exhausted runner

Nutrients to Treat Exhaustion

By Tamara Madden on 05 May 2021

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms that people seek help from a health care practitioner.

The brain is the first organ to feel low energy production that results in exhaustion or fatigue.

Energy in the human body is produced in the mitochondria of cells and is called ATP. The body’s requirement for ATP is enormous – one neuron in the brain utilises 4.7 billion ATP molecules per second! There are a few key nutrients that are required for mitochondrial production of ATP – and are limiting factors for energy if the body doesn’t absorb enough of these nutrients via your diet. They are: CoQ10, Magnesium, B Vitamins

Co Q10

This compound is essential for energy production and is beneficial for managing fatigue. It is also a powerful antioxidant. If you struggle to recover well from your runs, this nutrient is my number one pick - as it improves the uptake of oxygen into the cells, increasing your energy output. It is highly available in food – but most people refuse to eat it …. Sardines and Organ Meats (liver, heart etc) - so hence I recommend most of my clients that are training for endurance events, or that are experiencing exhaustion to take a supplement to boost the essential nutrient.

Magnesium and B Vitamins

These two nutrients are also essential co-factors for ATP production, and support the structure of the mitochondria and prevent brain atrophy – they are readily found in many foods -primarily vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. However, the content of the nutrients found in foods varies greatly depending on the soils and environment that the food is grown. Recent research has shown that many adults are deficient in these nutrients due to poor quality soils and poor farming practices. Given they are limiting factors in energy production – if you are feeling exhausted or fatigued you will most likely feel much better if you increase these nutrients via a supplement. A good quality powder is the best option, one containing Magnesium Citrate or Bis-glycinate has been shown to be the most effective and well absorbed. Other forms of magnesium can cause digestive upset and diarrhoea. Anyone training for an endurance event is requiring a significant increase in ATP production, so supporting your mitochondria with a Mag/B supplement is beneficial for your training and recovery.

There are other factors that also influence fatigue: Increased Stress, Lack of Sleep, Increased Inflammation - these factors, along with reduced nutrient levels, do not occur in isolation, and often fatigue needs a multi-faceted approach to be resolved.

A private consultation with a Nutritionist can help determine the most appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes, along with practitioner-prescribed supplements to provide your body with the support it needs.

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Tamara Madden Nutritionist

Tamara Madden

I am a passionate and realistic qualified nutritionist and a high-quality athlete. I love food and exercise and supporting my clients to achieve their goals and optimum performance.

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