Condition - Abundant Energy
Introducing a fabulous new book all about how to increase your energy levels – something we all need – written by Cathy Robinson BSc Dip Nut Med. Available from Higher Nature.
Here, Suzie Sawyer provides a brief extract…
Do you truly feel full of energy? Can you honestly say that, day after day, you have abundant energy? No? I think most of us would answer in the negative at some time or another, and I’m guessing that because you’re reading this book, you would like to improve your energy levels. As a nutritional therapist, one of my patients’ most common complaints is that of a lack of energy.
Think back – when was the last time you felt full of energy the whole day long? In a recent poll, 80% of those surveyed felt their energy levels were below par. Lack of energy appears to be the scourge of 21st-century living, with its fast-paced environment, a thousand things to doat the same time and instant communications all demanding our attention.
So, it seems that many of us go through our lives feeling sluggish in body and mind. Some patients have described this lack of energy as lethargy, feeling drained or like wading through treacle. It’s difficult to measure if we have enough energy, but ask yourself whether you feel awake when you get out of bed in the morning, and if you possess the stamina to get you through the day.
Many of us yearn to be able to bounce out of bed in the morning ready to face the day, with plenty of ‘get-up-and-go’ for the tasks ahead; refreshed from a restful night’s sleep. Others wish they had the energy to exercise regularly and still do the things they want to do. Yet how many of us drag ourselves out of bed, get through the morning with a cup of coffee or tea, yawn until lunch and then wish we had time for a mid-afternoon snooze before juggling family and domestic life throughout the evening and finally crashing exhausted into bed?
Your body is a hugely complicated machine with the prime goal of producing energy. Every second of every day, vast numbers of chemical reactions are occurring in each cell of your body in order to produce energy. It cannot be produced from thin air, and just as a power station needs supplies of coal or oil, so your body needs certain nutrients in order to produce sufficient energy for its needs. Give that power station too little fuel, or the wrong type of fuel, and it won’t work nearly as well at producing the energy we need.
We will start in chapter one by examining exactly what energy is, and looking at the fascinating processes by which it is produced by the body.
In chapter two, we will look at the importance of maintaining a steady level of blood glucose throughout the day and how this impacts on our energy levels.
Chapter three will examine stress and its effect on energy production. Stress seems to have become a buzzword in today’s modern world, and some form of it in our lives is unavoidable. In chapter four, we will learn about one of our most important glands, the thyroid gland. The health of the thyroid is a major determinant of energy levels since it controls the rate of our metabolism and of how much energy is produced.
In chapter five, we will look at the importance of sleep. It may seem obvious that a good night’s sleep is crucial to our waking energy levels, but for many people, sleep is difficult to obtain. Finally,in chapter six, we will look at the importance of balancing your life, giving you tips on stress management, work/life balance and energising exercise.
Magnesium, found in green leafy vegetables, is used to release energy from ATP during glycolysis and the Krebs cycle. Magnesium has often been found to be low in chronically fatigued patients. Don’t forget that magnesium is lost in the urine when we drink alcohol. Take 50mg of a food-based magnesium, which is easily absorbed, three times daily.
Vitamin B complex– the full spectrum of B vitamins is needed for our energy-producing processes, including the breakdown of carbohydrates, formation of acetyl co-enzyme A and the formation of energy carriers. B vitamins are generally found together in food, so it is a good idea to supplement them together as a complex. As a guide, choose a supplement that contains the full spectrum of B vitamins in a food-based form for easy absorption.
Alpha lipoic acidcan act as a coenzyme for key enzymes involved in energy production. Alpha lipoic acid is very effective when combined with Acetyl-l-carnitine, which helps transport fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidised for the production of energy. It also provides acetyl groups from which acetyl co-enzyme A can be regenerated. Take a combination of 250mg acetyl-l-carnitine and 100mg alpha lipoic acid, twice daily.
If our cells are low in co-enzyme Q10, they cannot produce enough energy, so nerves and muscles will perform less well. Co-enzyme Q10 helps to drive the Krebs cycle faster. This nutrient is manufactured in the body in the cells’ mitochondria, but its production diminishes with age. I recommend 30mg co-enzyme Q10, three times daily.
Ume, or Japanese Plum,was used by Samurai warriors to help them recover from fatigue after battle, and has been used for over 4,000 years in China for its health-promoting properties. It contains high levels of citric acid to support energy production, help lactic acid breakdown and reduce muscle ache and fatigue. Take up to 1.75g of ume extract per day, after breakfast or lunch.
Iron not only forms part of haemoglobin to transport oxygen around the body, but is also important for the electron transport chain, and is present in enzymes that carry oxygen inside the cells. Choose a readily absorbable form of iron in a food-based form, which will not cause digestive discomfort, providing 5mg iron per capsule.
A supplement of betaine hydrochloride may help with the absorption of iron from your food, if stomach acid is low. Take a supplement providing 300mg of betaine hydrochloride, immediately before a meal.