How to Manage the Lack of Energy During Alcohol Detox

Vilma Ruddock
Woman with lack of energy

You can manage the lack of energy during alcohol detox and recoup your energy over time by improving some basic, healthy habits. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fatigue is one of the common withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detox. Self-neglect and unhealthy habits while abusing alcohol, combined with some of the other withdrawal symptoms, is likely contribute to the low energy.

A Healthy Diet

Healthy foods

Improve your lack of energy during alcohol detox by refocusing on maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. People who abuse alcohol often don't eat well, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Loss of appetite and vomiting during alcohol detox and liver disease caused by alcohol l ead to deficiency and poor utilization of nutrients, which adds to the problem of low energy.

A healthy diet will provide your body with t he essential nutrients it n eeds for energy and function and help repair some of the damage alcohol caused. Eat a variety of healthy foods, including :

  • C omplex ca rbohydrat es: Energy-supplying complex carbohydrates include fresh fruits and vegetables, such as berries, spinach, beans, peas, carrots, and sweet potato. Include whole grain s, such as brown rice, as well as nuts and seeds.
  • Lean protein: Strength and muscle-building protein included fish, poultry, eggs, low-fat milk and yogurt, and plant sources such as nuts, seeds, and peanut butter.

  • Fats: Fats are a another major source of energy, and plant-based fats, such as olive, sunflower, and flax seed oils are healthy sources.

Eat a healthy breakfast to give you a boost of energy to start your day.

Healthy Snacks

Eat a healthy snack between your three main meals to help manage and maintain your energy. Try some of the following ideas :

  • A tablespoon of peanut butter with a small banana or apple
  • Some carrot sticks or other vegetables with cottage cheese, yogurt, or peanut butter

  • A cup of Greek yogurt with two or three tablespoons of granola
  • A handful of sunflower seeds or walnuts
  • A small spinach and tuna salad
  • A bowl of vegetable soup with a few shrimp or strips of beef or chicken added

Maintain Your Blood Sugar

Avoid energy crashes by maintaining an even blood sugar level throughout the day:

  • Limit sugared foods and drinks.
  • Try to eat six small meals, instead of three big ones, to avoid dips in your blood sugar and the low feeling that comes with them.
  • Include protein with your carbs at every meal to help slow the absorption of sugar from your gut.

Vitamin Supplements

Take a multivitamin that contains iron, calcium, and other minerals until your improved nutrition can supply what you need. According to the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common in alcoholics.

Inadequate B vitamins can contribute to low energy. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, the B vitamins, especially B12, help convert food into energy and help to make red blood cells. Deficiencies, such as vitamin B12 and iron, cause problems with red blood cell production, which causes anemia, a common source of low energy.

Drink Fluids

Water and lemon

Drink at least eight glasses of water and unsweetened drinks each day, enough so your urine is clear. It will improve how you feel and help you excrete toxins caused by alcohol.

It is likely that while you were focused on alcohol, you neglected to drink enough fluids. Detox symptoms such as vomiting and sweating cause further dehydration and loss of electrolytes, which can lower your blood pressure and make you feel light-headed, dizzy, listless, and more fatigued.

Physical Activity

Woman walking on beach

Physical activity will help boost your low energy, although you may feel too tired to get up and move, Activities can include walking, biking, a workout with weights or any choice that increases blood flow and oxygen to your brain and muscles.

Moderate to vigorous physical activity will also boost your endorphins, which will improve your sense of well-being and energy. Gradually increase your energy and stamina by pushing your effort a little more every day.

Sleep and Rest

Try to get at least eight to nine hours of sleep each night. Insomnia and poor sleep quality, a problem during alcohol detox, can drain your energy more.

Adequate sleep and rest will help your body recuperate from the effects of exposure to alcohol and boost your energy each day. Work on creating an environment and a routine that helps you get to sleep, such as a glass of milk, soft music or reading.

Manage Stress

Woman doing meditation

The negative physical and psychological effects of alcohol abuse and dealing with the stress of detox withdrawal symptoms can further lower your energy. Try to take physical and mental bre aks:

  • Take a rest and relax when you are feeling low in energy.
  • Practice a relaxation technique, such as deep breathing to reduce your your stress hormones, which helps you recover your energy.
  • Get out of the house and take a walk or go lift some weights.

  • Listen to your favorite music.

  • Participate in your favorite hobby.

When to Ask for Help

According to the National Institutes of Medicine, the acute phase of alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms usually last three to seven days. The protracted withdrawal course can last weeks to months depending on the severity of the alcoholism.

At any point during your detox, notify your healthcare providers if your low energy gets lower or doesn't progressively improve, or is associated with:

  • Lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting, which could indicate low blood pressure or anemia, or electrolyte abnormalities from vomiting
  • Confusion, agitation, or hallucination, which are associated with a more severe form of withdrawal, delirium tremens
  • Loss of consciousness

Also speak with your doctor if you need help to manage the depression and anxiety of alcohol detox, which can also rob you of energy, or if you think you need medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms.

Focus on Your Health

Low energy during alcohol detox is from a combination of fatigue and other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and the results of self-neglect during alcohol abuse. Refocus on yourself and your health, and you will improve your low energy during alcohol detox and after.

How to Manage the Lack of Energy During Alcohol Detox