Are you tired of feeling sluggish and low on energy?
I’m betting finding a fix for this issue might even be something on some of your New Year’s resolutions lists.
But, we need to talk about the fact that fixing the problem might not be as simple as getting more sleep (thought that does play a part). Rather, it could be that the health of your mitochondria is to blame.
Your mitochondria are tiny, energy-producing organelles that play a vital role in the production of ATP, the primary energy currency of the cell, and when they are functioning optimally, they can help to support overall health and well-being.(1)
So how can you support your mitochondria and make sure that they are performing as they should? We’ll explore two approaches to supporting and improving the health of your mitochondria: biohacks and supplements. Each have potential benefits to consider which may be the best option for you and of course there are some cases where you can combine both approaches. If you’re ready to boost your energy levels and optimize the health of your mitochondria, keep reading!
There are a few approaches to consider if you are looking to improve or support your mitochondria, including biohacks and supplements. The first option is how to support it with biohacking.
Biohacks, or lifestyle and behavior changes that are thought to support mitochondrial health, are a popular approach for many people. Some examples of biohacks that may be beneficial for mitochondrial health include:(2)
Exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve mitochondrial function and increase the number of mitochondria in cells. This is likely due to the fact that exercise stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can trigger the production of new mitochondria through a process known as mitophagy (“cleaning out” the mitochondria). So, if you’re looking to boost your energy levels and support the health of your mitochondria, make sure to incorporate regular exercise into your routine.
Diet: This one should come as no surprise. A healthy, balanced diet that is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds may also help to support mitochondrial health. For example, a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants, may help to reduce oxidative stress on mitochondria and promote their overall health.(3) The best place to start is focus on a whole food diet. You can work your way into trying other diets from here but if you focus on feeding your body with whole food, then you are solving much of the problem right there.
Sleep: Adequate sleep is important for maintaining overall health and well-being, and it may also support healthy mitochondria. During sleep, the body is able to repair and regenerate cells, including mitochondria, which may help to improve their function. As mentioned previously, sleep won’t fix the entire issue of feeling sluggish and run down but if you’re struggling with low energy levels, make sure to prioritize getting enough sleep each night so your body can recover in the ways it needs to.(4)
Stress management: Chronic stress can have negative effects on mitochondria, so it is important to find ways to manage stress effectively. This may include practices such as meditation, yoga, or other stress-reducing techniques. So, if you’re looking to support the health of your mitochondria, make sure to incorporate stress-management techniques into your routine.(5)
Of course, I need to talk about the supplement options. Aside from biohacks, another approach to supporting mitochondrial health is through the use of supplements. There are a number of supplements that have been studied for their potential benefits for mitochondrial health, including:
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): This antioxidant is found naturally in the body and is important for energy production. Supplementation with CoQ10 has been shown to improve mitochondrial function in some studies.(6)
Creatine: This compound is found naturally in the body and is important for muscle function. It has also been shown to support mitochondrial function and may have protective effects on mitochondria. Creatine is definitely worth considering if you’re looking to support the health of your mitochondria with a supplement.(7)
Alpha-lipoic acid: This antioxidant has been shown to improve mitochondrial function and may have protective effects on mitochondria. If you’re looking to support the health of your mitochondria with a supplement, alpha-lipoic acid is another option to consider.(8)
Acetyl-L-carnitine: This is a highly bioavailable form of carnitine that can cross the blood-brain barrier, where it helps to manage typical oxidative stress, supports mitochondrial function, and helps to maintain normal neurotransmitter activity.(9)
Polyphenols: Enhance the mitochondrial efficiency and stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis (increasing size and number of mitochondria). They stimulate autophagy (cellular detoxification) and promote mitophagy. Lastly, “studies have shown that dietary polyphenols can regulate mitochondrial redox status, and in some cases, prevent or delay disease progression.”
So, which approach is best for supporting and improving the health of your mitochondria – biohacks or supplements? The truth is, both can be effective. Biohacks, such as exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management, can all help to support the health of your mitochondria and improve your overall health and well-being. Supplements, such as CoQ10, creatine, alpha-lipoic acid, and acetyl-L-carnitine will support a healthy lifestyle and assist in filling any places that may be lacking.
A balanced diet, regular physical activity, and stress management are all important for maintaining overall health and well-being. Additionally, it is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, as certain supplements may interact with medications or have other potential risks or side effects.
So, if you’re looking to support and improve the health of your mitochondria, consider incorporating both biohacks and supplements into your routine. Your energy levels (and overall health) will thank you!