Are you lacking the energy you need to get through the day? Do you get that mid-day crash only to have to reach for a double espresso to give you the energy boost? Do you wake in the morning feeling as though you haven’t even slept all night? Do you have difficulty being productive at work or after work at home? You could be suffering from fatigue. Physical fatigue is when you find it difficult to do things that you normally used to do such as climbing stairs or walking for a distance. Mental fatigue is when you find it harder to concentrate on things and stay on task. You may feel sleepy or have difficulty staying awake during the day. Physical and mental fatigue are different however, they often occur together. Fatigue is associated with many different health conditions including stress, alcohol or drug abuse, anxiety, depression, insomnia or sleep apnea, anemia, diabetes, medications, heart and lung conditions, vitamin & mineral deficiencies, too much caffeine (especially too close to bed time), diseases or infections, chronic pain, obesity and lack of exercise, to name a few.
So, how can you overcome your fatigue? Well, certainly finding the cause of your fatigue is crucial (if you can) and addressing that however there are many, many natural products that you can take to fight that fatigue:
- Maca Root: Maca root (also known as Peruvian Ginseng) is a nutritional powerhouse containing proteins, fiber, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and amino acids. It is considered an adaptogen, meaning it helps only where it is needed. For example, if your body is over-producing a hormone, it regulates it back to normal and if your body under-produces a hormone, it helps raise the level until it is balanced. When someone is suffering from fatigue, the adrenal glands are unbalanced causing extreme tiredness and high stress. Maca root, when used consistently, helps to bring back balance to the adrenal glands reducing your symptoms and making you feel better. Note: Siberian, American and Panax Ginseng are all adaptogens just like Maca therefore allowing for balance in the body. They help to improve the body’s ability to respond to stress by reducing the release of stress hormones and helping to increase stamina.
- Medicinal Mushrooms: Mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Reishi, Shiitake, Turkey Tail and Cordyceps have been used throughout history and across many cultures for their medicinal benefits.
- B Vitamins: B vitamins help to stabilize the central nervous system, reduce stress, increase energy and take some of the pressure off the adrenals which will react to your stress.
- Fish Oil: There are numerous studies on omega 3 that have shown a link between anxiety, depression and low blood levels of Omega 3 fats. Keep in mind our brain cell membranes are made partly of Omega 3 fats (particularly DHA). If Omega3-s decrease in the body and the brain, it makes it harder for serotonin – which is a chemical that transmits messages from one neuron to the other – to pass through cell membranes.
- Ashwagandha: One of the most important medicinal herbs in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it is known to increase energy by enhancing your body’s resilience to physical and mental stress. It helps to improve stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol.
- Rhodiola: Rodiola Rosea, like ginseng is a great adaptogen. It helps to reduce physical and mental fatigue, as well as help with depression.