October 17, 2023

#5: The Secret to Feeling Energized During Pregnancy and Postpartum

If you’re a mom, you know that your default state of being is tired. It just comes with being a mom, right? So it’s natural to assume that being physically drained and depleted is also normal, right? In today’s episode I bust the myth of being “mom tired” and explain the crucial distinction between the fatigue that comes with motherhood and the exhaustion stemming from mineral deficiencies. Drawing from evidence-based science and my personal experience, learn how insufficient minerals can leave your body functioning on fewer cylinders, 7 common symptoms of mineral deficiencies, and how to identify and address mineral deficiencies. Be sure to grab the free downloadable resource in the shownotes to help you improve your mineral status!

About this episode

What you'll learn

  • The significant difference between mom-life fatigue and fatigue due to mineral deficiencies
  • The seven common symptoms of mineral deficiencies
  • The importance of minerals in regulating various bodily functions
  • The 10 most important minerals you need to include in your diet each day
  • The unique role of electrolytes as minerals and why you should start with focusing on electrolytes before other minerals


Read more about the studies of migraines and magnesium HERE

Learn more about electrolytes and my recommendations HERE

Grab my Adrenal Smoothie recipe HERE

Grab your free mineral download HERE


Tired from living vs. tired from existing 

If you’re currently pregnant or postpartum, you know that your default state of being is tired. It just comes with being a mom, right?

So it’s natural to assume that being physically drained and depleted is also normal, right?

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a difference between being tired from being a mom and being tired period. In other words, there is a big difference between being tired from living mom life and being tired from existing as a human being.

“But Brooke, how can I possibly tell the difference? Aren’t those the same thing?”

NO. N-O. I will tell you from both evidence-based science and personal experience that there is a major difference between the two and I’ve lived on both sides. I’ll do my best to describe both of them to you so you can understand the difference.

If you are tired from existing, you are most likely experiencing the effects of mineral deficiencies. Minerals are micronutrients that our bodies need to function and thrive on a cellular level.

When you have insufficient levels of each mineral, it’s like your body trying to run on one or two cylinders. You might have enough gas (from eating food each day) but without enough minerals it doesn’t matter how much gas you have in the tank, you’re still only firing one or two cylinders instead of four.

How can you tell if you’re experiencing mineral deficiencies? Let’s look at 6 of the most common symptoms that you experience if you’re low in minerals: 

Symptoms of mineral deficiencies

  1. Chronic fatigue: A common symptom of deficiencies in iron, iodine, and electrolytes. An iron-deficiency causes anemia, which is a condition where the body lacks enough iron to produce sufficient red blood cells to transport oxygen; a lack of iodine impacts your thyroid, which impacts your hormones and metabolism; and low levels of electrolytes impact the efficiency of your heart, brain, and muscles. If you are someone who cannot function without coffee in the morning or caffeine during the day, that’s a good sign you’re low in minerals. Now, this isn’t me trying to toot my own horn or say that I’m better than you, but I don’t drink coffee for religious reasons, and I’ve survived all of college and motherhood thus far without a single cup of coffee, so it is possible! I also don’t drink soda or energy drinks just because I don’t like them, so the only time I have caffeine is when I take preworkout once a week. I promise your body is supposed to have enough energy without stimulation from caffeine or coffee. Am I shaming you for having either of those things? Absolutely not! Having coffee everyday is perfectly fine, unless you physically cannot survive your day without it. That’s when it’s indicative that you’re using it to make up for nutrient deficiencies and it will harm your body in the long run.
  2. Muscle Cramps and/or tight muscles: Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramps. Calcium and magnesium work together to help our muscles contract and relax, so an imbalance in one or both of these will affect how well your muscles function (example of mom)
  3. Brain fog: minerals, especially electrolytes, are the spark plugs of our cells, meaning our cells require minerals to function. Low mineral levels means our brain lacks sufficient energy to perform basic tasks like recall, memorization, and critical thinking. (remember, our brain requires about 20% of our daily calories!) If you feel like you have really bad mom brain, this could be why!
  4. Headaches: deficiencies in magnesium and sodium are often a root cause of headaches. There was this really fascinating article that I read that compiled 30 years of independent research around magnesium (PMC7551856) and they found that a majority of patients that suffered from chronic migraines were deficient in magnesium. In one specific study, they found that patients had decreased levels of magnesium in their cerebrospinal fluid (and in case you’re like me and you don’t know the purpose of CSF right off the top of your head, it maintains homeostasis of the fluid inside your brain, and this homeostasis is critical for neurological function). Crazy right? Now, about sodium, here’s another really nerdy science fact for you: there aren’t any pain receptors in your brain (that’s how you can go through brain surgery awake and without pain) but there is a thin protective membrane around your brain called the “dura” and it relies on sodium to stay relaxed. If there isn’t enough sodium available, the dura becomes stressed and puts pressure on your brain. 
  5. Dehydration: I talked about this on my instagram stories but if you’re guzzling water all day and still don’t feel like your thirst is quenched or that it’s not helping your energy levels, this means you’re not getting enough electrolytes (which are specific types of minerals). Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying: I’m not saying drinking lots of water is ineffective. What I am saying is that if you’re ONLY drinking and not replenishing your electrolytes, your body is basically stuck in neutral (to bring it back to the car analogy). Imagine having enough gas in the car but because you’re in the wrong gear, you’re just revving the engine and the car can only go like 5 mph on its own. Now please please please, I want you to remember this: hydration isn’t just about drinking water. Staying hydrated includes drinking lots of water AND replenishing your electrolytes.
  6. Metabolic issues: insulin resistance, frequent cravings, and waking in the middle of the night are all signs that your metabolism is struggling, and minerals are one of the main regulators of your metabolism. Fixing your mineral intake will improve all of these metabolic issues and give you more energy throughout the day, help you better manage your weight, and encourage better sleep at night.
  7. Mood disorders: low levels of magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium have all been linked to depression, anxiety, and other common mood disorders. Obviously mental health is a very complex issue and there’s very rarely one root cause, but there’s lots of evidence that shows that nutrient deficiencies are a strong contributor to mental health struggles.

Now, you could have some or all of these symptoms but the important thing is recognizing and not diminishing them. I’m not talking about the occasional headache from your ponytail or yelling at your kids. I’m talking about recurring headaches that affect your daily life and don’t go away with medication or caffeine. 

10 important minerals you need

  • Calcium: Vital for bone and teeth health. Dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods are excellent sources.
  • Magnesium: Supports muscle function, nerve health, and energy production. Found in nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  • Iron: Necessary for oxygen transport. Sources include lean meats, beans, and fortified cereals.
  • Potassium: Important for heart and muscle function. Found in bananas, potatoes, and spinach.
  • Sodium: Regulates fluid balance. Often obtained from salt and processed foods.
  • Zinc: Essential for immune function and wound healing. Present in meat, dairy, and legumes.
  • Copper: Supports bone and heart health. Nuts, seafood, and organ meats are good sources.
  • Phosphorus: Crucial for bone health. Found in dairy, meat, and whole grains.
  • Selenium: Acts as an antioxidant. Found in seafood, nuts, and whole grains.
  • Iodine: Required for thyroid function. Found in iodized salt and seafood.

Now if you were listening and you were like “oh my gosh I can’t possibly remember all those foods” and I just stressed you out more, don’t worry. I’ll simplify it for you right now! Here are the main food groups that will get you the majority of your minerals:

  • Animal products like organ meats, dairy, and fatty fish
  • Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula
  • Legumes like beans, lentils, and peanuts
  • Nuts/seeds like almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds
  • Fortified grains like multigrain breads and cereals
  • Adrenal smoothies

Now if you’re still like “Brooke I won’t remember all of those and I already struggle with my diet every day” DON’T WORRY MY FRIEND. I put together a free printable resource for you that you can download straight to your phone!

I include some of the basic points from today’s episode, as well as my mineral-rich foods cheat sheet and two different “habit trackers” that you can print and use to help you get your minerals in each day. 

In fact, those “habit tracker” worksheets that I included are the exact ones that I use with my clients and I’m sharing them with you for free!

Just head to the shownotes to download your copy! You can either scroll down in your podcast player in the episode description or head to

The power of electrolytes

Now, we did talk about the 10 minerals you need, but I want to especially touch on the electrolytes because they’re kind of their own category. You could be great with all the other minerals but struggle with electrolytes and still see some of the symptoms I mentioned at the beginning.

Sodium: Sodium is the counterpart of potassium; it's main job is to regulate fluid levels outside our cells.

Contrary to popular belief and what you hear on the news, sodium is actually quite important for your body. You need sodium to maintain cellular homeostasis, or in other words, fluid balance.

This fluid balance affects the total water distribution in your body, which then affects your blood pressure.

Sodium also helps transport other vital nutrients into your cells like amino acids, glucose, and vitamins, all of which you need to function and grow another human being.

Lastly, salt makes your food taste good!

That being said, it's easy to get too much sodium in your diet because of processed foods, so the best way to get enough sodium (and the nourishing kind of sodium) is to prioritize making food at home, limiting packaged or processed foods, and using a high quality salt like Redmond Real Salt.

Potassium: Potassium's main role in the body is to regulate fluid levels inside our cells. The amount of fluid inside our cells and what can get inside our cells determines their electric charge and how effective they are in transmitting energy to our body.

Low potassium levels affect nerve transmission and muscle function throughout your body, including your heart. During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by up to 50% (PMCID: PMC4928162), so your heart has to be extra efficient and energized to take care of the extra demands.

In addition, potassium can help lower blood pressure because it helps remove excess sodium.

Magnesium: Magnesium is required for more than 600 enzymatic reactions in the body like synthesizing amino acids, managing blood sugar levels, and regulating blood pressure.

Calcium: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is stored primarily in the bones, but does a lot more than just make strong bones. Calcium is also responsible for blood vessel dilation and contraction, blood clotting, and hormone secretion.

Because calcium can only come from your diet, it's important to get enough calcium each day, especially during pregnancy. If you don't get enough calcium, your body will steal from the reserves in your bones.

Something important to keep in mind is that vitamin D is required for calcium absorption, so spending time in the sun each day is a great way to increase your calcium absorption naturally.

If you want to learn more about electrolytes specifically, I wrote an entire blog post about it! I also did a meta analysis of 21 of the top electrolyte supplements on the market and gave you my recommendations for the best and warned you of the tricky ones.