Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to fire up our energy engines so we could have all the pep we need to enjoy all that the new year has to offer? Turns out we can! Small cellular furnaces, or mitochondria, produce the energy our body needs, and although they slow down with age, it’s easy to rev them right back up, says Sara Gottfried, MD, author of Brain Body Diet (Buy on Amazon, $12.99). Here’s how!
Try a ‘micro burst’ of movement.
Our “energy engines” need help to do their job from a compound called NAD, says Ronald Peters, MD, director of the MindBody Medicine Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. NAD levels dip in our 50s, but raising them back up is as simple as rapidly marching in place for 20 seconds a few times a day. These “micro bursts” of movement boost energy-engine function by 69 percent, plus Canadian research shows they improve blood-sugar levels by 53 percent and power up metabolism by 48 percent.
Toss in veggies.
Turnips are packed with compounds (indoles) that give mitochondria a helping hand to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a key source of energy, say Norwegian researchers. Indeed, eating turnips just three times a week ups the production of ATP to increase energy by 55 percent. Also smart: eating broccoli, kale, onions and garlic, which protect mitochondria from damage.
Watch your favorite movie.
Getting caught up in a favorite movie will send levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin soaring by 47 percent in 30 minutes. “That’s because the brain processes movies as if they’re really happening,” explains Paul J. Zak, PhD, author of The Moral Molecule (Buy on Amazon, $12.98). “The empathy you feel for a character stimulates oxytocin release.” Why that matters: Studies show oxytocin slows the aging of mitochondria.
Try this dynamic supplement duo.
Experts call a supplement duo the Batman and Robin of cellular energy: “PQQ enables the body to make new mitochondria, and CoQ10 helps mitochondria work better,” explains Michael A. Smith, MD, host of Healthy Talk on RadioMD. In fact, the combo revs energy by up to 38 percent often in a single dose.
Try: Life Extension Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 with PQQ (LifeExtension.com/ww). Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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