Energy serves as vital fuel for our body. We use it to go about our daily activities, facilitate all our bodily functions such as breathing, digesting food and keeping warm, and to support growth and repair of muscles.
How does our body create energy?
The energy in our body is composed of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that are broken down by our digestive system (1). Carbohydrates turn into glucose, proteins turn into amino acids, and fats turn into fatty acids. These are absorbed by our blood cells where they become adenosine triphosphate or ATP, which is what our body needs to work.
However, there are a lot of factors that can affect how much energy and endurance we generate to go about our daily activities.
Factors that affect body energy
The following are some factors that affect the energy we have:
A balanced and healthy diet includes being able to eat from the five food groups every day. These groups include:
- Vegetables and legumes
- Grains and cereals
- Animal products such as lean meats, poultry, fish, chicken, eggs, and tofu
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt (2).
Eating the right kind and amount of food will give the body the energy it needs. This is because many important nutrients that support and maintain energy production can be found in what we eat.
These include iron, which can be found in red meats, fish, eggs, and wholemeal pasta (16), and magnesium which can be found in spinach, legumes, and nuts (17).
Iron helps maintain energy levels by assisting in many physiological processes such as metabolism, oxygen transport, and DNA synthesis, among others (3). Bear in mind that iron should only be taken if prescribed by your doctor.
Magnesium, on the other hand, is vital in energy production as it stabilises the enzymes our body needs for the generation of ATP. Magnesium can maintain and support energy levels.
Exercise helps build more energy and endurance. Besides boosting your stamina, how much you exercise may affect how much energy you have (13). A bit of exercise pushes your body to produce more mitochondria inside the cells of your muscles. Mitochondria turn glucose into energy. Having a greater number of them in your cells boosts your energy. In addition, being physically active also improves the circulation of oxygen, which allows your body to make better use of the energy.
However, it can be useful to balance the energy we produce and the energy we use up as the body burns more energy when it is active (5). If the body uses more energy than it can produce, whether through exercise, or in going about our other daily activities, we may end up fatigued or tired.
Taking in vitamins that support energy production such as vitamin C, vitamin B-complex and vitamin B12 can help boost energy levels to avoid this from happening.
Vitamin C helps maintain energy levels by breaking down fatty acids and turning them into energy (6). Vitamin B-complex releases energy from the fat and carbohydrates in our body (7). Vitamin B12 maintains energy levels by converting carbohydrates into glucose (8).
Alongside a balanced diet, a vitamin subscription personalised to your needs can help increase your energy needed for daily activities.
Good quality sleep
Sleep is as important as having a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle.
When you sleep at night you go through non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and REM sleep (15). During the final phase of non-REM sleep, also called deep sleep, or slow-wave sleep, the body repairs itself. During this period your body creates more ATP, boosting your energy levels (14).
On the other hand, poor quality of sleep can have an impact on our body’s energy levels (10). Sleep loss affects the quality of our energy and our performance during the day. When someone is sleep deprived, some tasks may require more energy than usual, and the ability of the body to overcome this can be limited (9).
Incorporating energy boosting vitamins into your diet can help boost energy when you are having trouble getting sleep.
Ashwagandha is an Indian herb that has a wide variety of benefits. It supports physical endurance and relieves symptoms of mild anxiety. This can help improve energy levels and normalise cortisone levels for stress management (11).
Taking acetyl L-carnitine may also help replenish energy levels. This nutrient maintains energy levels by transporting long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouse13.Fatigue can be as a result of high or low blood pressure, heart and other chronic diseases, alcohol consumption, poor diet and other lifestyle risk factors13.
Considering these factors can help you create the best vitamin subscription fit for you. Get started on improving your energy levels today with Vitable and personalise your own vitamin subscription. These are custom supplements that contain all your daily vitamin needs, brought right to your doorstep!
Find out more about other areas that the above energy supplements can help you with:
Adding these to your vitamin subscription can also help fight fatigue and tiredness, and boost energy when you need it.
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Australian Institute of Personal Trainers Content Team. “3 Energy Systems in the Body”. Australian Institute of Personal Trainers: Aipt.Edu.Au. Published May 9, 2019 on https://www.aipt.edu.au/articles/2019/05/3-energy-systems-body-0. Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Health Direct Content Team. “A balanced diet”. Health Direct: HealthDirect.Gov.Au. Published April 2020 on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/balanced-diet. Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Abbaspour, N., Hurrell, R., Kelishadi, R. “Review on iron and its importance for human health”. National LIbrary of Medicine: PubMed.Org. Published February 2014 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999603/. Accessed September 12, 2021.
- Jahnen-Dechent, W., & Ketteler, M. (2012). “Magnesium basics.” Clinical Kidney Journal. Published February 1, 2012 on https://doi.org/10.1093/ndtplus/sfr163. Accessed September 12, 2021.
- Better Health Content Team. “Balancing energy in and energy out”. Better Health Channel: BetterHealth.Vic.Gov.Au. Published April 23, 2018 on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/energy-in-and-energy-out. Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Tardy, A. L., Pouteau, E., Marquez, D., Yilmaz, C., & Scholey, A. “Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence.” National Institutes of Health: Nih.Gov. Published January 12, 2021 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019700/. Accessed September 12, 2021.
- Harvard School of Public Health Content Team. “B Vitamins”. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Hsph.Harvard.Edu. Published September 18, 2012 on https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamins/vitamin-b/. Accessed September 12, 2021.
- Mount Sinai Health System Content Team. “Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)”. Mount Sinai Health System: MountSinai.Org. Published on https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/vitamin-b12-cobalamin. Accessed September 12, 2021.
- Engle-Friedman, M. “The effects of sleep loss on capacity and effort”. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Nih.Gov. Published November 15, 2014 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608917/. Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Better Health Content Team. “Sleep deprivation”. Better Health Channel: BetterHealth.Vic.Gov.Au. Published June 30, 2016 on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sleep-deprivation. Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Cleveland Clinic Content Team. “What is Ashwagandha?” Cleveland Clinic: ClevelandClinic.Org. Published May 2021 on https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-is-ashwagandha/. Accessed September 12, 2021.
- National Institutes of Health Content Team. “Carnitine”. National Institutes of Health: Nih.Gov. Published March 29, 2021 on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Carnitine-HealthProfessional/. Accessed September 12, 2021.
- Golen, T., Ricciotti, H., "Does exercise really boost energy levels?". Harvard Medical School: Harvard Health Publishing. Published July 1, 2021 on https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/does-exercise-really-boost-energy-levels. Accessed September 18, 2021.
- Harvard Health Publishing. "How sleep boosts your energy”. Harvard Medical School: Harvard Health Publishing. Published July 21, 2021 on https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/how-sleep-boosts-your-energy. Accessed September 18, 2021.
- Cleveland Clinic. "Sleep Basics". Cleveland Clinic. Last reviewed July 2020 on https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12148-sleep-basics. Accessed September 18, 2021.
- Health Direct. "Foods high in iron". Health Direct. Last reviewed January 2021 on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/foods-high-in-iron. Accessed September 18, 2021.
- Office of Dietary Supplements. "Magnesium". National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Last updated August 11, 2021 on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed September 18, 2021.