Tired of Being Tired: 3 Quick Fatigue Fixes
I so rarely have a patient in my office who has great energy the first time we meet, it feels like I’ve met a unicorn when I do – are you sure you have great energy? I’ll ask. Does it last all day?
Unfortunately, feeling bone-tired is the standard for most people. Which is pretty disheartening for us as a society (that’s a different blog post), and frustrating for my patients as individuals. In most cases, it’s not that you’re un-motivated – you’d love to do spin class at 6am and still have energy to take the dog for a run after work - it’s that your brain, or your body, or both, can’t seem to keep up with your life.
Sometimes, the solution is simple – ie. it’s anemia and you’ve gotta take your iron supplement. In most cases, however, it takes a multi-faceted approach. An energy makeover, starting from the basics (food, sleep, water, down-time), and moving up to hormonal therapies that fix an HPA-axis dysfunction or a sluggish thyroid. I have hundreds of patients on programs like this, working their way slowly to an optimally functioning system. If you’re dragged-out, exhausted at the end of the day, you should be on one too. But in the mean time, you need some energy now and you’d like to avoid an energy drink as much as I’d like you to avoid them. So what can be done?
Here are a few solutions for a quick energy reset:
Quick Cures for Fatigue
1. feet up the wall: lie on your back, perpendicular to a wall, and scoot yourself closer to the wall as you walk your feet up it. Your final position will have you making an “L” shape – flat back, butt to the wall, and legs straight up. Yogi’s swear by this technique to enoucrage blood flow to the brain, boosting alertness. I find that 5-10 minutes in this posture, coupled with deep breathing, helps to reset my nervous system when I’m in the middle of a long work day.
2. make a maca-mocha for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up: if you find yourself yawning at 3pm, know that it’s your adrenals calling for a bit of support. Instead of reaching for a coffee that will disrupt the quality of your sleep later tonight, try the following recipe. Maca is an adaptogenic herb, lending some support to the adrenal stress-hormone system. And the sweet taste of myo-inositol and cinnamon will satisfy your craving while stabilizing your blood sugar for the rest of the day. Bonus: maca lifts your libido too.
Maca Mocha Recipe (from Melissa Ramos)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp cacao powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp maca powder
1 dash cayenne powder
1 tsp myo-inositol powder
1 dropper full of stevia (or a couple of tsp of honey or maple syrup)
1 tbsp coconut oil
Heat the almond milk in a small saucepan. Add your powders, spices, sweetener, and coconut oil, and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Drink up!
If you’re going to be at work at 3pm: before leaving for the office, add your spices, sweetener, coconut oil, and powders plus ¼ cup almond milk to a 1L mason jar. At 3pm, add 1 cup of hot water to the mixture and shake it up.
3. get a nutritional IV: I’ve got patients who swear by this formulation to elevate their energy, clear the mental cobwebs, and even turn them into nicer human beings (more than one patient refers to this as their ‘happy juice’). It’s a cocktail of minerals, amino acids, vitamin C, magnesium, a specific ratio of B vitamins, and a shot of glutathione to support your adrenal system, thyroid hormone production, and your mighty mitochondria so you can produce more cellular energy. Patients come as often as once a week, or as infrequent as once a month for an energy top-up. All patients are screened for appropriateness of this therapy before it is administered - there are both potential benefits (above) and risks to nutritional IVs that are discussed with every patient prior to starting treatment.
Simply call us if you want to know more about nutritional IVs – I’m happy to chat for a free 15 minute consult about how they may benefit you.
See you soon!
Dr Kali MacIsaac HBSc, ND