Feel like you’re running on empty? You’re not alone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 15% of women and 10% of men in the U.S. feel “very tired” “regularly.”
So what’s causing all of this lethargy throughout the day?
According to Suman Chatterji, Founder of Good Health Corner, the culprit is inflammation. “Chronic inflammation lies at the root of all illnesses and depletes cellular energy production,” says Chatterji.
With more than 125 million Americans living with chronic inflammation, it’s clear that many of us are letting negative habits zap our energy, without us even realizing.
If you’ve been feeling any less than your very best, these six bad habits might just be the reason why:
1. You’re not getting enough protein at breakfast.
We live in a society where breakfast foods primarily consist of cereals, toast, bagels, muffins, and other refined carbohydrates.
Unfortunately, a carb-heavy, protein-light breakfast sets you up for a blood sugar roller coaster throughout the day. With sufficient protein, you are better able to manage your blood sugar, cravings, and energy well into the afternoon.
Foods like eggs, nuts, seeds, and/or protein powder at breakfast can help to make sure you get what you need to set yourself up for a high energy day.
Bonnie Flemington, Certified Nutritional Practitioner
2. You’re trapped in a low energy state of mind.
Often, the energy you think you lack is actually right there inside of you. Lack of energy is as much a state of mind as it is a physical condition.
Yoga is one of the best practices for healing low energy across the body and the mind. Through the combination of poses and flows, yoga releases the energy that is already inside you, but presently blocked. By practicing yoga, you are releasing physical and mental energy, by increasing oxygen levels into the bloodstream as well as feel-good chemicals in the brain. Mental energy is replenished and amplified through the release of stress and negative thoughts.
Gaurav Dhir, Registered Yoga Instructor, FitnessAbout
3. You’re not eating enough
It's a myth that as long as you're not underweight, you can't be under-eating. Considering our society’s obsession with weight loss, it's not uncommon for people with average or even larger sized bodies to be under-eating (especially when it comes to carbohydrate intake), which can cause low energy, mood, and motivation.
If you are eating two or fewer meals per day, often feel irritable, or are regularly relying on coffee and energy drinks to get you through the day, you might want to start adding an extra snack to your daily routine to see how you feel. Aim for something that has some carbohydrate and a little protein.
The carbohydrate source will provide you with an energy boost and the protein will add staying power. Examples include: yogurt and berries, tuna and rice crackers, chocolate and nuts, hard boiled egg and toast, apple and peanut butter, baby carrots and hummus, or avocado toast with hemp seeds.
It's possible you need more than just an extra snack, so treat it as an experiment and try to stay open minded that an extra meal (or more) is actually what you need to feel your best.
Alida Iacobellis, Registered Dietician
4. You’re not getting adequate sleep
The number one cause of low energy is lack of adequate sleep. We need rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in order to repair the daily wear and tear of our minds and bodies. When we are deprived of REM sleep, it contributes to lack of energy, feeling crummy physically, and is directly related to anxiety.
People can reverse this problem by having a regular bedtime routine, and addressing any emotional and behavioral patterns that interfere with falling asleep and staying asleep.
Margaret ("Peggy") DeLong, Psy.D., The Gratitude Psychologist
5. Your diet contains too much sodium
Too much salt may be zapping your energy. Cutting out processed foods is a good first step to avoiding the sodium trap. Begin by replacing pre-packaged snacks with foods that have high antioxidant contents, like fresh fruits, vegetables, and green tea.
Chrissy Arsenault, Registered Dietician, Livin3
6. You aren’t maximizing the power of adaptogens
Ashwagandha is a clinically studied adaptogen that can give you a sustainable energy boost. It balances cortisol levels, which helps reduce and manage the body's stress response. It can reduce mental and physical fatigue, thereby increasing energy levels. A study of elite cyclists found that those who took ashwangandha performed 7% better than those given a placebo.
Peak and Valley
Don’t let bad habits get in the way of maintaining balanced energy levels throughout the day. By following these six wellness principals, you should be well on your way to improving your mood, focus, and productivity.
KOR Shots are packed with things like vitamin C (for boosting immunity) and adaptogens (for improving your stress response), which can work towards improving your overall energy throughout the day. Get to know the range of our flavors by creating your own sampler with our Remix Box.
Great article, super helpful, thank you!