Part of an ongoing series on how to use supplement and behavior-based plans to treat common maladies. To read the detailed plan, order supplements, or download the patient resource sheets, go here to create a free patient account at Fullscript by entering your name and email address: Dr. Mark McDonald’s Fullscript dispensary

“I’m tired all the time.” I hear this in my office nearly every day. Chronic low energy and fatigue can be caused by many factors, including medical illness, stress, poor quality sleep, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol or caffeine use, and overconsumption of simple carbohydrates like sugar, bread, rice, and pasta.

In most cases, I find that identifying and addressing the underlying cause of fatigue and low energy is the most efficient way to eliminate it. That is why I always emphasize sleep, diet, and exercise as the foundation of good mental (and physical) health. For example, most Americans eat far too much bread and pasta. These foods (often made from hyper-processed grains) provide essentially no nutrition (unless enriched with vitamins and minerals during processing), convert rapidly into sugar that provokes massive insulin release, then move into fat storage, resulting in obesity. As they are being metabolized, mental and physical energy drops, concentration and attention wane, and the desire to sleep increases.

In other words, bread and pasta make you tired and fat.

Many athletes consume large amounts of simple carbohydrates before training or competing. This makes sense, as they need short-term access to immediate energy that comes from burning simple carbohydrates during the pre-fat storage phase of metabolism. For the rest of us who eat and then return to the desk or couch instead of running five miles, the bulk of our calories should come from high quality proteins and fats, such as meat, avocados, and eggs. For this reason alone, a vegan diet is inherently unhealthy and should be rejected purely for health reasons.

If you have been suffering from chronic low energy and fatigue, and you have ruled out all the above causes, or you have identified the cause and are actively working on resolving it but need immediate assistance with boosting energy, you should consider using supplements.

Magnesium, red meat, vitamin B, and creatine all assist the body in the conversion and release of energy.

One of the most nutrient-rich meats, liver, can be used as an alternative to iron supplements for anyone who suffers from iron deficiency, a common ailment in post-menopausal women. Iron deficiency happens to be a common cause of chronic fatigue in this population. Supplementing iron by consuming liver is far superior to swallowing iron pills. Many people do not enjoy eating cooked liver, though. Fortunately, you can now find liver in supplement form that provides a nearly identical benefit to whole liver.

In previous posts, I’ve discussed the benefits of magnesium, vitamin B, and creatine supplementation. The volume of research available now on these three supplements provides overwhelming evidence in support of their use for improving energy levels. Used together, with or without the added benefit of liver supplements, may be all that’s needed to produce a noticeable benefit in energy within two to four weeks.

Below is a link to my fatigue and low energy plan I provide my patients. I am now sharing it with my Substack subscribers. To access the plan, you must first create a free patient account at Fullscript by entering your name and email address: Dr. Mark McDonald’s Fullscript dispensary