All parts of our body need energy to work, which comes from the food we eat. The human body is powered by the energy produced by the breakdown of one chemical compound, called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is essentially the energy currency of the body. Mitochondria are the main site for ATP synthesis in mammals, although some ATP is also synthesized in the cytoplasm of the cells that don’t have mitochondria.
The human body uses the molecules of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from food that we eat to yield the necessary energy to drive ATP synthesis.
We all know that our energy levels don’t remain the same throughout the day. Mostly, our lifestyle habits are to be blamed for our low energy. Many a time, our body could be under siege from a surprising energy zapper. The most surprising energy zappers are as follow:
Physical Inactivity –
We naturally lose muscle mass as we age. If you have less muscle mass, you have fewer mitochondria and less ATP, which results in low energy. Being sedentary further compounds the problem by weakening and shrinking muscles, which causes them to use energy inefficiently. Therefore, physical activity strengthens muscles, makes them more efficient and conserves ATP. Do the recommended 30 minutes per day, at least five days per week, of moderate-intensity exercise. The 30 minutes can be spread out into several shorter periods. In addition, include strength training at least three times a week.
Unhealthy Diet –
An unhealthy diet brings down your energy level. So eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of unrefined carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, with an emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils. Limit the refined sugar and white starches to only occasional treats. You may get a quick energy boost but the feeling fades quickly. And it can leave you depleted, craving more sweets. Where low energy is the issue, it’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day.
Inadequate sleep –
Poor sleep quality can make you feel sluggish throughout the day. A peaceful night of sleep can leave you feeling more energized and alert when you wake up. The sleep quality is only part of how sleep affects your energy levels throughout the day. A fresh and clean bedding, low noise levels, and cool temperatures in your bedroom will contribute to giving you a more satisfying sleep experience.
Our body cannot sustain prolonged exposure to mental, emotional, or physical stress for long without consequence. Anxiety may further contribute to over-stimulation of the stress response, elevating nutrient depletions. Long term stress and anxiety can result in higher levels of cortisol, with a negative impact on sleep, further affecting energy levels due to sleep deprivation.
Some medications may cause a lack of energy as a side-effect. If so, tell your doctor so that the medications may be changed if required.
Chronic illnesses –
Feeling tired once in a way is fine. But if you are living with that feeling always, then it’s time to see your doctor to find out if you have any chronic illness. Illnesses like depression, diabetes anemia, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and sluggish or overactive thyroid can give rise to the lack of energy.
We know that mitochondria are the “energy factory” of our bodies. Mitochondrial diseases are a group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria. They are chronic and inherited disorders. Mitochondrial diseases can be present at birth, but can also occur at any age. They can affect almost any part of the body.
The secondary mitochondrial dysfunction can affect many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig’s disease, diabetes, and cancer. Individuals with secondary mitochondrial dysfunction don’t have primary genetic mitochondrial disease.