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5 tips for maintaining your energy despite your PMS

by Sonia Chartier, on 15 September 2016, Women's Health
fatigue

Do you sometimes feel tired for no apparent reason, to the point where you prefer sweatpants and herbal tea to a fabulous night out with the girls?

If fatigue gets the best of you from time to time, it might be because of PMS. But don’t let it get you down!

If you regularly cancel your appointments, have been crowned queen of procrastination when it comes to your household chores and dodge your commitments to slip into your pyjamas instead, your hormones might be to blame. Other causes might be a budding thyroid problem or lack of iron, or you might just lack sleep. To find out whether your fatigue is linked to PMS, keep track of how often it occurs to see whether it’s a cyclical phenomenon. If you’re always tired and never manage to get your chores done, consult your doctor.

You should know that PMS-related fatigue can have a number of underlying reasons or factors. For the most part, you’re in control; it’s up to you to assess your PMS’s impact.

5 tips for maintaining your energy despite your PMS

No. 1 – Get enough sleep! It seems like an obvious solution to fatigue, but these days, adults on average are sleeping less and less each night; you should be aiming for eight to nine hours. When PMS strikes, it can sometimes be hard to get to sleep and stay that way because of hormonal fluctuations, cramps and the sugar cravings you gave in to just an hour earlier. To help you sleep, turn off your electronic devices, and whatever you do, banish the TV from your bedroom! Take the time to relax away from your screens before heading to bed. Reading an unexciting book is ideal way to help you doze off.

No. 2 – Get moving! Don’t go thinking that exercise is going to tire you out, because the opposite is in fact true: physical exertion gives you energy and reduces the intensity of PMS symptoms. Of course, the solution isn’t to dive head-first into intensive mixed martial arts training every time your PMS comes a‑knocking. Engaging in sports regularly or simply taking a daily 20-minute walk will be much more effective.

No. 3 – Watch your serotonin! Um, say what? It seems as though fluctuations in serotonin levels affect mood and cause certain PMS symptoms like fatigue, cravings and bad moods. Iron is one of the elements that help your body produce serotonin. Furthermore, even if you don’t become anemic, low iron levels will deplete your energy and affect your sleep. A good solution is to take a supplement rich in iron.

No. 4 – Eat healthy! What you eat has a direct impact on the intensity of your PMS symptoms and your energy. If you want to wake the beast, gorge yourself on sugar, white flour, saturated fats, alcohol and coffee, and don’t forget to avoid fruits and vegetables. You’ll be in a rotten mood and you’ll be exhausted. Conversely, to avoid fatigue and keep smiling:

  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables: as a side dish, in salads, stir fried as a main course, or as a snack or dessert.
  • Choose whole grains that have been processed as little as possible—brown or wild rice, oats, quinoa, barley and so on.
  • Choose plant-based protein sources such as beans, tofu and chick peas.
  • Limit your coffee and alcohol consumption.

No. 5 – Relax! Stress is one of the things that trigger PMS. When you’re stressed, your body stays on high alert, which is totally exhausting. When your adrenal glands, which are involved in managing stress and hormones, become overloaded, fatigue will literally knock you out. A good supplement made with rhodiola, magnesium and flowering oat will help you function better during stressful times and will strengthen your adrenal glands to help you avoid fatigue.

The benefits of adopting these practices aren’t limited to PMS! They’ll also help you trim your waistline, lower your risk of heart disease and simply feel better about yourself. What’s more, when you eat well and stay active, you’ll feel less stressed, sleep better and have the energy to take advantage of those nights out with the girls. It’s a vicious circle, but backwards!

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co-written by Rick Olazabal, BSc, BN  Stress is everywhere. I often hear the phrase, “two things are certain in life:...

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