Seems every where you look today, there are energy drinks, energy bars, energy shots, energy drugs, and energy supplements. But is this really smart energy?
We all want to have enough energy to sustain us through our work day, and may even need some help to energize on our off days as well.
What about coffee? Is this a smart energy drink?
Is there danger in taking some of these energy products?
How much exercise should I do, if any? What types of exercise?
What about diet?
Does sleep play a role?
I will explain the best ways to build and sustain energy, as well as the not so good ways to go about it, and why.
Are there good energy supplements to take?
Is Coffee Healthy?
We know that coffee is consumed at a very high level by people all over the world. It is estimated that Americans consume over 400 million cups of coffee every day.
Some 400 billion cups of coffee are drank world wide in a year. Safe to say that coffee is a much loved beverage.
But, despite it’s popularity, is it good for us? Is it a smart energy drink? Coffee creates a carcinogenic atmosphere in the body.
Coffee flogs the adrenal glands, which can cause and exacerbate anxiety. It puts a load on the kidneys. It is a diuretic, and it’s caffeine can constrict blood vessels, which can actually be a positive for migraine headaches.
Coffee does however, have good anti oxidant properties, and organic coffee enemas with good anti infective herbs are an excellent liver detoxifier, and cleanser.
Coffee also is known to have positive effects on preventing colon cancer. By drinking one to two cups per day, it is possible to lower your colon cancer risk by as much as 50%.
Coffee can help with Alzheimers disease, has also been shown to help prevent Parkinsons disease, helps to lower the risk of adult onset, or Type ll diabetes, reduce the risk of Asthma attacks, and can even relieve Migraine headaches.
Coffee can help reduce LDL, or bad cholesterol, and also helps lower inflammation which is often manifested as pain in the body.
The fact that coffee flogs the adrenal glands though, makes it a relatively bad choice as a source for energy.
As the adrenals are involved in how much energy we have throughout the day, it is probably better to drink coffee very moderately or not at all in order to gain or regain sustained energy.
Energy Drinks and Shots
In the last decade or so, energy drinks, and energy shots have become ubiquitous. They are everywhere!
You can’t go to a gas station, convenience store, drug store, or a grocery store without seeing many displays of various energy drinks, shots, and even energy mixes. Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, you name it, they have it.
These products claim to provide a quick energy boost that can last for several or more hours. They normally have high caffeine content, and will often contain additional ingredients such as sugar, B vitamins, guarana, and taurine.
Energy shots tend to have more of these ingredients, and are normally more concentrated than the energy drinks, and energy mixes.
Negative causes of these energy drinks can include high blood pressure, breathing trouble, panic attacks, and compromised heart function.
Kidney stones, and even renal failure in rare cases, have been associated with high consumption levels of some of these drinks.
The caffeine in these drinks can flog the adrenal glands, your body’s important energy gland, and can, over time compromise your energy.
These drinks if taken moderately, are for the most part harmless. If, however, you are consuming these energy drinks on a regular basis, or drink large amounts at one time, you may be asking for trouble.
I believe that these energy drinks were designed to help a student that needs to study all night for a big exam, or to help the office worker power through the afternoon’s responsibilities, or to give a boost to the stay at home mom who has been up half the night tending to her children.
In other words, the occasional situation that arises periodically that requires an energy boost. Not as a consistent long term solution to creating more energy.
Energy bars would also fall into this category. There are some of these products that are useful, and not harmful, but there are others that are not.
Stay away from the products that contain sugar, preservatives, chemicals, too much caffeine, and that have protein or other ingredients from synthetic sources.
These should also be treated as a temporary solution. Not a long term, habitual one.
What about exercise?
Can exercising help my energy levels? How much should I do? What types of exercise?
Yes, exercising can, and likely will increase your overall energy levels. Of course, your age, your current physical state, and current fitness level will dictate what types of exercise you should be undertaking, and for what durations.
You have to prime the pump, if you will. Although it may seem like exercise will only make you more tired, and give you less energy, with time and consistent effort, you can see an increase in energy, and you will look forward to your next exercise session.
Obviously, if you are 25, without injuries or other health issues, it will be easier for you to begin an exercise program that is more intense than if you are say 70, and have some aches and pains, and haven’t done much exercise recently.
The good news is, it has been proven that even moderate exercise like walking for 20 to 30 minutes at a time 2 or 3 times a week will provide many health benefits like more energy, improve bone strength, and density, allow for better sleep, and help elevate mood and feelings of well being.
Even if you live in a cold climate, you can exercise indoors with the help of a treadmill, stair stepper, or other equipment. Or if you live near a mall, you may be able to use it to walk when it is too cold outside.
If it is difficult to walk, I suggest swimming. Being in water provides a way to get very low impact exercise that can have a profound aerobic benefit.
If you are able, you can add light weight training, as weights can improve bone density, and increase strength and mobility. Weights build muscle, and muscle burns fat, so it is an added benefit.
I suggest starting slowly, and gradually building up to longer, more intense exercise, if you so choose. If you are older, or have a history of health issues or injuries, you should check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Diet and Energy
Our diet has a HUGE amount of impact on whether we have consistent sustained energy, short bursts of energy and periods of sluggishness, and no energy at all.
In order to have consistent, sustained energy, it is vital that we eat a diet of primarily fresh, raw vegetables, and fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, and organic grass fed meats(no hormones or anti-biotics) sparingly.
Depending on your protein needs, if you are a ditch digger you will need more protein than an office worker in most cases, will dictate how much meat you should consume.
This type of diet will be digested more fully, and the nutrition will be able to make it’s way to the cells providing optimum energy for work or other activities.
It is possible to accomplish this without meat, but you will have to find a good food source for B-12, or take a B-12 supplement.
If, however, we feed our bodies with processed, refined, fried, chemical laden so called food we put a heavy burden on the digestive system, and ultimately the cells will not receive the nutrients they need in order to function properly.
Thus, you will feel more sluggish, and may feel the need to eat more in an attempt to satiate the cells that are being deprived of the sustenance they need.
Not only will this sap you of energy, but it may lay on the pounds around the stomach, thighs, buttocks, and elsewhere. And who wants that?
And if you try to compensate by exercising or working out more, you may well deplete more of your body’s precious energy.
Sleep and Energy
It is well known that most medical professionals suggest sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night for our overall health. Do you know however, that we need 5 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep in order for our adrenal glands to make all of the adrenaline needed to power us through our day?
That means 5 straight hours without getting up to go to the bathroom, let the cat out, grab a midnight snack, or even a little hanky panky with the significant other.
If we don’t get 5 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night we will make only about 30% of the needed adrenaline to get us through the day.
And if we then hit the coffee, it will flog the adrenals further, and we will have even less energy, at least long term. What a vicious cycle!
Best Energy Supplements
It is difficult for us to derive all of the nutrition we need for energy from the food we eat, unless we are eating a very healthy diet as described above.
But even if we are very diligent about eating healthy, we may still need additional help due to depleted farm soils, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, and chemically treated irrigation water.
In an eye opening study performed by the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association where they tested products sold by various supplement providers, more than 97.5% tested toxic, or ineffective, or both.
Only 5% of products sold are organic, and of these it was found that more than a third did not contain the product depicted on the label.
Bottom line is you have about a 1% chance of finding a supplement product that isn’t toxic, or ineffective, or bogus.
Ideally you want a live source supplement that is grown organically in ground that has never known a chemical, harvested at it’s peak of potency and freshness, minimally processed, and stored and bottled with great care.
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Smart energy is sustained energy which is achieved by eating a wholesome, organic diet, preferably raw, and by mixing in some moderate exercise, and getting some solid, uninterrupted sleep at night.
Nothing wrong with the occasional energy boost by drinking a little coffee, or by having an energy drink. Light moderation is key.
The ideal smart energy boost is by taking organic energy supplements that work with your body. The right supplements can be taken on an occasional or on a regular basis.