You may be suffering from more than just plain old stress, but even if you are merely highly stressed the following article is for you. When we are over stressed, or struggle with prolonged periods of stress our adrenal glands can become fatigued. Prolonged periods of stress and or adrenal fatigue can cause a deficiency in many of the vitamins, minerals and essential compounds that our bodies need to function efficiently. In order to combat fatigue and low energy it is important maintain optimal levels of vitamins and minerals in order to aid the body to function better during these times. There are also a number of herbs which can support the functioning of the system during stressful times, as well as dietary changes that can be implemented too.
One of the most important vitamin groups during stressful times are the B vitamins. Taking only one particular B vitamin over an extended period can result in imbalances in the other B vitamins. Rather supplement with a B complex vitamin, which includes B5, B6, B12. Remember all B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them. The first most important is B5 (pantothenic acid), which helps to produce co-enzyme A, and this aids cellular respiration and the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Next on the list is B6, which acts in several of the pathways that are used to create adrenal hormones. Lastly B12 helps with energy production, cell repair and the maintenance of our red blood cells. The amounts that you need of each are quite different, so consult your qualified healthcare practitioner for the best dosages for you.
Never ever forget Vitamin C, during stressful times our immunity is often lowered and therefore this powerful antioxidant vitamin is vital. Also a crucial role of Vitamin C is that it is directly involved in the production of cortisol in your adrenals. Normally it is recommended to start with a dosage of around 1000mg of vitamin C in divided doses. It is particularly important to use a buffered or “Ester” vitamin C, in combination with bioflavonoids, in order to maximise absorption. As always consult your qualified healthcare practitioner for the best dosages for you.
Magnesium is vital to maintain energy flow, a lack can result in symptoms including fatigue, muscle cramps, stiffness and insomnia. Be cautious with you dosage as to much can irritate the digestive tract. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner for the best dosages.
Along with vitamin C, probiotics have a crucial role in maintaining immunity. Probiotics can improve digestion and reduce antibiotic side effects. Many highly stressed people, and adrenal fatigue sufferers struggle with poor digestion. A compromised digestion means a reduced ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat, therefore it is important to aid digestive processes. It is important to remember when shopping for a probiotic, find one with a minimum of 10 billion CFUs (Colony Forming Units). It should most importantly contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, as well as at least 4/5 other strains. As always consult your qualified healthcare practitioner for the best choice.
One of the herbals longest used for maintaining energy levels and increase endurance is Liquorice root. Liquorice root is also used to stimulate hormone levels and it helps cortisol to circulate in the system for longer. It is a great choice for highly stressed individuals or those with Adrenal Fatigue. But please use it with caution as Licorice root can raise your blood pressure. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner who knows your medical history, before commencing supplementation.
Ashwagandha is what is known as an adaptogenic herb and helps combat the effects of stress by modulating your response to stress . It is known to be one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, and has been in use from ancient times to help balance, restore, and strengthen the body.. Ashwagandha regulates various systems in our bodies and is known to help regulate cortisol levels -if cortisol is too high, it acts to lower it, or if cortisol is too low, it acts to raise it. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner who knows your medical history, before commencing supplementation.
Siberian ginseng traditionally was used to prevent colds and flu and to increase energy, longevity, and vitality. It is widely used in Russia as an adaptogen that helps the body better cope with either mental or physical stress and is known to be used by Russian Olympic athletes to improve their stamina. The great thing is that it also seems to increase mental awareness and boost energy levels. However, use it with caution as it can elevate blood pressure and should be avoided by those with hypertension. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner who knows your medical history, before commencing supplementation.
One of the best herbs I have come across for helping one cope with stress is Rhodiola Rosea. Rhodiola is quite popular in European countires, and is believed to aid with a assortment of conditions including muscle tension, poor circulation, depression and fatigue. I have also found it quite helpful for promoting mental clarity and a number of studies support this finding. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner who knows your medical history, before commencing supplementation.
Maca root has traditionally been used in South America for its energy enhancement, mood stabiliser and stamina enhancing effects. Some recent research has found that maca has beneficial effects on cortisol regulation and blood sugar. It is also believed to be an adaptogen like Siberian ginseng and Ashwaganda. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner who knows your medical history, before commencing supplementation.
Once all the above options have been considered it is also important to consider some of the following supplements and dietary changes. These are some of the supplement that may well best help increase energy levels. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a particularly potent supplement for boosting metabolism and increasing energy levels. Also worth considering is CoQ10, our bodies do produce CoQ10 and it is used produce energy for growing and maintaining your cells, also vital are its cardiovascular uses, assuring circulatory health, and supporting the optimal functioning of the heart muscle. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner who knows your medical history, before commencing supplementation.
Do not under estimate the importance of eating well during stressful times. During times of stress many find themselves craving carbohydrates. It is important to ensure that you are eating complex carbohydrates. Iterestingly carbohydrates help prompt the brain to make more serotonin. In order to ensure a stable supply of this happy chemical, it I recommended to eat complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest. The following is a list of good complex carbohydrates: whole-grain breads like rye and buckwheat, wholewheat pastas, and oatmeal. The other great thing that complex carbohydrates do is to help maintain a stable blood sugar level. Popeye had it right. Eat lots of spinach to ensure optimal levels of magnesium. Insufficient levels of magnesium are believed to possibly trigger headaches and fatigue. You do not have to stick to spinach alone, all green leafy vegetables are good sources of magnesium. Eat lots of fresh, fatty fish, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna – at least three times per weeek. Omega 3 fatty acids can aid in protecting against heart disease, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Who would have thought it. Ditch the coffee, as coffee does the following: it simultaneously boosts adrenaline production while suppressing adenosine, a natural relaxant in your brain. Start drinking black tea, as black tea may well aid a speedy recovery from stressful proceedings. Interestingly in a study comparing people who drank 4 cups of tea daily for 6 weeks with people who drank another beverage, tea drinkers reported feeling calmer and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after stressful situations.
All of these changes are good, but one of the single most important de-stressors is exercise. Exercise boosts oxygen circulation and makes you produce endorphins, which make you feel good. It is important to aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three to four times a week. Consult your qualified healthcare practitioner who knows your medical history, before commencing any exercise routine if you suffer from any serious conditions. So get out there and go for it!!
About The Author:
After eight years in the retail side of the health industry, much accumulation of knowledge and information I changed industries completely and gone back to my graphic design roots. I still wish to help inform people on natural alternatives, as well as help people when they are choosing to use natural alternatives to treat disorders, diseases and distresses.
(Read more posts by Charlie)