Eating for energy to deal with MS fatigue

Many people with MS suffer from fatigue. Did you know that what you eat and when you eat it can affect your energy levels? Here's how to adjust your eating habits to help you deal with fatigue.

What to eat:

If you don't get enough nutrients and calories, you'll feel tired and weak. Ensure that your diet contains a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grain products and foods that are sources of protein. Try to choose lower-fat sources of protein such as lean meats and fish.

And don't forget the water! Dehydration can sap your energy and cause other symptoms such as constipation and headaches. So to keep up your strength, be sure you're well-hydrated – drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.

Avoid using excess caffeine to keep you alert. Too much caffeine during the day will keep you from getting a good night's sleep. This can be the start of a vicious cycle. Avoid sugary snacks and desserts, as these can cause a blood sugar drop later on, which will make you feel tired and drained.

When to eat it:

If you want to eat for energy, when you eat is as important as what you eat:

  • Don't skip breakfast. This can leave you feeling tired all morning.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Aim for 5 or 6 meals per day instead of the traditional 3. Smaller, frequent meals will give your body frequent energy boosts. Larger meals can make you feel more tired.
  • Make sure you eat something at least every 4 hours.
  • Avoid the mid-afternoon energy crash by having a mid-afternoon snack with protein (such as nuts or cheese).

By getting enough nutrients and calories, and spreading your meals throughout the day, you'll have more energy and enjoy better general health.

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