There are many signs of adrenal fatigue, but the key ones include difficulty sleeping and trouble getting out of bed, a dip in energy around 4pm, mood disturbances, trouble concentrating, craving for salty foods, low immune system function and slow recovery from exercise and injury. It’s also a common contributing factor for reproductive issues and digestive problems such as IBS. Testing is simple, straightforward and relatively inexpensive and I highly recommend it.
If you do come back with an imbalance in adrenal function, recovery is usually made easier with changes to your eating patterns. My clients find that focusing on a protein-rich breakfast and eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can really help.
Even if you’re simply pushing yourself through hours of training, the same principles apply. Besides getting enough slow release carbs, breakfast is a must, and including a portion of protein such as a couple of eggs or adding a good quality protein powder to your porridge or a smoothie really helps with energy levels as well as training your body to use fat stores for fuel rather than relying on sugar. And, having smaller meals more frequently means that you can increase your calorie intake safely without overloading your system and upsetting your digestion – that’s crucial if you want to get the most out of your training and events.
If you want to really take care of your adrenal function and energy levels, the most important sources of key nutrients are dark green leafy vegetables (adrenals love kale and parsley!), and healthy sources of fats such as oily fish, avocados, eggs, nuts and seeds. Coconut oil and rapeseed oil are good for cooking, and flax oil is a great source of good fats in dressings.
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Wishing you all the best in health and happiness,