If you’re struggling to find energy throughout your day without resorting to copious amounts of coffee or highly caffeinated products like energy drinks, here is just a little info that may help you find your freshness again.

Firstly, there could be a number of reasons why you may be feeling this way, however, one of the main reasons may be because you are new to the active lifestyle and are coming from a mainly sedentary lifestyle and have moved to the opposite end of the spectrum with the increased amount of activity you now perform on a daily basis. Although this is a positive move, it can cause a massive shift in the levels of micro-nutrients needed to keep your body running both effectively, but most importantly – efficiently. Where possible, choose to purchase your vegetables from markets, specialised green grocers or vegie barns. Doing this will help to ensure you are taking in the freshest, nutrient dense crops free from the heavy fertilizing of mass market farming so often plaguing our larger grocery chains. 

If you liken our bodies to a car, which has a fuel tank and then an exhaust pipe.  Fuel goes in and then the burnt energy is expelled out of the rear exhaust system.  We however, do not have an exhaust pipe so when new fuel goes in, in the form of food, we create energy, use it and then have to convert the newly used energy back into new energy once again.  This process (or cycle) is called the Krebs Cycle (see diagram below).

The Krebs Cycle (also known as the Citric Acid Cycle) contains eight different stages which are controlled by different micro-nutrients like Magnesium, chromium and zinc. If we do not have adequate amounts of these and other minerals in our bodies each stage does not work at 100% efficiency, therefore, not allowing our energy system to flow like it should and contributing to us feeling sluggish.

Choose to use vegetables that are rich in iron and magnesium to maximise the body’s production of energy.  Dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and watercress, as well as nuts are rich in both of these minerals and can help the body generate a better energy flow.

Vitamins also play a large role in the body’s energy production.  Choose lean, high quality meats and eggs to maximise the body’s intake of Vitamin B12. Vitamin C can help the restore the body’s collagen, which is essential for the repair of the body muscle tissue broken down through exercise. Foods such as leafy vegetables, citrus and diary are great sources of vitamin C.

Another reason you may be feeling sluggish could be low magnesium levels.  Magnesium helps the muscles repair themselves and can be great for stress also.  A recent study suggested that after exercise magnesium has the largest level of depletion.  This can hinder muscle repair, recovery time and even decrease metabolic efficiency. Adequate magnesium levels also help to increase the body’s ability to correctly send signals via the motor nerves which can help activate our muscles better and even help us relax more effectively.  Increasing various stressors, both physical (eg. Exercise) and emotional, can be detrimental to our magnesium levels. When our body feels the effects of stress, it releases magnesium into the blood stream which then passes out through the urine. Having poor sleep habits constitutes a massive amount of stress on our nervous system.  By increasing our magnesium levels we can stay calmer and help our bodies to relax.

Foods such as dark leafy vegies, fish, bananas, avocados and various nuts and seeds are all rich in magnesium. 

If you are unable to purchase your vegetables from a green grocer, there are supplements that can help to restore the micro-nutrient balance back into your body. There are several on the market, however my personal choice is Phytologic.  It contains 88 different ingredients to help correct the body natural nutrient needs, is a rich source of ALA (Omega3), contains a broad spectrum multi-vitamin, and adaptogenic ingredients to help regulate your body’s hormonal responses.

As for magnesium, I choose to use Magnaredz. Each serving contains the recommended 300mg of magnesium and a full dose of super fruits, such as Acai, Mangosteen and Goji Berry.

Both of these products and others that will help to increase your natural energy levels without resorting to some of the more common methods are available through all Mass Nutrition Stores across Australia.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or the team at Mass Nutrition, That’s what we’re here for.

 

Happy Training
Phil Smith
Mass Nutrition Townsville