Your daily level of energy is not always decided by how much caffeine you have, or what energy drink that you drink. The amount of energy and alertness that we have is decided by how well the mitochondria function. Mitochondria are known specifically as the powerhouses of the body and mind. When the energy level of this part of the cell is effected, then the whole body as well as the brain, can lose the ability to function, properly, and could cease to function. The best way to keep energy levels at their peak, can be done with a combination of food and exercise, as well as the addition of a few extra processes.
Eating is essential to being able to survive. Taking in the proper amount of different macronutrients keeps the body and mind working, as well as the mitochondria fed. When you choose to take in more than the amount that is needed for the body to function, the mitochondria are forced to produce more energy to aid in the process of the extra food. This forces the cells to be overworked for this process and cannot focus the cells on creating positive energy for the body. Lowering the excessive calorie intake, gives the body the ability to focus on the removal of free radicals and energy production. 1
The diet we choose to eat can have a major effect on how the body functions and the energy level we maintain. Certain diets are designed not only to feed the body, and decrease negative aspects of the damage we do to our bodies, but can also feed the mitochondria. Diets such as the ketogenic diet, and the Bulletproof diet, are designed to increase the ability of the body to function properly. This is done with a decrease in carbohydrates and an increase in the amount of fat the body receives. When this is done, the body is placed into a state of ketosis. This state is when the body begins to use the fat, not only in the body, but in the diet for energy. The mitochondria are able to process this energy at a better rate then glucose based energy sources. This process increases their function and ability to increase energy. 2
The mitochondria are used to create the energy that we use on a daily basis. When energy is used, and the need for new energy is created, these cells get to increase their production. As the production is increased and this new energy is used, more must be created. This system works the same way working out does. If you exercise, the mass and strength of the muscle is increased. The more you train, the stronger your body becomes. The more you exercise, the more energy is needed by the body, and the more the mitochondria have to produce. This cycle strengthens the mitochondria, and gives them the ability to create new ones in the process. 3
Much like food and diet, supplementing can be a way to strengthen and feed the mitochondria. By adding certain nutrients to you daily route, there can be an additional level of protection or additional fuel sources for these cells. The addition of free radical raiders or antioxidants, will reduce the amount of free radicals that the mitochondria have to defend against. This will give them more energy for the natural function of the body. Other supplements that can be added can be used as direct fuel sources, for the creation of fuel for the body or for direct fuel for mitochondria function. Some of these include alpha lipoic acid or ALA. This is used by the body during biogenesis. Another nutrient that can be supplemented is CoQ10 which is a great antioxidant and can also be used in the production of ATP or adenosine triphosphate. ATP is part of the electron transport chain of energy that protects the mitochondria against damage by free radicals. 4
Depending on where your energy is used, and how much energy you have, feeding and taking care of your mitochondria can only improve your life. With the primary function being the production and sustaining of the energy of each of our cells, and the creation of more cells, this is an area you can effect in a direct way. Take care of these cells, and they, in turn, will take care of you. When you are feeling tired, try not to reach for an energy drink, coffee or other stimulants. Take the time before to assess how your mitochondria have been fed and look to change your habits to better serve your body.