You feel tired… drained… and weak. And worst of all, downright old.
But what if it’s NOT your age that’s to blame for your low energy, after all? A common condition that strikes nearly 15 percent of seniors could be behind all of those energy-draining problems and more.
And while this fatigue-linked condition does strike more often as you age, new research spots another hidden factor that could be raising your risk.
It may be something you’re accidentally doing to yourself without even realizing it. Because as bizarre as it sounds, this is usually a HEALTHY habit.
Is this the REAL reason you have NO ENERGY?
The problem is low iron. In some cases – in 13 percent of folks over the age of 70 – it’s a case of classic anemia. And it can be diagnosed with a blood test if you have the warning signs such as fatigue.
In others, however, it’s what might be called subclinical low iron. That means your levels are low enough to make you feel a little drained and weak but not quite low enough to be considered anemia based on those tests.
And that’s where this new report comes into the picture. Because it reveals a common cause of this kind of “on the low side” iron issue, especially in seniors.
It’s NOT a lack of iron in your diet. In fact, you could be getting the exact right amount of this vital mineral.
But there’s a common mealtime habit that can make it harder for your body to absorb the iron AND zinc in your food. In other words, it won’t be doing you any good even if you do get the proper amounts in your meals.
That habit? Drinking TEA.
Yes, as strange as it sounds, this usually healthy practice could be secretly sabotaging you. And it can leave you feeling listless and weak.
But don’t worry, there’s an easy fix for the fatigue. And you DON’T need to give up your tea to do it. It turns out the key lies in the timing.
Make this mealtime change to fight fatigue
New guidelines out of Ireland warn older citizens to avoid tea at mealtimes, especially strong tea (and the Irish LOVE it strong). Health experts say drinking this delicious and healthy beverage WITH your food can interfere with the absorption of iron and zinc.
One study found that tea with a meal can reduce iron absorption up to a shocking 64 percent. In other words, the warning is NOT an overreaction. And fatigue is a genuine possibility.
But as I said earlier, you don’t have to quit your tea. And with the many other health BENEFITS of tea drinking, you wouldn’t want to. Just wait about an hour after your meals to have a cuppa.
While we’re on the topic, you might want to hold the coffee with meals, too. It’s not QUITE as bad as drinking tea for your iron levels. But studies have found coffee can cut your iron absorption from food by about 39 percent if you have that cup-o-mud with your meals.
Since many older folks ALREADY struggle to absorb certain nutrients, drinking either beverage with your meals could lead to those too-low levels. And, of course, that means they could also be behind any fatigue you’re feeling or energy problems you’re battling.
On the flip side, you can also make some specific food choices to help your body suck up MORE of that iron. Eat more meat, fish, and poultry and produce with ascorbic acid such as citrus and bell peppers.
Still feeling a bit drained? Talk to your doc and get yourself tested to see if you might need a supplement. Then, get tested again to make sure the supplement is getting absorbed properly.
But keep in mind iron isn’t the ONLY energy-linked nutrient some seniors are missing out on. More than one in three older folks could be battling fatigue because they aren’t getting enough of THIS.