HEALTH & WELLNESS
How to increase energy: 6 ways to keep yourself moving
Is there anything you can do to help increase energy? Discover six ways including tips for better sleep, stress, nutrition and hydration management.
Feeling tired can impact your whole day, physically and mentally. If you’ve noticed your energy levels have started to wane, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to help keep yourself moving.
Here are a few ways you can help increase your energy so you can go about your daily tasks in an optimal way.
#1) Be conscious of your nutrition
A proper diet can naturally help to increase energy levels.
Diets low in certain essential nutrients can lead to increased fatigue. The good news is, many of these nutrients can naturally be obtained through whole foods and function-specific supplements, if you make the effort to be aware of what nutrients you might be lacking in.
However, sometimes this is easier said than done, especially when the nutrient is a substance like Coenzyme Q10, whose effects are so broad and wholly supporting that it’s hard to pinpoint if you’re lacking in it. For example, CoQ10 plays a huge role in energy production and overall cellular health and, additionally, unlike some other vitamins, it’s a substance we naturally produce on our own, especially when we’re young and healthy. However, if we don’t have enough CoQ10 for whatever reason, be it a health condition, medication interaction, or just getting older, we can feel sluggish and tired because our energy production isn’t getting the support it needs.
While trying to eat more foods high in CoQ10 is always an option, CoQ10 supplements can make it a lot easier and more reliable to ensure we receive the CoQ10 we need for that mental focus and healthy energy levels we’ve been looking for. MitoQ has gone above and beyond to modify the CoQ10 molecule to make their way more easily into our energy production powerhouses (our mitochondria).
Our mitochondria have nearly impermeable membranes and the large size of CoQ10 molecules delivered from supplements means that very little of the CoQ10 ever makes it to the mitochondria, where this vital antioxidant is needed most. To solve this problem, our scientists in New Zealand began studying the effects of CoQ10. They made a breakthrough with CoQ10 absorption in the late 1990s when they discovered that mitochondria have a negative charge compared to the rest of the cell. They theorized that if the CoQ10 was attached to the right positively charged molecule and made smaller, it could be absorbed in a meaningful quantity. As a result, they developed the molecule mitoquinol mesylate, which is available as our world-first mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ. Our breakthrough ingredient enables a significant amount of CoQ10 to cross the mitochondrial barrier thanks to its smaller molecule size and positive charge. From inside the mitochondrial barrier, MitoQ is able to support the rebalancing of antioxidant levels and free radicals, which in turn supports mitochondrial health.
Another one of these energy-supporting nutrients is magnesium. Magnesium is a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems in the body, which help regulate a variety of diverse biochemical reactions (protein synthesis, blood glucose control, blood pressure regulation, and nerve and muscle function). It is required for other functions as well, like energy production, glycolysis, and oxidative phosphorylation. Without magnesium, calcium and potassium wouldn’t be able to cross cell membranes, which helps with bone development, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.
One of the first signs of magnesium deficiency is fatigue. The recommended dosage for adults is 400mg daily. Magnesium can be found naturally in dark chocolate, avocados, tofu, nuts, and certain green, leafy vegetables like swiss chard and spinach.
These are just two key nutrients needed for energy production – think about how many vitamins and minerals you could be missing out on. Eating whole foods can help with this and overall energy levels. Modern diets tend to include processed foods which can spike blood glucose levels meaning the body has to work harder to break the food down into the energy that fuels us.
Whole foods are not only healthier for us but can also lead to sustainable energy all day long.
#2) Get more sleep
Sleep impacts energy levels in more ways than people realize. It isn’t just the amount of sleep you get, it’s also the quality of the sleep that impacts how much energy you have the next day.
Obviously, not getting a good night’s rest can make you feel tired the next day. If the poor-quality sleep continues to happen night after night, the feeling of tiredness you wake up with every morning will compound. Over time, poor sleep can lead to generalized fatigue that doesn’t seem to be able to resolve, no matter how much sleep you may get every night.
It may be tempting to think that the resolution is getting more sleep. However, too much sleep can also lead to a lack of energy. In almost every case, it really does come down to quality over quantity.
If your brain is never able to enter into the essential deep REM sleep, either because you struggle to fall asleep quickly (within 30 minutes of getting into bed) or because you tend to wake up frequently, you may be sleeping the “right” number of hours without actually getting real rest.
For reference, the amount of sleep that people need varies in their lifetime. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), while we start out needing between 14-17 hours of sleep as newborns, that amount decreases to 7 hours nightly between the ages of 18-60. Anything more or less than that can lead to problems with low energy levels during the day.
#3) Reduce your stress levels
Stress is not only hard on us emotionally; it also can significantly affect our physical health. In fact, fatigue-related disorders like chronic fatigue syndrome are often associated with elevated levels of psychological distress.
Understanding how stress impacts the body must include taking a close look at both physical and mental factors. It would appear that neither exists in isolation, so addressing both is essential when looking at the reasons for low energy levels.
Increased stress over time can lead to a long-term activation of the body’s stress-response system. That stress floods the body with cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, and adrenaline, which is the main hormone released in response to the body’s activation of the “fight or flight” response. It can cause increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, weight gain (especially around the abdomen), anxiety, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed and worn down.
This can also lead to a condition known as oxidative stress, where there is an imbalance in the body between antioxidants and free radicals. It is inevitable that all of us will experience some degree of oxidative stress as we age, as mitochondrial health can decline with age. One of the body’s most important antioxidant defenses, CoQ10, can be produced in diminishing quantities as we age, leaving free radicals less well managed.
Supplements like MitoQ can offer long term solutions to the issue of oxidative stress. The makers of MitoQ saw that other CoQ10 supplements were struggling to pass the tough membrane of the mitochondria, and therefore were unproductive even at relatively high doses. Learning from this, MitoQ developed an enhanced version of CoQ10, whose smaller, positively charged body makes it hundreds of times more effective at being absorbed by the mitochondria than other supplements of its kind.
By increasing your CoQ10 levels, MitoQ helps maintain balance between CoQ10 and free radicals in the mitochondria, and therefore facilitates greater energy production.
#4) Stop smoking
Although cigarette smoking is addictive and it can be difficult to quit, quitting smoking can actually help increase your overall energy levels. A study done on cigarette smoking and how it impacts brain regulation of energy homeostasis showed that cigarette smoke contains thousands of components that may affect caloric intake and energy expenditure.
Most importantly though, cigarette smoke reduces the smoker’s energy levels by creating a significant reduction in appetite, caused by nicotine. Although nicotine is a stimulant, it is also one that is cleared out of the bloodstream quickly. This leads to a brief energy boost followed by a crash, similar to the way that blood sugar affects the body.
Smoking, especially long-term smoking, also can cause physical health complications. One of the major causes of a reduced energy level in smokers is a lowered oxygenation level and lung capacity. With a lowered amount of oxygen in the body, it results in lower oxygen available to go to the muscles, brain, and other body systems. It can also impact blood sugar levels.
#5) Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is another way to help maintain and potentially increase energy levels. The human body is made of mostly water, and that water is necessary for giving the cells the fluid that they need to function properly.
If that fluid (and electrolyte) balance gets thrown off, the cells can actually contract, which can make you feel tired. We constantly lose water due to normal functions of daily life, like sweating, urination and even breathing.
The recommended amount of water that people should drink daily varies depending on the situation. For most healthy adults, at least eight cups a day is best. For people who spend more time outdoors or in warmer environments, up to 17 cups is recommended depending on the activity level. Taking certain medications, like diuretics, also increases your need for additional fluids. Excessive caffeine use can also cause the body to dehydrate quicker.
#6) Cut back on your sugar consumption
The average diet contains a fairly high amount of sugar.
In addition to increasing body weight, sugar can also impact daily energy levels. While many people get a quick energy jolt (“sugar rush”) from consuming sugar, which usually lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, that rise in blood sugar also leads to a sugar crash. That up and down can be physically exhausting. Replacing some of that sugar with natural sugar substitutes, like Stevia or coconut sugar, can help to minimize some of those spikes.
In addition, according to findings that were published in the European Respiratory Journal, increased blood sugar levels have been potentially linked to the severity level of obstructive sleep apnea. The research included evaluating the severity of each of the participants of the study’s (5,294) obstructive sleep apnea, as well as their hemoglobin A1C blood levels (an indicator of what their average blood sugar levels looked like over time). This is an important finding because obstructive sleep apnea is a major factor in getting quality sleep, which impacts daytime energy levels as well.
Having enough energy to get through your daily life is essential to have a good quality of life. No one wants to work all day only to come home and fall asleep on the couch.
Learning how to increase your energy levels and identifying what may be causing it to be low in the first place, can help you more accurately formulate a plan to fix it. With so many natural ways to keep yourself moving, like staying hydrated, quitting smoking, and using a natural energy supplement to help support sustained energy levels, higher energy levels are in reach for everyone.
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