Feeling tired all the time? Yawning at work? Americans have more stress than ever now and many aren’t getting their eight hours of sleep each night on top of it. The most fundamental principle of being healthy is having enough energy to power your body.
All processes in the human body require energy for healthy function. Your mood, immune system, weight and overall health are all affected if you don’t have enough energy. Caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants may help in the short-term but can leave you dragging hours later. If you find yourself wanting a nap more often than usual, try these tips to tap into your body’s natural energy boosting potential!
Support Your Thyroid – Thyroid hormone function has a major impact on all of your energy systems. If your thyroid is running even sub-clinically low, sustaining energy output is difficult. Sluggish thyroid function is linked to energy slumps in the afternoon. You may notice you just don’t seem to have the energy to do the things you used to be able to do and may fall asleep any time you sit down. Optimal nutrition can encourage stable energy levels by supporting your thyroid. Core nutrients needed for healthy thyroid function include selenium, l-tyrosine, manganese, iodine, B12, iron, and zinc. These nutrients help you to have better energy, mood, and metabolism.
Use Coenzyme B Vitamins – Taking high quality coenzyme B vitamins is an important way to support energy production. B vitamins are essential for energy production and the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. They are easily depleted by stress, caffeine, and daily activity. It is estimated at least half the American population lacks adequate B vitamins for optimal health.
These energizing vitamins are water-soluble so, while they are safe to take in high amounts, you have to replenish all of the B vitamins daily and they all work together synergistically. For that reason, a daily B complex supplement is a good idea. Coenzyme forms of B vitamins are easy to absorb and in the exact form your cells need to make energy. Coenzyme B vitamins make a huge difference to your energy levels. Check your labels. If you see vitamin B12 in the cyanocobalamin form on the label, it is a sure sign the company doesn’t have your health or energy levels in mind. Look for vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin and adenosylcobamin for an energy difference you can actually feel.
Boost Your Adrenals – Your adrenal glands are involved in the fight or flight response. The stress hormone cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. When levels are high it keeps you alert and your energy up. It is even responsible for getting us up out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning. Problems with the adrenals can happen when they are forced to work overtime. For a period of time you will feel like an energizer bunny, but sooner or later your energy reserves will run out and your engine will putter out. This is characterized by fatigue, feeling stressed, lack of fitness, no energy in the morning (or energy drops mid-morning), blood sugar instability, dizziness upon standing, worsening allergies, decreased sex drive, disrupted sleep and/or unstable mood. Certain nutrients including magnesium, pantethine, vitamin C, and adaptogenic herbs are helpful to bring balance back to your adrenals, improve stress tolerance, and prevent fatigue due to stress.
Nourish Your Powerhouses – Mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells. The rate at which we turn our food into ATP (potential energy) is known as energy metabolism. This process is going on constantly within your mitochondria. The more efficient the process of metabolism functions, and the more mitochondria you have, the more energetic you will feel every day. You can improve energy metabolism and the number of mitochondria you have with exercise and muscle growth. Nutrition can also help nourish the health of mitochondria and even foster growth of new mitochondria and improve energy potential. Some of the best nutrients and antioxidants for mitochondria health are PQQ, coenzyme Q10, resveratrol, grape seed extract, curcumin, lipoic acid, and acetyl-l-carnitine.
If you can offset fatigue, a common thread in many health problems, then overall health is likely to improve. Break free of the stimulant cycle and try these four tips to improve energy production naturally. You are likely to feel happier, healthier, and maybe even more youthful!