We women have certain nutritional needs when it comes to vitamins and minerals. But with so much to choose from and so much competing information out there, what do we really need?
As you walk through your local market or health food store, you might get bombarded with the idea that Americans are low on energy. We drink countless cups of coffee and energy drinks each day, which , over time can actually exhaust your adrenal system and leave you feeling more tired than before.
Why is that, you ask?
Well, for starters, caffeine inhibits a substance called ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which can lead to sleep problems. Less sleep and you’re more likely to be irritable the next day and you certainly won’t be firing on all 4 cylinders.
So before you start stocking up on vitamins and minerals, ask yourself a few questions:
1. Are you an average person who gets moderate amounts of exercise?
2. Are you an athlete who runs or sprints and is trying to get faster?
3. Or, are you simply trying to make it til the end of the workday?
So, basically, the particular type of energy you need is based on your answers to the above questions.
The next time you come back from lunch and are sitting at your desk ready to fall asleep, you will more than likely reach for another, perhaps stronger, cup of coffee to get you through the day. However, there is a distinct possibility that you may be dehydrated and in need of water. Our brains need water to function and caffeine is a diuretic, which depletes our bodies and brains of that precious H2O it needs.
KEEPING ENERGY SUPPLEMENTS IN PERSPECTIVE
If you are chronically fatigued, you should check with your doctor as he or she may want to run some blood tests. If your doctor rules out any health conditions, then ask yourself these key questions:
Is it safe? If you are already taking prescription medication, the herb or supplement you plan on taking may interfere with the drugs you are already taking. Always consult your physician first.
Where’s the evidence? Look for scientific evidence for their use. Is the research published in a credible scientific journal?
Do I really need it? If you’re eating a well balanced diet of whole foods such as fruits, veggies, fish and meats, then you may not need to supplement at all.
So, what do you do to get more energy without supplements or caffeine? I’ll start with the obvious: get more sleep. I realize that it’s difficult to turn off the TV or get off Facebook at 10pm, but your body and your brain will both thank you in the long run. Getting to bed before midnight is ideal since every hour of sleep you get before midnight equals 2 hours of sleep after midnight.
Finally, if you work in an office setting and usually go out for lunch, consider going for a 30 minute walk before you eat. If that’s not an option for you, then you can try making exercise a morning or evening routine and you’ll find you have more energy than you know what to do with.