3 reasons your EXHAUSTED that you’ve never realised {202}

May 18, 2022 | Nutrition

This week we’re talking about why you are exhausted – Three reasons why you are tired, fatigued, knackered, whatever word that you want to use. I’ll share more about how energy is actually made in the body and why it is that you feel exhausted and therefore what you can do about it.

This isn’t just some fluffy ‘Ooh, drink a coffee’ We are looking at what the system of energy production is and what can go wrong with it. When you know this, there’s so much that you can do about your energy levels.

If you had more energy, maybe you would start growing some vegetables, maybe you’d get that second dog that you want, maybe you would go back and retrain for a totally different career, maybe you would start advocating for certain things, maybe you’d volunteer, maybe you would do up your house. 

Energy is such a foundational thing in our lives, yet for some reason, most of us are willing to accept crap energy.

We think of energy as like this outward thing like ‘I hope I get energy’ but energy is a system in your body, in your biology that you create. When you know the system, you can create energy. – It’s not a limitless amount of energy, but you can really optimise the creation.

There is a reason why you are tired, and there’s something you can do about it.


What is energy? How do we make it?

To get more energy we need to understand the system of energy. Energy is cultivated, it’s created and it is the result of a very finely honed system within the body. 

To put it simply, we create energy in most of the cells in our bodies, apart from our red blood cells. You are made up of billions of cells and within each of these cells is something called mitochondria. Mitochondria is like your power plant – where you create energy. 

When we’re talking about energy within the body, we’re talking about something called ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) There is a whole set of reactions that take place all the time to produce this thing that is energy.

In order to make ATP, it actually costs us ATP – The process of making energy means that you need to spend some energy.

So, if you are exhausted, it means one or both of the following:

  1. You are struggling to make optimal ATP – I say optimal ATP because if you are alive you are obviously making ATP.
  2. You are wasting or overspending the energy you produce so you struggling to create more ATP.

I find with clients, it’s probably a mix of both but for some people it is more one than the other, depending on their health, history and symptoms.

Maybe you have brilliant ATP – Production is optimal, but you are spending left, right and centre. It’s a bit like money. You’re really struggling to make the currency, so you’re not even necessarily wasting it, but you’ve just not got it.

So, energy is a bit like money – I think about it like a currency. – It’s something that we make.

It’s not a limitless resource and that your body just has tons of it. It costs you to run it.

It costs energy to make money just like it often costs you money to get to work.

If you’re exhausted all the time, it’s kind of like the equivalent of you being in debt. (I call it energetic debt) You don’t have enough to pay for what you’re doing. You don’t have enough energy to pay for what you’re doing.

Now, this is metaphorical. It’s not necessarily the exact biochemistry, but it’s a really helpful way of thinking about it.

What we need to do is manage our energy, just like we have to manage our money. You need to manage your energy because it isn’t limitless.

We need to prioritise where our energy goes. This is a part of the conversation but for some of us, there’s also some real, biology wonkiness happening that we need to address as well.

Reason 1: Struggling to produce energy

If you’re struggling with that optimal production of ATP, there could be mitochondrial dysfunction.

So, if we think about that part, your cell is making ATP that can be affected by mycotoxins or mould, things like heavy metals inflammation, certain medications etc, fertility issues, fibromyalgia, cognitive decline, etc.

Mitochondrial dysfunction can look like lots of different things. What we really need to do is look at the actual energy production cycle.

The Krebs cycle or the citric acid cycle is a series of chemical reactions that happens in our bodies  to generate energy – It is quite an elaborate process where lots of things can affect it.

Production of energy requires SO many nutrients – B1, B2, B3, magnesium, iron, carbs, protein or fats, cocuten enzymes, etc.

But even if you have all of these things you can have stuff getting in the way of creating energy like mould, heavy metals, viral stuff, even viral infections like Lyme or long COVID etc.

Reason 2: Overspending:

Now, another reason why you could be exhausted is because you are overspending.

One of the ways that I see people overspending is by what I call the mental load. They are carrying too many things, juggling too many things – There is too much stuff going on in their brain.

It doesn’t necessarily mean doing everything. It’s about having too much going on in your head all at once.

This is especially the case with women, because women tend to do most of the unseen, unpaid, let’s be honest, unappreciated work in our society still. Fortunately it’s changing, but it’s generally the case.

This can be huge – and that doesn’t just mean you doing the stuff.  Maybe you’re in a partnership and your partner is really proactive but you’re still the delegator. You are managing your household potentially and if that is a massive load to carry.

Another way to look at this is that you really struggle to switch your brain off. You might be thinking that you aren’t doing too much, but you are struggling to switch your brain off in the evening.

You can be having a relaxing time watching Netflix, but your brain is writing lists , it’s thinking about work, it’s doing all of these different things and you really struggle to sit down and take a moment of calm.

That inability to get your nervous system into a parasympathetic state for a prolonged period of time is really exhausting on your body and it will lead to you feeling burnt out, exhausted, tired, and impact ATP production.

Ask yourself ‘what is my mental load? Am I carrying everything? Where can I get help? Where can I offload things?’

Being able to switch into a parasympathetic state, which can be really hard if you’re somebody that just struggles to switch off and you’re always prepared to be on the go and then just fall asleep.

That is not healthy for your biology, for your energy production, for your brain. It will lead to burnout or you will just slowly get more exhausted.

So, being able to switch off is really important.

Reason 3: Inflammation Leaks:

When I say inflammation leaks, I’m talking about food intolerances, mould, heavy metals, high sugar diets, or just a bad diet for your body, poor sleep quality, chronic stress or too much/too little fat for your body’s ideal nutrient depletions.

There might be:

  • Auto-immune conditions going on. Immune system dysregulation happens when there’s poor digestion.
  • Skin issues because of poor detox pathways.
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Taking a lot of medications that just have known side effects – that doesn’t mean you have to change that – It’s just knowing and being aware that that’s maybe a plug or a hole in your bucket.
  • Being chronically stressed.
  • Poor sleep.
  • Being slightly underweight.

These are all going to drain your energy and if you want to have more energy, you need to plug those things so that your cup can overflow with more energy.

If you know that you are struggling with your energy and you have for a really long time, I am launching a brand new 7-day group program called Energise where I’ll be sharing the key foundations to double your energy, improve your sugar cravings and sleep better.

It includes meal plans, workshops, modules, email support from me so that I can give you some personalised feedback.

It’s all brand new stuff and it’s going to be phenomenal. So, if you would love to double your energy this month click here to sign up.

I would love to spend time with you, to support you and help you get more energy.


Want to see BIG results in your energy, belly, skin and hormones?

Then chances are you need some personalised support (hint – that is what I do!). Click here to find out more and to book your call with me.


Resources Mentioned

  • Find out more about working with me here – and book your call.
  • Find out more on how to deal with constipation – here and here
  • Find out about the BIGGEST mistake people make in supporting their digestion here
  • Looking for free-from recipes? Then check out all my yummy recipes here


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