Fighting Fatigue When Under Stress

ReadyNutrition fans, we’re going to talk about something that may seem simple, but it can make a big difference for you when the SHTF and the situation arise that you must bug out and be “on the move” without respite.  By “respite,” I don’t mean a half an hour break, or an hour to nap.  I’m speaking about when there is continuous activity for many hours (8-12) that may run up to a day or even longer.  If such a thing occurs, you’re going to need all the help that you can get.

Your Body Will Be Under a Tremendous Amount of Stress

There are several things that happen under stressful conditions from a physiological perspective.  As explained in earlier articles, your body burns off stores of glycogen (stored in the muscles) until it runs out.  Without replenishment, the body cannibalizes its muscle tissue and “manufactures” its glucose and glycogen requirements.  After “hitting the wall” (your body’s limit, usually reached within an hour or so), you burn off muscle tissue during this cannibalistic phase at a rate of 5 grams of muscle protein for every thirty minutes of prolonged effort.

With epinephrine and norepinephrine going haywire during your “fight or flight” metabolic reactions and with adrenaline pumping levels to the moon, your body will consume a tremendous amount of energy.  When there is any kind of a lag, the body kind of “sags” as it attempts to relax.  Notice how I wrote “attempts” here?  So, how do we solve this one?

Some kind of snack would be beneficial, and keeping in mind what we wrote earlier, you may not have the time for it.  Remember what I wrote for you a few articles back:

You need to ingest protein and carbohydrates within 20-30 minutes of a strenuous workout, and more if the workout is protracted.

That being mentioned, many people turn to things such as power bars to make up for the protein and carbs.  Those are OK, but make sure you have plenty of water when you eat them, or else they’ll pull water right out of your cells in order for your body to digest them…leading to dehydration.

If You’re Bugging Out, Make Sure You Have These Energy Enhancers

Even then, you may still be “lagging” for a while waiting for your body to extract what it needs.  In the meantime, try the caffeine.  Instant coffee can be consumed in an instant, just as the name implies.

While in the service, our MRE’s came with packets of coffee (Taster’s Choice, to be exact).  We “stocked” up on them and kept those packets handy for when we might need them besides just (if we could do it) the proverbial “morning cup of Joe.”  Be careful not to take in too much…but if you’re in a bind and don’t have a lot of time to restore your mental alertness, the caffeine in a helping of instant coffee (either in a happy manufactured packet or one you make up yourself) can do you some good.  I’m going to cite the PDR for Herbal Medicines, page 215, for Coffee for you:

“Quantities corresponding to as much as 500 mg of caffeine daily (5 cups of coffee) spread out over the day are toxicologically harmless for healthy adults accustomed to drinking coffee.”

The PDR goes on to state that dosages of 1,500 mg per day can lead to problems, but unless there are underlying health concerns such as arrhythmias, there is normally no real concern.  Consult with your friendly and happy family physician before using the coffee.

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Source: Murray Rothbard from Lew Rockwell – Fighting Fatigue When Under Stress

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