High energy makes us feel better and younger, helps us get more done, and even stimulates creativity and will. Energy is the currency of our very life force. So how do we get more energy for the body and mind? How do food and other fuel sources translate into energy? And how do we increase the “octane” of our fuel for the energy efficiency of our bodies?
The answers to those questions are both simple and complex. On a physical level, our bodies use one primary type of fuel for energy: glucose. It’s that simple. Glucose that enters the bloodstream is converted by the body into glycogen, which is then burned as fuel in the cells.
What Causes Low Energy?
The chemical energy our body uses for fuel comes from blood sugar. Different forms of sugar enter the bloodstream through our normal digestion and food conversion processes. When we need energy for physical activity, the hormone insulin transports blood sugar into the cells, where it can be used for fuel or stored as glycogen. The liver also converts much of this glucose into energy or glycogen. Excess sugar is excreted from the body through urine or converted into fat. This process can break down in many places, causing low energy, nervous high energy, and energy “crash” (rapid energy loss). Low insulin levels (diabetes), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), low blood pressure, and poor cell health can all affect the production of energy.
Other conditions that can affect energy levels include poor liver health, adrenal imbalance, thyroid imbalance, and even insufficient muscle mass (not enough muscle to fat ratio).
So how do we get more energy? What are the safest and most effective ways to increase energy and get more of life’s sweet nectar? Well, let’s start with a few basic principals. Here are the essential concepts for increasing body energy:
- Improve the quality of your fuel: Find the optimal mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats for your body, so it can more effectively convert these elements into fuel. The optimal mixture is not the same for everyone.
- Reduce the quantity of your fuel intake: Generally, eating less food results in more energy efficiency. Oxidation from overeating causes the body to slow down, as does the excess stored fat that overeating causes.
- Clean your engine: Clean out your liver and purify your blood for increased energy. This will support the chemical processes that carry glucose into the cells, where it is used as energy. It also wouldn’t hurt to clean your intestines, as this is where sugars get extracted from foods and passed to the bloodstream.
- Streamline your body: Losing excess fat and increasing muscle mass will give you more energy and improve energy conversion from the food you eat.
- Attend to “other” energies: Steer clear of high frequency wires, unnecessary x-rays, and other foreign energies. Keep your emotional archives clean, your heart light, and your self image positive.
Glucose is the most important and most used source of energy for our tissues and muscles. Most of this glucose should come from complex carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, beans) for best energy conversion. People with higher metabolisms or those on a muscle building program can increase their intake of carbohydrates. Sucrose (sugar) is a combination of glucose and fructose; the glucose is quickly and easily converted into energy by our liver and muscle tissues. Note that energy from fructose (fruit and corn syrup) is converted into energy only by the liver, and any excess will be converted into fat and stored as body tissue. It’s best to stay away from excess fructose, especially high fructose corn syrup, commonly added to juices. For long term energy, it also helps to boost your protein levels.
Pure cocoa is an excellent antioxidant and helps normalize your circulation, not to mention improve your mood. Eat dark, bittersweet chocolate for a hit of cocoa and sucrose, but keep this in check as you can easily consume too much sucrose. Energy without caffeine is built by taking a regimen of Co Q10, ginseng, suma (South American root sometimes called Brazilian ginseng), maca (Peruvian root called Amazon ginseng), and organic minerals from seaweeds. Spirulina is an excellent energy source for its vitamin, mineral, and protein content, not to mention the chlorophyll.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Schizandra berry is a well known adaptogenic herb. Due to its ability to increase strength and balance body systems, Chinese herbalists recommend the dried berry for relief from exhaustion and fatigue, and they believe that it can increase both your energy level and your life expectancy.