Today more than ever people are craving more energy. Consumption of energy drinks has risen significantly in recent decades. The need to get more done in a day, higher expectations to deliver, and a general workaholic society may be to blame.
Regardless of the reason as to why people need more energy, more people seem to be looking to the short-term solution of caffeine for a pick-me-up.
While caffeine is effective in the short term, it does little to bolster natural and more sustainable energy levels to truly feel more energized and ready to tackle the day. Rather than focusing on the short term of how you’re going to get through a long night, you should aim to expand your focus on investing in the long term and bolstering your natural energy.
Below is a closer look at why caffeine is not the solution, as well as how coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can help to boost your natural energy levels.
Pairing a CoQ10 regimen with good sleep habits, a healthy and nutritious diet, and exercise can ensure you are on a road to a more sustainable and natural level of energy that will outlast caffeine.
Why is caffeine not a sustainable form of energy?
Caffeine is a molecule that a large percentage of the adult population consumes on a regular basis. Caffeine within the body acts as a stimulant, which means that it increases neural activity. Other stimulant molecules include nicotine and amphetamines.
While caffeine is relatively safe to use, the interactions it has within your brain can result in caffeine tolerance, addiction, and constant restlessness.
Below is a closer look at how caffeine affects the body in the long term and why it is not a sustainable form of energy.
When caffeine is consumed the molecule readily passes through the digestive tract and the blood-brain barrier where it begins its interaction with the brain.
Caffeine within the brain acts as an antagonist to the neurotransmitter adenosine. In short, caffeine binds to adenosine receptors and physically gets in the way of adenosine from attaching to its receptors.
Adenosine binding is what helps your body know it’s time to slow down and get to sleep. When adenosine binding is blocked, it causes you to have a greater sense of wakefulness and alertness until the caffeine wears off and adenosine can bind.
While caffeine is a nice way to trick your brain into giving yourself some more wakefulness and alertness, it is truly only effective in the short term. When caffeine is consumed regularly, your brain recognizes it and will sprout up more adenosine receptors within the brain. This means that in order to get the same sense of wakefulness you would need to consume more caffeine.
This concept is referred to as tolerance and is the biological reason why habitual caffeine drinkers experience caffeine’s effects to a lesser extent than someone who consumes it only occasionally.
Since the body adapts to caffeine consumption it is not a long-term solution and over time will become less and less effective in helping you feel more alert when you need it.
Caffeine as described above causes chemical changes to occur within your brain. With more adenosine receptors your brain begins to expect and rely on caffeine consumption to help fill those receptors.
While on the day-to-day when you consume your morning cup of coffee you are unlikely to notice the effects of addiction, you will when you go without consuming caffeine for a day or two.
When you build a resistance to caffeine and suddenly forget to have caffeine or are somewhere without caffeine, you will most experience the symptoms of withdrawal. Caffeine withdrawal is not a fun experience, and typically includes a headache, increased irritability, and diminished energy levels.
This reliance can be extremely detrimental to your ability to get things done and is a large reason why caffeine is not a long-term solution to increasing energy.
Restlessness (and effects on sleep)
Many people utilize caffeine to stay awake for longer periods of time, and while okay in the short term, in the long term drinking caffeine in the evening can be detrimental to your quality of sleep and could drastically reduce your energy levels in a given day.
This can lead to a vicious cycle where caffeine is causing poor sleep but you consume more caffeine to feel awake the next day.
The reality is that rather than utilizing caffeine to trick your mind into being awake, simply getting a good night’s rest could provide you with more natural and longer-lasting energy than an energy drink could ever provide.
How CoQ10 supports natural energy levels
CoQ10 is a molecule that plays a pivotal role within the cells of your body. Within nearly every cell of your body, there is a structure known as the mitochondria which fuel your cells with the energy they need to perform their specific function. The mitochondria are responsible for converting glucose into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the relevant energy molecule for cells. During this process, the mitochondria produce potentially dangerous molecules known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). This is where CoQ10 comes into play.
CoQ10 can be thought of as a protective molecule that helps keeps the mitochondria protected from reactive oxygen species. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that prevents ROS from snagging electrons from the delicate structure of the mitochondria. When CoQ10 levels are at their optimum level it allows the mitochondria to function to their fullest capabilities allowing your cells to produce the energy they need.
Unfortunately for some, CoQ10 levels can decline due to a number of factors. This decline opens up the opportunity for ROS to cause damage and hinder ATP production. Lower mitochondrial output can have a number of effects on the body and one of the most notable is a decline in natural energy levels. This is where supplementing CoQ10 can help you to boost energy levels.
When mitochondria are under oxidative stress they are performing at a sub-optimal level. The best way to think about it is to imagine a factory that has a large number of leaks. Rather than focusing energy on production, the workers need to deal with the leaks which then decreases the factory’s efficiency. This same concept is what happens when a mitochondrion encounters oxidative stress.
To revitalize mitochondrial efficiency CoQ10 levels need to return to appropriate levels to counteract the ROS. CoQ10 supplementation can help but the molecule is not well adapted to being absorbed into the mitochondria and implemented via the digestive system.
MitoQ solves this problem by affixing a positive charge to a CoQ10 like a molecule. The simple addition of a positive charge allows MitoQ to readily be absorbed and penetrate the cellular and mitochondrial membrane.
The result is a modified form of CoQ10 that is many times over more available to the mitochondria. With an antioxidant level restored within the mitochondria, ATP production can resume at its original pace and your cells can begin to work more efficiently.
Other ways to boost natural energy levels
Supporting cellular energy is a great start to increasing your energy level throughout the day, but it also isn’t a fix-all solution. When your mitochondria are supported it allows your cells to function to the best of their ability, but it is also important to ensure other aspects of the cell are also supported. Below are some actions you can take to help improve your energy level.
Exercise and physical activity are important aspects of wellness that place a good amount of stress and strain on your body to ensure it doesn’t become complacent. Many people have sedentary jobs and the human body is constantly trying to adapt to your lifestyle.
If your body adapts to sitting around, it becomes somewhat complacent which can have negative impacts on wellbeing and energy level since it gets used to not need to have the energy to sustain sitting around.
Getting routine physical activity keeps your body moving so all of the systems within it can stay healthy enough to consistently tackle the day full of energy.
Diet is also an important component of your energy level since the food you eat is what allows your cells to have energy. Having a well-balanced diet with enough calories can allow you to ensure your body is being fueled with the proper amount of energy to get you through your day.
If you feel your energy levels could use a boost, you may be experiencing less than ideal sleep. Making sleep a priority and creating a good sleep environment and routine can have immense impacts on your energy levels throughout the day.
In summary, CoQ10 and MitoQ supplements are an excellent way to support your energy levels at a cellular level when the mitochondria are experiencing less than ideal levels of the important antioxidant.
Pairing MitoQ with other lifestyle changes like limiting caffeine dependence, getting enough sleep, eating well, and getting routine exercise can boost your natural energy reserves to tackle any task the day throws at you.