The Silent Energy Epidemic & How to Fix It (It’s Not What You Think) 

heal adrenals to fix fatigue

THIS is Causing Your Fatigue

Feeling constantly fatigued? It might not be just about your packed schedule or lack of sleep. It could be about what’s on your plate. In our fast-paced society, millions of us are unknowingly battling a silent energy-drainer.  

You know coffee wont fix it, you’ve tried ‘getting more sleep’, but you wake up as tired as ever…and sugar?  You already know better than that.  

In a recent study, over 77% of Americans reported feeling more fatigued than ever, and 55% of those said that no amount of rest helps.   For the vast majority of us, fatigue is not about rest or sleep, it is about imbalance in our body, and it is our body crying for help.

In this article, we’ll peel back the layers on a hidden link that’s causing many to feel tired all the time – the connection between an acidic diet, cortisol, and fatigue. 

Surprisingly, the foods we eat can trigger a chain reaction, leading to diet-induced metabolic acidosis, elevated cortisol levels, and eventually, chronic fatigue.

Ready for a deep dive? Let’s uncover how adjusting your diet and managing cortisol levels could be your secret to reclaiming boundless energy.

Understanding Fatigue: The First Step

Fatigue is a sensation of constant tiredness or weakness, which can be physical, mental, or a combination of both. It’s more than just feeling drowsy – it’s a chronic lack of energy, a sense of exhaustion that doesn’t go away after rest or sleep. While everyone experiences tiredness at times, chronic fatigue is persistent, often inexplicable, significantly impacting daily activities and quality of life.

A host of factors can contribute to chronic fatigue. These range from medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes, or thyroid disorders, to mental health issues like depression or anxiety. However, it’s not always about the quantity or quality of sleep you’re getting. Even with adequate sleep, you can still feel fatigued. This is where two often-overlooked factors come into play: diet and cortisol.

You see, the foods we eat and how our bodies respond to them can significantly influence our energy levels. An overly acidic diet, typical in modern food habits, can lead to a condition known as diet-induced metabolic acidosis. This condition can affect your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol, often known as the stress hormone, plays a crucial role in our energy metabolism. When this hormone is persistently high, it can lead to a state of constant fatigue.

So, while you might be reaching for that extra cup of coffee or trying to sneak in a power nap to fight off your fatigue, the solution might actually lie in what’s on your plate and how it affects your cortisol levels. As we continue, we’ll delve deeper into how an acidic diet can trigger cortisol imbalances and contribute to your constant state of fatigue.

Understanding STRESS: The Most IMPORTANT Step…

We often think of stress in an esoteric way, and as simply emotion.  It is so much more than this.  Stress is a physiological response in your body.

When your body perceives a threat or is under the impact of a stressor, your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies (which then dramatically drop). Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, curbs functions that would be nonessential in a fight or flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation, and fear.

When the stressor or threat is gone, cortisol levels should fall, but if you’re under constant stress, your body keeps producing cortisol, and that’s where problems can arise. Chronic elevated cortisol can interfere with a number of your body’s functions, leading to issues such as anxiety, depression, headaches, and trouble sleeping. It can also lead to fatigue, as your body is constantly “on alert” without enough time to rest and recuperate.

And Here’s the Most Important Thing…

Being in a state of diet-induced acidosis (i.e. eating an acidic diet) is proven to put your body under this stress.  Yes, diet-induced acidosis stresses your body to the degree that your body will constantly pump out cortisol!   Living an acidic life puts you under constant stress, which means constantly elevated cortisol, which means constant FATIGUE.

Digging a Little Deeper into Cortisol

Cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone,” is produced in the adrenal glands and plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions. It helps regulate metabolism, control blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. Importantly, cortisol also plays a pivotal role in helping the body respond to stress.

In situations of acute stress – like an impending deadline or a near miss on the road – your body releases a burst of cortisol to help you respond. Cortisol triggers a “fight or flight” response, temporarily boosting your energy levels and sharpening your focus. However, the keyword here is ‘temporarily’. This cortisol surge is not meant to last for extended periods.

Problems arise when your cortisol is elevated all of the time.  In response to diet-induced acidosis, the body continually produces high levels of cortisol. Over time, this constant elevation disrupts your normal circadian rhythm, suppresses your immunity, disrupts thyroid function, slows digestion, decreases metabolism, and causes an imbalance with your HPA-axis (of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals). 

If cortisol is constantly HIGH, energy will be constantly LOW.

Here’s a little more on why:

  1. Disruption of Normal Circadian Rhythm: Cortisol plays a crucial role in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm, the internal “clock” that dictates your sleep-wake cycle. Normally, cortisol levels peak in the morning to help you wake up and then decline throughout the day. If cortisol levels remain high into the evening, it can disrupt this rhythm and interfere with the ability to fall asleep or maintain a deep sleep, which can lead to fatigue.
  2. Impact on Other Hormones: Chronic stress and the resultant prolonged elevation in cortisol can negatively affect the balance of other hormones in the body, including those involved in energy production and mood regulation, such as thyroid hormones and serotonin. This imbalance can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  3. Immune System Suppression: Chronic cortisol elevation can suppress the immune system’s functionality, leading to increased susceptibility to infections and a longer recovery period, both of which can cause fatigue.
  4. Effects on Metabolism: Elevated cortisol levels can have adverse effects on metabolism, leading to weight gain or difficulty losing weight. Excess weight can contribute to feelings of fatigue.
  5. Burnout: In the long term, chronic stress and high cortisol can lead to adrenal fatigue or burnout, where the adrenal glands are unable to produce adequate amounts of cortisol. This can lead to a state of chronic fatigue, where you feel exhausted most or all of the time.

Diet-Induced Acidosis & Cortisol

We know from the literature, it is referenced constantly, that an acidic diet (known as diet-induced acidosis) causes the adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol all-day, every day.   When you have constantly elevated cortisol, you can guess what that leads to…

Adrenal fatigue.

Now, there is a lot of debate out there as to whether ‘adrenal fatigue’ is a real thing or not.  But for now, let’s just say that the proven outcomes of chronically elevated cortisol (those things listed above), which are the symptoms of ‘adrenal fatigue’ are real.  Call it adrenal fatigue, or not.  Up to you.  But those symptoms are real.

And the cruel trick of nature is that metabolism and clearing of excess cortisol also drives blood pH down, so it is a vicious cycle.

But it is a cycle that is easy to break.

The Alkaline Life & Healing Your Adrenals

Fatigue is a red alert siren from your body that something is wrong, and you’re out of balance.  In my first book The Alkaline Reset Cleanse I talk about the body’s Five Master Systems (the endocrine, digestive, detoxification, immune and pH balancing systems) and how an imbalance in one can lead to a cascade of health issues.  Fatigue is ALWAYS present where there is imbalance.

And no matter what your health challenge, and no matter what is out of whack in your body, it ALWAYS has the root of diet-induced acidity.

When we fix the acidity, we begin to heal.

And fixing this acidity is simple.  Start living The Alkaline Life (which is the name of my upcoming book…watch this space).

To fix fatigue, the first place I recommend starting is healing your adrenals…

And alkaline-forming foods are absolutely superb for that!  While diet-induced acidty is at the root of adrenal fatigue, this is underpinned by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

But brilliantly, all alkaline forming foods are naturally anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants, hitting three targets at once!

The Nutrients Known to Support Adrenal Function

While all alkaline foods will help, we can target the adrenals a little more specifically, with these nutrients:

  1. Vitamin C: This is one of the most important vitamins for adrenal health, as it is used by the adrenal glands in the production of all of the adrenal hormones, particularly cortisol.
  2. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): This vitamin plays a crucial role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism as well as adrenal cortical function. It’s also important for the production of adrenal hormones.
  3. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of neurotransmitters, which are essential for the body’s stress response.
  4. Sulforaphane: both a powerful antioxidant and incredibly anti-inflammatory, sulforaphane is incredible at bolstering the body’s stress response and undoing the damage caused by excess cortisol production.
  5. Magnesium: This mineral helps control the response to stress by maintaining the health of the nervous system and balancing the adrenal glands.
  6. Zinc: Zinc is essential for the production and secretion of adrenal hormones.
  7. Potassium: This mineral helps balance the levels of sodium in the body, which is crucial for adrenal function.
  8. Sodium: Adrenal health is also connected to maintaining proper sodium levels in the body, as the adrenals trigger the kidneys to retain sodium

Quick note: sodium bicarbonate is absolutely essential for your health, and used by the body in myriad of ways.  This is not table salt sodium chloride.  They could not be more different. 

And we can find these powerful fatigue-fighters in:

  1. Kale: Rich in Vitamin C and magnesium, it’s a great leafy green to include.
  2. Spinach: This leafy green is a good source of magnesium and Vitamin B6.
  3. Parsley: Parsley is rich in Vitamin C and also contains some magnesium.
  4. Celery: It provides a good amount of Vitamin B5 and potassium, which are beneficial for adrenal health.
  5. Cucumber: High in potassium and also provides a refreshing base for your juice.
  6. Bell Peppers (particularly red): These are exceptionally high in Vitamin C.
  7. Turmeric: the most potent anti-inflammatory on Earth, fantastic for easing adrenal stress
  8. Broccoli: rich in sulforaphane, and another good source of Vitamin C and magnesium
  9. Zucchini: This vegetable is a good source of Vitamin B6.


Ultimately you want to be getting a ton these delicious alkaline foods, and limiting the acid-forming foods.  I go into a lot of depth on this in my Definitive Guide to the Alkaline Diet here, but in short, those acid-forming foods to avoid are:

  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Processed foods
  • Preservatives
  • Dairy
  • Sweeteners
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol

Basically things that you KNOW are not great for you!  That is the 80/20 of it.  Avoid fast food, packaged foods, takeaways, pizza, chips, microwave and oven meals, baked good, gluten, sugar, sweets, and so on.  You know the stuff.

And start adding in the good!  Greens, veggies, salads, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, oily fish, fresh foods, natural foods…these are all the alkaline delicious things to focus on.

But We Want To Keep It Simple!

I ALWAYS look for the easiest, quickest way to get you started, because when you get started, even when we start really small, it gets results, and as I always say:


So this is the goal: easy first steps, quick results, and the motivation that this brings to add more good stuff in.

And the quickest way to get started here is with my Adrenal Support Green Juice recipe!

We’ll get into it below in just a second, but before we do I just want to make sure we’re all clear on a couple of really important things 😀

There are a few things that I always reiterate in my coaching, and my Alkaline Base Camp members hear me say this all the time:

  • Start REALLY SMALL.  Start as small as you need to.  Don’t try to take EVERYTHING on at once.  It never works.  Pick ONE THING.  Master it.  Turn it into an effortless habit and THEN move onto the next ONE THING.  In this instance, we’re starting with the juice below 😎
  • At first, focus ONLY on adding the good stuff in.  Don’t stress about cutting stuff out.  As soon as you do the brain will constantly scan for it.  Just get the good stuff in to begin with.
  • Take it one-day-at-a-time.  If you mess up, who cares, don’t stress.   Just get back on with it and don’t look back.  There is to be no ‘beating oneself up’.


OK, that is a little insight into how I coach (in a nutshell).  So lets get into this juice recipe:


Adrenal Support Green Juice Recipe

  • Author: Ross
  • Yield: 2 glasses/serves 1x


  • 34 large leaves of kale
  • A handful of spinach
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • Half a medium-sized red bell pepper
  • A small handful of parsley
  • Half a medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 small broccoli head
  • 1cm of fresh root turmeric
  • Filtered water to taste


  1. Rinse all the vegetables thoroughly under running water.
  2. If using a juicer, cut the vegetables as needed to fit your machine.
  3. Start with the leafy greens (kale and spinach) followed by parsley, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, zucchini, turmeric and finally, broccoli.
  4. Add water to get your desired consistency
  5. Collect the juice in a large glass or jug.
  6. Stir well to combine and serve immediately for the best nutrient content.


Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!


This juice is loaded with vitamins C, B5, B6, B12, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and sulforaphane, all of which are supportive of adrenal health and will get to work on fixing that fatigue.

Again, if you want to go deeper on this topic, I really recommend coming to the live training on the 12th.

Until then, I can’t wait to help you to your best ever energy!  Let’s do this!


(p.s. drop me your questions in the comments below)

register for the weight loss training

Ask Me a Question or Leave a Comment Here - I'd Love to Hear from You

Recipe rating

  1. Jo Reply

    Hi Ross, is blending in a high speed Nutribullet as good as a juicing machine ? Thank you

  2. Rosanne Reply

    Do soy products have a place in this eating regime?

    • ross Reply

      Yep. Try to get organic and unprocessed. I would minimise soy milk, and rotate with coconut/almond, but tofu, edamame etc is absolutely fine.

  3. Wendy Whynot Reply


    • ross Reply