What are the common causes of low energy?
Energy drinks are designed to increase stamina and improve physical performance not only by providing a lot of easily available calories in the form of sugar, but more importantly, by stimulating some vital organs of the body, notably the heart and the brain.
Most energy drinks contain sugar and stimulants (principally caffeine). The other ingredients of these beverages include B vitamins and herbs such as guarana (which contains caffeine) and ginseng, which is also a central nervous system stimulant at low doses. Some energy drinks also contain protein-building amino acids such as taurine.
Energy drinks provide a quick short-term energy boost, but these don't truly provide the type of energy that is consistent with good health.
Energy drinks however, have their downside. Excess consumption can cause agitation, headache, palpitation, anxiety, irritability, insomnia and indigestion.
There are also supplements that provide a more natural type of energy with no sugar spikes or caffeine overload. This form provides consistent pure energy through ATP, increasing energy throughout the day.
Energy-enhancing substances such as ATP, CoQ10 and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) work at the cellular level to help increase energy.
NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is an energy-carrying molecule within the body that is partly made from nicotinamide (vitamin B3). NADH, through a series of reactions, is able to produce energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Therefore, a good supply of NADH optimizes energy production in the body.
L-carnitine raises the mitochondrial energy-producing capabilities by reversing the age-associated decline in mitochondrial enzyme activities and thereby protecting mitochondria from aging. L-carnitine also plays a vital role in fat metabolism and energy production.
Rhodiola rosea, also known as "arctic root" or "golden root", can boost energy and reduce mental fatigue, and enhancing memory. Rhodiola acts as an adaptogen - an agent that strengthens the body's response to physical, mental, and emotional stressors. It also helps improve exercise performance. In an intriguing report, healthy young adults who consumed 200 mg of rhodiola extract before exercise significantly increased their capacity for endurance exercise.
Another energizing herb is Ginseng. It is an adaptogenic and tonic for everything from fatigue to forgetfulness.
Schizandra vine (Schisandra chinensis) is known for its ability to combat both fatigue and stress. One recent study found that schizandra increased animals' stamina by as much as 159%.
Yerba mate has been consumed as a traditional tonic and natural stimulant beverage.
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