Fatigue is a common but often ignored symptom.
At its most extreme, tiredness and fatigue can impact your quality of life, making it hard to do even basic tasks and activities. Sound familiar?
For many people, fatigue is the result of hidden nutritional deficiencies, including lack of iron, vitamin C and B vitamins. Read on to find out the nutritional reasons for fatigue and why nutritional deficiencies might be the reason you feel tired all the dang time.
Nutritional reasons for fatigue
Fatigue is a pretty complex symptom. The pathways in the body responsible for fatigue aren’t fully understood. Instead of just one reason, there are thought to be several different mechanisms that can cause fatigue and tiredness.
Fatigue has been linked to:
- Cardiovascular function
- Sleep disorders
There’s also been a large amount of research into the link between fatigue and nutritional deficiencies.
Most evidence for the connection between diet and fatigue comes from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In particular, some nutritional deficiencies like vitamin C and B vitamins have been identified as classic culprits. Iron is also a common deficiency that’s often found to be behind symptoms of fatigue and weakness.
Let's take a look at them in more detail.
What nutritional deficiencies cause fatigue?
1. Vitamin B6
Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 is vital for helping the body use and store energy from carbohydrates and protein. You also need vitamin B6 to make hemoglobin, a key component in red blood cells. This means its critical for getting oxygen to your body’s organs and tissues.
One of the most typical results of a Vitamin B6 deficiency is microcytic anemia, characterized by weakness, tiredness and fatigue.3 Boosting your intake of vitamin B6 is essential for preventing anemia and keeping your energy levels up.
2. Vitamin C
Humans are one of the few animals that can’t synthesize vitamin C ourselves, meaning we’re dependent on food to give us the vitamin C we need. Vitamin C plays an important role in different processes across the body, including in the nervous system where it’s involved in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin.
At its most extreme, Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, accompanied by symptoms of fatigue, irritability and muscle pain. Vitamin C deficiency might also be common in patients with psychiatric disorders and a factor in depression and anxiety disorders.3,4
Iron deficiency anemia affects over 1.2 billion worldwide. Common symptoms of iron deficiency are fatigue and tiredness, especially when exercising. These symptoms are a result of the body’s inability to transport oxygen to the body’s tissues.3
As well as increasing fatigue, iron deficiency can also cause irritability, headaches and weakness. Interestingly, iron absorption in the body is dependent on vitamin C and the two deficiencies are often linked.3 If you’re feeling tired more tired than usual, you might have iron deficiency anemia.
How can nutrition help with fatigue?
Deficiencies in many vitamins and minerals have been linked to fatigue and tiredness. The good news is, with the right nutrition you can quickly and easily improve symptoms of fatigue and avoid nutritional deficiencies turning into serious illnesses.
A balanced diet high in nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruit and dairy products can provide all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Our Greens+ extra energy blend is also designed to give your body a boost with energizing plants like Rhodiola rosea, used for centuries to treat fatigue, and iron-rich dulse seaweed. A single serving contains over 500% of your daily dose of vitamin C and vitamin B6. It’s as simple as that.
 Azzolino, D. et al. Nutritional Status as a Mediator of Fatigue and Its Underlying Mechanisms in Older People. Nutrients 2020 Feb;12(2):444.
 Bjorklund, G. et al. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): Suggestions for a nutritional treatment in the therapeutic approach. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 2019 Jan;109:1000-7.
 Tardy, A. et al. Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients 2020 Jan;12(1):228.
 Plevin, D & Galletly, C. The neuropsychiatric effects of vitamin C deficiency: a systematic review. BMC Psychiatry 2020 June;20(15).
 Camaschella, C. Iron Deficiency. Blood 2019 Jan;133(1):30-39.