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INCREASE YOUR ENERGY NATURALLY

Fatigue and lack of energy can sabotage your health and happiness in so many ways. You might feel that energy nose-dive midafternoon at work when you need to be most productive. Perhaps you're seldom in the mood for sex with your partner. You might simply lack the motivation to hit the gym, which then snowballs into more fatigue.

It's too simple to say "just sleep a couple hours more" to combat fatigue because ironically, lack of energy even affects your sleep. Fatigue could mean wanting to pull the covers over your head even after a full night's sleep, or you might have a wired-but-tired feeling, where you want to sleep but can't.

Understanding energy levels and mitochondrial health.

To feel good and attack your day with vigor, you want steady, sustained energy. And that all starts with managing the little power plants within your cells, called your mitochondria. These organelles are tiny energy plants that even carry their own DNA. Every cell has hundreds or even thousands of mitochondria, depending on its location and how much energy it needs.

Energy production in the body is a complex process, but the main thing to know is that your mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), your main energy currency that keeps your body functioning. "A large amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) must be produced by the mitochondria every second of every day because ATP cannot be stored," says Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., who adds the average cell uses 10 billion ATP per day.

This also means that when your mitochondria crash, so does your ATP production. Translation: Goodbye, energy and hello to lethargically watching Friends reruns on your couch. "When mitochondria falter, cells lose power, just as a flashlight dims when its batteries weaken," says Charles W. Schmidt, M.S. Mitochondrial dysfunction creates fatigue, but it also contributes to almost every chronic disease including cancer, autism, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and cardiovascular illness.

The bad news is that our mitochondria start operating less optimally with age. At the same time, many things we get exposed to daily—including environmental toxins, pesticide-loaded conventional foods, and drinking water that can sometimes carry unsafe levels of toxic chemicals—are also a hit to your mitochondria.

Why inflammation and oxidative stress cause fatigue.

There are two major problems that often underlie mitochondrial dysfunction: oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. While a certain number of free radicals are normal and even healthy, when those free radicals overpower your body's antioxidant defense, a condition called oxidative stress occurs that can damage your mitochondria. Mitochondrial-related oxidative stress can contribute to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers also connect oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction with obesity, insulin resistance, and other conditions that accompany what we call metabolic syndrome.

Chronic inflammation is another big driver for mitochondrial dysfunction and plays a role in nearly every disease. Researchers called inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction a "vicious circle in neurodegenerative disorders."

Finally ready for the good news? There's plenty you can do to stay in control and keep your mitochondria in top condition. And when you have supercharged mitochondria—meaning you have optimal amounts of mitochondria that function awesomely—you think better, perform better in the gym, maintain your ideal weight, and have steady, sustained all-day energy.

Steady energy starts with your diet.

The best way to support your mitochondria begins with your fork. Choosing nutrient-rich foods that optimize your mitochondria keeps your blood sugar levels steady. You don't have those miserable spikes and crashes that make you want to take a midafternoon nap at your desk.

Among those mitochondria-supporting foods should be:

1. Healthy fat

Healthy fats like extra-virgin olive oil can help your mitochondria function better. So can anti-inflammatory wild-caught fish. On the other hand, the trans fats in processed foods and some vegetable oils can crash your mitochondria while ramping up inflammation and oxidative stress.

2. Protein

Protein steadies your blood sugar and supports cellular health. If you eat animal protein, always select from organic and naturally raised sources. One animal study found that whey protein stimulates mitochondrial activity and decreases oxidative stress.

3. Carbohydrates

The best way to increase antioxidant intake to balance those nasty free radicals is through a diet full of rich, colorful vegetables and fruits.

Just as importantly: Avoid the foods that impair your mitochondria and sabotage your energy. These include grains, processed foods, and foods that we commonly develop sensitivities to like soy and corn. I recommend keeping a food journal to track your energy levels. That way, you can pinpoint specific foods that boost or zap your energy.

These lifestyle factors support healthier mitochondria.

Even the healthiest diet can only do so much to provide steady, sustained energy and optimize mitochondria if you're not incorporating these lifestyle factors:

3. Carbohydrates

The best way to increase antioxidant intake to balance those nasty free radicals is through a diet full of rich, colorful vegetables and fruits.

Just as importantly: Avoid the foods that impair your mitochondria and sabotage your energy. These include grains, processed foods, and foods that we commonly develop sensitivities to like soy and corn. I recommend keeping a food journal to track your energy levels. That way, you can pinpoint specific foods that boost or zap your energy.

These lifestyle factors support healthier mitochondria.

Even the healthiest diet can only do so much to provide steady, sustained energy and optimize mitochondria if you're not incorporating these lifestyle factors:

1. Get great sleep.

Getting great sleep becomes crucial to optimize your mitochondria. Getting insufficient or poor-quality sleep, on the other hand, can really mess with your mitochondria and crash your energy. Aim for eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep nightly.

2. Manage your stress levels.

Chronic stress is a surefire way to drain the quantity and quality of your mitochondria. One review of 19 studies found "significant adverse effects of psychological stress on mitochondria." So whether that means you invest some time in yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or other de-stressing techniques, your mitochondria will thank you!

3. Minimize environmental toxins.

Everything from the air you breathe to the food you eat to the household cleaners you use can interfere with the function and overall quality of your energy-producing mitochondria. That includes pharmaceutical drugs such as antibiotics, which can stall ATP production, increase oxidative stress, and impair mitochondria.

4. Exercise correctly (and consistently).

Consistent exercise can improve mitochondrial function and symptoms of metabolic syndrome like insulin resistance. Studies show high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can enhance mitochondrial function.

5. Minimize or eliminate energy thieves.

I'm talking about the toxic people and situations in your life that can drain your battery faster than an iPhone with 20 apps running but also many substances we use daily. "Alcohol and mitochondria: a dysfunctional relationship" was the title of one study. (Do I need to say more?). While caffeine seems to support your mitochondria, this effect is dose-dependent. Overcaffeinating to compensate for low energy is a surefire formula to crash and burn.

 

Supplement for energy: 7 BASICS was designed to support cellular health and people who take it daily report increased energy and vitality...


Once you've dialed in the right diet and lifestyle factors, a few well-chosen nutrients can further help optimize energy levels. While you'll find many "energy-enhancing" supplements on the market, many lack the scientific support to recommend them. 7 BASICS meets the criteria. It has been well-studied for their energy-supporting benefits, including peak mitochondrial performance.

Quality matters too. If you're buying poorly absorbable or otherwise-inferior supplements, you're wasting money. Always buy professional-quality supplements and read labels carefully for artificial sweeteners and other problem ingredients!

As for dosage, follow the 7 BASICS label for instructions.