Energy

Have You Lost Your Zest and Vitality?

Do you experience or struggle with any of the following patterns:

  • You feel lousy in the morning, but get your second wind after dinner?

  • You feel like you were hit by a bus after lunch?

  • You’re just wired, tired and “flat-lined?”.

  • As a woman, your energy levels drop the two weeks leading up to your period, or during your period itself?

  • Exercise drains you rather than invigorate you?

If so, it’s pretty clear that your body isn’t producing energy effectively, or the energy that you are producing is being used up in a way that leaves you feeling lethargic and drained.

Every single process in your body depends on energy. Energy depends on nutrition and biochemical reactions. This includes things you do consciously like thinking, talking, brushing your teeth, going for a walk or lifting weights and things you do unconsciously, like breathing, heart rate, detoxifying, digesting and fighting infections.

Anything that impairs your body’s ability to make energy can have a detrimental impact on any or all of its systems, organs and tissues.

Why Your Energy Might be Dropping

Energy production depends on a series of steps, any of which can become faulty.

  • Digestion: As you eat your food, it has to be digested and assimilated through enzymatic processes and then utilized. Anything that interferes with digestion and absorption can affect energy levels in your body

  • Food: food feeds your energy. The higher the quality of food, the higher the quality of energy you produce. The food you eat and the water you drink provide fuel from which your cells make energy to drive your metabolism.

  • Hormone Imbalance: hormones control body actions. Thyroid, Insulin, leptin and cortisol among other hormones control the rate in which foods gets used as fuel. If out of balance, the hormones can shut down energy production.

  • Nutrient Density: vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fats, protein and carbs fuel and support your cell engines to convert energy. If key nutrients such as B vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, carnitine and CoQ10 are inadequate, this process won’t work optimally.

Energy Level Self Test

Generally, the lower your energy, the lower or “more flatlined you feel” or the more likely you will feel “wired and tired!”These simple measures can be done at home. They are:

  • Your waking temperature subaxial (under the underarm) body temp

  • Your waking pulse

A low morning body temperature may indicate thyroid issues or at the very least a reduced metabolic rate. A low pulse is immediately indicative of a low metabolic rate, which means your body’s energy production is low.

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How To Improve Your Energy Levels

The first place to start is with your food intake, eating habits and digestive well-being. Don’t underestimate the power of clean eating, proper meal timing, sleep and stress management as a means of improving your energy levels. These are key foundations to your energy production.
Simple Ingredients to building better energy:

  • Remove foods that sap your energy like processed foods, nutrient poor foods, gluten and dairy.

  • Replace these foods with simple, nutritious and delicious alternatives that help your body make more energy – proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.

  • Maintain blood sugar balance by eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and small snacks if you get afternoon lullsnto maintain steady, even energy levels.

  • Optimize the function of your digestive system so that you’re maximizing your absorption of nutrients. See here for how to improve digestion.

  • Improve your sleep. Get horizontal by 10 pm with no electronics, TV or bright lights.

Functional Tests for Energy

Unfortunately, when we see low waking axial body temperatures and pulse, we don’t know why your engine is running below speed. But we can tell you are. These two markers can have several common causes:

  • Low thyroid function?

  • Low adrenal function?

  • Low cofactors for hormone production.

  • Nutrient deficiencies such as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, amino acids, carnitine or CoQ10?

In other words, what bad stuff is in your body, and what good stuff is missing or too low?

Organic Acids

A simple urine test done first thing in the morning can tell you whether your serotonin or gaba and dopamine pathways are functioning optimally. Couple this with diurnal salivary cortisol and DHEA levels, you will be armed with the information you need to determine why you have low mood and energy.

Similar tests, organic acids tests, can also evaluate nutrient levels like B-vitamins, and also indicate if your methylation pathway, critical to your making your brain chemistry, is sub-par. You’ll also discover whether your liver is under toxic stress and whether your kidneys are able to clear ammonia from your body. If any of these functions are impaired, your mood may be affected.

Let’s Talk about Stress Baby! The Adrenal Hormones

Your adrenal glands are the size of your thumbnail and sit atop each kidney. They primarily help your body respond to stress, and their hormones – cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline can affect energy production in a significant way.

Excessive cortisol levels can cause anxiety and poor sleep quality, whereas low cortisol is more likely to result in low moods and a wired and tired feeling all the time (though people can also feel anxious when cortisol is low, as well as high).

Sex/Reproductive Hormones

Progesterone, testosterone and estrogen are important “mood” hormones in both men and women. Imbalances between these hormones are common, especially if you have imbalances in thyroid or adrenal hormones.

Progesterone is calming and relaxing, and helps with staying asleep. It promotes energy production in your body. Anxiety may result from low progesterone levels.

Estrogen levels is the feminizing hormone and has to be in balance with progesterone to maintain optimal mood and memory. Estrogen, however, can mood crushing when it’s present in high amounts, and may suppress thyroid function and cellular energy production and cause weight gain – a instigator of low mood in itself.

Low testosterone in both men and women can result in low mood, low motivation, poor exercise resilience, lack of confidence and sex drive, while elevated testosterone may cause irritable moods and aggressive behavior, amongst other symptoms.