WHAT IS ENERGY?
Energy is the source of life. It is what the body needs to function and act. Understanding the mechanisms used by the body to maintain a high energy level is essential to increase performance.
WHERE DOES THE BODY GET ITS ENERGY FROM?
ENERGY SOURCESOpen tab
Nutrition research has been working for several decades on the mechanisms that are involved at the cellular level to draw the energy the body needs and to exploit it. Many nutrients as well as certain vitamins have been shown to be involved in these mechanisms. In some cases, they can even boost them.
The human body needs indeed energy to keep the organs functioning, to ensure sufficient temperature, to allow for effort and to transform food into a form that the organs can use. The human body is in fact a true chemical factory that transforms and consumes energy.
Besides the oxygen the body requires for its functioning, it gets all the energy it needs from food. In addition to the many nutrients necessary for cell division and proper functioning, the body needs fuel to produce effort, whether for intellectual needs and brain function or for physical and motor needs.
The metabolism of carbohydrates is almost the basic element of energy supply. All carbohydrates found in food will be converted by the body into glucose. Glucose in turn will be stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. Glucose is a fast energy supply with a very high energy value. It can be described as "super fuel". The glycogen reserve in an untrained body takes about 1200 to 1800 kcal, which corresponds to about 300 to 450 grams. With proper training, the glycogen reserve can almost double its storage capacity. Apart from muscular efforts, it should be noted that if the brain weighs only a few percent of the body mass, its carbohydrate utilization represents an important part of the daily consumption. How much glucose the brain consumes depends on how hard it has to work. A long day of concentrated thinking can deplete the body's glucose reserves.
The second pillar of energy supply is based on the metabolism of fat (lipids). Fat is exclusively degraded in an aerobic situation. The exploitation of fat is slower and requires more effort from the body than the utilization of carbohydrates in aerobic conditions. Due to the enormous energy value of fat (the energy density is almost twice as high as that of carbohydrates) and the large amount of storage in the human body, this energy source is almost inexhaustible. When the body has used up all the glucose at its disposal, it is passed on to the fat metabolism. This happens when the effort to produce is prolonged (beyond 45 minutes).
Proteins cannot be considered as a real source of energy. Proteins are the main structural components of all cells in the human body. They are chains of amino acids that can be found in the composition of muscles, skin, nails, hair, blood, etc. They are also the basis of many hormones, enzymes and antibodies and are necessary for the growth, repair and defense of the tissues in the human body.
MINERALS AND VITAMINSOpen tab
Besides water, which represents about 80% of its mass, the body contains many other elements. Vitamins, which are supplied exclusively from food, often play a role as enzyme co-factors especially in energy production.
Minerals that may be involved in cellular machinery or that are building blocks of the body and its various tissues. The main elements in the body in order of concentration, are carbon, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, iodine, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, fluorine, manganese, cobalt and lithium.
4 TIPS TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY
1. TAKE A WALKOpen tab
Mental fatigue can occur for a variety of reasons. Most often, prolonged sitting is the main factor. People who work in a seated position for many hours are prone to fatigue strokes.
To combat this type of fatigue, there is nothing like taking a few breaks to go outside, ventilate your lungs, and go for a walk. This helps to relieve stress and regain energy. Putting your body in motion and outside will give a boost that will allow you to regain your concentration, as well as your motivation. In addition, being exposed to natural sunlight allows the body to synthesize vitamin D, known for its benefits (anti-depressor) on mood and wellness.
2. FAVOR SLOW-ACTING SUGARSOpen tab
Eating foods with a low glycemic load stabilizes your blood sugar levels and helps prevent dizziness and discomfort following blood sugar spikes. Low-glycemic foods such as beans, bran, barley, nuts and yogurt have less impact on your blood sugar levels than foods such as white rice, potatoes, cornflakes, baked goods, juices and sweetened beverages.
Eating too much sugar or foods that are very high in carbohydrates produces insulin resistance and causes increases followed by sharp drops in energy levels.
3. STAY WELL-HYDRATEDOpen tab
Moderate dehydration makes it more difficult for the body to perform normal tasks. In particular, the brain is very sensitive to lack of water. The organism then functions slowly and with difficulty, leading to drowsiness, dizziness and intense fatigue.
Keeping a bottle of water handy and drinking throughout the day is a good way to stay properly hydrated. Above all, don't wait until you feel thirsty, as the trigger signal is not always reliable and easy to identify. Caution: when the temperature is higher, especially during the summer period, fatigue due to dehydration should be monitored more closely.
4. ENHANCE YOUR DIET WITH VITAMINS, MINERALS AND SUPPLEMENTSOpen tab
Lack of energy and fatigue can be felt due to overwork, lack of sleep or, for instance, intense stress. These signs of stress are entirely managed by the brain. As previously mentioned, the brain consumes energy in quantity. Besides the necessary glucose intake, which must be provided by an appropriate diet, several nutrients and vitamins have been shown to have benefits on energy and the fight against fatigue.
Whether by acting on concentration, reducing stress or regulating sleep cycles that allow better recovery, food supplements may be an excellent support to fight against fatigue and regain energy suitable in various situations and lifestyles.