Do you remember back to school when you learnt that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed into different forms? (Newton’s Law). It’s fundamental to life and specifically to our daily . We get from the sun via the food that we . We convert this for use in our and this cycle repeats over and over. But what happens when the cycle doesn’t run as efficiently as it should? What can get in the way? This blog post aims to take a closer look at energy dips and five reasons that might be draining your of .
Energy Dips and the Energy Cycle
A lot of people experience a dip inat certain times of the day and consider it ‘normal’. Likewise, do you ever feel like you get weeks when you just can’t find the to workout or concentrate properly? Sometimes, the reasons are obvious – seasonal changes, binge watching tv series into the night, newborn baby keeping you up. But sometimes, it’s not as obvious as you think. Or at least, you need a little hint to have that ‘a-ha’ moment. Here’s just a few reasons to consider.
Reason 1: Stress
Trying to do it all and keep up with the Jones’s is tough work. When functioning normally, your stress hormone cortisol should be highest in the morning and gradually decrease in time for melatonin to kick in and get you feeling sleepy in the evening. Chronicthrows this pattern out the window meaning the can remain on constant alert and your cortisol never really falls off. This can disrupt sleep but it’s also a massive energy drain.
The fix: You can’t always controlbut you can build your own resilience. Mindfulness as a practice has time and time again been show to have benefit on stress and fatigue. Try a simple reflection practice early in the morning or last thing at night. There’s a million apps out there to help like My Headspace.
Reason 2: Not Working Out
Being stressed during the day is bad enough on its own but combining it with poor posture (slouching over a computer) and barely moving between the desk and the couch means that you are never releasing that negative/tension. This can also mean that your is not stimulated to produce more and/or isn’t capable of doing so efficiently.
Quick fix: Start moving! Exercise ramps up your endorphins, cognition and boosts cardiovascular health. Studies have also shown that 150 minutes of exercise a week helps with sleep (link). Research seems to indicate that it takes up to a month of consistency to start feeling the benefits of exercise. Pick something that you enjoy and go for it – hiking, tennis, football, walking, swimming….
Reason 3: Under recovering
If you’re at the opposite end of the scale and training all the time, you might be falling into another trap; under recovery. Long workouts also spike your cortisol which isn’t great if you’re already feeling stressed. By constantly asking yourto work and not giving it the rest it needs to perform, you could be seeing yourself under-performing.
Quick Fix: The quickest fix to avoid physical overload here is to take a rest week which includes gentle exercise in the form of a leisurely swim or stroll. If you can get some yoga and stretching in, all the better!
Reason 4: Under-eating
Food is your source of. As we and break it down into individual units that provide us with materials to make . While calories aren’t an accurate unit to base everything off of, the “calories in vs calories out” equation helps explain this point. If you’re expending significantly more than you are taking in over a long period of time, your may start to make certain adaptations to keep you alive. Because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. To ensure this, the may start to reduce the it gives out i.e. calories out. This means that (sometimes without even realizing) you feel lazier and more .
Quick fix: Keep a food diary for the week and note down the times of day youand what you . You’d be surprised what it reveals!
Reason 5: Dehydration
You would be surprised how easy it is to beand not even notice. Water has a huge role to play in the , especially since it makes up over 70% of our make-up. In fact, as little as 3 percent or more loss of body weight due to can cause as much as a 10 percent drop in performance level. Mild can result in feeling and affect not only your performance in the , but your mood and concentration too.
Quick fix: Drink up! Make sure to get at least 8 glasses of water per day. And stick to water – sports drinks/fizzy drinks/flavoured drinks all come with added sugar that you just don’t need.
Reason 6: You’re missing key nutrients
Energy dips can result from the simple fact that you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals from you’re food. Specifically, the B suite of vitamins play a crucial role in thecycle. Iron too can affect your with low iron leading to poorly formed red cells that deprive your of oxygen.
Quick fix: Consider your risk factors – generally low iron and b vitamins can strike vegans/vegetarians, those with digestive or thyroid issues or those with a very limited/processed . Likewise, high levels of certain minerals/vitamins can run in families. Striking a balance is very important so don’t go out there and just buy . It’s best to get a test and talk with your doctor first.
If you would like to dive deeper into nutrition and lifestyle for health, check out our Nutrition Courses.