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Medical reasons for feeling tired can be Depression, Heart disease, Diabetes, Glandular fever, Coeliac disease, Anaemia, Sleep apnoea, Underactive thyroid or Anxiety. 

Here are the nutrition and lifestyle related reasons for feeling tired, plus simple lifestyle tweaks that will put the pep back in your step.

1. Are you getting eight to nine hours of good quality sleep?

- HGH (human growth hormone) is naturally released during the deep sleep. It improves muscular recovery and regeneration.

- If you don't get good quality sleep, it hinders muscle recovery process and suppress grown hormone release. 

Usually sleepers pass through five stages. These stages progress cyclically from 1 through 5. Stages 1, 2 and 3 are beginning of your sleep. Stage 3 and 4 sleep is deepest and most restorative sleep. During stage 3 and 4 (deep sleep), energy is restored and human growth hormones are released which are essential for growth and development, including muscle development. Stage 5 (dream sleep) provides energy to brain and body. It supports daytime performance.

- Make sleep your priority. Most adults need eight to nine hours of sleep at night. 

- Eat a banana or drink warm milk before bed to get deep sleep naturally. It is a great natural source of melatonin, the sleep hormone, as well as tryptophan. The warm milk is also a good source of tryptophan.

2. Do you have alcohol before bed?

- Alcohol initially depresses the central nervous system and produces a sedative effect. It ultimately sabotages sleep maintenance.

- Alcohol creates a rebound effect as it is metabolized, which creates an abrupt surge in the adrenaline system. This is why you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night after you have been drinking. 

- Stop alcohol three to four hours before bedtime.

3. Are you consuming enough iron?

- An iron deficiency can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, weak, and unable to focus.

- It makes you tired because less oxygen travels to the muscles and cells. 

- Load up on lean beef, chicken, kidney beans, tofu, eggs (including the yolk), dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, fortified breakfast cereals, apricots and figs. 

- It is important to eat vitamin C-rich foods which may help your body absorb the iron. Good sources of vitamin C include lemon, oranges, tomatoes, guava, strawberries, broccoli and cauliflower.

4. How is your pre-workout and post-workout nutrition? Do you meet your daily protein requirement?

- Proper protein intake is necessary for muscle recovery. If your muscle recovery is not good, you feel tired. 

According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s RDA for protein, if you are doing strength training, you can take up to 1.5 grams of protein per kg of your bodyweight per day. If your bodyweight is 60 kg, you need 90 grams (60kg X 1.5) of protein per day.

- Have whey protein 60 minutes before workout and within 20 minutes after workout. 

- Include protein rich foods in your diet such as whey protein, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, lean beef, lamb, turkey, whey protein, milk, cheese, paneer, tofu, curd, yogurt, lentils (Indian dal), spinach (palak), chickpeas (channa), kidney beans (rajma), sprouts, mung, broccoli, soybeans, figs, almonds and walnuts.

5. Are you drinking enough water?

- Being even slightly dehydrated as little as 2% of normal fluid loss takes a toll on energy levels.

- In general, you should try to drink an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (68kg), that would be 150 ounces (4.43 liter) of water a day. 
33.814 ounces = 1 liter
2.20 pounds = 1 kg

6. Do you have B12 deficiency?

- Your body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells and keep neurons functioning properly.

- Deficiency decreases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry through your body, leaving you with that sluggish feeling. 

Animal-derived foods are a major source of Vitamin B12. Vegetarian diet and vegan diet are considered as primarily responsible for the deficiency. Vegans don’t eat animal-derived foods and vegetarians don’t eat eggs and non-veg food. So vitamin B12 deficiency is very common in vegetarians and vegans. They need to ensure that they obtain their recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 from fortified sources or supplements.

- Eat vitamin B12 rich vegetarian foods such as whey protein, yogurt, curd, cow’s milk, cheese and eggs (if you are eggitarian). 

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Written by Sapna Vyas Patel , PhD in Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sapna writes simple, easy to understand articles that are based on pure scientific evidence. She is one of the most popular fitness professionals in India and is followed on social media by fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, trainers, and professionals.

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