Nutrition for Burnout

Burnout has become very much an epidemic as a result of the pandemic. With people being more stressed than ever before and working hours like no other just to keep a float burnout really has hit us hard. For anyone who’s not familiar with the term, burnout is the experience of chronic stress within a working environment. The symptoms of burnout include: energy depletion, exhaustion, chronic fatigue and difficulty getting out of bed in the morning alongside brain fog, reduced productivity and reduced output at work.

Unfortunately, the recovery period for burnout can be extensive, considering burnout occurs following a chronic period of stress we can hardly expect our bodies to recover after a few nights of good rest.

The good news is that your diet can definitely help with your recovery process. As a result, we’ve put together our top tips for supporting burnout through the diet. One thing to note is that often when you’re experiencing extreme stress or exhaustion making dietary changes and even healthier decisions can be challenging so go easy on yourself and take it day by day.

  1. Consume adequate amounts of Vitamin C
    Vitamin C plays an important role in supporting the adrenal glands, these are the glands responsible for the secretion of cortisol (the stress hormone). In times of chronic stress the adrenal glands are overworked in order to be able to maintain the production of cortisol. Vitamin C is particularly abundant in the diet and you get more than your daily recommendations of 40mg from consuming 5 portions of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Get plenty of Magnesium
    Magnesium is required in over 600 processes within the body and plays a fundamental role in working with Vitamin C to support the adrenal glands with cortisol production. Magnesium is also widely available within a wholefood based diet and can be found in green leafy vegetables, nuts such as almonds, walnuts, beans, wholegrains and fish.
  3. Eat your Omega-3
    Omega-3 is well known for it’s role in reducing inflammation which is significantly heightened throughout times of stress. Omega-3 has also been associated with a reduction in stress hormones, it can help to support mental wellbeing which is important as burnout can take a toll on mental health. Finally, omega-3 is associated with a reduction in the risk of cardio vascular disease too. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and herring is rich in omega-3. Plant sources include: walnuts, seaweed and flaxseeds.
  4. Pack in the Protein
    Protein plays an important role in cell recovery and cell repair. During times of heightened stress cell damage increases and therefore supporting the recovery process is key. Protein also enables the synthesis of hormones which are important for producing the stress response. Sources of protein include: lentils, beans, eggs, meat, fish, dairy, nuts and seeds.

Finally, when you’re trying to recover from the feelings of burnout do be aware of substances which can make recovery more challenging. These include: alcohol, caffeine and a high consumption of sugar.