Tip No.1: Eating Smaller Portions
This follows on from yesterday’s Daily MANtra if you caught it? The focus was on eating ‘little and often’ over the day and how it can lead to better energy levels in general.
Specifically I covered the release of ‘Happy’ and ‘Sleep’ hormones (serotonin and melatonin respectively) that follow a large meal. As well as the release of the amino acid Tryptophan that spikes in relation to an insulin spike, which are inherently both triggered by a large serving of carbohydrate such as when you eat a pasta bowl or bread heavy sandwich or baguette!
Eating a large meal 3x a day will meet your daily calorie and macro/micronutrient requirements ok, however it will leave you feeling sluggish, sleepy and generally lower in energy for your trouble.
Tip No. 2: Manage your caffeine intake
This could involve increasing or decreasing this hugely popular (and addictive) stimulant. Caffeine is mainly consume through coffee, this we know, so if you consume very little coffee over the course of the day then don’t be afraid to leverage the stimulatory effects of the caffeine present in a good cup of the brown stuff. A typical instant coffee delivers approx. 60-80mg caffeine per 200ml cup (ish) whilst a medium cappuccino from a coffee shop might deliver 2-3x this amount of caffeine.
If you easily have 2+ cappuccinos a day then it might pay you to reduce this slightly, or indeed opt for a decaffeinated option from time to time. Despite caffeine’s obvious stimulatory effects, if you over consume it (like I have been known to do) then you can peak and trough in energy as you get the ‘up’ from the caffeine followed by the ‘come down’ shortly after.
As a general rule, if you don’t habitually consume caffeine then the ergogenic (performance enhancing) and stimulatory effect can be a useful weapon in your artillery for better energy. If you know that you routinely consume too much…then a slight reduction could make the world of difference to your energy levels.
Tip No. 3: Consider ‘indirect’ energy sources
OK so we know a nutrient and energy packed banana will give us a boost in energy, hence why so many people consume this fruit in and around their exercise sessions. However, not too many people are consuming a key precursor to the full utilisation of the energy present in that banana…Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
Basically, the banana provides you with carbs and energy, perfect! The digestive process breaks down the carbohydrate in the banana into glucose…but then what?
Well, according to Examine.com who do a beautiful job of articulating the mechanisms behind CoQ10’s action, they basically state that CoQ10 aids mitochondria during energy production.
Mitochondria is your bodies powerhouse, they are absolutely everywhere in your body literally present in every cell (of which there are trillions). They are basically your energy production units. Within these energy units CoQ10 enables your cellular energy to flow in the form of ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate.
CoQ10 therefore doesn’t deliver direct energy such as the banana might, instead it enables the body to unpack and utilise the energy present in said banana.
Now conditions such as Depression, Prader-Willi syndrome, male infertility, Peyronie’s disease, migraines, and Parkinson’s can actually cause a COQ10 deficiency. So too can chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and the aftermath of a heart attack.
NOTE: If you’re interested in this supplement and feel it might benefit you, then check in for tomorrow’s Daily MANtra for more info on this as there are some key considerations to factor when consuming it in supplement form.