When you’re in bed, you’re tossing and turning. When you’re up, you’re dozing. Basically, when you’re menopausal, you’re flat-out fatigued.
Fluctuating hormone levels during perimenopause and menopause—not to mention the stresses of trying to be (scratch that, being) Superwoman—bring an onslaught of energy-wrecking symptoms ranging from night sweats and insomnia to mood swings and depression. So if feel like you are running on empty, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Chances are the ladies who are running alongside you are just as zapped.
Luckily, none of you has to feel so tired. Your body is made for energy. You’ve just got to fuel it right.
Here are five natural ways to beat the menopausal drain and get all-day energy for good:
Put down the coffee and pick up the water. Hydration is key to helping your blood transport glucose, oxygen, and hormones throughout your body for energy. But since you can only guzzle so much water, fill half of your plate at each meal with fruits and veggies. They can amount to two extra cups of water a day or more, according to Iowa State University. Bonus: Menopausal women who most closely follow a Mediterranean diet rich in produce are about 20 percent less likely to suffer night sweats, says a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Stop hating on carbs! Recent research from the Penn State College of Medicine found that increased carb intake results in all-day alertness. But that doesn’t mean you should eat a bowl of white pasta with garlic bread on the side. “Opt for low-glycemic carbs like whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas that will provide energy without causing moodiness and fatigue,” says Susan Wysocki, WHNP, FAANP, president at iWoman’s Health. Check out more foods that ease menopausal symptoms.
Get Your Sweat On
Spend energy to gain energy? It works! Regular physical activity improves mood, reduces stress, and increases energy levels in postmenopausal women, according to a 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Meanwhile, a 2013 study published in the journal Menopause found that menopausal women reduced their insomnia by practicing yoga regularly. Don’t have time to hit the gym? Don’t sweat it. All those errands and chores you complete count, too. Research from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation found that higher levels of routine daily physical activity—including routine household and caregiving chores—are also linked with better sleep during menopause.
Don’t let the yogurt commercials fool you: Fiber does more than keep things moving. It also helps sustain energy. Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Instead, fiber passes largely intact through the digestive system, slowing your body’s absorption of sugar and helping to regulate blood sugar levels, according to Mayo Clinic. Unfortunately, fewer than three percent of Americans get the fiber they need, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. So how much do you need? Women 50 and younger should aim for a minimum of 25 grams of fiber a day, while women 51 and older should get at least 21 grams.
It doesn’t matter if they come in a box, can or jar, packaged foods are refined sugar traps, Wysocki says. Refined sugar, which is too plentiful in processed foods, releases glucose into the bloodstream quickly leading to sugar highs—and then crashes, and their fair share of weakness, tiredness, and even trouble sleeping, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Ladies, hormones may have the power to zap us of energy, but we have the power to take that energy back! So fuel your engine—and prepare to wake up perky, power through your day with energy, and sleep oh-so soundly at night! You don’t know how happy you (and your hormones!) can be!
Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT!