Mitochondria Function And How to Optimize Mitochondria Regeneration.
The mitochondria are the energy currency of the cell because they are the cells that produce the energy. There are 500-2000 mitochondrial in every muscle cell so the energy in your mitochondria reflect your energy levels. When our mitochondria have low energy we get sick.
Symptoms of low mitochondrial function
If you answer yes to these then that might indicate that you have low mitochondria function
- Do you get tired often
- Do you have low energy during the day
- Do you have slow metabolism
- Do you have a disturbed circadian rhythm meaning difficulty sleeping at night
- Do you have chronic inflammation
You can increase the number, size and power of your mitochondria, which can double or even triple your energy levels, thereby optimizing your mitochondria function.
Once your mitochondria are working efficiently it helps us slow ageing, increase longevity, strengthens our immunity and gives you more energy. Mitochondria also help your biological clock to stay in rhythm. Disrupted circadian rhythm is responsible for many chronic diseases and the reason is because you are stopping the mitochondria function from performing autophagy, which is when they break down the old damaged mitochondrial cells and build new ones. This is how we renew and repair our cells.
Autophagy happens when blood levels of amino acids drop after a meal and also when we are resting so typically that would be at night and when you get up in the morning to make sure autophagy continues drink some water on an empty stomach before you eat anything because that dilutes the amino acid levels in your blood which instigates autophagy.Artificial light at night messes up our circadian rhythm because it is giving our biological clock false signals that it is daytime. This decreases an important hormone called prolactin and it inhibits the human growth hormone so that directly inhibits autophage. The direct result is accelerated ageing and blunted energy levels because it suppresses mitochondria function.
The faster our mitochondria age the faster we age. If our mitochondria are ageing properly they don’t become damaged and dysfunctional and we stay much healthier. To avoid aging we must go through periods of breaking down our tissue (autophagy) followed by building up (anabolism) in this way the body is rejuvenated because the old broken mitochondria are destroyed and new healthy mitochondria are built, which is all part of the mitochondria function.
The three things to do to amplify autophagy
- Amplify circadian rhythm, which is tied to the sun. We are supposed to work and eat and do everything in the daytime and circadian rhythm gets disrupted with artificial light and that disrupts our autophagy. That decreases our cellular health.
- Ample fasting window each night because autophagy takes place when the level of amino acids drop so if you drink water at night you will dilute the concentration of amino acids and trigger autophagy, that is why we stop eating 3 hours before bed.
- Water at the right time. If you drink water in the morning right after you wake up before you eat anything it will help your body to clean out all the damaged cells. After you have drunk your water stay in a fasted state don’t eat immediately because eating halts autophagy.
Mitochondria are sensitive to damage from uncontrolled oxidative stress resulting from toxic insults, such as heavy metals, infections, allergens, stress and just eating too much and also eating too much poor quality food. The biggest factor is mitochondria will shrink or atrophy, like a muscle when not stimulated by hormesis.
What is hormesis it’s the most important strategy for health and energy enhancement. Hormesis is the process by which a mild or acute stressor increases resistance to other stressors and increases the health, resistance and vitality of the organism. So what does not kill you makes you stronger. Exercise is a form of hermesis and it is a mild stressor that stimulates your body to adapt to that stressor eg if you lift weights you get stronger and more resilient muscles. If you do cardio workouts you get stronger heart and blood vessels.
We need the optimum amount of stress not chronic stress because we need a time for regeneration for the body to adapt to that stressor. We need the correct dose of these stressors to be long lived disease free and energetic.
Stressors that improve health are intermittent fasting and calorie restriction, eating fruits and vegetables, exercise, cold showers, ionizing radiation from the sun and earthing. They all work by producing a stress on the body hence they work by hormesis.
The opposite of producing hermetic stress can be seen in the couch potato lifestyle so failure to expose your body to the right amount of stress produces POOR health and a weak fragile fatigued body.
We are designed not only to survive stressors but to thrive with them.
Lots of different hermetic stressors produce great health benefits such as:-
- Intermittent fasting
- Exercise improves neural connections and expands cognitive capacity
- Dietary phytochemicals which are actually “noxious” not just “antioxidants”
- Cold and heat
- Red light sun
- Oxygen bankruptcy
There is a massive body of scientific research showing that this is not controversial information.
Having multiple layers of hormesis in your life is a major key to having optimum health and longevity.
How does the body respond to these hermetic stressors?
If you are a couch potato any exercise will work to increase your autophagy. The most efficient form of exercising is resistance training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) or SIT (sprint interval training)
They checked to see if there was a difference between those individuals training in a low glycogen state or a high glycogen state and when they exercised in a low glycogen state or low carbohydrate state (that’s the amount of carbohydrate that is being stored in the muscle tissue) the mitochondria function (biogenesis) was 300% higher in individuals who were already fit. For fit people, sprint interval training was very powerful and even in highly trained individuals it still enhanced mitochondria function (biogenesis) and it might be the most powerful especially if performed in a fasted state.
Exercise with low muscle glycogen stores further enhanced very powerfully the amount of mitochondrial biogenesis.
People who are not used to exercise will increase mitochondria function (biogenesis) with continuous and interval exercise equally if the duration and work done are the same. Concurrent resistance and endurance exercise dramatically enhances the mitochondria function (biogenesis) over endurance exercise alone. Endurance and resistance exercise together doubles mitochondria function (biogenesis) compared to just doing endurance exercise or just resistance exercise alone.
After hormesis you need to regenerate that is where you get results of increased energy, resilience and longevity.
The two most critical factors for increasing energy and mitochondria function
- Cell regeneration habits: this is optimal nutrition, movement/sitting habits, stress management, good quality sleep, keep in sync with your circadian rhythm.
- Cell engine building habits: such as hot and cold shower, exercise, intermittent fasting, red light sun, hypoxia. This is about building up your mitochondria in your cells-making them bigger and stronger leading to a bigger cell engine.
When you start systematically layering different kinds of cellular engine builders into your life you can literally go from weak, fragile unhealthy little mitochondria that produce very low amounts of energy to having big powerful mitochondria that pump out massive amounts of energy to keep you energized all day long.
When you alternate between building the cellular engine and then creating efficient cell regeneration you have the recipe for transforming your energy levels.
One of the biggest energy zappers out there that is wrecking the energy of millions of people, that is over stimulation of the brain and low brain recovery.
When you are constantly over-stimulating and overworking your brain, it increases the need for cellular regeneration. Unfortunately a lot of people are asking their brains to work in overdrive all the time without giving it the regeneration it needs.
How to reset your neurotransmitter system
First of all what is caffeine? Caffeine is a central nervous system and brain stimulant that is commonly found in coffee, tea, and cocoa.
Caffeine is a chemical stimulant that increases activity in certain parts of the brain and central nervous system.
It is consumed by billions of people all over the world on a regular basis, primarily in the form of coffee and tea, but also in “energy drinks” and various stimulant and “fat burner” supplement pills where the main ingredient is often synthetic caffeine.
First let’s understand how caffeine works. It inhibits Adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that tells your brain that it is time to sleep so the more adenosine we have the sleepier and more fatigued we feel. We do have some level of adenosine in our brain at all times of the day. Caffeine blocks the Adenosine receptors so the Adenosine can’t get into the brain making you feel more energized and awake. In the short term coffee is a beautiful thing. Overall coffee makes you more energized, enhances your mood, and is proven to enhance your mental and physical performance.
If you are a person who does not normally drink coffee and you are not one of those people who get anxious and jittery from it, it will give you a great boost. You will be energized and perform better in basically every way.
If you are one of the people who drinks coffee every day you will also notice a great boost to your energy, mood and performance. When the caffeine wears off several hours later, adenosine comes back with a vengeance and your mood, energy and performance all take a hit. You say ah but we can just drink another cup of coffee right? If you drink coffee every day or most days your brain will increase its production of adenosine because caffeine is plugging up your adenosine receptors and the brain acts like there is an adenosine shortage and makes more adenosine receptors. The brain now has so many adenosine receptors there that the caffeine cannot plug all of them up and the adenosine still gets in. in other words, the brain increases adenosine signalling in response to chronic caffeine consumption
This creates two effects:
1. You develop a tolerance to caffeine and start needing more caffeine to get you going and to get you through the day
2. It actually lowers your baseline level of energy, your baseline mood, and your baseline level of cognitive and physical performance to give you a new normal that is lower than it was before.
So if you are consuming caffeine everyday it just takes you from your LOW baseline level of energy and performance back up to what used to be your normal levels before you started using caffeine. So now you are spending most of your life in a poorer mood with lower energy and worse performance and you are dependent on caffeine to give you a boost back up to normal.
The solution is to cycle on and off caffeine. Use it for 1-2 days and then take 2-3 days off or use it for 2 weeks then take 2 weeks off. If you have been using caffeine for years you first need to clean out your system and reset your entire neurotransmitter system in your brain by not consuming any caffeine for several weeks. 3-4 would be good 5-6 weeks would be better. Then you have to perform some recharge rituals, which let go the stresses of the day and consciously relax and re charge your body and especially your brain. There are dozens of strategies for this but I will just tell you one. Do something you love every day for at least 20 minutes, whatever it is. Over time neglecting to do this sucks your energy and life out of you.
This is how you start on this journey of overcoming fatigue and building your energy levels. Just these two simple steps but again, just because they are simple do not underestimate them!
99% of people are not doing these things consistently and that is a big reason why they do not have great energy levels.
We are taking steps to build a foundation of energy and vitality to last you the rest of your life. In the next 2 months, 3 months, 6 months you will dramatically decrease your risk of dozens of diseases, add years or decades to your life and be filled with vitality and energy.