Do you feel tired all the time? Lethargic? Drained by the end of the day? Do you need a coffee to get going in the morning? Are you always stressed? Do you have restless sleep? Do you wish you had more energy in the day?
All these symptoms are a sign of adrenal fatigue and is caused by prolonged stress in the body. Most people look and act normal with adrenal fatigue and do not have any major signs of physical illness however they have a general sense of tiredness, fatigue, lethargy. If you suffer from adrenal fatigue you normally need coffee, coke, energy drinks, sugar and other stimulants to get you going first thing in the morning and also to get through you day. You may also suffer from insomnia or restless sleep and find it difficult to get up in the mornings.
The Cause of Adrenal Fatigue
This is when your adrenal glands, which sit above your Kidney organ does not meet the demands of the stress in your body. You adrenals are supposed to neutralise the body’s response to stress whether this is physical, psychological or emotional stress through a regulating of hormones that help the body cope with stress. When you are suffering from a severe emotional crisis stress such a death, illness, surgery, overworked, financial and physical stressors, this constant stress response leads to the adrenals constantly trying to balance and maintain a homeostasis in the body. Therefore leading to adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is produced when your adrenal glands cannot adequately meet the demands of stress. The adrenal glands or stress glands, mobilize your body’s responses to every kind of stress (whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological) through hormones that regulate energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, muscle tone, and other processes that enable you to cope with the stress. Whether you have an emotional crisis such as the death of a loved one, a physical crisis such as major surgery, or any type of severe repeated or constant stress in your life, your adrenals have to respond to the stress and maintain homeostasis. If their response is inadequate, you are likely to experience some degree of adrenal fatigue. Overtime the adrenals do not function at its optimal levels.
So how do we get more energy in our lives?
7 Tips to Increase you Energy
1. Cut out COFFEE
If you want more energy you start the day when you wake up with a coffee as a pick me up. However, coffee is the biggest robber of our energy. This is because coffee contains the number 1 drug in the world… Caffeine! Caffeine impacts our adrenals in a very stressful manner. It forces the adrenal glands which deal with stress in the body to pump out cortisol and adrenaline therefore you get the initial surge of alertness or feel awake! However after the initial 1-1.5 hours later we start to feel a crash in the body. Adrenaline goes through the body and breaks down stored sugars for energy. Therefore it increases your blood sugar levels so you are ready to go and feel the fight flight response and the body feel’s great. At the same time your body is secreting insulin a hormone that controls sugar, so you feel that crash. This is when people go to that quick fix again with cakes, biscuits, muffins or another cup of coffee and this goes up and down.
This is why coffee is the biggest contradiction when it comes to energy. So choose an alternative to caffeine. Even a glass of warm lemon water each morning is a great way to start your morning.
2. Cut down on Sugar
Sugar has the exact same effects on your adrenal glands and your blood sugar levels as caffeine. Foods such as cakes, muffins, donuts, biscuits, bagels, lollies, chocolate, soft drinks and anything with sugar added to it should all be minimised or cut down. Read more about the dangers of too much sugar in your body.
3. Cut down on refined carbohydrates
Any kind of wheat-based products such as breads, cereals, pastas are all problematic for our health. Especially those suffering from heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc. All of them relate to sugar and affect our adrenals and our insulin levels.
4. Drink more green juices or green smoothies
Instead of that morning coffee, switch to a green juice instead. These can be a blend of fresh green vegetables. They are beneficial in the body because they purify your blood and allow you blood to transport the necessary oxygen to your cells more efficiently. We don’t have energy because our oxygen is not getting to the cells properly. When our bodies are so toxic and acidic the oxygen that transports our blood is so compromised and sluggish due to all the toxic and acidic foods we eat that it significantly slows down our blood and we feel sluggish. Juicing allows our body to reverse and clean things up. Just by drinking a green juice in the morning, you can feel significantly more energised, with the energy lasting throughout the day.
5. Eat more green foods
Even if you eat cleaner foods for one day, incorporating more greens and vegetables, you can wake up feeling great the next day. You are able to turn back the clock and get the energy back to the way you want them to be. By incorporating more greens we can provide alkaline minerals that our body requires and our blood requires. Our blood needs to be slightly alkaline for it to function properly. The foods we eat tend to be more acidic such as carbohydrates, proteins, sugars. When our bodies are more alkaline, the red blood cells carrying the oxygen and nutrients in our bodies can move freely and we can unleash the natural energy.
6. Reduce the stress in your life
Stress is a major factor in reducing our energy. Stress has the same effect on our bodies as drinking caffeine and sugar does to our adrenal glands. Over time our body continuously pumps out stress hormones and this leads to adrenal fatigue. Over time any type of stressor will start affecting you and you feel extremely exhausted. Whether we have undergone so much stress; physical, emotional and dietary. Try to slow down, do more meditation, breathing and exercise to reduce these stress hormones. Acupuncture can also greatly help your anxiety levels.
7. Cut down on protein and the size of your meals
Protein is not easily digested in our bodies, it is very tough and red meat such as steak which are complex tough proteins require 3-4 hours of intense work in our stomach to break it down. Since most of us have under-active stomachs we do not produce enough stomach acid to break down these proteins properly so we feel tired after these meals. Over time our stomach feels abused and doesn’t perform as well. Also when we consume large meals, we always feel tired and sleepy afterwards. This is because digestion is the most energy depleting activity in the human body. So reduce the amount of protein you eat and make sure you chew the protein at least 40-50 times if you do eat it.
Try to listen to your body more. Experience this for even one day and you will be amazed at how resilient the body is. You can always reverse things and turn back the clock. You can turn your energy back also to the way you want them to be. If you need further help on getting more energy in our life, try acupuncture which has been proven to help increase energy and reduce stress.