Anyone can experience fatigue at any moment, although it usually manifests itself after strenuous physical activity, a demanding workday, or both. Exercise frequently results in fatigue, which can be reduced by getting enough rest, taking a good nap, or getting a full night's sleep. Contrarily, fatigue is a persistent, uncharacteristic state of tiredness and sleepiness. It might be difficult and demotivating to maintain your regular routine when you're tired. It may be chronic (lasting longer than a month) or acute (lasting more than a month or 1 to 6 months or longer).
One's short- and long-term levels of fatigue are directly related to the food they eat. For instance, iron deficiency is linked to fatigue, reduced work capacity, and subpar academic performance. Similar to empty calorie items, foods with added sugar and solid fats like sweets and soft drinks have little nutritional benefit. As a result, you might feel full even when you haven't eaten any of the nutrient-dense foods your body needs.
In order to survive in the fundamental metabolic processes that enable core cellular functioning, we all require a balanced diet and adequate nutrition. Because of their involvement in energy-producing metabolism, DNA synthesis, oxygen transport, and cerebral functions, a balanced diet is crucial for brain and muscle function. As a result, cognitive and psychological processes are impacted, including physical and mental fatigue. Iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, and the B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B9, and B12) all help fight weariness.
Here are some easy tips on using diet and nutrition to beat tiredness and stay upbeat:
- Add protein to you diet: Protein helps keep up stamina levels and build endurance. Because it helps your muscle to repair wear and tear, and reduces muscle loss, it ensures your body has enough muscle to sustain everyday living. This is the reason why athletes or those with active lifestyles swear by protein intake through their diet or supplements.
- Hydration is the key: One might wonder, how a calorie less, flavourless liquid like water help with energy levels. Dehydration causes symptoms such as fatigue and tiredness. Even mild dehydration can alter a person's mood, energy level, and ability to think clearly, research by the University of Connecticut has found. Effect of dehydration on concentration, fatigue and anxiety is even more profound for women.
- Cut down on caffeine: 'Do not talk to me till I have had my morning coffee', does this internet meme sound familiar? Caffeine lovers, especially those who cannot start their days without a generous "energizing" dose of coffee or tea, are actually pushing themselves towards greater fatigue over the course of the day. Coffee might act as a temporary brain stimulant raising your energy level and focus for a short term, but can quickly result in an energy crash later. Moreover, it can build dependence and interference with the natural circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle. In all, for every cup of coffee, drink two extra cups of water.
- Cheers to alcohol, invitation to fatigue: A full alcohol glass might leave your energy levels half empty. Not only does it dehydrate your body and disturb sleeping and eating patterns, the alcohol raises the body's level of epinephrine, a stress hormone that increases the heart rate and generally stimulates the body, which can result in nighttime awakenings, according to Harvard Health Publishing. If you are going out or staying in every other night, reduce your alcohol intake. Do the same for smoking.
- Eat well: Eating processed foods, ordering in frequently, and whipping up sugar-laden recipes on the regular can reduce the nutrients going in your body, and disproportionately imbalance your meals. Take the calorie intake prescribed for your age, gender and activity level, and do not go for fad/extreme diets in the name of weight loss or spot reduction. Food is your body's fuel and tiredness is inevitable if it is not getting enough quantity and/or good quality.
A healthy diet requires physical activity, enough sleep, mental peace, and relaxation. Vital vitamins and minerals can be obtained naturally from a variety of sources, such as fruits, vegetables, and meat. The essential nutritional requirements vary from person to person due to factors including age, gender, and medical circumstances like pregnancy and lactation. In addition, conditions, lifestyle decisions, and restrictions all play a role.
(Dr. Vivek Srivastava is Senior Vice President at Zeon Lifesciences)