you’ve likely heard about stress’ negative impacts on our health: how too much stress can disrupt our gi, stall muscle building or fat loss, and create fatigue - not a good time. what most people don’t realize about stress, though, is that it goes far beyond our emotions or mental health. stress doesn’t just come from the feeling of overwhelm - there are several factors that can add stress to our body, and that we need to manage to optimize our health.
we’re guiding you on all the different areas your body might be stressed, and how to mitigate it!
your body can feel stress from:
- under-eating - if you’re not eating enough overall to fuel yourself, your body will retaliate and show you that it’s stressed through signs of inflammation or a stall in weight loss.
- over-training - your body can only handle a certain amount of training intensity, and it needs adequate time to rest and recover. oftentimes people experience symptoms of high stress when training 6+ days per week, or having the majority of training coming from hiit which is harder to recover from than lower-intensity exercise.
- poor sleep / recovery - sleep is key for your body to be able to recover, for your muscles to repair and grow, and for your metabolism to regulate. lack of quality sleep is one of the biggest causes of stress!
- too much caffeine - some caffeine is totally okay, but if you’re over-consuming you are elevating your cortisol (stress hormone) and causing fatigue to your adrenals (glands that are in charge of producing certain hormones).
- dehydration - your body needs water and electrolytes in sufficient amounts to maintain healthy cellular function, transport nutrients, keep nerves healthy, and maintain balanced energy.
- nutrient deficiencies - if you’re not eating a variety of foods with essential nutrients, you’re likely deficient in some key vitamins! your body needs certain nutrients to maintain balanced hormone levels, so lack of variety for sure leads to excess stress.
- environmental toxins - heavy metals, plastics, and chemicals found in standard cleaning products are endocrine disruptors that can impair hormones and your immune system. you don’t need to go wild trying to get rid of every single item that has one of these, but try making more conscious swaps to help upgrade your environment!
- unmanaged personal stress - if your job, family, or environment is stressing you out, it’s important to either change those things or find ways to manage that stress. practices like meditation, deep breathing, journaling, or prioritizing self care to fill your cup can be incredibly helpful here.
so how do you know if your body’s experiencing high stress? here are symptoms to look out for:
- fatigue / mood dysregulation
- gut issues like bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- low appetite
- trouble falling or staying asleep
- constant soreness or joint pain
- intense pms symptoms
- stall in weight loss or muscle building
and how can we mitigate these to lower stress as much as possible?
- make sure you’re fueling your body with enough calories overall + enough of the right macronutrients: protein, fat & carbs.
- prioritize rest! at least 2 rest days per week works best for most people - we want these to be full rest days where your body is really able to recover. some light walking is totally cool and recommended here, but these days are really meant to take a step away from training altogether.
- get that sleep on point! meaning 7-9 hours of solid, restful sleep per night. click here to read about what you can do to sleep like a baby each night.
- limit caffeine to 300-400 mg / day, and cut this off after 1pm each day to ensure it doesn’t disturb your sleep.
- make sure you’re drinking enough water. around 120 oz / day is the recommended amount for most people - click here to read some helpful tips on how to make this super easy!
- try beam’s recovery aminos to help with hydration! these have eaa’s, bcaas and electrolytes to improve energy balance and muscle repair, plus the flavors are amazing and taste great even mixed in a huge water bottle.
- incorporate a wide variety of nutrients into your diet. rotate through different produce and protein sources to make sure your body is getting all the different vitamins and minerals it needs.
- supplement with beam’s super greens to make this easy and tasty! yes, you still want to be eating your nutrients, but super greens is packed with 26 fruits and veggies per scoop so you don’t have to worry about trying to get in every single vitamin just from foods alone. drink super greens each morning to not only maintain that nutrient balance, but aid in overall energy and digestion 🙂
- make mindful swaps to start reducing environmental toxins. this can be as simple as using parchment paper instead of aluminum foil in your cooking, or using glass tupperware rather than plastic. don’t worry about removing all of these at once, but make an effort to slowly introduce some non-toxic alternatives.
- understand that it’s okay to put yourself first. much personal stress can involve feeling the need to constantly show up for other people or things, and spreading yourself too thin. you can’t pour from an empty cup! prioritize time for yourself, focus on deep breathing, journaling, and light walking to manage personal stressors.
the thing is, stress is unavoidable. each person is bound to feel some type of stress throughout their life, and healthy bodies are able to recover from a certain amount of stress! what’s important is being able to monitor and understand when we’re adding too much to our lives, and make adjustments to reduce it. we promise you’ll feel 20x better mentally and physically when your stress is managed!