Most of the clients I see as a health coach complain of low energy among several other illness concerns. As I will explain low energy profoundly impacts your quality of life but is the underlying cause of most illnesses. Our cells need energy to function and without energy every cell cannot function. In the extreme if you were to be completely drained of your energy you would instantly die.
As we age, become depleted of critical nutrients, accumulate toxins or become metabolically less efficient, the energy production in every cells’ energy factories, the mitochondria, declines. When the production of energy in every cell declines our overall energy declines and the energy required by all tissues and organs is reduced, eventually resulting in disease. If your heart cells’ energy declines you pump blood less efficiently. This causes both heart and overall energy to decline as the heart pumps life giving blood and oxygen less efficiently. When the liver and pancreas cells don’t produce enough energy, hormones are affected as well as sugar handling (translates to diabetes), brain function, detoxification and many other illnesses are impacted.
There are a multitude of factors and solutions that impact our ability to produce Energy which in turn helps prevent many diseases and obviously affects our quality of life. The biggest factors which affect our body’s ability to produce Energy are lack of exercise, our diet / nutrition and the quality and duration of sleep.
It is important to keep in mind that if you are chronically fatigued that is a red flag that your cells are lacking energy and are on the pathway to disease. Most chronic diseases take years to manifest as obvious illness / disease and many traditional diagnostic tools do not diagnose disease until end stage. That is why much more sensitive diagnostic instruments and tests will pick illness up earlier when treatment and reversal is easier, more predictable, less invasive and less costly.
Lack of exercise is a huge factor in our population for rapid aging and lack of Energy. Exercise improves blood flow, enzyme and mitochondrial efficiency and pushes us toward a fat burning metabolism and away from sugar / carbohydrate metabolism. Too much exercise (few suffer from this) or little to no exercise will interfere with energy production. The type and timing of exercise is important in becoming an efficient Energy producer.
Exercising in the AM before breakfast when you are carbohydrate depleted will help you become a better fat metabolizer resulting in significantly more energy.
Nutrition, although a huge topic, is critically important in Energy production as well as disease prevention. For the purposes of this discussion the goal of nutrition is to increase energy and improve health by increasing healthy fats and proteins while significantly decreasing carbohydrate and sugar intake. We do not need sugars and carbohydrates in our diet to be healthy. These are just put in our foods by the food industry to add taste and increase sales. Nevertheless sugars and carbohydrates are generally not healthy. If your diet is high in sugars and carbohydrates you become a sugar / carbohydrate metabolizer leading the body to produce low energy, increase fat storage (obesity) and increase the chances of becoming diabetic.
At this point it is critical to discuss what nutrients we should either consume in our foods (more difficult) or in supplements to dramatically increase our energy production. The health industry has continued to promote the idea that we get all our nutrients through diet and that supplements will just produce expensive urine. That has now been shown to be totally incorrect because the Standard American Diet (SAD) is amazingly lacking in healthy nutrients and our crops are notoriously deficient in adequate nutrients. Supplements will add the requisite nutrients people are lacking to achieve the health results for which they are striving. The goal here is to dramatically increase your energy.
The first critical nutrient is iron which both transports oxygen in the hemoglobin and is necessary for the enzyme (cytochrome oxidase) in mitochondria (energy factories in cells) which use oxygen to make energy. Iron deficiency is common especially in menstruating women or with people who cannot absorb iron. Iron can be deficient even without a diagnosis of anemia. If there is an iron deficiency (usually in women) taking 30 mg of iron per day for 2 months prior to remeasurement of ferritin levels to confirm healthy levels of iron. The enzyme 2,3 DPG (most diabetics are deficient) helps in oxygen utilization. It functions with healthy levels of niacin and glutathione both of which are critical for oxygen transport. If niacin (vitamin B3) is deficient taking 100mg per day will help bring it to normal levels.
Glutathione is critical for many functions in the body but is especially important for oxygen utilization. Glutathione is not well absorbed by oral administration. To effectively restore glutathione the administration of the amino acid N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) will be well absorbed and converted to glutathione in the liver. The best dose of NAC to good energy and glutathione production is 50-100 mg per day.
Other Nutrients Critical for Energy Production
Magnesium is critical for many functions in the body but is indispensable in the Krebs Cycle which ultimately produces the raw energy we know as ATP. Taking 600 mg of Magnesium per day should rectify this deficiency although many need more than this amount of Magnesium.
Manganese is important for sugar metabolism and is especially important for diabetics who normally have half the levels necessary for adequate energy production and proper metabolism. Take 10 mg per day to reach adequate levels of Manganese.
Malic Acid and Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid are also critical for production of energy within the Krebs Cycle in the mitochondria. These two supplements help athletes perform better and are important for energy production in Diabetics. The doses for both of these is about 2000 mg per day.
The supplements Lipoic Acid and Thiamine (vitamin B1) are necessary for Acetyl-Coenzyme A to initiate the Krebs Cycle. Without these there is no Krebs Cycle and no energy is produced. When Vitamin B1 is depleted high levels of Lactic Acid are produced causing great pain, inflammation and fatigue. Supplement with 100 mg of thiamine per day. Lipoic Acid is critical as we age and for diabetics. Lipoic Acid prevents the onset of diabetes, helps with blood sugar control and is treatment for pain in the distant areas of the body (peripheral neuropathy) such as the feet and hands. Use 300-400 mg of per day of Lipoic Acid.
Coenzyme Q10 is a critical enzyme for the Krebs Cycle to make energy both for the healthy person and diabetics. CoQ10 in combination with vitamin C, vitamin E and N-acetylcysteine will dramatically upregulate the ability of the mitochondria to produce energy. 100-200 mg CoQ10 is the advised nutrient level for all patients and more for diabetics.
Increasing Fat Metabolism
Metabolism of fat produces more consistent energy throughout the day as opposed to the metabolism of sugars and carbohydrates.
L- carnitine is critical for fat metabolism (also important for fat loss) by transporting fat into the mitochondria so the mitochondria can use fat as a source of fuel. The daily dose of L-carnitine is recommended at 1,000 mg to 3,000 mg per day.
Niacin is critical for reducing cholesterol and triglycerides as well as to transport fats into the mitochondria. A minimum of 100 mg of niacin and for specific health issues up to 1,500 mg daily. Lipoic Acid is also necessary to protect the mitochondria in their energy producing capacity. 300 mg to 600 mg of lipoic acid per day is recommended.
Improving Liver Function
The liver is critical for many reasons. Having a critical role in energy production is one of them. Improving liver function depends on the following nutrients: B vitamins, antioxidants (glutathione, vit C, etc), magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, potassium and copper are all critical for improved liver function.
Increasing Adrenal Function
Functioning adrenals (produce cortisol the stress hormone) are critical for fat metabolism and thus energy production. Adrenal function is significantly improved with the following products:
Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5): 500 mg to 2,000mg per day depending on how critical the adrenal dysfunction is.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone): Produced by the adrenals and decreases as one ages. DHEA is used to produce the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Supplement with 10 mg per day for women and 25 mg for men.
Licorice: This is also known as cyrrhiza glabra. Licorice supports exhausted adrenal glands and helps to keep cortisol functioning. The daily dose of 350 mg to 700 mg is recommended. Take Licorice with potassium (300 mg per day) as Licorice depletes potassium.
Sleep is critical for raising energy levels. There are many factors which affect the quality of sleep including when and what you eat, the quality of your bedroom (no light, cool, no technology) environment, exercising and overall health.
The following products will help improve the quality of your sleep:
Theanine: 100 mg 5- HTP (hydroxytryptophan): 100 mg Niacinamide: 1,000 mg Niacin: 10 mg Magnesium: 16 mg Melatonin: 1.5 mg
It is obvious there are many factors that affect your energy levels especially the function of the mitochondria, the energy factories in our body. The health and metabolism of our mitochondria are critical to overall health and directly affect the quality of life and our ability to fight disease and illness. Anything that supports our ability to produce energy will support our overall health.
Enjoy the Journey,
Vital100 Wellness Team