How to quickly repair energy after a concussion or stroke
Dec 09, 2021
The use of natural components and nutrients to improve energy levels faster (check with your doctor first !)
When you are dealing with the aftermath of a concussion or stroke it is very likely that you have lower levels of energy and experience much more fatigue than you used to.
Several mechanisms are underlying the fatigue and energy crisis that you are experiencing. In previous blogs, we described mechanisms as:
- Neurovascular uncoupling affects blood flow to the brain and interrupts the cognitive function
- Neuroinflammation where the immune system of the head is on alert and causes brain fog and inability to think
- Energy crisis in the energy factories of your cells, the so-called mitochondria
- The stress system goes on alert mode all the time, which disrupts the normal vagal tone
- Disrupted hormone and neurotransmitter levels
Next to these, factors such as disruption of the blood-brain barrier, gut-brain axis and increases in low-grade inflammation throughout the body because of degraded regulatory top-down control from the brain to the immune (increased immune responses result), autonomic nervous system, increased sympathetic nervous system drive (means increased systemic low-grade inflammation) and gastrointestinal tract dysfunction all can play a role in the fatigue you are experiencing. The star of the energy crisis and fatigue experienced if we believe researchers, is the energy production system in all of your cells.
I realize that perhaps all of this does not make complete sense at this point or even seems a little overwhelming. Please bear with me, and if you have not done so already please look at the explanation in the previous blogs on fatigue and energy crisis after a brain injury.
To simplify what you can do about your fatigue and energy levels (shortcut even), we will focus in this article solely on increasing effectiveness and robustness of your mitochondria (your energy factories) -- the one thing that has an influence on and seems to play a role in most of the other mechanisms.
To make things even easier we will step away from all of the other things that you can do to enhance cellular energy production. Things like introducing small
short-lived stressors like heat, cold, light, exercise to increase resilience in your energy production. In future posts, we will more closely examine what other kinds of practices are best for optimal energy production (like which nutrition) and also
investigate which things (like toxins, chemicals, stressors, bad habits) you should avoid doing so.
In future blogs we will examine the role of mechanisms such as neuroinflammation, neurovascular uncoupling, low vagal tone, the gut-brain axis, and systemic
inflammation (poor metabolic health) as well as the solutions for these problems, so we can leave that for the time being.
Sifting through the research that is out there it becomes clear that increasing effectiveness, number, and repair of mitochondria at least seems to be one of the key factors in regaining energy levels and experiencing less fatigue after a concussion or stroke.
In literature, there is much focus on natural compounds and nutrients that can accomplish this fast and have been proven to work on decreasing fatigue and
improving energy levels. In the next part, I will first describe which pathways to use, then we will examine the different compounds, all of which have been very well researched. Before we do so, a word of warning: nothing replaces the work you put in to improve sleep, circadian rhythms, blood sugar levels, stress reduction,
hormesis. These are still your first go-to’s when it comes to building a failsafe system to improve energy and decrease fatigue. The natural components that will be revealed to you are an (important) aid and shortcut to get there faster and more efficiently.
The other thing that I have to say at this point is that you check the use of any of these components with your physician or pharmacist to see if they go well with any medication that you are using.
6 ways to increase energy production:
To accomplish this, researchers point out that 6 things need to be addressed if you want to build more robust energy levels after your brain injury:
- First of all, you need bigger Mitochondria. Building the size of your mitochondria so they can produce more energy is one of the most
important factors in increasing energy levels over time. Research shows that you can remodel and improve mitochondrial size (see also the references on the supplements that aid neurogenesis).
- You also need more energy factories (with a difficult word called Mitochondrial Biogenesis). The more mitochondria you have, the bigger your “cellular energy-producing engine” grows, the more energy you’re able to produce. Several ingredients, in the list that follows, can stimulate this process of mitochondrial biogenesis – allowing your body to build more mitochondria from scratch.
- You need cofactors (chemical compounds that work indirectly or directly on and are vital for the energy production process) involved in mitochondria energy production. You can also say that these are substances that facilitate the process of mitochondria producing cellular
- You need to recharge NAD+ levels. NAD+ is a critical regulator of mitochondrial energy production. NAD+ supplies are rapidly depleted so you need a constant supply of new NAD+ or the precursors needed to produce NAD+. When I tell you that researchers have found NAD+ to be one of the important factors in longevity you will likely be even more interested
- You also need to build up your mitochondrial internal defense systems (researchers call these the so-called NRF2 and R.E
Pathways) Interestingly enough, much attention is always placed on taking antioxidants for the protection of our cells and organ systems. What is often not realized is that our cells’ internal antioxidant defense system (glutathione among other components) is hundreds of times more powerful and more important. Several of the compounds in the list that follows don’t just work as antioxidants, but even better, they build up the body’s internal cellular/mitochondrial antioxidant defense system — that makes our mitochondria more able to deal with stressors and protect themselves from damage. This ultimately means more energy because it prevents the whole system from being shut down.
- The last thing that is needed are components to repair and protect your cell membranes, especially those of your mitochondria.
Research has shown that one of the most potent ways to improve energy levels is to repair the physical membranes of your mitochondria. This repair process usually takes place during the evening and night (that is why sleep quality is the number one thing you should prioritize when dealing with fatigue).
And now: the stars of this article, the actual list of natural compounds that can relatively quickly boost energy levels through the mechanisms as described above.
Note that all of the following substances have been extensively researched and have been included for that reason.
PHOSPHOLIPIDS like phosphatidylserine and Phosphatidylcholine
These are one of the most powerful compounds for mitochondrial regeneration, probably the single most impressive group of supplements ever tested to help people overcome fatigue. Good thing you can find these substances in everyday food such as fish, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, rice, and especially egg yolk!
Phosphatidylcholine and serine are naturally part of all of your cell membranes, and compounds that can be used to replace damaged membrane phospholipids (phosphatidylserine and choline are both phospholipids) that accumulate during aging and in various clinical conditions to restore cellular and mitochondrial function.
It has been shown to increase energy levels by 24–43% (that is an enormous
increase by all accounts) in people with chronic fatigue syndrome in just 4 weeks. 1-4 And it has been shown to affect many other types of fatigue, including age-related fatigue, fatigue from chemical exposure, as well as reduced cancer-associated fatigue and the fatigue effects of cancer therapy by similar amounts, again, in just a few weeks of use! 5,6
How do these phospholipids work?
Mitochondria like other cells are wrapped in membranes composed of phospholipids. These membranes (i.e. the phospholipids that compose them) get damaged over time, for example by oxidative stress. When damage happens mitochondria (see also the blog on “energy crisis after head injury” to learn more) do two things:
- The mitochondria don’t produce as much energy, because they go into cell defense mode.
- The mitochondria create more oxidative stress and inflammation, especially when there are not enough antioxidants like glutathione in the system (basically, they create an ongoing cycle whereby damaged mitochondria lead to more damaged mitochondria)
In other words, both phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine (both of which can be found in lecithin powder which is cheap compared to many other supplements), are incredibly powerful supplements if you want to increase your energy.
Astaxanthin is thought to be one of the most effective antioxidants known to man (Having said that, the oxidant glutathione that your body produces is very powerful too when enough is available). It’s also one of the most powerful protectors of our cellular energy generators (our mitochondria) in existence, one of the most powerful non-stimulant ways to build up your cellular energy production. And it works through multiple powerful mechanisms and has a massive amount of research supporting all kinds of almost too good to believe health benefits (luckily research backs the claims made about astaxanthin up, see rest of this paragraph).
Astaxanthin is the red pigment in shrimp, salmon, krill, and various other seafood, but it is originally made by algae (predominantly the Haematococcus Pluvialis algae). One of the easiest ways to supplement with Astaxanthin is through krill oil.
Astaxanthin is naturally present in most krill oil supplements, often krill oil is enriched so the antioxidant power that is already present is boosted. Krill oil in and of itself is one of the best ways to get high-quality omega 3’s in and is utilized better than many other forms of omega 3 supplementations.
Research backs this astaxanthin claims up: For example, the study where students took 4mg per day of astaxanthin for six months found that it improved their strength and endurance by an impressive 62 percent! Moreover, their endurance increased
300% faster than the control group! 7
Astaxanthin can: Protect mitochondria and support optimal cellular energy production 8-10 Dramatically reduce inflammation 11 Increase blood flow 12 Support
heart health and reduce the oxidation of LDL 13 Help modulate blood glucose 14 Improve cognitive function 15 Protect neurons from damage (and likely
help prevent dementia and neurological disease) Decrease anxiety 16 Decrease depression 17 Decrease muscle inflammation by more than 50% Improve physical endurance and exercise performance 8, 9, 18, 19 Increase muscle strength and mobility 20 Improve the “heart-brain axis” (both mental and physical health) 22 Improve energy levels 8, 23-27 Importantly for our purposes here, astaxanthin is a unique compound because it can penetrate inside of cells and
incorporate itself inside of mitochondrial membranes, where it protects them from
damage and supports energy production. 28 Because of that, it is one of the most powerful ingredients for supporting mitochondrial health and energy levels.
Astaxanthin is a must-have energy and mitochondria-supporting compound that has
dozens of positive side effects on everything from heart health, to brain health, to eye health, to skin health, to energy levels, and much more. It is one of nature’s most
powerful health and energy-supporting nutrients. 29, if you’re looking for something to increase your energy levels, astaxanthin is hard to overlook.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a co-enzyme naturally present in our body, is said to be one of the most powerful promoters of mitochondrial biogenesis ever discovered. 30, 31 Mitochondrial biogenesis is the process of your cells building more new mitochondria — cellular energy generators — from scratch. Since the loss of mitochondria is one of the key drivers of fatigue (especially aging-associated fatigue), stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis is critical. And few things do it better than PQQ!
Researchers have shown that PQQ can help with: Decreasing systemic inflammation 33 Improving sleep 34 Improving brain function 35
Speeding up metabolism, decreasing insulin resistance, and increasing weight loss 36, 37
Improving immune function 38 Improving mitochondrial health and stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis 30,38
Interesting fact: PQQ is also considered to be a growth factor in the human body, and our cells manufacture about 100-400 nanograms each day.
PQQ is a small so-called quinone molecule that has next to being an agent in the mitochondrial biogenesis the capacity to act as a REDOX agent, capable of reducing damaging oxidants (“free radicals”) that contribute to cellular and mitochondrial damage (and thus aging). It’s a remarkably powerful antioxidant — with some estimates being around 100 times more effective than vitamin C at eliminating free radicals. Via its actions as a REDOX agent in cells, it can modify signaling and support mitochondrial function, which in turn can boost energy levels. 30-32
But most importantly, it’s a powerful booster of mitochondrial growth and stimulator of mitochondrial biogenesis.
PQQ can be found as a food source in fermented soy products (such as natto), spinach, kiwi, and green tea.
Panax ginseng is according to many research articles one of the more powerful herbal/botanical compounds for boosting energy levels. Panax ginseng is also a so-called adaptogen, a natural substance that helps the body to better deal with stress (just like Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, and Maca).
Panax Ginseng is the root of the Panax Ginseng plant, commonly referred to as the ‘True Ginseng’ (it is the most researched ‘Ginseng’ form of the plant family
Panax Ginseng has proven benefits for:
Increasing energy levels (decreasing fatigue).Boosting mitochondrial health/function 39-44
Mood optimization 45 Improving immune function 46 Improving immune function 38 Anticancer effects 39Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects 39, 40 Increased resistance to stress 39-41 Improving brain function and cognition 47-50
One particular study showed that taking Panax ginseng led to highly significant reductions in fatigue severity.51
Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom traditionally used in the east for thousands of years. It grows on the bodies of caterpillars but is now more typically farmed without the use of caterpillars (-;.
Cordyceps is among adapts probably the most prized energy booster within Eastern medicine traditions. At present many mushrooms are being studied for their tremendous health benefits. One of the most important health benefits comes from the so-called beta glycan compound in many mushrooms. In future articles, we will further dive into the truly wonderful world of mushrooms.
So it has long been known as an energizer and fatigue fighter, and importantly, modern research backs these traditional claims up.
Cordyceps has been proven to: Exert anti-aging effects at the cellular level 55
Combat several types of cancer 56 Boost immune function 57 Fight inflammation 58 Combat insulin resistance and type II diabetes 59 Dramatically increase cellular energy production and improve exercise performance 60, 61
You may know creatine from your fitness establishment. The reason: researchers conclude that Creatine is among the most well-researched, safe, and effective supplements for performance enhancement, especially activities involving short bursts of high-intensity activity, but also endurance exercise (cardio) to some extent.
It is proven to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise. 64,65
Much less known by most people is that creatine has also been shown to have neuroprotective and cardioprotective benefits and to improve brain function. 66-69
In addition, creatine has been shown to increase both physical and mental energy in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. 70 It is not strange looking at the previous study that other researchers found that creatine has also been shown to improve
mitochondrial function. 66
Overall, it’s one of the most evidence-backed supplements for physical energy enhancement — especially during physical activity.
There were also big improvements in sleep, well-being, and decreased sensitivity to pain.
But that’s not the best part. The best part is that it accomplished this huge
improvement in a very short time, just three weeks! 81 One minor point is that another study reported similar findings after using 10 grams per day, but showed all
benefits of using creatine monohydrate disappearing within a week of stopping supplementation.82
D-ribose is a special type of sugar that is required to create energy, RNA (ribonucleic acid), and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). 75 Some evidence suggests that D-ribose can help boost energy and physical function in situations where energy levels are
reduced, such as people who have suffered from heart disease or stroke, or people
engaging in regular intense exercise. 76-80
Interestingly D-ribose has been shown to dramatically improve energy levels in people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome by over 30%!
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a molecule (a co enzyme found in mitochondria that has a critical role in energy production. It is especially rich in organs that require a lot of energy: the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver. Like with most of the body's own produced substances, production declines with age. Although naturally found in foods like fish high in polyunsaturated fats like salmon, tuna, nuts (best food source of CoQ10) broccoli, cauliflower, decline over time is best countered by supplementing.
Several diseases and low-energy conditions are associated with low CoQ10 levels, including people who have fibromyalgia, 83-85 have survived heart attacks or heart failure, 86,87 have multiple sclerosis, 88,89 are infertile,90-92 or suffer migraines. 93,94
Very important fact: the use of statin drugs is known to deplete CoQ10 levels, 95 so supplementation is almost a must in people taking a statin (some doctors luckily know this and will co-prescribe CoQ10 with a statin). 96
Generally speaking, CoQ10 will enhance blood flow, regulate cholesterol levels,
protect blood vessels, lower oxidative stress, and boost vitality in anyone who suffers from fatigue, but especially those people with the aforementioned conditions.
Why is it so important in this list? One of the predominant mechanisms by which it exerts these effects is through protecting and stabilizing mitochondrial membranes, and helping the body build more mitochondria from scratch (mitochondrial biogenesis) 110,111.
Quercetin is a well-known bioflavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, particularly onions and apples. It is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule (which was mentioned in the context of neuroinflammation in previous articles) that affects an array of mitochondrial processes, including mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial energy production, and the protection of mitochondria from oxidative stress. 113,114
It is also involved in helping the mitochondria to regenerate NAD+ — a key molecule that supports mitochondrial health and energy production.
Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid essential for cardiovascular function and the development and function of skeletal muscle, the retina, and the brain. 115 It can help fight muscle loss with aging, 116 as well as benefit many other disease states,
including neurodegenerative diseases, diseases of the eye, diabetes, heart failure,
high blood pressure, and muscular dystrophies. 117
Taurine is also essential for the proper function of mitochondria. 118,119
Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral and the second most prevalent electrolyte in the human body. Magnesium is widely available in nature. It is (and we talked about this before) very easily depleted, for example when you are tired, ill, or under a lot of stress. Part of the reason is that magnesium is used in hundreds of processes
in our bodies. Another reason may be a poor diet where green leafy vegetables are left out, a well-known source of magnesium.
A deficiency increases blood pressure, reduces glucose tolerance, and causes abnormal neural excitations that impair sleep. 120 It’s also a critical cofactor for mitochondrial energy production.
Magnesium comes in many forms. Two forms that are known to play an important
role in energy production are widely available magnesium malate and magnesium citrate — which provide cofactors for mitochondrial energy production among other functions.
Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is a unique form of L-Carnitine that has a powerful brain- and body-boosting properties. Looking at the data available it is also one of the most evidence-backed anti-aging, and mitochondrial boosting (cellular energy-enhancing) compounds out there.
Beneficial properties of Acetyl-L-Carnitine:
Reduce depression with a potency comparable to antidepressant drugs (with far fewer side effects)121 Protect and repair neurons from damage (like that caused by diabetes) 122,123
Improve insulin sensitivity 124 Improve cardiovascular health 125,126 Combat the side
effects of aging, like neurological decline and chronic fatigue 127-131 Increase mitochondrial function by increasing their ability to produce energy 132-134
An interesting fact is that taking ALCAR is known to lead to fat loss, not because of any mechanism intrinsic to ALCAR, but simply because those taking it become more physically active due to the increased energy and vitality it provides.
Between powerful antidepressant effects (likely even better than drugs like Prozac, but with far fewer side effects), general anti-aging/longevity benefits, brain protection, increased fat burning/weight loss, and increased energy levels, this is one of those supplements that you want to take when dealing with low energy levels.
CITRUS BIOFLAVONOIDS (HESPERIDIN, RUTIN, NARINGENIN)
Hesperidin is the primary bioactive compound in orange peels, alongside naringenin. They are powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules, 148,149 capable of protecting against several degenerative diseases and particularly brain
diseases. 150 These effects are mediated, in part, by their ability to prevent mitochondrial dysfunction, to boost NAD+ (see also the NAD+ section in this article), and to combat oxidative stress. 151
GREEN TEA CATECHINS
Green tea (Camellia Sinensis) catechins are four phytochemical molecules, the most potent one being epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It has been implicated in benefiting almost every organ system in the body in doses you can obtain easily from simply drinking green tea. 152-154 EGCG is neuroprotective, 155,156 cardioprotective, 157,158 anti-obesity, 159-161 anti-carcinogenic,
162,163 anti-diabetic 164, and an overall powerful protector of your mitochondria. 165-167
In a 12-week double-blind trial published in the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, researchers gave 38 overweight adults (ages 20 to 50) a daily polyphenol supplement or a placebo pill. The polyphenol supplement contained a mixture of EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate, found in green tea) and resveratrol (which is also in Energenesis). People taking the polyphenol supplement had a highly significant increase in the function of mitochondria in their muscles compared to people given a placebo.
I bet you did not think that you would see this component here. Read on and it will most likely put a big smile on your face: like green tea extract, cacao is packed with several powerful phytochemicals, including flavan-3-ol and epicatechin.
These catechins have wide-ranging health benefits (like other bioflavonoids and polyphenols which among others decrease inflammation), including everything from anti-aging effects in the skin to boosting mood, to boost mitochondrial energy production.
It’s also one of the richest sources of PQQ (see PQQ section as well), which is a powerful stimulator of the formation of new mitochondria.
The unique phytochemical combination in cacao of epicatechin, flavan-3-ol, and
PQQ likely have synergistic effects — making cacao an extremely potent concoction for energy and mitochondrial health. Mind you, we are talking about cacao without added sugar here. Luckily pure chocolate (say 80+) has less sugar and helps to decrease higher blood sugar levels.
NAD+ has received a lot of attention in the last few years as possibly one of the most important compounds for anti-aging, disease prevention, prevention of DNA damage, and longevity (see also resveratrol and the work of David Sinclair). It also happens to be one of the most important compounds in regulating mitochondrial energy production.
Several studies have now found that boosting levels of NAD+ can have profound anti-aging effects, and can even “make old rats young again” (to steal some of the media headlines). 168
This is where vitamin B3 (and versions of it, like niacin, niacinamide, nicotinamide riboside and nicotinamide mononucleotide) come in… They boost levels of
While much focus is now on nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), the best available research indicates that these extremely expensive ingredients may not be significantly superior to plain old niacin and niacinamide (which are far cheaper, and easier to take in larger quantities). Some
research suggests that NR and NMN get broken down in the digestive tract into niacinamide anyway. 168
In other words, you do not have to spend huge amounts of money on these fancy versions of niacin/niacinamide (NR or NMN) when they may be getting digested into niacinamide anyway before being absorbed into the bloodstream.
What is true is that without a doubt, NAD+ is a critically important compound for promoting youthful mitochondrial function and energy production. B3 derivatives such as niacin, niacinamide, nicotinamide riboside, and nicotinamide mononucleotide boost NAD+ levels significantly.
N-ACETYL CYSTEINE (NAC)
N-acetyl cysteine is a special variant of the sulfur-rich amino acid cysteine.
It is a commonly used medicine in conventional medicine, in the context of acetaminophen (Tylenol) toxicity – which is a commonly used drug that is also highly toxic to the liver (and depletes one of the body’s most important compounds for detoxification and antioxidant protection – glutathione). 172
Why is NAC used for this purpose? Because it has a uniquely powerful ability to quickly rebuild healthy levels of glutathione, your bodies and one of the strongest known antioxidants
NAC has been very thoroughly studied, with close to 1,000 clinical trials already done as of 2020. It has countless proven benefits: Its antioxidant effects protect
DNA 173 It supports liver health and detoxification 172,174 Treating COPD and other respiratory symptoms It boosts brain function and improves mental health 175,176,177 Improves skin health. It improves mood (combats depression, and bipolar disorder) 175,178Reduces fatigue after exercise 179 It dramatically improves mitochondrial function (and protects the mitochondria from damage). Note that taking NAC together with Alpha Lipoic Acid (as discussed further on) boosts its effect by a big margin179-182
Resveratrol is one of the last compounds named in the list but it is certainly not the least important. The last ones on the list are in this case one of the most powerful!
Resveratrol is found in Japanese knotweed (this is where most resveratrol is sourced) and to a certain extent in red wine that is associated with life extension. It is produced in grape skins as a defense against insects (that is also why grapes grown in more northern regions have a higher content of resveratrol).
The primary way resveratrol aids in energy production- and promotes longevity is through two compounds: SIRT1 and NAD+. Together, these two compounds (SIRT1 and NAD+ are part of our most important anti-aging, mitochondria-boosting, and
When the body is under stress and chronic inflammation/oxidative stress, certain cellular proteins (things like enzymes, and even DNA) get acetylated — acetyl gets added to them. This essentially damages the structure and function of these
important cellular proteins (that may be involved with key cellular processes, for example, in producing energy).
SIRT1 is a sort of a Pacman enzyme that “chews” off so-called acetyl groups from other proteins (including DNA). By getting rid of the acetyl groups, it allows these proteins to still (or again) function optimally and can even help prevent and repair damage to genes which in turn prevents us from the expression of severe illness or physical and mental deterioration through age.
In other words, Resveratrol activates rejuvenation mechanisms:
SIRT1 helps turn older proteins into younger proteins. Research shows that SIRT1 helps protect against age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegeneration.
Resveratrol is a direct booster of this SIRT1 pathway and boosts NAD+ — which you can consider the accelerator pedal for the SIRT1 pathway.
It is a potent booster of our mitochondria and internal antioxidant defense system 184,185 and is proven to have all sorts of incredible anti-aging effects:
- Activating longevity genes 111,185,186
- Stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis 111,185
- Increasing levels of NAD+ (key energy, longevity, and anti-aging compound) 187,188
- Protecting against heart disease 111,185,186,189
- Combating insulin resistance 190
- Increasing blood flow (and oxygen and nutrient delivery) to the brain 189
- Fighting senescent cells (immortal cells that produce inflammatory compounds that are one of the main mechanisms of aging)
- Activating autophagy (another key pathway of longevity) 111,185
- Improving immune function 191,192
- Fighting oxidative stress and inflammation 191,192,193
- Combating/preventing cancer 189
- Mood-boosting and antidepressant effects 187,194
- Improving physical energy, stamina, and endurance 187,195-198
Moreover, unlike other antioxidants that interfere with exercise-induced adaptations, 199 like muscle protein synthesis and mitochondrial biogenesis, resveratrol appears to enhance the physiological benefits of exercise. 196,197 In fact,
research shows that in animals, it DOUBLES the time it takes for animals to run to
the point of exhaustion!
Not surprisingly experts (such as professor David Sinclair) in the longevity field name the intake of trans resveratrol and NAD+ to be two of the most important things you can do to extend life!
ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID (preferably R-ALA)
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a mitochondrial compound involved in energy metabolism and the antioxidant system. 141 It provides a short but potent reduction of oxidation by increasing antioxidant enzymes, which protects against a variety of inflammatory
and oxidative diseases like neurodegeneration. 142
ALA accumulates in various brain regions as soon as an hour after
ingestion, 143,144 and it has been shown to protect against neuronal cell death. 145
ALA (especially R-ALA) is one of the most powerful evidence-backed compounds for mitochondrial repair and optimizing the energy production process. Although it is obvious that ALA can play a very helpful role in the repair of energy factories and energy production and is present in a wide variety of food sources, it is not readily available when ingested.
There are many brands on the market that provide supplements that have many or even all of these components in them. A safe and good practice to see what these components can do for you is to take one or two of the components at a time, and take them for one or two weeks and see how you are doing with taking them, then add the next two and so on. As with most supplements, it is wise to also alternate between the different supplements and not take them all the time (for example take them for two months and leave them for one or two weeks, or once you feel the desired effect to alternate one day on and one day off). This way your body cannot adapt to them and the effect stays stronger when you need it.
And that concludes a list of the most science-backed natural compounds that you can use in quickly increasing energy levels. By no means is this list complete, indeed the list could have been much longer if we had also focused on the immune system, gastrointestinal health, the relation between the gut and the brain, brain inflammation and general brain function, components and habits that all will help energy levels to be maintained and improved. These topics will however be separately covered in future articles.
Please check with your doctor first
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