Energy & Endurance
by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
Many people have a lower grade level of fatigue that is different from complete exhaustion. In these people we do not see the classic signs of exhaustion (muscle aches, complete and utter exhaustion) but rather an inability to take part in the activities that these people love because they drag. Clinicians are aware that drugs, chemotherapy, anemia, and poor thyroid function can lead to all-out fatigue but there are many subtle, common causes for this slightly below-the-radar fatigue. Here are some of them:
Lower than normal iron levels (well before you develop clinically diagnosable anemia with an obvious drop in the quantity of red blood cells) leads to low energy. Research shows that women with low-normal iron levels become fatigued faster when exercising because they lack stamina.
Low levels of the mineral magnesium. Magnesium is rarely prescribed by your doctor, yet it is difficult to obtain adequate magnesium from your diet and it is also one of the minerals that is difficult to absorb. Magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body so if it is even slightly low it can quickly lead to fatigue. The functions that require magnesium are very important and they include proper sleeping patterns, normal blood pressure and heart rate, a good mood, muscle and nerve function, metabolism and the conversion of carbohydrate into energy. A study by the Department of Agriculture illustrates the importance of magnesium. In the study the body’s of women who were deficient in magnesium had to work harder to perform simple physical tasks leading to fatigue. The women with lower magnesium levels required more oxygen and their hearts had to work harder and beat faster to perform physical tasks than they did after the level of magnesium was restored.
With an intense workout calcium is pushed out of the muscle leading to muscle fatigue and a slowed recovery. Vitamin D pulls calcium back into the muscle and can decrease the time required for physical recovery.
Learn what energy supplements will help maintain proper energy levels