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The early morning wake-ups are a killer and fatigue is putting it lightly at the moment. As parents to a newborn again we have been hit with the familiar tiredness! So we are looking at adapting our diet to help fight the newborn fatigue. 

woman lying face down on bed with grey t-shirt with text overlay - foods to combat fatigue feature image

We have hit the ground running, with a 5-year-old, going on holiday, recovering from a C-section, breastfeeding and a newborn, it’s all action stations. This means, quite honestly, we are knackered constantly and are looking for naps wherever we can get them! I don’t like to give on anything which means that I am still trying to manage a workload, my exercise regime to get back in shape, the house, parenting and shortly I will be volunteering again.

This means naps are like gold dust, few and far between and so we have been looking to our diet as a way to stay healthy as a family. We are also trying to have healthier snacks in the house because the time for cooking is basically non-existent so snacks and basic meal prep are the way forward. I have been looking for natural ways to combat tiredness so that we can function on the minimal sleep without my body feeling like it wants to shut down!!

I find that when I am tired, aside from the grumpy attitude I also eat poorly, have skin breakouts, get unwell easily, have zero energy and if you ask my husband, more argumentative! (he’s probably right.) We have found quite a few options that work for us and can double up as great “grab and go” snacks as well as energy boosters to help with the tiredness and fatigue.

The Best Foods To Fight Fatigue

  • Bananas – In the lunchbox or bag and easy to eat! The favourites of the boys but I’m not keen.
  • Eggs – My favourite!
  • Oats – Check out my recipe for Healthy Banana & Honey Flapjacks, they are a great option to cook for meal prep day and perfect for slow release energy for the whole family.
  • Dark Chocolate – A naughty treat and little energy boost which tastes delicious with yoghurt.
  • Raspberries/Strawberries – All berries, in general, are great for boosting health, have a range of benefits and energy is one of them.
  • Spinach – I love using this to bulk out meals and it is delicious to add for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • Water – Although there are no calories in water, it facilitates body function and helps to aid detoxification in the body so always makes me feel better when I am properly hydrated.
  • Quinoa – One of my new favourite grains! (I’m working on some recipes to share soon)

Basically, what I have found is that fresh fruit and vegetables along with food that is more nutrient dense is the best option because they improve body function making it more efficient and stopping you from expending unnecessary energy while giving you a boost. Especially if you are having to maintain a busy lifestyle on minimal sleep (which tends to be the norm with newborns!)

fresh blueberries

Food That Can Make You Tired

It’s pretty easy to guess the foods that can make you tired because it is generally those with a low nutritional value, some of these include:

  • Caffeine – Tea, Coffee, Fizzy Drinks (although it gives you a short-term boost, the comedown is worse and doesn’t work in the long run!)
  • Highly Processed Food – Including white bread and cereal, *sniffs* Bye bye Coco Pops
  • Alcohol – If you are on your last legs with tiredness, alcohol is the worst because it dehydrates you, puts your body out of wack and if you drink too much you’ll pass out from tiredness anyway!
  • Red Meat – I tend to avoid red meat day-to-day because it is higher in saturated fat which is not useful when trying to combat fatigue.

sugar, caffeine and cake can cause tiredness.

Other Ways New Parents Can Combat Fatigue Without Sleeping

  • Naps – A short 5-10 minute power nap can work wonders and although it is technically not a full sleep, it’s better than nothing. If you can fit one in that is!
  • Vitamins – You can’t always get all the nutrients you need from food, particularly if you aren’t taking the time to cook and are going down the snack road. Even if they are the healthiest in the world you are still going to be lacking so you can opt to take supplements or vitamins to help.
  • Exercise – It might seem contradictory to expend energy and feel less tired but for me, it actually works! I always feel revitalized after going for a run.
  • Going Outside – As silly as it sounds but fresh air and the sunshine can work wonders when it comes to perking yourself up and giving yourself an energy boost. Plus getting out of the house is good for a newborn as well as your mental health.
  • Meditation – Your mental health can be part of the problem of fatigue as well as tiredness so meditation helps you to take time for yourself, give yourself a break and come back rejuvenated.

How do you combat fatigue without extra sleep? Which foods or snacks are your favorites? Let me know in the comments. 

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With a newborn, 5-year-old and busy lifestyle we are lacking sleep but needing energy so we are looking to food to combat fatigue.

52 comments on “Foods To Combat Fatigue”

  1. I was happy to see that I am already eating most of the food on the energy list, and not eating most of the bad foods. I do love my coffee though!

  2. The good news is that I like all the things on your good list! The bad news, I like all the things on the bad list. I agree that berries are a big help, as well as just a few minutes outside. My favorite, though, is the 10 minute power nap!

  3. What a really great post & I never knew that about dark chocolate!
    When my children were smaller I would have great problems napping throughout the day. Even now, I find it very difficult to nap during the day, let alone have a 10min power nap!

  4. I’m definitely saving this, I’ve not got use to early starts now the girls are back at school. Been feeling really tired so will be trying some of these

  5. This is exactly why I love green smoothies. You can put just about all of these into a blender and enjoy. I need to start my day with one of these.

  6. Oh gosh I remember those newborn days of fatigue. I used to reach for quick fix foods as I was often on my own while my husband was away. Naps became the best way for me to overcome tiredness and I would happily nap for 2 hours in the afternoon with my son while on maternity leave. I miss those naps.

  7. Oh wow, I never knew that red meat could constitute you being tired. I was low on iron when my little one was born and they told me to continue to eat red meat, so I did that for months!

  8. This was exactly the kind of post that I needed to read. I have constant fatigue and I know that my diet is in need of an overhaul. I like the sound of eggs and bananas which I brought today luckily! x

  9. Diet is the key to a lot of things. Not only health but mental well being. And porridge, eggs or grape nuts for brekkie stop you reaching for that processed mid morning snack.

  10. I find proper hydration helps too! Drinking my 80 oz a day really keeps me energized and more focused. Power naps are amazing for recharging for the last half of my day!

  11. No kids here but suffering with Jet Lag and all these definitely help with releiving jet lag. I’ve increased my water and ensuring that I get sleep and nutrition but cafienne is kicking my butt. Trying to nix that today!

  12. This is a fab post – the other thing I would add is to make sure we are getting enough protein to feed our bodies…most of us don’t as we can tend to be very carb centric but proteins are so important to feed our bodies!

  13. Oh it is crazy how tired processed foods make me!!! Here I am 9 years after having my kids and i am still so very tired LOL!

  14. Totally agree on getting outside. It can be a struggle to make yourself get out when you’re busy, but it really helps. I’m afraid I’m a coffee fan, but drinking more water and herbal teas helps me too.

  15. It amazes me how the foods we eat can have such an impact over how we feel. This is a great list of healthy, nourishing foods that helps knock out fatigue!

    I’ve found that if I’ve been working at my computer for a long time and I’m getting sleepy it helps to get up and take a short brisk walk (even if it’s just around the house). And drinking a big glass of ice water helps revive me too.

  16. I’ve been feeling too tired lately and I should definitely try to combat it by adding more of these into my diet. Just goes to show how much food affects our health. I really appreciate this list.

  17. I don’t know. 4 kids later, I still don’t get much sleep. Now that they are in high school, I might even get less than when they were little. I try to keep exercise in there. But, I am bad about water. But I know when I do drink it, I feel much better and energized. Great tips!

  18. Didn’t know these foods combat fatigue! That’s interesting to know! Not big on coffee because it just gives you a bad crash sometimes and people have to constantly drink it just to keep awake.

  19. You are so right about the foods that cause fatigue. Processed foods will just exhaust you. Good tip about meditation. I imagine it’s hard to find the time as a new mom. But even taking 5 to 10 minutes here and there should add up to some beneficial. For sure as a new mom, it is important to take care of you.

  20. I’ve found myself extremely tired lately and have increased my coffee intake only to continue to be tired and now it all makes sense. Thanks for sharing this! Going to be trying some of these!

  21. Thank you so much for this post! I’m the mom of 3 and one on the way and I feel exhausted ALL THE TIME! I will most def. get some of these to try.

  22. I needed this list right this very moment. I’ve only been up for a couple of hours. I actually slept in today, thanks to Hurricane Irma (we are in north Florida), but I am about to fall asleep sitting up! I have had three cups of coffee, and you know what it makes me sleepy! Crazy.

  23. Ever since school started it has been crazy and I have been feeling quite tired too. It’s definitely important to include food that will provide your body with more energy in your diet! Love this guide!

  24. When you have little ones around, especially newborns, it’s particularly important to pay close attention to your diet so you don’t unnecessarily weigh your body down with fatigue. I’m pinning this for later. Great post.

  25. When my kids were little, I used to nap when the kids napped, but I have never been able to take a 10 minute power nap. I actually don’t think it’s ever taken me less than 30 mins to fall asleep.

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