We all have varying degrees of energy levels. Some people are perpetually peppy, while others are as animated as an anchor.
Most of us live life in the large gray area in between. We battle bouts of fatigue, sluggishness and the occasional aches and pains that slow us down. Our goal is to make sense of these gray areas. We can then understand how to manipulate our biology to feel better.
Having more energy is at the heart of what feeling beautiful is all about. It’s having passion for life and the means to act out that passion.
But we all know what happens when there’s an energy crisis: chaos. One small issue triggers a domino effect. That’s what happens when you can’t maintain your energy.
It can eventually lead to a major short-circuiting of your energy system. These massive drops are ultimately an energy crisis in your body.
There are many culprits. Some are excessive stressors and not enough sleep. Others are too much saturated fat and sugary foods. Or you may not be experiencing enough passion and fun.
Even still, it can be an infection or other chronic disease. You’re prone to being attacked by viruses, bacteria or fungi when your resilience is gone. The ensuing insomnia and stress can wear down your adrenal glands. This creates a vicious cycle of progressively larger challenges.
To understand these dipping energy levels, let’s look into how energy works. Your energy’s stored in packets called ATP and phosphocreatine. These are made of chemicals including a sugar called ribose, adenine (used to be called vitamin B4) and vitamin B derivatives. Ribose serves as the lumber of your energy-producing house. Other substances help to support it.
The nutrients and genes inside your cells, and hormones and chemicals from nerves and your brain act as switches and fuses that control your power factory. Your mitochondria and their ribosomes take ribose, sugar and helper B vitamins and use electron transport to crank out your energy packets, ATP. Your body can perform tasks once it has enough ATP.
There are many scenarios that can cause the fuse to blow and trigger you to produce ATP. These include: infection, hormone dysfunction and inadequate diet/sleep, among other causes.
Even if you have tons of ATP, you’ll need an abundant blood flow to provide your body nutrients and keep waste products away. To do this you simply have to engage in activities that keep your blood pumping and arteries dilated. So, what’s good for your heart is good for your energy levels.
Nitric oxide helps open your arteries and lung passages to increase blood flow and oxygen transfer. This short-lived gas that lines your arteries, breathing tubes and brain rapidly changes in relation to your activities and diet.
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