Foods That Fight Series-Fatigue
Have you been confident you got the necessary sleep but somehow still feel like you have this lingering tiredness that just won’t go away? Me too, I’ve been there! Hopefully, today's Foods That Fight Series can give you some natural food options to try with hopes of combating that dreaded lull. If you are reading this, you may be low on energy, so I will try to keep this brief.
In true Foods That Fight Series fashion, I am going to define the issue (Fatigue), give you some research based information about natural foods that may combat this issue, and tell you how I eat these foods. Lets get to it!
What is Fatigue?
WebMD defines Fatigue as “a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. With fatigue, you have unexplained, persistent, and relapsing exhaustion.”
Food and eating habits can be triggers for Fatigue. I have chosen three foods that I believe are more commonly acceptable by the mass
majority, foods that I eat, and foods that research shows can have a positive effect on combating your Fatigue.
Bananas are known for their potassium, but they are also packed with the perfect amount of carbohydrates that will provide you with a nice boost of natural energy. There are a few websites out there that will report that bananas are responsible for making you feel tired because of their high magnesium content but fortunately for you, I only use reputable research studies for these blogs. According to a US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health study, bananas were compared to sports drinks with results concluding that bananas are as effective as sports drinks designed for supporting performance.
Nuts and Seeds
I usually try to be more specific when I mention foods but this whole range of nuts and seeds made it hard for me to just pick one and leave out the rest. Almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pumpkin seeds are all in this category of foods that defeat fatigue. Research shows that while all nuts, which are the seeds of plants, have magnesium. Some nuts contain more or less of other healthy nutrients. Some examples are peanuts and pecans contain lots of B vitamins; almonds are rich in calcium and vitamin E; walnuts have lots of folate, vitamin E, and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid).
OMG, no he didn’t say…CARBS! Yes, I did! Contrary to what the brainwashing has us thinking about all carbs, for people without a medical reason and with portion control, complex carbohydrates have a lot of benefits. Complex carbs provide energy (glycogen) to be stored in body tissue such as muscle cells. According to research “carbohydrates are important substrates for contracting muscle during prolonged, strenuous exercise, and fatigue is often associated with muscle glycogen depletion and/or hypoglycaemia.”
Refined carbs, or simple carbs, like white flour and sugar has very little nutritional value while complex carbs also provide fiber.
What can you do with this great information I just gave you? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Provided you don’t have any allergies or health related issues with the three foods mentioned here and your doctor is okay with you eating these, your mission is to find exciting and healthy ways to eat these foods. Here are some of my favorite ways:
Bananas: I eat about 3 bananas a day, usually one before my workout and others as part of my snacks. I also use bananas in my protein shakes which helps because most protein powder are low carb powders.
*B-Rob Side note: Bananas bring the balance which helps my body use the protein for muscle building and the carbs for energy. There can be situations where protein is used for energy because of the lack of carbs. I can help you in this area if you need a sports nutrition coach.
Nuts and Seeds: At this moment, my favorite is a nut mixture of walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and cashews. I buy them individually and mix them in a Ziplock bag. I suggest you have measured portions so you can track you nutritional value.
Complex Carbs: I eat brown rice as my complex carb of choice. I enjoy salmon or tuna over my brown rice with drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
I hope this information has enlightened and helped you. Please “heart” this blog and feel free to comment with other ways you eat the foods listed here and other helpful information.
Brian "B-Rob" Robinson is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, Certified Life Strategies Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Youtuber, and co-founder of LEANWellonline. His YouTube channel is called thisisb-rob.
Nieman, D. C., Gillitt, N. D., Henson, D. A., Sha, W., Shanely, R. A., Knab, A. M., Cialdella-Kam, L., & Jin, F. (2012). Bananas as an energy source during exercise: a metabolomics approach. PloS one, 7(5), e37479. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037479
Publishing, H. (2019, September). Quick-start guide to nuts and seeds. Retrieved June 24, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/quick-start-guide-to-nuts-and-seeds
Costill DL, Hargreaves M. Carbohydrate nutrition and fatigue. Sports Med. 1992;13(2):86-92. doi:10.2165/00007256-199213020-00003