Low energy can certainly be an unpleasant feeling. This is especially true once it starts to take a toll on your day to day life, and even your morning jolt of caffeine can’t perk you up.
It can affect your performance at work, your ability to exercise, and your ability to enjoy life with family and friends.
It can also be concerning, as it may be a symptom of a more severe condition. It is all about identifying and treating the root cause of disease when it comes to treating low energy.
Your doctor will be able to identify this root cause so that it can be treated properly and efficiently.
Below, we will discuss what defines low energy levels, potential causes of low energy, symptoms of low energy, and the 10 best energy boosters.
What Is Low Energy?
It’s safe to say that everyone has experienced low energy at some point in their lives. However, the specific definition and classification of low energy remain under debate to this day.
Low energy needs to be distinguished from simple sleepiness, apathy, exhaustion, exercise intolerance, lack of vigor, weakness, and inertia.
There is such a thing as having low mental energy. This affects your cognition, meaning that you could have lowered vigilance. If you have low mental energy, this also affects your motivation to do mental work. It can also change your mood, meaning it can cause feelings of fatigue.
Symptoms Of Low Energy
Symptoms that indicate that you may have low energy include:
- Feeling tired all the time
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
One of the key ways to tell if your energy level has become a problem affecting your life is if you are unable to complete basic tasks without feeling worn out or exhausted.
What Causes Low Energy
One of the most common medical issues as to why many people feel overwhelmingly tired is due to iron-deficiency anemia. Anemia is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues.
Anyone can suffer from anemia, but it is most common in postmenopausal women and those who suffer from heavy periods. It can, however, occur in both men and women when there are problems with the intestines and stomach.
For those who have iron deficiency anemia, the blood struggles to move oxygen to different parts of the body. Without proper oxygen transportation throughout the body, individuals will experience sleepiness, dizziness, and maybe even mental fogginess.
Eating too many carbohydrates
While many of us enjoy eating carbs and junk food, they only release a small burst of energy shortly after they have been consumed, leaving you with low levels of energy the rest of the day. Some researchers believe that people feel tired after eating because their bodies are producing more serotonin. This is a chemical that has a role in regulating both mood and sleep cycles.
Your blood sugar levels will rise dramatically and suddenly drop, which can cause you to lack energy.
Failing to move regularly
If you live a sedentary lifestyle or feel that you’re too tired to exercise, a lack of physical activity can cause you to experience lethargy.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a labeled condition for unexplained tiredness on a daily basis. The main symptom is extreme physical and mental fatigue that remains despite rest and sleep.
Not getting enough high-quality sleep
You may think that you’re getting enough hours sleep every night. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s inaugural Sleep Health Index, 45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep has affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days.
Getting enough sleep plays an important role in maintaining our health. A lack of it can have serious consequences, resulting in a sleep disorder, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, leaving us looking and feeling worse for wear.
But a good night’s sleep is all about quality rather than quantity. Adults should be getting at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to function to capacity the following day.
While food allergies are usually associated with more serious side effects, there are often times when an intolerance can present itself in the form of extreme tiredness.
Typical food intolerances usually occur with the likes of gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, and soya. If you believe your diet is a factor of your tiredness, consider seeking the help of a dietician who can advise you on what you should and shouldn’t eat to improve your symptoms.
- Insufficient hydration
It is essential that you stay hydrated to keep your energy levels high, as many biochemical reactions occur each day, causing a loss of fluid in the body. Because of this, the water in your body needs to be replaced, or you may end up with symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and tiredness.
High stress levels
Chronic stress can not only cause anxiety but can severely impact your quality of life.
Your body’s natural response is to protect itself with the ‘fight or flight’ method, which can leave you physically and mentally drained – one of the symptoms being extreme tiredness.
An underactive thyroid means you have very little thyroid gland hormone in your body- which metabolizes food to produce energy- is being released. As a result, you regularly feel fatigued and tired. You may also experience weight gain and aching muscles.
This medical condition is far more common in women and usually occurs as you age. One way to find out whether you have this condition is by seeing your GP, who will take a blood test.
Depression is a common cause of sadness and makes you feel drained of energy and very tired.
Ruminating thoughts are usually triggered in the early evenings, so you may struggle to fall asleep, which can worsen the feelings of tiredness the next day. The most important part about dealing with depression is not to do it on your own. If you’re feeling low, then talk to someone about your feelings. As soon as you start noticing that your feelings are a real problem, talk with a doctor about your options.
One of the first common signs you may experience when suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes is constant tiredness. Research has shown that those who neglect their health due to fatigue and other symptoms are more at risk of developing complications down the line.
However, other key symptoms of the illness include needing to urinate frequently, feeling thirsty, and weight loss.
10 Best Ways To Improve Energy Levels
There are several forms of ginseng, and more than one of them may help with low energy. But the one we are talking about here is Panax ginseng. This herb contains lots of polyphenols and phytochemicals. Research has shown that ginseng can modulate neurotransmitter activity. This is potentially relevant to mental energy in particular.
Ginkgo biloba is an extract derived from the leaf of the ginkgo tree. This leaf extract also contains many polyphenols and phytochemicals. Studies have demonstrated ginkgo’s ability to potentially boost mental energy, as it can modulate neurotransmitter activity as well.
3) B vitamins
The B vitamins are quite well known for their role in overall energy production. B vitamins help with low energy because they act as precursors of key cofactors in the citric acid cycle, which generates energy within the body. B vitamins also play a critical role in brain function and neurotransmitter synthesis.
Those who suffer from anemia usually have nutrient deficiencies in Vitamin B, which can cause symptoms such as tiredness, light-headedness, and heart palpitations. If you believe you are suffering from a vitamin B deficiency, you can take folic acid tablets or eat meat, fish, and dairy products, which will restore the body’s vitamin.
Lepidium meyenii is more commonly known as maca root. Maca is an herbaceous plant from the Cruciferae family. Maca is native to the Andes region of South America. Here, local people have been growing and consuming maca for centuries.
Maca is such a wonderful herb due to its unique chemical composition and physiological function. Maca contains many nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals. Maca also contains lots of secondary metabolites, including maca alkaloids, glucosinolates, volatile oils, sterols, polyphenols, and macaenes.
Several studies have suggested that maca may have beneficial effects in resisting oxidation, resisting fatigue, raising fertility, regulating hormones, enhancing immunity, suppressing tumors, regulating blood sugar, and protecting the nervous system.
CoQ10 is short for coenzyme Q 10, also known as ubiquinone. Research has demonstrated that supplementation with CoQ10 can help energize the body and increase its energy production in the form of ATP.
Andrographis paniculata has both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Andrographis also helps with low energy levels, particularly in autoimmune diseases.
One scientific study found that Andrographis leads to a significant reduction in fatigue scores as compared to placebo. There was a 44% reduction in fatigue after 12 months of supplementation with Andrographis.
Additionally, Andrographis appears to be well-tolerated and has few to no adverse effects. A study found that Andrographis can reduce low energy in patients with multiple sclerosis, which can cause muscle weakness, significantly.
7) Green tea
Green tea contains many polyphenols. The most abundant of these is Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, called EGCG for short. EGCG exhibits a wide variety of activities within the body.
EGCG can prolong the amount of time someone exercises before reaching exhaustion. EGCG has an anti-fatigue effect. Researchers have suggested that EGCG can be used as a nutraceutical supplement to help with low energy and to attenuate oxidative damage induced by the stress of exercise.
Past evidence has suggested that gut microbiota plays a vital role in energy levels. Specifically, it is known that the strain Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 can help to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation leads to feelings of low energy. Research studies have indicated that probiotics do have a significant effect on modulating inflammatory processes involved in low energy levels.
Curcumin is a phytocompound and food component, found in the spice turmeric. Curcumin has several activities within the body. A scientific research study found that curcumin supplementation increased strength and endurance performance in a dose-dependent manner (meaning the more curcumin, the more benefit was seen).
Researchers also found that those who took curcumin as a supplement had higher muscular glycogen content. Glycogen is an important energy source for exercise.
Researchers have concluded that supplementing with curcumin can have a broad spectrum of activities within the body. These activities help to promote health, improve exercise performance, and prevent low energy and fatigue.
10) Alpha-lipoic acid
A scientific research study found that supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid can significantly reduce feelings of low energy. Alpha-lipoic acid does this by naturally restoring mitochondrial function, even in long term patients with intractable chronic fatigue.
How Will Your Doctor Treat Fatigue?
Your doctor’s recommended treatment plan will depend on what’s causing your fatigue. To make a diagnosis, they will likely ask you questions about:
- the nature of your fatigue, including when it started and whether it gets better or worse at certain times
- other symptoms that you’ve been experiencing
- other medical conditions that you have, such as a hormonal imbalance, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure
- your lifestyle and sources of stress
- medications that you’re taking
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If you are reading this article, the chances are that you are suffering from low energy. You may be dragging your feet, going from task to task, and day to day and week to week. You should not have to feel this way.
We suggest you seek the care of your primary health care provider so that they can provide you with a diagnosis.
Once you are aware of the root cause of your low energy, you can work with your doctor to select some forms of treatment that are right for you and your body. This is how you can boost your energy back up and get back to feeling like the best version of yourself possible.