Why Do I Have Low Energy?

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It’s the middle of the afternoon, your boss is only halfway through his PowerPoint presentation and you’re dying for a nap. This is normal; many people report a “slump” in their day after lunch and before it’s time to go home. But what if you’re tired and listless all the time? What if it feels like you can never get enough rest? Here are a few common causes for low energy levels.

Caffeine Dependency

If you can’t function before that first morning latte, you may have a caffeine dependency problem. Like a drug, caffeine eventually alters your brain, building up your tolerance and requiring more and more to reach the same highs. This results in a craving-fix-withdrawal cycle where your body is constantly hungering for another dose and punishing you when it can’t get it. It may sound like a counterproductive solution, but try weaning yourself off caffeine to regain your normal energy.

Low Hormone Levels

Are you struggling with fatigue, lethargy, loss of muscle mass or a decreased sexual appetite? You may have low testosterone. For men over 30, testosterone decreases at the rate of one percent a year, and even younger generations may have genetic conditions or complications with medication that contribute to low hormone levels. Consult your doctor if you think your low energy levels are related to hormones: You might need hormone replacement like  testosterone injections to set them right.

Inadequate or Irregular Sleep

Contrary to popular opinion, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to sleep schedules. Some people function fine on six hours; other needs eight or nine to feel fully refreshed. What you may not realize, however, is that too much sleep is just as bad as not enough. You also put a strain on your body if you consistently change your bedtime and sleep in sporadic bursts, ie less during the work week and many more on your days off. Try sticking to a regular schedule for a few weeks and see if that makes a difference in your daily grind.

Poor Diet

If you aren’t consuming enough calories for your age, gender and regular activity levels, your body isn’t receiving enough fuel to get through the day. Blood sugar is another concern; it’s directly tied to energy levels, so you don’t want it to dip or spike based on your meal choices. Poor nutrition can also contribute or exacerbate medical conditions like diabetes and anemia. Basically, if you want to feel happy, healthy and energized, start at the dinner table.

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