Seven Tips to Maximize Natural Energy
1. Get enough deep and restful sleep. If you can wake up without an alarm clock, you are probably getting enough sleep. For most, 7 -9 hours of deep restful sleep is ideal. When I say deep and restful, that means you get uninterrupted continuous sleep; no bathroom breaks, no tossing and turning, just sleep. The following suggestions may help you accomplish this:
-No food or drink, only water, 2 hours before bedtime
· No caffeine or stimulants after 2 pm
· Take 300-500 mg of a high quality magnesium supplement with you last meal or snack
· Make sure all electronic devices are off and at least 4 feet from your bed
· Room should be pitch black
2. Eat enough complete animal protein. Higher protein diets are associated with enhanced recovery, greater fat loss, increased bone density, and increased muscle tissue when combined with a strength training program. Low protein diets cause slow wound healing, energy fluctuations, and fat accumulation. Be sure to consume 2-3 servings of complete animal protein/ day. Grass-fed beef, wild-caught seafood, whey protein, organic meats, and wild game are the best sources of protein.
3. Eliminate wheat and most grains. No bread, pasta, or anything that contains wheat or wheat flour. Wheat contains gluten, a known allergen that can compromise energy production and digestive health for many. Be wary of all the “gluten-free” products, they can still make you fat. Exceptions: Gluten-free Oatmeal, Quinoa, and brown rice are acceptable grains.
4. Ensure healthy gut bacteria. Ensure gut health by consuming good yogurt. What is good yogurt? Greek and Icelandic yogurt that is free of added sugars. Consume 6- 8 oz. of full-fat or 2% yogurt 3-5 days/week.
5. Eliminate simple sugars from your diet. Processed simple sugar is bad. It robs your system of nutrients, causes insulin spikes, and is a primary cause of fat accumulation. Eliminate honey, agave, high-fructose corn syrup, table sugar, brown sugar, all syrups and sweeteners.
6. Take high quality energy supplements. My favorite energy supplements listed in order of importance:
1. L-Carnitine – Carnitine is a nutrient that helps turn food into energy. Carnitine is not an amino acid or a vitamin; it is similar to the B vitamin choline in structure. Carnitine acts as a transport nutrient that delivers fat into the mitochondria to be burned as fuel. Carnitine enhances fat burning in your mitochondria, which results in more energy and less body fat. Grass-fed red meat is the best food source of Carnitine with mutton and lamb having the highest levels. In order to get a therapeutic dose of L-Carnitine, I take 2 grams of L-Carnitine tartrate twice daily.
2. Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D helps bolster the immune system, build bones, enhance muscle recovery, and optimize endocrine function. Some nutritionists have called vitamin D deficiency a “silent epidemic”. Vitamin D is extremely important during flu season. I consume a minimum of 5000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day during winter months.
3. Omega-3 Fish Oil - Omega-3’s are necessary for optimal cell function and energy production. Omega-3’s also reduce inflammation and may enhance cognitive function. I take 2-4 grams of Nordic Natural’s Ultimate Omega extra/ day.
4. CoQ10 – CoQ10 helps enhance energy, improve immune function, and improve heart health. For most individuals, 50 – 200mg of CoQ10/day is ideal. I take 100 mg with breakfast and lunch.
5. Magnesium – Magnesium is a very important mineral which is involved in over 300 enzyme reactions which are vital to muscle contractions, nerve conduction, and energy production. Low magnesium levels are associated with muscle fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and disrupted hormone production. The recommended daily intake for very active individuals is 400-800mg. I take 400 mg of Now Foods magnesium citrate with dinner.
7. Don’t exercise too much. That’s right; too much exercise can leave you in a state of constant fatigue. Each time you exercise with high effort and intensity, you cause micro-trauma to the muscles and drain energy reserves. If you do not allow adequate recovery from hard training, you will limit progress and motivation. If you are in a constant state of fatigue you never get a chance to recover and experience the gains in strength and or endurance. I recommend 3-4 days/week of intense exercise for those who are not competitive athletes. For athletes, 4-5 days/week is sufficient to achieve Olympic level performance