Energy and performance
When your body needs a break
Our everyday juggle between our job, household tasks, family, friends and leisure time can be very draining. We are used to giving our all in every area of life; rest and recovery phases, on the other hand, are often neglected. Such stressful situations, which often go hand in hand with particular eating habits, can lead to our bodies developing an increased need for nutrients. How to get fit again, what you can do about fatigue and what you should look out for… we have put together lots of information for you!
What is the cause of constant tiredness?
Tired, fatigued, exhausted: possible causes
Fatigue is usually a sign that the body is lacking something: e.g. sleep, oxygen, fluid or exercise. Usually the condition does not last long and can be easily remedied. The exhaustion that accompanies an infection, for example, and is a sign of the immune system being active, also disappears after recovery. On the other hand, you should take note if the exhaustion comes on suddenly, lasts for an unusually long time and causes such as lack of sleep or overwork can be ruled out.
Fatigue trap diet
However, there does not always have to be an organic reason for persistent fatigue. Often it is simply our lifestyle that is to blame when we don’t really get our energy levels going:
1. Skip breakfast
2. Fast food
3. Too little iron
4. Too little liquid
Things that steal our energy in our everyday life
Have you also experienced the following situations? We often incorporate habits into our daily lives so naturally that we no longer notice how draining they can be. Protect yourself against these habits which drain energy:
1. False ambition
2. Never switching off
3. Too little exercise
4. Irregular bedtimes
Tips against fatigue
How to beat fatigue!
Being tired and exhausted is something we have all experienced. After a long day, we also find the feeling of being tired pleasant as it shows us that we have achieved something. But when you feel like you’re exhausted when you get up, seemingly for no reason, and you’re in a slump during the day? Then maybe it’s because of one of your habits having an unfavourable effect on your biorhythm or metabolism.
The following points will help you to uncover hidden energy thieves and instead integrate a few measures into your everyday life that will allow you to recharge your batteries, even without that big cup of coffee!
Right after getting up
In the morning
During your lunch break
In the afternoon
Did you know that endorphins are released during sport? These are the body’s happiness substances that strengthen self-confidence and promote relaxation. A run in the evening or a yoga class not only reduces stress, but is also fun. Create energy oases! Take time to take a deep breath: Breathe in slowly and hold your breath for a moment, then exhale slowly. Treat yourself to a few repetitions and enjoy the relaxation. It works even better if you close your eyes or imagine you are in a beautiful place. Aromatic oils and soothing music can further support the relaxation effect. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep: TVs and mobile phone or tablet screens emit blue light, which signals daylight to the body. So it’s better to read a few pages of a book to fall asleep and switch off electronic devices, otherwise your body will switch back to “awake”! You should also avoid drinking a glass of red wine before going to bed as our quality of sleep suffers even with small amounts of alcohol.
Increased mineral requirement
More often than you think
Some population groups have an increased need for minerals due to special life circumstances. These include:
• Pregnant woman
• Women who are breastfeeding
• People under high stress
• Children in the growth phases
• Women of childbearing age (increased iron requirement)
Special diets or deliberately restricted diets, such as dieting for weight loss, can cause mineral imbalances. For example, the National Nutrition Study showed that more than half of women and a quarter of men in Germany consume too little iodine despite the use of iodised salt. The situation is even worse when it comes to calcium: Every second German citizen over 65 does not reach the recommended daily allowance!
Another mineral for which the supply situation clearly falls short of the DGE recommendations is iron. Over 75% of women of childbearing age do not reach the recommended intake.
You can easily supplement your mineral supply with natural mineral water. This contains calcium and magnesium, as well as lots of trace elements. The advantages: you kill two birds with one stone, namely, sufficient fluid intake and natural nutritional supplementation! In addition, it is practically impossible to take too much like this. When buying, look for a natural mineral water that is not labelled as “de-ironed”! De-ironing does not mean, as is often misunderstood, that it removes iron from the body, but that the iron has been removed from the water for aesthetic reasons. Such waters are therefore not suitable for preventing widespread iron deficiency.
Fit with minerals
An athlete can lose up to 3 kilos of body weight during a training session or competition; a marathon runner can even lose up to 4. However, this is mostly fluid loss through sweating.
Large amounts of minerals are also flushed out of the body with sweat. Athletes should therefore always make sure they have a good mineral balance: The body can lose between 35-120 mg of magnesium alone with every litre of fluid sweated out!
Minerals in sweat:
• Sodium: 1200 mg/l
• Chloride: 1000 mg/l
• Potassium: 300 mg/l
• Calcium: 160 mg/l
• Magnesium: 36 mg/l
• Iron: 1.2 mg/l
Athletes definitely need to drink more fluids! Even before training, you should fill up your fluid stores. During your workout, you should drink about 150-250 ml every 15-20 minutes. Sodium-rich mineral water (non-carbonated) and juice spritzers made from apple or redcurrant juice, which are rich in electrolytes, are particularly suitable.
Magnesium - the sports mineral
Endurance athletes in particular notice a magnesium deficiency quite quickly: Too low a magnesium level in the blood can reduce the performance of the muscles.
During competitions, it has been demonstrated that athletes were more efficient and recovered more quickly if they had sufficiently high magnesium levels in their blood. However, it does not make sense to take a magnesium tablet just before the competition: Rather, our stores should be replenished a few days beforehand and sustainably over a period of at least three to four weeks afterwards.
Iron to keep your lungs strong
Liver, wheat bran, pumpkin seeds and pulses, for example, contain particularly high amounts of iron. You should, on the other hand, avoid eating foods such as coffee, cola or tea as they can inhibit iron absorption.
Vitamins for athletes
This is especially true of the B vitamins, all of which fulfil important metabolic functions. But oxidative stress also increases during intense physical exertion, so vitamins A, C and E can provide support here.
Finally, vitamin D is important. It helps to support the bones and thus to resist the forces that act on the skeleton during sports.