Best Foods for Fatigue

Best Foods for Fatigue

Feeling tired today? Weary, worn down, wishing you could collapse in a sea of pillows? There are many things you can do to give yourself more energy. Exercise is a big factor in revving up our systems, so make sure you stay active. Yoga is one of the best practices to follow. Watch a cat waking up from a nap; it’s no coincidence that the first thing it does is to stretch.

Getting enough sleep is also crucial. It appears that sleeping around six hours a night is an important threshold for wellness, and no more than eight. It is possible, after all, to oversleep to an extent that will only make you more tired. Recent studies have also suggested that the regularity of your sleeping hours is more important than hitherto suspected, so even if you have an irregular work week, set your alarm for each morning and try to hit the sack around the same time each night.

Diet plays a big part in your energy levels as well. Portion control is obviously one key; if you eat too much you’ll be weighed down. Try bumping your meals to earlier in the day, having an early breakfast to jump-start your metabolism.

There’s also the question of which foods NOT to eat. Alcohol and caffeine can have troubling and sometimes unpredictable effects on one’s sleep cycle, so take these in moderation. Avoid anything that may cause gastric distress that might keep you awake, especially if you must eat late in the evening.

Carbohydrates provide a quick hit of energy, but if your diet is too high in sugar and other simple or “fast” carbohydrates, you may be hungry again very soon after your body burns through that energy, leading to a cycle of sugar spikes and crashes.

Try to mix in as many whole grains as you can into your carbohydrate balance, along with starchy vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and various types of squash. A high fiber content has also been shown to slow the absorption of carbs, providing a steady fuel as opposed to the peaks and valleys caused by simple sugar.

Fats, despite their bad reputation, are a crucial energy source as well. While being overweight is one of the chief contributors to fatigue, eating fat is not in itself what makes one fat. The key is to consume the right kinds of fat: for your heart’s sake, you want to skip saturated fats (meat, butter, cream, lard) and trans fats (most common in prepared and packaged foods). Replace these wherever possible with unsaturated fat (vegetable oils, olive oil, seafood, nuts, and seeds).

If it’s endurance you require, protein-rich foods offer the most sustained boost. The most obvious sources are meat, chicken, and fish. But protein is vital for everyone, so make sure you get enough even if you practice vegetarianism. Vegetarian-friendly protein sources include eggs and low-fat dairy products, and even strict vegans should emphasize beans, nuts, and soy.

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones, a blogger and freelance writer who specializes in covering online college topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5@gmail.com