Dr. Nancy Lin
PhD, Holistic Nutritionist
Surprising ways to create more energy include sleeping less and giving up certain healthy foods
Say what? If that’s something you can do, then read on because there’s even easier ways to get your energy back!
We’re all getting older, and with age comes wisdom, experience, understanding - and less energy than you’ve ever had before! Most doctors and health experts believe it’s normal for our energy levels to decline as we age, often citing naturally occurring genetic changes and our general environment as major drivers behind our decreased strength, muscle mass, mental function and energy levels.
But does this really have to happen? Do we have to accept that we are going to have less energy, feel weaker, and lose mental function as we progress into our 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s? According to new research, the answer is a resounding “No Way”; studies are now showing that there are clear, specific steps you can take to reverse declines in your energy level and stave off or at least slow mental and physical decline typically associated with age.
There are several simple (and a few surprising) steps you can take, starting today, to ensure you have more energy at any age.
Reset Your Circadian Rhythm: Sleep Less For More Energy
Sleeping less seems like an odd step, especially since everything you read about good health suggests getting more sleep each night. However, if you’ve noticed a dip in your energy levels or you think you may be sleep-deprived, you might actually need less sleep.
During high-quality sleep, your body works to restore and repair several essential functions you require while awake, such as temperature regulation, a strong immune system, steady hormone levels, and your metabolism. All of these factors play an important role in how much energy you have. To operate at your best and in order to increase your energy levels, these functions need to be maintained through quality sleep.
The key here is “high-quality” sleep, and for many that means resetting your circadian rhythm, or sleep/wake patterns, to get the amount of quality rest and recovery your body requires. When it comes to getting enough sleep, think quality, not quantity.
For many, the process of determining required quality sleep time will actually reduce the amount you spend in bed tossing and turning and waiting to fall asleep; the secret is a process called “restricted sleep”.
The goal of restricted sleep is to fall asleep easier and have sustained, deep, restful sleep, and wake feeling recharged, energized, and mentally sharp.
Here's how you can reenergize by resetting your circadian rhythm:
- Avoid taking naps during the day and do not drink alcohol two hours before going to bed.
- On the first night of your sleep reset process, go to sleep two hours later than normal and only sleep for five hours.
- Evaluate the quality of sleep during that five-hour period, then add 30 minutes of sleep on night two.
- Continue evaluating your sleep quality, and as long as you are continuing to sleep soundly through the night, continue to add 30 minutes of sleep each night.
- You will know you’ve found your ideal “sleep zone” when you begin waking on your own, feeling refreshed, noticing increased mental clarity and feeling renewed energy.
Eliminate Lectins, They Cause Inflammation and Make You Tired
Chronic inflammation is a root cause of most chronic health issues, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, joint and muscle pain, and autoimmune disorders. It is also one of the leading contributors to energy-draining leaky gut syndrome and a significant cause of chronic fatigue.
The common causes of inflammation in our diet have been well documented. Sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, gluten, sodium, additives, preservatives, trans fats found in the processed foods we eat and antibiotics, chemical-based pesticides, insecticides, and artificial growth hormones used to grow fruits and vegetables and feed livestock, added to cleaning products, and included in most personal care and cosmetic products all contribute to damaging effects of inflammation throughout the body.
There is also a little known, but dangerous, naturally-occurring protein found in many of the foods considered to be healthy which has recently been found to also trigger an inflammatory response in your body. This protein, known aslectin, is found in many plants and is thought to be a natural defense mechanism for these plants to protect themselves from being eaten by predators, including us.
Once consumed and digested, lectins bind to carbohydrates and release toxins that disrupt normal function of cells in your body. This disruption results in inflammation that contributes to achy joints and muscles, brain fog, and extreme fatigue; this is especially seen in people who are more sensitive to lectin.
In addition to causing brain fog and fatigue, lectins have also been linked to weight gain and leaky gut syndrome, both of which further influence the inflammation cycle and disrupt energy production throughout the body.
Natural plant-based foods that have high lectin content include corn, wheat, white potatoes, legumes, peanuts, cashews, soy, seeds (chia and pumpkin), tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, rice, and quinoa. Secondary sources known to be high in lectin include products from animals raised on high-corn or soy-based diets; this includes most of the factory farm raised beef, pork, and chicken as well as milk and eggs from these sources.
Fortunately, there are many, many organic plant-based food sources that are free of lectin; these include extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, hemp seeds, flax seeds, blueberries, black berries, leafy greens, carrots, and citrus fruits to name a few.
Improve Your Heart Health, Improve Your Energy
As we age, it’s natural to observe some changes in how your heart and blood vessels function; however, most of these changes are preventable by taking steps to maintain your cardiovascular health.
With age, and if left unaddressed, the chambers of your heart tend to increase in size and your heart walls actually thicken; this decreases the amount of blood the heart can pump throughout your body, resulting in decreased energy levels.
Another common age-related change that affects your energy levels is the deposit of plaque in your arteries, which leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries, a condition better known as arteriosclerosis.
The combination of thickening of your heart walls and arteriosclerosis forces your heart to work harder and reduces oxygen circulation throughout your body, both of which result in increased fatigue and lower levels of energy.
Fortunately, these conditions are often preventable, and in many cases, are even reversible.
Your heart is a muscle, like any muscle, exercise makes your heart stronger. Aerobic exercise, or exercise that gets your heart rate up, strengthens the muscles of your heart. Overtime, these exercises allow the heart to contract with greater force and pump more blood throughout your body; this not only keeps your arteries from hardening, but also delivers more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and your brain - the net result is an overall increase in your energy levels.
Aerobic exercises come in all shapes and sizes. Regardless of which form of exercise you choose,the key is to increase your heart rate for at least 30 minutes a day. Brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, dancing, and Tai Chi are all great options for keeping your heart healthy and your energy levels up as you age.
Be Aware of Energy-Sucking Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
No matter what your age, specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies will cause your body to struggle to produce sufficient amounts of energy. Considering that nearly 90% of American’s are deficient in at least one vitamin or mineral, it stands to reason that these deficiencies are having a profound effect on the amount of energy produced by your body.
Adequate amounts of Vitamin b12 are required in order to transform food into energy that can be used by your cells; it’s also an essential nutrient for preventing anemia, which causes chronic weakness and fatigue.
Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal products, including meat, fish, and dairy proteins; other foods, including many breakfast cereals, are fortified with B12. However, absorbing vitamin B12 from food becomes more difficult as we age. In fact, nearly 30% of people over the age of 50 struggle with absorbing the required amount of B12 from food sources.
As you age, your digestive system produces less stomach acid, which makes breaking down and absorbing B12 very difficult and leads to deficiency. As a result, it’s recommended that you sustain your energy levels by supplementing your diet with a high-quality B12 supplement. However, avoid a synthetic form of vitamin B12 found in supplements called cyanocobalamin and is not found in nature. Stick with the superior form of B12 called methylcobalamin that is the naturally occurring form that you can get through either food sources or supplements.
Primarily required to treat and prevent bone disorders, new research demonstrates that vitamin D3 is also vital for boosting your energy levels.
For years, the “sunshine” vitamin was known to be essential for ensuring the body is able to maintain bone density and bone health. We now know that vitamin D3 also is required to improve the function of mitochondria, which are essentially the primary energy sources for our cells.
With nearly 45% of Americans deficient in vitamin D3, your cells are struggling to efficiently produce the energy required to fuel healthy muscle and brain function without it. When provided with adequate amounts of D3, we see a dramatic reduction in fatigue and a significant increase in muscle and brain function.
Your cell’s mitochondria combined glucose and oxygen to form ATP, which is an energy-rich molecule used by every cell in your body. We now understand that a lack of vitamin d3 prevents mitochondrial from accessing ATP and results in an inability to access stored energy, resulting in physical and mental fatigue.
Vitamin D3 is actually a hormone that is produced by your skin after exposure to sunlight; it’s also found in a limited number of food sources, including certain fish, egg yolks, and fortified processed foods – however they tend to use the far inferior form called D2.
Considering that many Americans are deficient and are not able to access consistent sunlight, vitamin D3 levels in your body can be increased through daily supplementation with a high-quality D3 supplement.
Magnesium is a mineral that is also essential for energy production in your body. Like vitamin D3, your body requires magnesium to metabolize, or break down, carbohydrates and stored fats in order to produce energy. However, unlike vitamin D, which is required as part of the energy process, magnesium is required to actually start the process of creating energy.
If vitamin D3 is the fuel for ATP, consider magnesium the key that starts your cell’s energy-producing engine.Without an adequate supply of magnesium, the nutrients that you take in through food and supplements are unable to be metabolized into energy.
A magnesium deficiency forces your body to expend more energy and use more oxygen to complete everyday physical and mental tasks. This requires your body to work much harder, leaving you more depleted and feeling more fatigued when deficient in the mineral.
In addition, low levels of magnesium is also linked to higher insulin levels, blood sugar levels, triglyceride levels, and chronic inflammation, all major contributors to aging, fatigue, and several other chronic health conditions.
Boron is an often-overlooked trace mineral that is also essential for healthy aging, and especially in the process of producing energy throughout your body.
While not directly related to ATP production, boron is essential for supporting your body’s ability to absorb magnesium and vitamin D; both required as part of the cell’s energy-making process.
Boron is also important for preventingage-related testosterone decline, which causes significant health issues in men and women; it’s especially effective in supporting muscle mass, improving memory and concentration, maintaining sex drive, and improving your energy levels.
Your body doesn’t produce boron on its own and our nutrient-depleted soil and water supplies are making it increasingly difficult to find foods that provide adequate amounts of this essential trace mineral. As a result, supplementing with boron is essential to ensure your body is able to produce and access energy required to maintain your health and overall quality of life.
Blueprint for the Perfect Brain Health Multi
When adding a multivitamin and mineral to your diet it’s important to understand that the old-fashioned multi-tablet is cutting it anymore. And probably never did.
A historic10-year multivitamin study with over 100,000 participants changed everything. It provided the exact blueprint for that perfect multivitamin formula - while also revealing the hidden dangers of daily multivitamin tablets.
For decades, marketers of multi vitamin and mineral supplements (multi’s) have been pushing more is better, often promoting many nutrients in their formulas above the 100% RDA level, that’s the“recommended dietary allowance” set by the FDA.
But is more healthier?
Multiple studies have concluded that the answer is NO! Including conclusions reached by one of the largest and most comprehensive studies ever done on dietary supplements - an independent, multi-cultural study with over 100,000 participants, aptly named “The Multi Study”.
The Multi Study, funded by theUS Department of Agriculture, provided all theinformationyou need toknowabout multi’s.The purpose of the study was simple. Health officials wanted to know once and for all if the multi tablets, we’re really doing what they were supposed to do, provide the right amount of missing vitamins and minerals that we don’t get enough of from the food we eat called the “the nutrient shortfall amount”. The study determined 2 important things about how we get our vitamins and minerals.
The Multi Study laid out exactly which vitamins and minerals our diets are deficient in, and which ones we are not.
The Multi Study provided information on what’s called “the nutrient shortfall” of each vitamin and mineral that we don’t get enough of from food.
Shocking Discovery Revealed in The Multi Study
It was found that American multi-users were simultaneously getting too little of many important key nutrients, while at the same time getting too much, even dangerously high and toxic harmful levels, of other key nutrients from their multi tablet.
The Multi Study Exposed Popular Multi Tablets Formulated All Wrong
The health impacts of thisimproper nutrient dosing(the wrong amount of a vitamin or mineral), exposed in The Multi Study, can mean serious negative health consequences over time. For example, getting too much iron, which The Multi Study found to be common with conventional multi tablets, can cause your brain to malfunction and age much faster than normal.
Conventional Multi Tablets Miss the Mark
The medical researchers’ dual findings from The Multi Study clearly showed that Americans were getting an overdose of certain nutrients, and an underdose of other nutrients, from their multi tablets. In general, the findings concluded that, when diet is factored in, Americans are getting too much of some vitamins and not enough ofother vitamins and minerals. These conclusions were presented to the National Institute of Health (NIH), and published in peer reviewed medical journal articles.
A Smarter Way: Formulating the Perfect Multi
Using the real nutrient shortfall Smarter Nutrition formulated 2019’s supplement of the year,Smarter Multi, with just the right amount of each nutrient for optimum health – not too little and not too much. It’s truly the “first and only” perfect multivitamin and exactly what we need daily to help provide the nutrient support we need for more energy.
Smarter Multi: We Eat Plants… We Don’t Eat Dirt!
As with vitamins, getting a daily intake of essential minerals is extremely important for your health. That’s why nutritional experts encourage us to get our minerals from fresh greens, fruits, and vegetables along with a daily supplement. Since your body can’t manufacture minerals, unlike it can with many other nutrients, you cannot truly be healthy without a daily intake of the key essential minerals!
But here’s the problem. Most minerals in multi tablets are synthetic and inorganic, derived from crushing mineral-rich rocks. Now mankind only started taking multi mineral supplements about 60 years ago. But for hundreds of thousands of years humans derived their minerals from food, not rocks. This means they were from organic-food, not inorganic-dirt. So, it’s highly unlikely our genes have yet fully adapted to the “unnatural” inorganic form of minerals in everyday multi tablets.
Using Rocks Versus Fruits & Vegetables Just Isn’t Right
If inorganic “dirt-like” minerals in multi tablets are not natural to the body, then why do the supplement manufacturers still use them? It all comes down to money. It’s extremely cheap and easy just to pulverize rocks, extract the minerals, and press them into a hard tablet. But is this good for you? Here’s some examples of syntheticand inorganicsources of the 5 top minerals used by typical multi manufacturers.
- Calcium. The typical type of calcium in traditional multi tablets is calcium carbonate. Chalk you find in a classroom is mostly calcium carbonate – but have you ever thought about eating it? Calcium carbonate is so very poorly absorbed in the body, to meet your daily requirement for calcium you’d have to take a handful of big, hard calcium carbonate tablets each day. One of the most commonly used sources of calcium carbonate for supplements is discarded oyster shells. This is not a food source!
- Magnesium. Magnesium oxide is the most typical form found in popular multi’s, and its absorption rate is also dismal. It is derived from pulverizing limestone and periclase, a mineral found in marble.
- Potassium. The most common form in multi’s is potassium chloride. It’s found in a rock called sylvite.
- Zinc. The most common form found in multi tablets is zinc oxide, which is also used as a lip and face cream to prevent the skin from sunburn. Most zinc oxide is produced synthetically and inorganically in overseas factories.
- Boron. Although very few multis on the market contain it, though they should, the few that do most commonly use synthetic boric acid as their source. Boric Acid is used as an insecticide, flame retardant, cockroach killer, and as a precursor to many dangerous chemical compounds. Do you really want this in your daily multi?
A Smarter Way – Organic Food Derived Minerals the Brain and Body Crave
Now for the good news, with Smarter’s Multi you’re not stuck with inorganic minerals. You now have a great, natural alternative to poorly digested inorganic minerals found in multi tablets - organic minerals from REAL FOOD!
“Going Organic” now also applies to your intake of daily essential minerals. Your body is much more receptive and responsive to organic minerals from food – real fruits and vegetables. Here are the natural and organic food sources of minerals found in the Smarter Multi. Now compare with the inorganic list above in typical multi tablets. Which would you rather have in your body?
Smarter Multis Natural & Organic Mineral Sources
- Calcium from almonds, Amaranth grain and the superfood red-green algae.
- Magnesium from sesame and sunflower seeds, spearmint leaf, dill and okra.
- Potassium from spinach and banana.
- Zinc from wheat germ, pumpkin seed, watermelon, banana and cocoa.
- Boron from prunes, broccoli, peach and pear.
Smarter Multi – Important Part of a Healthy Daily Routine
Smarter Multi ensures you get the exact right amount of each vitamin and mineral daily. Smarter Multi delivers all your daily essential nutrients in the most bioavailable form possible - not a rock-hard compressed tablet, but vitamins that come in a veggie softgel with a digestive-friendly ginger oil base, and minerals that come in an easy to digest and absorb fine, loose-pack powder.
For not just improving energy but overall brain health and body wellness as well, Smarter Multi is an important part of a healthy daily routine.
CLICK HERE for more information on improving energy naturally and on Smarter Multi, includinghow to get started!