Get your breath back and repeat 4-12 times daily.
Jacqui is a nutrition and energy consultant; you can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqui Carrel – JEP 400 words – Cellular Energy – 17 April 2019