Whether you’re just feeling blasé or have a full-blown energy management disorder like chronic fatigue syndrome, your cells may need an energy boost. After all, let’s face it: managing millions, if not billions of cellular and chemical functions in your body takes a lot of energy.
Within every cell there is a microscopic energy factory known as mitochondria. When the energy factories lack the raw materials they need to function properly, your cells simply won’t have sufficient energy to perform their daily functions. So, what can you do to give your mitochondria, and by extension your cells, an energy boost? Here are three things that can supercharge your cellular energy:
B Complex Vitamins
There are several vitamins collectively known as B-complex vitamins. These nutrients play a critical role as helpers (coenzymes) in cellular chemical processes. They also play an essential role in cellular energy production. Without adequate amounts of even just a single B vitamin, your cells will lack the energy they need to perform their myriad functions.
The main B vitamins involved in energy production include: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) and B12. The latter is frequently called the energy vitamin. Most people notice that adding a B complex supplement of either 50 or 100 milligrams daily to their health plan is enough to experience a boost in energy levels. Some of the B vitamins, like B12 for example, are measured in micrograms instead of milligrams. Supplement manufacturers adjust accordingly. If taking these nutrients individually, be sure to adjust accordingly as well. In other words, take 100 micrograms instead of milligrams. B complex vitamins are found in many foods like green leafy vegetables, brown rice, root vegetables, pumpkin seeds and beans. Don’t take B complex vitamins too late in the day if you’re prone to insomnia since they do have an energizing quality.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
In the same way that B vitamins act as coenzymes to ensure the smooth functioning of most of the body’s cellular processes, so too does CoQ10. While coenzyme Q10 helps boost the energy of many of the body’s cells, it has strong validation for use as a brain energy rejuvenator and even shows promise in the treatment of brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
The mitochondria of the cells depend on CoQ10 to boost energy for every cellular function in the body. Unfortunately, this nutrient can become depleted as we age or experience health issues. Coenzyme is available in both supplement and lozenge forms. Most nutritional practitioners recommend 100 mg daily; however, those people suffering with energy management disorders (such as chronic fatigue syndrome) or brain diseases may need higher amounts.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
One of the most powerful antioxidants, alpha lipoic acid, is able to pass through the fatty cellular membranes to protect the cellular power centers from damage so they are better able to function smoothly and efficiently, cranking out the energy our bodies need to function. As if that wasn’t enough reason to love alpha lipoic acid, this powerful nutrient is also the queen of recycling in the body. It recycles all of the other antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E to ensure they are able to protect the cells long after they would have normally expired. A typical dose of alpha lipoic acid is 100 mg daily—ideally in divided doses morning and evening.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds: The 4-Week Plan for a Sharper Mind, Better Memory, and Healthier Brain.