7 Nutrient Deficiencies That May Lead to Low Energy—And the Best Foods for Bringing Your Battery Back to Life

Female worker at laptop feeling fatigued (image)

It may be normalized to complain of low energy, but chronically low energy levels arecertainly not normal and there may be a nutrient deficiency causing fatigue. While specific nutrient deficiencies are associated with low energy, you’ll want to consider whether or not you are taking in enough energy—literally, from calories—first.

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As logical as it sounds, many people make the mistake of jumping into the world of micronutrient deficiencies before considering whether or not they have been in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time. Even if your calorie deficit has been unintentional, it can be affecting your energy levels in a big way. Some simple questions to consider first are whether or not you eat three square meals, regular snacks, and drink plenty of water every day. These are the bare minimum requirements to make sure that you are nourished and not in a calorie deficit.

By Caroline Thomason, RD. – You may read this article in its entirety HERE on Well + Good’s website.


Let’s quickly take a look at what makes up a well-rounded day of nourishing foods before we jump into nutrients of concern. You’ll want to take a look at the three major macronutrients—protein, carbs, and fat—in your diet in addition to calories to make sure that you’re eating enough. Here’s what dietitians have to say about fueling for energy levels:

  • Calories: “The number-one deficiency causing low energy is calories,” says Mandy Tyler, RD, CSSD, LD. “Underfueling, or not consuming adequate daily calories to support health and daily activity, results in an energy deficiency that can impact an individual’s health. Inadequate calorie intake can contribute to other nutrient deficiencies, worsening low energy.”
  • CarbsCarbohydrates are your body’s favorite source of energy to use. When you don’t eat enough carbohydrate foods throughout the day, you can feel like you’re dragging. It’s no surprise that many people who try to follow a “low carb” diet often feel exhausted, adds Jamie Nadeau, RD, of The Balanced Nutritionist.
  • Protein: Low protein intake can cause fatigue and low energy levels. Protein-based foods provide the body with fuel to repair and build tissues. Protein takes longer than carbohydrates to break down in the body, providing a longer-lasting energy source, Moushumi Mukherjee, RDN, tells us.
  • Fats: Feeling sluggish could mean you’re skimping out on your dietary fat. Of the three macronutrients, fat is the most energy-dense, providing 9 calories per gram. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can improve cognitive function and performance by aiding blood circulation in the brain, helping to keep you awake and energized, says Madeleine Putzi, RD.
  • Hydration: Low intake of water can really impact energy levels…

Read on…article continues HERE on Well + Good’s website.

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