Beyond just being sleepy after eating a big meal, many times afternoon fatigue will feel like a battle to even stay awake, much less think or actually accomplish anything. An afternoon slump is pretty common but afternoon fatigue can be difficult to overcome.
The body can burn two types of fuel, carbohydrates or fat. Our ancestors used fat as a primary fuel source but today’s Western diet leans more heavily on carbohydrates (sugar). Because of this fact, afternoon fatigue may be related to postlaunch hypoglycemia.
The obvious “cure” for afternoon fatigue is to train the body to burn fat instead of sugar, which should eliminate such drops in energy level. The easiest way to accomplish this is to stop taking in carbohydrates with lunch. Make sure every lunch is rich in proteins and vegetables.
Beyond just avoiding afternoon fatigue, the benefits to such as dietary choice include but are not limited to:
- Having accessible energy on hand, as the body
- effectively burns stored fat for energy
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Burning dietary fat for energy effectively leading to less fat being stored
- Being able to readily depend upon fat for energy during exertion
Typically, while not considered a disease itself, fatigue has been defined as a common symptom to some serious illnesses. Those who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, depression, diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), fibromyalgia, mononucleosis, multiple sclerosis and any type of cancer (lymphoma, bone cancer, etc.) will typically, at one time or another, experience some stage of fatigue.
With some of these illnesses the fatigue can become completely debilitating. It will become almost impossible to complete even the most common or mundane tasks due to a total lack of energy, focus or motivation.
Chronic Fatigue Symptoms
It was in 1988 that the Centers for Disease Control finally recognized Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or as it’s come to be known, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), as an illness. Finally, most doctors have now abandoned their view that chronic fatigue syndrome was just something “in your head” and it’s no longer viewed as a psychological disorder.
While extreme fatigue is the most common symptom of CFIDS, other symptoms include: muscle and joint aches and pains; chronic headaches; sore throat, swollen glands and periodic fevers and chills; numbness and tingling of the extremities; cognitive dysfunction; and insomnia.
While researchers in the past almost 30 years have claimed they’ve determined the cause of CFIDS, they’ve reached no agreement. Much of the research in the past 10 to 20 years suggests an infectious agent as the cause, primarily various viruses, but nobody can determine which one. As a result, Dr. Mercola posits the question: is it a virus causing chronic fatigue syndrome or is chronic fatigue syndrome itself making people more susceptible to infections? It’s anyone’s guess.