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Energy and Fatigue

Fatigue and low energy levels are two of the most prominent side effects of our modern day lifestyle. Causes vary from the more simple such as poor sleep quality (or lack of sleep) and inadequate nutrient intake to the more complex underlying issues such as sluggish thyroid function or adrenal fatigue. Examining your nutrient intake is certainly the first area to consider when looking to improve energy levels – nutrients such as amino acids found in protein as well as B vitamins are essential to the production of energy within the body. If you find that your fatigue is coupled with muscle tension and moodiness it may be beneficial to supplement with Magnesium as well. It is important during times of physical, mental or emotional stress to provide nutrients which support the adrenal and thyroid glands. These endocrine (hormone producing) glands are essential for regulating metabolism, producing energy and assisting the body to deal with stressors. Kelp, Spirulina, Liquorice & Rhodiola as well as Iodine, Vitamin C and Tyrosine will all support these organs to function optimally. One of the most amazing attributes of herbal medicine are the herbs that are able to tonify the body; assisting the body to rejuvenate and refresh so that you can bounce out of bed once again! The Ginsengs – Siberian Ginseng, Korean Ginseng & Withania are all specific for their ability to do just that!

Some simple ideas to improve energy levels:

  1. Regular, small meals throughout the day: blood sugar levels are strongly linked with energy levels. Eating a breakfast high in protein kick starts the metabolism for the day; following with regular protein snacks throughout the day ensures that blood sugar levels remain balanced. This is important to prevent blood sugar levels dropping as this usually leads to brain fog, fatigue & poor food choices – many people begin to crave sugar once their blood sugar levels are low.
  2. Healthy fats & protein at every meal: as well as ensuring regular meals it is important to have protein such as eggs, leans meats, nuts, protein powder (e.g. pea protein or whey protein isolate) or beans to slow the uptake of sugar into the blood stream. This essentially reduces the glycaemic index (GI) of the meal resulting in balanced, long-lasting energy instead of a ‘sugar high’ followed by a slump.
  3. Adequate B group Vitamins. The B group Vitamins are imperative for the production of energy; interestingly our requirements for B vitamins increase during times of stress, reduced sleep or if the diet is poor. It is essential to regularly ‘top up’ Vitamin B due to their water soluble nature (meaning most B vitamins are generally cleared from the body within 4-6 hours).
  4. Test for mineral deficiencies. Iron deficiency is a common cause of low energy levels & is particularly prevalent in females. Iron is important for not only energy production but also the transport of oxygen around the body; shortness of breath, pale skin & light-headedness can be symptoms of low iron levels however a blood test is an accurate way to diagnose Anaemia.
  5. Swap coffee or black tea for green tea. Green tea is great to boost energy levels, balance blood sugar levels, aid concentration and is a potent antioxidant. Drinking 2-3 cups per day or supplementing with green tea will improve energy & productivity but also acts as an ‘anti-aging nutrient’ for the whole body.

Updates - June 3 2011

Francàs, N et al (2011), ‘P03-404 - Prevalence of ADHD in chronic fatigue syndrome’, EuropeanPsychiatry, Volume 26, Supplement 1, pp. 1574

Research from Spain has shown a link between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Of the 142 patients in the study, there were a large number of CFS sufferers who had been diagnosed with ADHD, and these all had worse symptoms than those who didn’t have the condition. This may have something to do with altered neurotransmission in both conditions.

Vive Naturopaths recommend the following products for Energy and Fatigue:

Products Suggested Dosage
1. Fusion Energy Multi (60 Tabs) 1 tab with breakfast.
2. Herbs of Gold B Complete Sustained Release (60 Tabs) 1 tab with breakfast.
3. Herbs of Gold Ginseng 4 Energy (50 Tabs, 75 Tabs) 1 tab x 2 daily (with breakfast and lunch ideally).
4. Fusion Bioenhanced CoQ10 (30 Caps, 60 Caps) 1 cap with breakfast.
5. Herbs of Gold Stress-Ease Adrenal Support (60 Tabs) 1 tab with breakfast and 1 tab with lunch.
6. Fusion Green Tea (30 Tabs, 60 Tabs) 1 tab with breakfast.
7. Amazonia Raw Energy (120g, 300g) Mix 10g (2 heaped teaspoons) daily into 300ml of water, almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, soy milk, natural juice or smoothie. For optimal performance take up to 40g daily.
8. Vital Greens (120g, 300g, 600g) One serve on rising.
9. Floradix Liquid Iron Tonic (250ml, 500ml) 10ml daily 30 min before a meal
10. Tony Sfier's Designer Physique Pea Protein Isolate (750g) One serve in water for morning tea and/or afternoon tea.
11. MICROgenics Kelp 1000 (90 Tabs) 1 tab daily with food.

NOTE: Consideration should always be given to individual requirements. Please consider seeing a qualified practitioner before commencing a new treatment protocol or when combining supplements with pharmaceutical medication.

For more information on Energy and Fatigue or to ask a Qualified Naturopath a question Click Here.

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