Do energy levels really need to decline as we get older? On one hand, it seems like we can’t escape our biological fate to lose energy as we grow older. After all, energy loss is a natural symptom of aging.
Over time, energy depletion is common, but some people have a different experience. There are plenty of people who retain high levels of vital energy as they grow older and some people even start gaining that vital energy later in life. How is that possible? I did some experimenting to find out.
Thanks to the lockdowns and other restrictions, I’ve been somewhat sluggish for a while. Naturally, as you’d expect, being inactive for months tanked my energy levels. Over the course of several months, I experimented with a bunch of different exercise routines and supplements and figured out what works and what is likely pure hype. Here’s what I discovered.
1. Stay active because energy is created as you move
You probably know how it feels to start your first workout after a long period of inactivity. Whether you’re lifting weights or getting on the treadmill, it’s hard to get your body moving. Those first few sets or minutes of your workout feel like drudgery, even if your body weight is lower than the last time you worked out. However, as time goes on, you begin to feel lighter, and it’s easier to complete your exercises without struggling against gravity.
Exercising boosts your energy level along with your mood by releasing endorphins. As those endorphins flow through your body, it gets easier to move.If you’re going to counteract the loss of energy as you get older, you need to stay active. It doesn’t matter if you can only take a walk around the block or do exercises from a seated position. You need to do something to keep your body moving to prevent the loss of energy. The longer you go without exercising, the harder it will be to move your body.
2. Be strategic with the supplements you take
I tend to stay away from supplements unless I know my body specifically needs something. For example, I won’t take a multivitamin, but I will get my blood drawn to test for individual mineral and vitamin levels to find out what I’m not getting from food. Then, I’ll find a quality source for what I need.
When it comes to supplementing for low energy, you don’t need a blood test to know when you’re short on cellular energy. The challenge is finding a supplement to increase cellular energy. Some people swear by their multivitamins, but those people don’t generally have the low levels of energy that come with age. Depletion of cellular energy feels less like being tired, and more like being so exhausted you have to decide whether you want to get off the couch and go to bed.
Based on biology, to increase cellular energy, you need to increase ATP production. ATP is a direct source of energy for your cells.
You can’t ingest ATP directly, but you can take precursors to producing ATP. For example, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), and NAD+ is a direct precursor to ATP. By taking NMN, you can create a chemical reaction in the body that produces ATP.
NAD+ is a critical molecule in the human body. It’s used by proteins to repair damaged DNA and is used by mitochondria to power the cells. As people age and DNA is damaged, energy is lost through that damaged DNA. NAD+ comes in to restore energy levels through conversion to ATP and by repairing DNA.
You probably need Vitamin B12, too.
Low energy is a sign that you might be deficient in Vitamin B12. Supplementing with B12 can be a lifesaver. However, you don’t need to take B12 daily. Most people only need to take it once every few weeks. It really depends on the person.
If you’re vegan, you’ll need to consider making an exception for this vital nutrient. Since B12 isn’t derived from vegan sources, many vegans get their B12 from blue-green algae like spirulina.
3. Review any medications you take
Pharmaceutical medications can save lives, but they also have a detrimental effect on the body and can deplete energy levels fast.
Do some research on all the medications you’re taking to find out if low energy levels are reported by other people. Then talk to your doctor to find out if you can safely lower your dose and/or taper off or move to a more natural option.
Energy is critical for a happy life
Maintaining high energy levels is critical for living a happy life as you age. Hopefully, these tips will help you create your plan for reclaiming your vital life force energy.
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
Photo credit: iStockphoto