Do you feel sluggish, lethargic and simply not up to par? Our resident Nutritionist, Lily Soutter answers your most common question about why this could be...
1/ Vitamin B12
Following specific dietary patterns such as a vegan diet, can leave individuals susceptible to deficiencies in vitamin B12. When following a vegan diet, we remove all animal products which means we also remove our only source of vitamin B12. A deficiency in this critical vitamin can lead to fatigue, low mood and even forgetfulness which is why supplementation may need to be considered.
2/ Vitamin D
Vitamin D is referred to as the sunshine vitamin for good reason. Vitamin D is manufactured within the body in response to sunlight reaching our skin, which is why during the winter months within the UK we are at risk of becoming deficient. Whilst vitamin D is a critical nutrient for bone health, low levels can result in fatigue, poor immune function and can even affect mood.
Feeling very tired is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency, this happens because our body needs iron to make haemoglobin which is found in red blood cells and transports oxygen around the body. Gender and age are the biggest risk factor with women and children having a higher likelihood for developing deficiencies.
4/ Excess weight
Sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea often gets missed by healthcare practitioners and can result in daytime drowsiness. Being overweight is a is a high risk factor for the development of this sleep disorder, and something as simple as losing weight can play a key role with improving symptoms and energy levels.
Dehydration can also be a common but forgotten cause of fatigue and can even cause a drop in workplace productivity. A Meta analysis has shown that dehydration can impair cognitive performance, particularly for tasks which involve attention and concentration. The researchers found that functions such as complex problem solving and coordination also suffered.(1)
6/ Heavy meals before bed
If you wake up feeling sluggish and lethargic in the morning it may be time to look at your evening meal. If you’re consuming a heavy meal just before bed, it is likely to disrupt sleep quality leaving you feeling below par the next day.
By leading London Nutritionist, Lily Soutter BSc (hons) Food & Human Nutrition, Dip NT