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Recharge Your Mind and Body

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Simple Lifestyle Changes That Elevate Vitality and Energy Levels!

"Energeia" - activity, operation, in work

"Energos" - active, effective Managing your energy levels doesn't have to be rocket science. Small lifestyle tweaks can go a long way. Discover how to avoid energy-draining habits and prioritize activities that increase your vitality and help you maintain a healthy energy balance throughout the day.
Energy is the fuel that powers our bodies and enables us to perform daily activities. But it isn't just about producing power; it's about something much more meaningful. Energy is the very foundation of our ability to pursue our passions and fulfill our purpose in life.
Therefore, next time you feel low on energy, remember it's not just fatigue; the stakes are much higher. We often find ourselves dragging through the day, relying on caffeine, sugar, and stimulants to borrow energy from tomorrow to pay for today’s demands.

Biochemistry of Energy

Our bodies have many tiny structures inside cells - mitochondria, which generate energy in the form of ATP - adenosine triphosphate, the fuel used to power all cellular and metabolic processes. Mitochondria are like the powerhouses or batteries of our cells, and ATP is needed for each cell to work correctly. Feeling tired always happens when your body doesn't have enough energy for your cells to function properly. This is because the mitochondria aren't producing enough of it to keep up with the body's needs. Have you ever felt tired even when you haven't done much work? Maybe during times when you are under prolonged stress, like meeting a deadline at work or dealing with a difficult family situation, or a period of uncertainty while waiting for important results?
It is related to a dual role of mitochondria.
It was discovered in 2014 in the outstanding research “Metabolic Features of the Cell Danger Response” that apart from producing energy, mitochondria also play a vital role in defending our cells against stressors. However, asking our mitochondria to engage in cellular defense can decrease their ability to produce energy. When our body faces stressors like inflammation, excess body fat, poor gut health, UV, toxins, or psychological and emotional stress such as work pressure, financial issues, or relationship problems, our mitochondria switch to defense mode, decreasing their ability to produce energy. This can result in chronic fatigue and tiredness even when we are not working as much as usual.

For nerds:

Some reasons why your mitochondria are not producing enough energy
Symptoms that your mitochondria are in defense mode
 

Discover Strategies to Increase Energy Simple Lifestyle Changes that Make a Big Difference

  • Circadian rhythm reboot

  • Create energy by spending energy – the power of exercise

  • Why do you want to replace your fat with muscle

  • Rebuilding your gut

  • Stoping sugar rollercoaster

  • Dealing with psychological stress

  • Supercharging supplements

Circadian rhythm reboot

Our circadian clock is like an internal schedule inside of our body, which helps regulate our sleep, wakefulness, metabolism, and other bodily functions over 24 hours. It is important for maintaining a healthy and happy life as it controls many important things in your body, such as your mood, digestion, sleep quality, and even the health of your mitochondria - which all significantly affect your energy levels. Our bodies are meant to be in sync with the sun's schedule, waking up when the sun rises and sleeping when it sets. However, how we live now doesn't always follow this natural cycle. We spend a lot of time indoors, staring at screens that emit artificial light, and we eat late into the night. These habits can confuse our internal clocks, causing them to become misaligned, which leads to circadian dysregulation. One of the consequences of destabilized circadian rhythm is low energy and chronic fatigue. When we talk about energy, we need to pay special attention to mitophagy. Mitophagy is a process that helps keep our cells healthy by removing damaged and dysfunctional mitochondria and regenerating new ones. It is related to circadian rhythm. It occurs during sleep, so if we don't get enough quality sleep, we are functioning on yesterday’s poorly functioning and damaged mitochondria. If this continues for months or years, it can lead to chronically low energy.

For nerds:

Two parts of circadian rhythm

Common health conditions linked to deregulated circadian rhythm


Strategies for a Reboot of Circadian Rhythm

We need to make an effort and intentionally align our brain and body clocks with the natural 24-hour light/dark cycle. Begin with accessible and sustainable changes that will boost your energy.
  • Sleep Hygiene

Set a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Time of Eating

Our body learns to anticipate mealtimes and adjusts the body’s metabolic responses and hormones accordingly. By regulating our eating patterns, we optimize our body's functions, regulate our circadian rhythm, and start a cascade of improvements that promote well-being.
  • ​Reboot in the nature

If you find establishing a healthy sleep routine challenging and often struggle to fall asleep before midnight, consider relying on nature to reset your circadian clock. Spending a couple of days in the great outdoors, such as tenting in the forest where you follow the rhythm of the day and night (not artificial light), will help you disconnect from the constant buzz of technology and stimulate your senses with the natural beauty.

Create energy by spending energy – the power of exercise


It may seem odd, but exercising can give you more energy in a few ways. When you exercise, your body creates more mitochondria in your muscles, which helps to boost your energy supply. Additionally, exercise increases oxygen flow in your body, allowing it to function better and use energy more efficiently. Finally, activity also triggers a hormone boost that energizes you.
If you're not a fan of exercise and feel low on energy, start with just 10 minutes a day. Try brisk walking, slow jogging, or simple jumping jacks that you can do at home at any time to increase your heart rate. Observe how you feel before and after the 10-minute workout. You'll likely notice an increase in energy, which will help you gradually increase the length of your training as you become more enthusiastic and energized.
Aim for 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics per week, which you can accomplish with 30 min of daily activity.

Why do you want to replace your fat with muscle

Body composition consists of two things: lean mass - our muscle tissue, bones, and water; fat mass - fat stored in our bodies. Our ability to store fat evolved to protect against overeating and provide energy during fasting and famine. But, there are limits to how much fat we can safely store.
When fat cells take in too much energy, they expand until they can't hold anymore, causing them to become dysfunctional and inflamed. This chronic low-grade inflammation, caused by fat cells trying to prevent their deaths, can lead to chronic fatigue as our body reduces energy levels so we can rest and recover. Unfortunately, low-grade inflammation is now a constant presence in modern society, leading to fatigue around the clock. However, having too little muscle mass and being excessively thin can be equally harmful to our bodies as your body won't produce enough energy.

We're not aiming to lose weight but to change your body composition by losing fat and gaining muscle. Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, seeking guidance from a healthcare professional before implementing significant dietary or exercise modifications is recommended.
  • Starting with protein:

Protein is a nutrient that helps our muscles grow, stay healthy, and repair themselves. If you want to lose fat and feel more energetic, eating enough (but not too much) protein can help.
Begin your fat loss journey by eating 1.1 to 1.6 g of protein per 1 kg of your weight daily if you're not physically active. Increase protein intake to 1.6 to 2.2 g/kg once you reach a healthier weight and are more active to aid muscle repair. Aim for eating protein at every meal.
  • Adding fibrous vegetables:

They are full of fiber and water, which can help keep your appetite in check by stretching your stomach and delaying its emptying
  • Focusing on whole, minimally processed foods

  • Increasing flux of energy

The number of calories we consume and burn is important - calories in and out are a matter. When we lose fat too quickly, our body can see it as negative and slow our metabolism. To avoid this, we should focus on eating more and moving more. Try to incorporate a daily routine of 20-30 minutes of light exercise that you enjoy. The more you exercise, the more energy you will have, which can create a positive energy cycle. Find a good balance between challenging yourself and not overdoing it, and gradually increase the length of your workouts.

Rebuilding Your Gut: Easy Strategies for a Healthy Microbiome

Scientists have found a connection between gut bacteria's health and energy levels. People with chronic fatigue have lower microbial diversity. Additionally, they have fewer bacteria that are responsible for producing helpful substances, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are necessary for producing ATP (cellular energy) and a higher number of bacteria that produce harmful substances. Harmful bacteria can cause inflammation and damage to the lining of our intestines. This can lead to a condition called "leaky gut," where foreign molecules can enter our bloodstream and cause inflammation. As we already know - inflammation reduces energy levels.
  • Fiber is your friend

And definitely a friend of your gut bacteria. Eat as much and as often as possible of any prebiotic fiber.
  • Resistance starches

Eat more minimally processed whole grains, green bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes, and rice.
  • Fermented food

Introduce a batterie of beneficial bacteria by eating more fermented food
  • Urolithin A

This compound helps prevent the accumulation of old and damaged mitochondria, which can cause oxidative stress, metabolic disease, and low energy levels. Some food can enhance the production of Urolithin A.

To make lasting changes to your diet, it's best to start slowly and gradually get into a routine. Start by introducing one dietary improvement at a time, beginning with one meal per day.

Everyday Strategies to Stop the Sugar Rollercoaster and Stabilize Your Energy

Our bodies need glucose to survive because our cells use it to create energy. We get glucose from the carbohydrates we eat. When we digest carbs, they break down into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to cells or stored for later use.Our brain and body need glucose, but we need to have just the right amount - not too much or too little. Food and body fat directly affect blood sugar levels, so diet improvement is essential. You need to maintain stable blood sugar levels to feel energized and healthy.
How to avoid big spikes and dips in blood sugar?
  • Regulate your circadian rhythm with Time-Restricted Eating

  • Avoid liquid calories - fruit juices, sodas

Instead, opt for water, coconut water, unsweetened tea, or coffee without added sugars to stay hydrated and maintain stable blood sugar levels Sugary drinks are especially harmful to our bodies because liquid sugar is absorbed into our bloodstream more quickly than sugar from food. It contains dense calories and does not trigger the same sense of fullness as consuming them through eating. Researchers led by Dr. Elissa Epel found that individuals who consumed more sugar-sweetened beverages had shorter telomeres, the ends of chromosomes. When telomeres are shorter, cells can regenerate less, leading to accelerated aging, increased disease risk, and premature death. Consuming excessive amounts of fruit juice can result in the same health issues as drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. When we drink liquid calories, we experience an immediate sense of pleasure due to the high hedonic cycle. However, this feeling is quickly followed by a low called hedonic withdrawal, which drives our craving for another.
  • Eat foods that release energy slowly and steadily

If you're experiencing a drop in energy, avoiding consuming high-sugar and intense snacks is better. These snacks can cause a spike in blood sugar, which may lead to a quick boost in energy, but it will be short-lived. Instead, opt for snacks that slowly release glucose into your bloodstream, providing longer-lasting energy.
  • Spice it up with cinnamon

Cinnamon can help control blood sugar by helping our muscles take glucose from the blood. You can use it to spice up your food, like chicken or beef, or sprinkle it on Greek yogurt. About a teaspoon (5 grams) per day is enough.
  • Change the order of food

Vegetable first – protein & fat second – starches & sugar last By making this simple change in the order of our food intake, we can significantly improve our blood glucose levels.Eating vegetables before starchy foods during a meal can greatly improve our blood sugar control and reduce blood glucose and insulin levels by 20 to 70 percent and 25 to 50 percent, respectively. source
  • Switch to a Lower-Carb Diet

The best way to improve blood sugar levels is by reducing overall carbohydrate intake, regardless of your diet type. Do it slowly and gradually to motivate yourself and prepare your body and mind for this new way of eating.

Deal with psychological stress to Boost Your Energy: Tips for Switching Your Mitochondria to Energy-Producing Mode

Remember the dual role of mitochondria in creating energy and being a defense mechanism? Stress causes mitochondria to shift to defense mode instead of energy production, whether emotional or physical. And that’s why we are tired when stressed.
Dealing with psychological stress can be challenging, but there are strategies you can use to manage it effectively and allow mitochondria to focus on energy production.

One effective method is to try meditation or mindfulness practices to help calm your mind and reduce anxiety. You can also organize your thoughts and practice positive thinking to help alleviate stress. Asking for help from a counsellor or therapist can also be beneficial, as they can provide guidance and support to manage stress. Additionally, exercising and maintaining social support are other effective ways to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Supercharge yourself with supplements

Dietary changes can take time, but supplements can offer fast relief and positively motivate us to change our lifestyle.
Supplements can enhance energy levels and support mitochondrial function, reducing fatigue and improving metabolic health. Unlike stimulants such as caffeine, which only provides temporary energy, some supplements can gradually build up our energy levels by enhancing our mitochondria function. These supplements are helpful for anyone experiencing fatigue or seeking to optimize their energy levels.

Everyone is different and requires personalized nutrition advice, and taking the wrong dose or supplement can adversely affect your health. Please consult with a qualified nutritionist or healthcare practitioner before making any significant changes to your diet or taking new supplements. Your safety should always come first.
  • Comprehensive Vitamin and Mineral Formula and B Complex

  • Coenzyme Q10 or PQQ: essential for energy production and as an antioxidant

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine: helps transport fatty acids into mitochondria for energy production

  • Curcumin: has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that support mitochondrial health

  • Creatine Monohydrate: provides quick bursts of energy to cells

  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid: helps with energy metabolism and acts as an antioxidant


References & Sources:


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