Abundant energy is the thing that truly defines youth. When we are young, our bodies have a tremendous ability to maintain the repair process. In science, we call this anabolic metabolism, or having the ability to repair our cells faster then they are broken down. Anabolic metabolism also creates an effective fat burning and muscle enhancing atmosphere. In other words, instead of merely living, we feel truly alive.
In this day and age, we tend to break our bodies down faster than we can repair them-a process referred to as catabolic metabolism. Part of the reason for this is we are constantly in search of the elusive energy kick and we all too often try to find it by consuming copious amounts of caffeine, ephedrine, energy drinks or high energy bars. All of these stimulants provoke a temporary excitatory response from the body, but in the end they take more from the body than the give. Unfortunately this is often experienced as the energy crash.
Instead of finding ways to temporarily lift your energy levels and eventually come crashing to a screeching halt, what if you could provide each of your bodies cells with the nutrients they required to keep energy production at peak capacity? Would you be interested? Of course you would, after all who couldn't use a little more energy? Following are what I call the "energy trio"-carnitine, coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), and if you use these three power nutrients properly, you may once again experience the energy potential you still have inside you.
In order to understand the importance of these three nutrients, let's first take a brief look at how your body produces energy. Inside the majority of your trillions of cells lies numerous little energy plants called mitochondria. These tiny little energy factories are responsible for producing at least 90 percent of the energy-carrying substance adenosine triphosphate (ATP).1 Therefore, the vast majority of your energy is dependant upon how well your mitochondria are functioning.
Here's how the energy trio maintain abundant energy:
Fatty acids are the primary fuel source for ATP production; however they are not able to cross the mitochondrial membrane without help. This help comes in the form of the natural vitamin like substance L-carnitine, which acts as an energy transporter by shuttling fatty acids directly into the mitochondria to be burned as energy.2 According to a 2004 study appearing in the journal Metabolism, healthy adults can greatly enhance their fat burning ability by supplementing with L-carnitine.3 Recommended dosage: 500mg-2 grams.
Although mostly known for its cardiovascular benefits, Co-Q10 is essential to creating the spark that ignites fatty acid oxidation (burning).4 Aside from this roll, Co-Q10 also acts as a powerful antioxidant inside the mitochondria (where the majority of free radicals are formed).5 Recommended dosage: 30mg-150mg
Aside from being one of the most powerful and versatile of the antioxidants, ALA helps to increase overall ATP levels, thus enhancing energy levels.6 Research from the Linus Pauling Institute indicates that ALA in association with carnitine can greatly increase energy production and reverse the negative energy decline associated with aging in rodent models.7 Recommended dosage: 50mg-300mgReferences:
- Crayhon, R., The Carnitine Miracle. M. Evans and Company, Inc. 1998
- Fritz IB, Yue KTN. Long-chain carnitine acyltransferase and the role of acylcarnitine derivatives in the catalytic increase of fatty acid oxidation induced by carnitine. J Lipid Res 1963; 4:279-88.
- Wutzke KD, Lorenz H. The effect of L-carnitine on fat oxidation, protein turnover and body composition in slightly overweight subjects. Metabolism 2004 Aug; 53(8):1002-6.
- Crane FL. Biochemical functions of coenzyme Q10. J Am Coll Nutr 2001 Dec; 20(6):591-8.
- Lenaz G, et al. Mitochondrial bioenergetics in aging. Biochim Biophys Acta 2000 Aug 15; 1459(2-3):397-404.
- Zimmer G, et al. Dihydrolipoic acid activates oligomycin-sensitive thiol groups and increases ATP synthesis in mitochondria. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1991 Aug 1; 288(2):609-13.
- Hagen TM. Feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and lipoic acid to old rats significantly improves metabolic function while decreasing oxidative stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Feb 19;99(4):1870-5.
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