It’s a go-to fix when it comes to fatigue – you’re starting to feel a bit sluggish in the afternoon and reach for the coffee tin for a quick pick-me-up.
Surprisingly though, while caffeine can temporarily pick your energy levels up by activating your nervous system, once the initial effect wears off, you’ll be left in worse shape than before. The impact caffeine has on your nervous system can leave you feeling tired and irritated with a dull headache.
3. Low calorie options
You’ve probably heard that processed, fatty foods are bad for you and, conscious of calories and their impact on your waistline, you may have turned to low calorie, fat free options instead. After-all, surely if it doesn’t contain as many calories it must be better for you, right?
Unfortunately, this isn’t always how it works and the sad truth is that these low-fat, calorie counting alternatives being lauded as a ‘healthier option’ usually contain more additives than their full fat counterparts. Animal fats are often replaced with hydrogenated oils and plenty of sugar to make them more palatable.
4. Red meat
Iron-deficiency is one of the leading causes of fatigue and it’s estimated that approximately 1 in 10 women suffer from iron deficiency anaemia. In an effort to increase their iron intake, many turn to red meat, which is thought to be one of the most abundant dietary sources of iron.
While red meat does contain plenty of iron, it’s also rich in fat making it difficult for your body to digest, which can cause problems such as constipation and bloating, as well as symptoms like fatigue.
5. White foods (bread, pasta, rice)
White flour is present in hundreds of different food products, from bread to pasta to cakes and other pastries. However, foods that contain white flour are usually heavily processed meaning that they lose much of their inherent goodness, as well as beneficial nutrients like magnesium, vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids.
Instead, these refined carbohydrates are rich in sugar, hydrogenated oils and preservatives, which can have a knock-on effect on your insulin levels, making you more predisposed to feelings of fatigue and tiredness.