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“I need a coffee!” Who hasn’t said this before? I know I have! Who loves to drink a coffee, tea, energy drink, or soft drink? Who drinks it because they think it gives you more energy? What about the times you get sleepy-eyed at work and feel that a coffee kick will do the trick? Well, think twice! Did you know that caffeine, even in the afternoon, can interfere with much-needed sleeping patterns? Chronic caffeine consumption can ruin your energy levels and cause unpleasant side effects like fatigue. Crazy, right?
It stimulates your central nervous system affecting your body in numerous ways. Knowing the symptoms of caffeine and its long-term effects on your body may make you think twice about having that fourth cup of coffee.
“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and the most commonly consumed psychoactive drug.”
Studies have shown that although it is safe when consumed in low-to-moderate amounts, extremely high doses of 1,000mg or more per day have been reported to cause nervousness, jitteriness, and similar symptoms in many people. However, did you know that it can have the opposite effect causing rebound fatigue after caffeine leaves your system? Yep! I know, who would’ve thought!
Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. When it reaches your brain, the most noticeable effect is alertness. You’ll feel more awake and less tired. Some people consider coffee to be a health drink, but like most foods, overindulging can cause problems. Don’t be fooled, thinking “another cuppa won’t hurt.”
Often, when people get a headache, they automatically think that they need a caffeine fix. This is usually linked to caffeine withdrawal. What happens is that the blood vessels in your brain become used to the effect of caffeine so when you suddenly stop consuming caffeine, it causes withdrawals and unwanted side effects. It can get to the point that your system becomes immune to its effects, no longer giving you that energy boost you want!
“A Mayo Clinic partnered study found that men who drank more than four 8 fl.oz. cups of coffee had a 21% increase in all-cause mortality.”
Not really something you want to hear, but it’s the truth!
So, like a wise proverb says, “everything in moderation!” Less coffee equals less fatigue.
I’m sure that I am not the first person to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s true. Breakfast sets the stage for your energy levels and blood sugar balance for the rest of the day.
I don’t know about you, but I love the smell of freshly baked bread straight out of the oven! Mmm… Unfortunately, eating too many carbohydrate foods for brekky is bad for your energy levels and can promote fatigue. Why?
According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, you should get 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories from carbohydrates.
Does this mean yes to potato chips, pizza, and doughnuts? I’m sorry but no. Ideally, you should get your carbohydrates from whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, non-starchy veggies, meats, fruits, and eggs.
Carbs, especially refined carbohydrates, and starches give your body a rush of energy, but it’s short-term. Things like granola, cereal, toast, and pastries do you no energy favors. When your body releases insulin to control your blood sugar levels, those carbohydrates -which have now converted into sugar- make their way to your muscles, liver and other organs leaving you feeling sluggish and tired.
Many people think that they should have a load of carbs for brekky, thinking, ‘this will keep me going till lunch.’ Well, not really. You should be eating protein for brekky. Eating protein for breakfast helps you to stabilize your blood sugar. Your cortisol is highest in the morning, and your glycogen reserves are somewhat depleted. Eating carbs will quickly make it full, but it’s a quick fix and is short lived. Eating protein helps to stabilize blood sugar for longer, keeping you feeling less hungry during the day, helping you eat less.
So in a nutshell, protein is fantastic for stabilizing your blood sugar and helps keep you energized all morning. My favorite breakfast is poached eggs on roasted yams with sauerkraut and avocado.
Why is going to sleep before 10:30pm so darn important? What connection is there with your energy levels?
Well, did you know that the deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10pm – 2am? After 2am, your sleep becomes more superficial. Yep! If your body is chronically deprived of this regenerative sleep between those times, you may still feel tired when you wake up in the morning.
Having excellent deep sleep has many benefits such as: maintaining a healthy weight, fighting high-stress levels, and keeping your energy levels HIGH! Who doesn’t want these benefits, right?
Now, why? Why 10-10:30pm, and what does it have to do with our energy levels?
It all has to do with an internal clock lodged deep inside your brain that regulates your sleep – the pineal gland. Yep, amazing stuff. What happens is, the pineal gland receives information about sunlight or light through your eyes. When the sun sets, that gland tells your body it’s dark outside, and this is when melatonin steps in, affecting your sleep. How amazing, right? So, how can you work with this amazing internal clock? Well, after the sun goes down, keep lights low or use candles. Bright lights will make your pineal gland think it is still daytime and mess up your melatonin levels.
Your body removes the effects of free radicals that have been produced by stress throughout the day when you sleep. This natural, nocturnal clean-up crew, maintains your physical balance without barely any effort. All you need to do to benefit from this process is to sleep when your pineal gland sends the melatonin signal.
So, turn off all electronics! Yes, you guessed it, this means no TV, no Netflix, no Instagram, no Facebook, etc.
Fatigue is incredibly common. Almost every single one of my clients complains about low energy to some degree. And for others fatigue is chronic. There is a good reason why Starbucks is a multi-billion dollar company; it’s feeding our number one addiction, coffee, which, at least temporarily, alleviates symptoms of fatigue.
Fatigue is a very important sign that something is not working right your the body. Anything that interferes with your body’s ability to produce energy can leave you exhausted and worn out. Heavy metals, which are prevalent in society, are very good at disrupting the cell’s ability to generate energy.
Within our cells we have tiny organelles called mitochondria. The mitochondria are little powerhouses that basically function as a command center for the cell. Through a series of chemical reactions, including the Kreb’s cycle, the mitochondria generate ATP, the energy molecule that powers your cells and your entire body.
Anything that can interfere with mitochondrial function can also limit your body’s ability to make ATP. With a lack of ATP, you feel fatigued, burnout and total drained, no matter what you do.
According to WWF, between 1930 and 2000 global production of man-made chemicals increased from 1 million to 400 million tonnes each year. That’s a TON of chemicals. Many of these chemicals include heavy metals.
Heavy metals naturally occur in the environmental in small amounts. But with the ever growing industrialized complex, they are being released more regularly into the environment.
Heavy metals attacks the mitochondria in two ways; 1) they down regulate or stop ATP production and 2) They negatively affect antioxidant systems.
Most people have heard of free radicals. They are considered a villain in the whole health game since they have the ability to break down cells, cause per-mature aging and have been associated with degenerative illness. Damage from free radicals is also known as oxidative stress.
The reason why smokers age so quickly has to do with oxidative stress. Each cigarette releases significant amounts of free radicals into the body and overwhelms the antioxidant system. These free radicals destroy cells and speed up the aging process.
But looking at free radicals as “bad guys” is short sighted. What many people don’t know is that the mitochondria are a major source of free radical production. We actually need free radicals to have efficient cell function. When the body is healthy, we can generate enough antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and prevent them destroying the mitochondria.
Heavy metals not only prevent the proper functioning of mitochondria, which affect energy levels, but they produce significant amounts of oxidative stress which overwhelms the antioxidant system and seriously drains your resources.
The health of your mitochondria effectively determine whether you are an active person who can easily exercise or are someone who is sluggish and struggles to move regularly.
According to many detox experts, we are all full of metals. It is really just a matter of how many we have. In modern life, heavy metal exposure is unavoidable. They are in our air, water, soil, vaccines and virtually everything around us.
Additionally, nutrient and mineral deficiencies make it more likely that your body will hold onto toxic metals rather than detox them. Since metals have similar structures to minerals, your body can actually use certain metals instead of the mineral you are deficient in.
Let’s use Thallium as an example. Thallium is an extremely toxic metal. In fact, it is ten times more toxic than mercury. Thallium was the metal added to unleaded gasoline after lead was removed. It stops gas from knocking in the engine, allowing a car to last longer.
Thallium has similarities to potassium so a deficiency in potassium makes it far more likely that you will hold on to Thallium rather than detox it.
To help you understand, let’s look at my test results. Earlier this year I ran a Hair Mineral Analysis on myself along with a stool and urine metals test.
Below is my hair test, as you can see I am very low in potassium.
Now look at my urine and stool metals test. See where my Thallium is? It’s totally through the roof.
This is tricky business. You want to make sure that you have the help of an experienced practitioner. This is not something to take on by yourself. Promise me this!
Many practitioners use chelation therapy. While chelation is very effective at removing metals, especially when there has been an acute poisoning, it’s not great at dealing with long term metal exposure.
Chelators basically act like a binding agent and pull metals out of the body. They are quickly expelled from the body so they only grab what is quickly available. In order for chelation to be effective, they need to be taken every 4-5 hours over a period of time. The risk of chelation is in the way that it may “stir up” heavy metals but not actually fully remove them from the body.
Additionally, if you have been paying attention, I mentioned that sometimes the body uses metals to replace deficient minerals. If you strip the body of metals, then you may leave the body depleted if it was using that metal to perform an important function.
I believe this is a huge reason why chelation therapy often leaves people fatigued and worn out. I have heard many people tell me that their health completely crashed after chelation therapy.
An extremely important component of heavy metal detox is re-mineralizing the body. When the body has the proper minerals it needs to perform daily functions, it can easy let go of metals and allow them to be detoxed out of the body.
Heavy metal detox is not a race. Slower is better and makes it more likely that you will keep the body balanced while simultaneously improving your health and energy levels.
Start with a Hair Mineral Analysis. I believe this is one of the most effective tools for not only detoxing toxic metals but increasing the energy efficiency of the body. It is an inexpensive test that offers significant information.
It’s important that you find someone who is experienced in interpreting these panels. HTMA is not straight forward and is easily misinterpreted.
If you are interested in detoxing your body from metals, please sign up for a free 30 minute call with me. We can discuss your challenges and see if my program is a fit for you. You can do that here.
Listen to me talk about this article in the video below:
“I’m just so tired!”
“I am so sick of feeling tired”
“It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I wake up feeling totally exhausted.”
Sound familiar? Fatigue is the most common complaint I hear from my clients. In fact, it is rare that I work with a person who claims to have high energy levels and feels like they are totally rocking it.
There is a fatigue epidemic these days. Everyone seems to be lacking the energy they need to fully enjoy their lives.
So what’s going in with this low energy epidemic?
In order to have proper energy levels, you need to have a well functioning body machine. Unfortunately, with a deficient food supply, increased exposure to environmental toxins and chronic stress, our machines are taking a serious beating.
If you are feeling exhausted, no doubt you are wondering why.
Here are three reasons why you are exhausted, fatigued and straight up drained.
Hormones play a massive role in energy production. Specifically, cortisol, is incredibly important when it comes to having high energy. Many of us know cortisol as a stress hormone but it is also needed in certain amounts every single day.
In fact, without cortisol you wouldn’t even be able to get of bed in the morning.
It mainly operates to not only make us feel energized but to stabilize our blood sugar. We all know how low blood sugar makes us feel; hangry, dizzy, anxious and low energy. Stable blood sugar = stable energy levels.
Fluctuating cortisol throughout the days almost always go along with fluctuating energy levels. Imbalanced cortisol always lead to imbalanced energy.
When a run a hormone panel on a client I can use their cortisol rhythm to predict how their energy feels through the day. If you are finding yourself with dipping energy levels, consider your cortisol production.
Additionally estrogen dysregulation, low testosterone and low DHEA are often implicated in poor energy production.
There is a saying that goes, “You are what you eat,” but really you are only what you digest, absorb and assimilate. How many of you out there are eating this amazing whole foods diet, rich in protein and healthy vegetables but you still wake up every single day feeling wiped out?
If this sounds like you, poor digestion might be your issue. Unfortunately, many of the things that we do in everyday life destroy our digestion. Some of the worst digestion destroyers are alcohol, gluten, stress and lack of sleep.
And how many of us do those things on a regular basis, right?!
Digestion is huge. So if you have tightened up your diet but you still feel fatigued, consider your digestion.
It doesn’t matter where you live. All of us are exposed to environmental toxins and heavy metals on a regular basis. This is an unfortunate reality of our increasingly toxic world. Thousands of chemicals are being added to our environment on a yearly basis with no regard for how they might be affecting human health.
Our detox organs are overwhelmed by toxins and are unable to process them effectively. The result is that toxins and metals are stored in our body; in our bone, brain, organs and cells.
These interfere with our cellular function, our mitochondria and the result is that we can’t produce energy at the level that we need to. No wonder we are so damn tired
Poor energy levels almost always means you have some level of toxicity in your body. Detoxification is key!
If you want to know 3 simple things you can start doing right now to eliminate fatigue, get your FREE PDF below!
You used to be so fit. You run, bike or climb anything. But these days exercise is a struggle. Instead of making you feel energized, exercise now makes you feel exhausted. You find yourself avoiding the activities you used to love because you just don’t have the energy or the motivation.
I can relate to this. When my hormones crashed a few years ago I went from being super fit and athletic to tired, lazy and exhausted. I desperately wanted to keep doing sports with my friends but I had no juice left. I would often go skiing for a couple of hours and then come home and pass out. It was one of the hardest times in my life.
The good news is, you aren’t lazy. Your body is likely deliberately trying to get you to slow down so that you can heal from whatever is going on inside of you. Having balanced hormones is crucial to healthy energy production and you having enough strength to exercise at the level you want to.
Unbalanced hormones suck. No matter how hard to you try to push through the fatigue, you never seem to feel like you did just a few years ago. Here are three hormone imbalances that can ruin your endurance and crush your stamina.
Testosterone is crucial to energy production and athletic performance. If your testosterone is low you may experience some of the following symptoms;
Testosterone is the reason why men gain muscle more easily than women and have more physical strength. When I raise testosterone production in women, they usually feel fantastic. They feel energized, confident and can easily maintain a healthy weight.
How Can You Boost Testosterone?
Elevated estrogen is a nasty hormone imbalance, especially when you don’t have enough progesterone to balance it out. Elevated estrogen is often the culprit behind painful periods, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and pre-menstrual migraines.
Elevated estrogen can ruin your endurance because it can cause unexplained weight gain, especially in the hips and thighs. As you gain fat and lose muscle, your endurance often goes with it. If you have recently gained weight for no rhyme or reason, you should consider your estrogen levels. If your estrogen is too high it may actually be impossible for you to lose weight even when you are eating healthy and exercising regularly.
The first thing is to consider environmental sources of estrogen. This includes personal care products, household cleaning products, BPA plastic, birth control pills, soy and even flax seed.
If you know you have high estrogen and you have made a solid effort to reduce external estrogen exposure you can try this next:
To learn more about estrogen dominance, click here.
Most know cortisol as a stress hormone but what many don’t know is that one of cortisol’s main roles is to immobilize blood sugar. When you blood sugar is stable, you have good energy production and you feel strong.
Low cortisol often means a person feels fatigued, has difficulty sleeping and struggles with sugar cravings. They have a poor ability to keep their blood sugar stable, even when they eat multiple meals a day. The result is energy is low or fluctuates throughout the day.
When your cortisol is low, exercise is depleting. Since exercise actively pushes out cortisol, it leaves you little cortisol for energy later in the day. People with low cortisol often struggle with motivation to exercise as well.
If you just don’t have the juice for exercise that you used to, there is a probably a hormonal problem driving your fatigue. While the above suggestions can be extremely helpful, what is more helpful is determining what is driving your hormonal chaos. The main culprits are usually poor diet, poor sleep, an overscheduled life and toxicity.
If you are struggling with poor energy and the inability to participate in the activities that drive your passions, then please don’t hesitate to contact me and schedule a free 30 minute call with me. We can discuss your challenges and determine if there is a way I can help you. You can book the appointment here.
Are you struggling with low endurance levels? Please share your exercise below in the comments section and I will do my best to help you!