Foods to Fight Fatigue

The right foods and nutrition can supply the oomph you're missing

By Dulce Zamora
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD

Tired. Drained. Pooped. No matter how you put it, you're beat and need to drum up some energy. You are not alone. Many people have trouble getting in gear in the morning, experience the afternoon slump, or just want to crash on the couch in the evening.

The exhaustion can be a constant problem for some folks. According to the CDC, 2.2 million Americans experience marked fatigue lasting at least six months.

Sluggishness can be caused by many factors, but experts say poor nutrition is a big culprit. A well-balanced diet, on the other hand, can boost energy.

"Food is truly our body's fuel," says Cindy Moore, MSRD, director of nutrition therapy for The Cleveland Clinic. "What we choose as our fuel is going to absolutely impact the performance of our bodies."

How do we fill up our personal tanks, and how well do they make our engine run? The experts weigh in on how major food and drink sources and habits affect energy levels.

The Forgotten Meal

At the beginning of the day, most people dash off to work or school without a thought to their body's dietary needs. Who has time to eat in the morning anyway?

"Breakfast is an easy meal to forget," says Mary Ellen Camire, PhD, professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine. "But if people are skipping breakfast and find they're tired by midmorning, then it's time to re-evaluate that eating habit."