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why do I have no energy some days?

Hey, so just looking for some advice..

I eat really clean, and get about 2000 calories a day, I sleep between 7-8 hours, I don't drink or anything, I am seriously into hydration and won't go to bed unless I get my 8 glasses. I run 3 days a week, and cross train 3, been doing this for about 5 years now.

Some days though, I wake up and just have no energy. I went to workout today and it was like pushing through a wall the whole time, just walking to my gym was kinda exhausting. I am wondering if anyone knows if it's like a vitamin deficiency or something?? all I can find online just says I need to eat better and be more active, which I already do. Any suggestions would be super appreciated!

9 Replies

I had similar 2years ago, I did bikini bodybuilding for 2years and the amount of pressure I put on my body it just gave up! I felt ill, tired, can't be bothered attitude, my blood tests were all over the place too... so I went to someone who mentioned adrenal fatigue, the GP said it was nonsense. So I took the advice from the person that I paid quite a lot of money to. She said no fat burners, no chocolate, no coffee for 3weeks and to take liquorice tea and tablets and then probiotic after 3 weeks the diet was very strict and very clean, harder than what I've been on before. I did do that and at same time I gave up the bodybuilding competitions...it took about 8months to feel right again... x


You may be suffering from orthorexia... notions of 'clean' eating can be problematic and it seems you may have a certain amount of anxiety about control and adhering to various strictures. All of the things you are doing can be very helpful and good for you but right now you are not feeling good.

You might be undereating for your activity level. You could well be overtraining. You might well be suffering from a deficiency - getting checked out for thyroid and anaemia, and generally checked over seems like a good idea. That said, it is perfectly normal to have occasional days which feel leaden.

What else is going on in your life? Is it well rounded in terms of social, intellectual, financial, spiritual (whatever that might be for you - you might be finding it in running) well being? Or are all your practices a way of compensating for or avoiding other areas? Sounds as though you are having one 'rest' day a week, which is good.

You might even be asking yourself "What now?" and suffering from a motivational wobble. 

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If you are not getting carbohydrates in then this might be the reason. I would suggest having more carbohydrates in your diet and focus on getting more calories in, 2000 calories is not a lot at all! Especially for some who runs as often as you. Try eating more carbohydrates and protein. In addition, avoid supplementing anything and eat a variety of fruits an veg.

Hope this helps.


Hi brit23, if you feel tired skip the workout and rest up for a day or two. Pushing yourself too hard will not make you strong and will lead to pure exhaustion. Maybe an extra rest day every week is what your body needs now. Also 2000 calories is low for your energetic lifestyle. Listen to your body and make the most of all the efforts you are putting into keeping healthy and it will pay off. All the best 


Point 1: kind of agree with all of the above . 2000 Kcal is recommended energy intake for someone who is the ' normal ' category.. exercising 6 times a week suggests you need more..  

Point 2:  Having been working out in the gym for over 20 years personally, I have come to the conclusion , that i cannot make any absolute linear connection between how I 'behave' (eat, drink, sleep, etc.) and how a particular work out ' goes' - days you dread it ( and it goes well) other days you are up for it ( and it goes badly) - you JUST get ' good days' and 'bad days' ..  and should expect that..  a LOT of it is ' mental' as well as physical..


might be worth getting your iron level checked at the docs to make sure you aren't deficient.  Feeling tired and lethargic are always my first signs that my levels have dropped.  Take a couple of days rest, if your body is telling you it's tired then give it a break or reduce what you are doing.  There are loads of bugs around at the mo so you may have something underlying that you are beating into submission :)


If you can get a full blood count in addition to the iron/thyroid check that would be good. You can then screen out unlikely but possible nasties. I had a similar experience for around 3 weeks prior to developing interesting bruises and spots. I had developed ITP. Not that I think for a moment you have this, but if you can't find a root cause, checking you have a good level of platelets and white blood cells, in addition to red cells, is also useful for ruling out more problematic conditions.


Hi Brit, I think that I can help you.  I am a nutritionist and exercise fan who has also suffered this.....and I've just published on a book on this subject based on the latest scientific research.  It's essentially a stress condition - it's often called adrenal fatigue in alternative circles or overtraining syndrome for athletes.  Exercise is itself a stress on the body that requires an increase in nutrients to meet the extra energy demand.  When you add in the many day to day stresses of modern life (and we all have them even if you don't associate something as a stressor) then you get an over-stimulation of the stress response organs (your adrenal glands release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol).  The adrenals are essentially your back-up energy generators that allow the body to respond to extra demands placed on it by making available stored fuel.

Your energy is actually produced at the cellular level in organelles called mitochondria. It's inside these organelles where you will burn your fuel (carbs, fats and proteins) to turn them in biological energy. All systems in the body work through a series of enzymes that require vitamins and minerals as co-factors.  Without these essential co-factors the enzyme systems will not work properly resulting in reduced energy.  With overstimulation of the stress response, these enzymes will be unregulated and you will use up your stored supply of vitamins and minerals very quickly.  Without high level specific supplements, your body will essentially hit a brick wall as you are unable to produce the energy that you require.

You need to be able to manage  the stress response with diet and specific high level nutrients.  Specific high level supplement support at the mitochondrial level is the best place to start, alongside a lifestyle review.  If you want to know more about this and hormonal cascade that this is part of, and a complete programme plan that includes the relevant supplements and levels, then check out my book on Amazon.  It is now available in both Kindle and paperback formats and is called The Energy Solution: Nutrients to fire up your energy metabolism for sustained energy release by Jan Clementson.


I hope this helps.



Are you taking your rest days? They are very important. You can actually over train and over exercise. You might look into supplements, but really listen to your body.


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