Are you feeling more tired than usual? Perhaps going from a cold to the next one in just a matter of weeks? Do you feel even the simpler tasks have become hard to perform and you just woke up but already want to go back to bed? You may need to boost your energy levels immediately before more serious health issues arise.
Why is it important to boost your energy?
Our body is incredibly intelligent. It is set up for using the nutrients in the food we eat and the oxygen in the air we breathe and convert them into energy. This energy is in turn used as fuel for growth, healing and reparation of tissues. Even when we are fasting, sugar and fats stored in the body can be released into the bloodstream to make energy available for bodily essential functions.
Knowing this, the deduction should be this simple: eat well and breath deeply if you want to grant enough available energy for optimal function of the body.
However, in these days of popping-pills craze, people prefer a couple of shots of an energy booster (plenty available on any food-mart) than to opt for a healthy lifestyle.
In biology, we call metabolism the process by which the organism breaks down food (catabolism) to generate energy plus the process of using energy for cell differentiation and growth (anabolism). The energy in the body is stored in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).
When we face impending danger or have worked to exhaustion, the adrenals secret stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. Being catabolic hormones, they speed up chemical reactions so that the body generates free energy. When the energy has been spent, we feel overtired and the body requests rest.
Are we becoming adrenaline junkies?
Having a good restorative sleep will compensate for the stress and the tiredness. However, in modern times, people are getting less and less sleep and instead looking for ways to keep the adrenaline up.
A large dose of adrenaline in the blood stream makes your heart rate increase, your blood pressure hike, your breathing rate ramp up. Adrenaline is the same hormone we release when we sense danger. It causes vasodilatation of blood vessels, which provides extra oxygen and energy to prepare the body for a fight or flight response.
How come some people become addicted to it?
The explanation might lie on the fact tat the pituitary also releases endorphins when adrenaline levels increases in the blood. Endorphins are not only sedatives and painkillers, they make us feel comfortable and relaxed. They are pleasure hormones.
In stressing jobs, risky careers and certain sports it is not unusual to find adrenaline junkies. A few people will also get the kick by filling their lives with drama and conflict.
The problem is adrenaline can become as addictive as any drug. Addicted people end up putting their lives at risk for no reason to the point of becoming irresponsible.
Or caffeine addicts?
Another way people deal with exhaustion and low energy levels is by drinking caffeinated products.
When we have a caffeinated drink (coffee, tea, Red Bull), the caffeine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and competes with the adenosine receptors found in the surface of certain cells but without activating them. This causes an increase in the amount of available adenosine, which explains why these boost your energy, but also explains the elation and the anxiety caffeine can cause.
Make no mistake; the energy-boosting ingredient in Red Bull is caffeine not taurine or glucuronlactone as the manufacturer claims.
Even though some research supports positive outcomes of caffeine consumption on cognitive function, there is evidence that on the long run, caffeine can interfere with the protective function of adenosine, decreasing the blood flow to the brain.
For a healthy life, boost your energy naturally
With no knowledge of biochemistry, thousands of years ago Chinese and Hindus started to talk about subtle energy flowing in and around the body. They called it Qi, Chi or Prana. They knew that the amount of this energy fluctuated depending on our lifestyle and environmental factors and taught people to cultivate the Qi through exercises, breathing, positive visualizations and proper nutrition.
It is discouraging that the current medical model has made us believe that chemical products can replace what nature already offers to us. People rather use energy drinks full of caffeine than rest or eat better, even if the result is nervousness, restlessness or insomnia.
Routine, excessive work or boredom might drive people to caffeine extremes and risky activities. If looking to replenish our lives with energy and excitement, the best path is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This is an effective and lasting way to boost your energy levels and stay healthy.
How to boost your energy
- Eat a good amount of (hopefully organic) fruits and veggies to supply enough amount of vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants compensate stress by bonding with free radicals that cause damage to the tissues and make the body spend a lot of energy into repairing and regenerating tissues.
- Avoid toxic environments.
- Filter your water.
- Avoid or limit electromagnetic contamination (TV, computers, radio-clocks)
- Open the windows, go to the countryside, breath cleaner air.
- Participate in outdoor activities, better if it is early in the morning when the morning mist has removed many of the hazardous airborne particles.
- Meditate. Real joy comes from a sense of connection with all that is and feeling in balance inside.
- Participate in group activities, they revitalize you.
- Revamp your relationships. Nothing more draining than relationships that have turned toxic.
- Rest, sleep, participate in recreational activities.
- Exercise as often as you can.
- Receive a Reiki or massage session.