1. Increase your protein intake
Most people are getting less than half the amount of protein needed each day. Protein helps to keep you full, keep your blood sugar levels stable (so you don’t crash!), and is an essential building block for hormones, our immune system, and the process of producing energy itself. Read more about getting enough protein here.
A great starting place is breakfast. I encourage you to start your morning off with 15-20g of protein, depending on your weight. Use an app like My Fitness Pal to help calculate your protein intake – you might be surprised about how little you’re getting! For example, three eggs equal 18g of protein.
Try making overnight oats with hemp hearts, nuts/nut butter, and protein powder. I also love making smoothies with a scoop of vegan protein powder to get 20g of protein. If you’re an egg-lover, try having 2-3 eggs with sautéed veggies, salsa, and ¼ cup of beans or chickpeas.
2. Increase your water intake
There’s no solid research about the exact amount of water we need each day. A great starting point is to aim for about 2L, and increase that amount if you’re physically active or above average height or weight. Many people are chronically dehydrated, and this makes us feel unnecessarily tired.
Soda water, herbal tea, and water with added lemon, mint, or fruit counts as part of your water intake. Caffeinated beverages, pop, alcohol, and juice do not count toward to daily total.
If you forget to drink water during the day, try buying a water bottle to carry with you. You can also set reminders on your Outlook/iCalendar or on your phone to prompt you to drink one cup of water every hour.
3. Focus on your sleep
If getting a good sleep is what’s making you tired, then it’s worth popping over to this article for a more in-depth review of sleeping well. The basic principles are to make sure you’re getting the right quantity and quality of sleep, but here’s the quick version:
First, set a bedtime that allows you to get 6-8 (or more!) hours of sleep, depending on what your body needs. Thirty minutes before your bedtime, you should turn off all electronics and put your phone on airplane mode. Use this 30-minute window as your “wind down” period. Lastly, use a sleep mask every night to help block out light to trigger a deeper, more restful sleep.
4. Get a B12 injection
I love B12 injections for a quick and easy boost of energy. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes fatigue, depression, reduced immune function, poor circulation, brain fog, and difficulty coping with stress. At higher doses, vitamin B12 can make you feel like super man/super woman by helping your body convert food to energy more effectively, cope better with stress, and boost our immune function.
5. Get regular blood work to assess for causes of fatigue
Blood work should be tested annually to screen for low levels of nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D and iron. Your thyroid should also be screened to be sure that you have a healthy functioning metabolism. General screening to monitor red and white blood cells (CBC), cholesterol, kidney function, liver function, and electrolyte levels should also be done, and the frequency will vary based on your health history, family history, lifestyle and symptoms.
Your Naturopathic Doctor can run blood work, and may offer a more in-depth analysis for than would be screened by your family physician. Testing for hormone levels, a full thyroid panel, and cortisol (stress hormone) levels may be helpful for developing a thorough and effective treatment plan to get you back to feeling healthy and energetic.
Book an appointment with Dr. Hilary Chambers, ND to assess the cause of your fatigue, and develop a customized treatment plan to boost your energy levels.