I get tired. Don’t we all? Some days I’ll feel great, fully of energy, and ready to conquer anything. Other days…not so much. That’s normal. We all have ups and downs. After I changed my diet, I did notice a dramatic increase in my energy levels and concentration, though. I don’t notice the “afternoon slump” as often as before. But, sometimes, for seemingly unknown reasons, I just. feel. exhausted. Could be the 5 little spitfires I have running around…or many other things.
A few months ago, I had a panel of blood tests done to see where my levels were in a bunch of different areas. I was curious whether this “Paleo” thing was working on the inside. We tested Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Iron, Ferritin, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Copper, Zinc, Sodium, Phosphorus, and Calcium. Everything was in the normal range, except for my albumin levels, which were above normal. Interestingly, my calcium was on the high end of normal–and that’s something people often bring up to me: “But, but…where are you going to get calcium if you’re not drinking milk??” Ummm…from my veggies? Apparently, cutting out dairy has not had any negative affect on my calcium levels.
But what about the albumin? I was curious about this, so I did some research. First, do you know what albumin is? I didn’t. In humans, albumin is a protein made by the liver, and it transports essential fatty acids from adipose tissue, otherwise known as fat, to muscle tissue. It also contributes to the regulation of osmosis, helping to transport hormones, drugs, and other substances through the blood. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood.
You know what else I found out? High albumin levels are almost always caused by dehydration. Well, that sure made sense to me. I am probably the worst water drinker in our country. Or one of them. I just don’t drink much. I’ll drink a couple sips in the morning with my vitamins, take a few sips with each meal, and that’s about it. I honestly just forget. I figure, if I’m not parched, why drink? That whole “drink 8 glasses a day” deal kinda makes me roll my eyes. Partly because it’s not that we have to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but that we should be getting 8 glasses worth of liquid a day, and our food gives us a lot of that. Anyhoo, I digress. Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue, so I figured it was worth a try drinking more water and seeing if it made a difference.
And it did! Boy, did it. I felt like a new, energized person! I ended up putting an alarm on my phone to go off twice a day to remind me to drink a full glass of water: once in the morning, and once in the evening. I didn’t go to the lengths of a full 8 glasses a day, but figured if I just drank two more [large] glasses a day, I might notice a difference. I left the alarm on my phone for a solid six weeks. Then I thought, “Ok, I’m in a habit now, I can take off that annoying alarm.” Apparently that’s a mistake, because the next day I was back to forgetting to drink water. So, it’s back to the alarm. I guess I’m not as smart as I thought it was.
So, if you are tired all the time, and you’re already eating pretty clean (get rid of those grains and sugar!!), try increasing your water intake. See if it makes a difference for you. No pain, but a lot of potential gain!