Energy for a Lifetime
by Mark J Kaylor
Like money, energy is something most of us just can’t get enough of. As with money, it seems far too many of us are out for that quick fix, that immediate boost of energy from whatever ones stimulant of choice is. Just like our diets, we want a pill to give us instant results while we ignore the months and years we spent putting it on. We turn to energy drinks, shots and pills that will give us an immediate energy kick.
The problem is that these quick fixes are only temporary and come at a cost, one that usually requires us to take more and more to keep our energy up. And there are other advantages to giving up your caffeine addiction, you’ll save money, you won’t have to always worry if there is a coffee shop around and when you do feel the need for a quick boost and drink some coffee, you will get a much more significant increase in energy. As with most stimulants, the body becomes habituated to it, requiring more and more of it to acquire the desired results.
What if you could get all the energy you need, whenever you need it? How about energy for a lifetime? Not a quick and temporary fix but a constant reserve that you can count on. While unlike money and dieting, getting more energy needn’t be that difficult of a chore. In fact, for most of us, increasing our energy levels just requires we make a few, often simple changes, additions, and subtractions in our lives.
So lets sum it all up in one sentence; the answer to having energy for a lifetime lies not with the short-term, instant gratifications, but with making healthy and energy-positive choices over your lifetime. The goal here is not to just increase energy but to do it in a health-increasing manner. If this weren’t the case we could swallow all the stimulants we wanted to. So if you don’t have enough energy, the first thing you need to do is to explore why you don’t have the vitality that you’d like to have. For a large number of us, this is where we will find our answers to the fatigue puzzle.
Now we may not want to hear this, but more times than not, this answer will be something simple; like: I don’t get enough sleep, I shouldn’t work 20 hours a day, I need to remember to play and have fun, and probably the one we like least of all, eat right. For example, the simple truth is that if you aren’t getting enough sleep, there is no diet or supplement that can counterbalance this. Taking things to get you through the day, whether natural or otherwise, to try and replace the sleep you didn’t get, would just be counterproductive and eventually lead to burnout or overload. What we need to do is recognize the imbalances, drains, strains and energy leaks, and correct the situation. It is important to note that if you find after having made changes for several weeks that you are not seeing any decrease in your fatigue levels that this could be a sign of something more serious going on in your body. At this point it is wise to go see your health practitioner. (Enlarge Image)
Our modern lifestyle and diet, and stimulant driven culture creates several obstacles and barriers to our having a dynamic and capable energy supply. Systemic inflammation and free radical damage are a result of this way of life. Chronic “low grade” systemic inflammation and free radical damage deplete and drain the body, reduces total body function all the way down to a cellular level, the mitochondria, and require large amounts of our energy and nutritional stores to combat. Two potent allies to help reduce this inflammation and free radical damage are the common spice, Turmeric, and the world’s most popular medicinal mushroom, Reishi. To boost the effectiveness of your mitochondria, your cellular energy creating furnaces, try the combo of acetyl l-carnitine with alpha lipoic acid. A series of studies at University of California Berkeley demonstrated amazing energizing, anti-aging and mitochondria rejuvenating actions with these two nutrients. Adding some CoQ10 is likely to pump up the benefits even more. And of course eating a fatigue fighting diet will help on both accounts.
Eating healthy requires more than just eating the right foods, you have to have an effective functioning digestive tract. Have you ever noticed how after eating a big meal that you get tired and want to take a nap? The reason for this is that digestion requires very large amounts of energy. So if all your energy is going to absorption and assimilation, there won’t be enough energy left to power your brain and muscles. It’s an either or situation. Taking digestive bitters before meals, getting plenty of probiotics and using digestive enzymes for those big meals can help to improve digestion thereby saving energy stores for thoughts and activities. Astragalus, Lion’s Mane, Ginseng and Cordyceps all have benefits for long-term building the digestive system. I have repeatedly seen dramatic improvement with clients’ energy levels when they start paying attention to proper digestion. (Enlarge Image)
Stress and the health of the endocrine system, particularly the thyroid and adrenals, go hand in hand with fatigue and energy levels. Stress is not only the leading cause of disease but you might as well open up a valve to your energy stores and let it all flow away. Stress and many other lifestyle and dietary choices can detrimentally affect the endocrine system. But to have the energy levels we want so we can live with vim and vigor it is essential that the glands of your endocrine system be operating optimally and that they be working together in unison. Nature provides us with a range of herbs that can lower stress levels, protect us from the ravages of stress, replenish our energy levels, and balance and nourish our endocrine system.
Answering this call is Cordyceps. Used for hundreds of years by the Chinese and Tibetans, it was so highly prized that it was once reserved for the Imperial household of China exclusively. It wasn’t until the Chinese athletes upon re-entering the world sporting stage began to shatter world records that it really came to notice in the West. Cordyceps is reputed to increase cellular energy, strength, endurance, ATP synthesis, blood flow to the brain, and oxygen utilization; boost adrenal function, strengthen the heartbeat; protect against free radical damage; and support healthy endocrine function. And the icing on top of this cake is that Cordyceps shows tremendous promise as a legitimate anti-aging remedy. Now how’s that for a complete energy tonic? Other balancing energy/endocrine tonics include Ashwagandha, Gotu kola, Maitake mushroom, Schizandra and Gynostemma.
It’s all inter-related. Energy begets more energy. If you want to get moving you just need to get moving. If the stresses and strains of daily life leave you run down and unmotivated try doing something everyday that you love to do. Joy is a powerful tool for healing; enhancing energy, mood, and vitality. Negative emotions and thoughts can sap your energy and drive, so change your perspective, correct the circumstances, and find a release. Remember, for energy for a lifetime, when everything is done with a smile it is easier and much more energizing.