Are you facing low-energy levels?
Do you experience chronic fatigue or adrenal fatigue?
You may have tried optimizing your diet and lifestyle, but you realized you need more. It might be easy to reach for an energy drink, but honestly is there a natural energy drink that is good for you?
Fuel the powerhouse of your cells with these clean energy supplements that work without caffeine and you’ll feel long-lasting energy the way it’s meant to be felt.
In this post:
- Why Covid-19 is the best time ever to go after your best health.
- Is caffeine good for energy?
- What does NOS energy drink actually do to your body?
- What are the best clean energy supplements for mitochondria?
- Do energy supplements actually work?
And more! If you want some background information on why mitochondria are probably the missing link in your energy levels and what lifestyle changes you can make to boost energy naturally, check out part 1 of this post: Best Ways to Boost Your Mitochondria For Energy.
Why Now It Is More Important Than Ever to Dump “Energy Bars” and “Energy Drinks”
In the times we’re in, the Covid-19 pandemic is destroying our psychological well-being, our physical health, and many of us are not coping well. I know I could be doing better, that’s for sure!
We’re all looking for easy ways to maintain our vitality, but most of the energy supplements out there just smack your nervous system, hard - making anxiety and emotional stress worse - and then leave you worse off afterwards.
If you need proof, try this: stop drinking sugary caffeinated drinks and see how you feel.
Do you wake up groggy, have a headache, and can’t think straight? That tells me that caffeine isn’t the energy booster that it may appear to be: you’re just using it to get back to a baseline level of energy.
Caffeine for energy doesn’t seem so sustainable any more.
Besides the stressful effects caffeine can have on your nervous system, you’ve got to look at what else that caffeine comes packaged with: sugar, colorings, preservatives, and BS ingredients.
Take the popular NOS drink for example. What does the NOS energy drink do to your body? It is just about as far away from a science-based clean energy drink as you can get. The first ingredient after water is high fructose corn syrup - which is directly linked to obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and inflammation. Then there’s all the preservatives, colorings, a dose of caffeine, and ingredients that just don’t do anything.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be afraid to put that in my body!
NOS is the scientific abbreviation for “nitric oxide synthase” which is exactly what Resync's ready to drink beverage is all about: a clean drink based on science to naturally help you support your heart health, immune system and energy.
Resync’s new ready to drink beverage focuses on providing your body with the nitric oxide precursors and antioxidants you truly need to beat fatigue. Subscribe to our feed and you might get a sneak peak of our new product that may have a fighting chance for the “Best Clean Energy Drink” title! We can’t say which energy drink is the most popular, but I think you know we have a good guess!
Sugar is the leading culprit behind the obesity epidemic, diabetes, some types of cancer, emotional eating, and it displaces room in your stomach that would be better used with calories that actually fuel you. In short, the horrible impact that Covid-19 has had in the United States can be partially attributed to our terrible baseline of health, which is primarily determined by what we eat and how we exercise. The American Way is catching up to us at last, and the result is an awful loss of life.
So, instead of reaching for your favorite sugar-laden, caffeine-packed “energy drink” or “energy bar” I hope that this information will help you make the right decision. Whether you’re tired and fatigued from being burnt out or from not supporting your health, these tips will help you recapture that energy you’ve lost and take on each new day with fresh vitality.
How do you get more Energy?
To summarize what we talked about in part one of this blog, your total energy levels are determined not by how much your nervous system is hit by typical stimulants, but by how well the energy-generators in your cells ー your mitochondria ー are working.
There are a few things you want to pay attention to to ensure they are producing their best energy:
- Increase the number of mitochondria
- Increase the efficiency of mitochondria
- Protect your cells and mitochondria from oxidative stress
- Clear out old, sluggish mitochondria
- Provide your mitochondria with the specific nutrients they need
You can stay on top of these by eating right, exercising enough, detoxifying poisons in your system, but sometimes you need more. Here’s our comprehensive list of supplements that actually help you generate more energy, not just quick fixes that leave you drained by the end of the day.
Clean Energy Supplements For Mitochondrial Health
If calories were the key to energy, you’d be able to pop a slice of cake and feel great for hours. What an alternate universe that would be!
To turn calories into energy, you need healthy mitochondria. Healthy mitochondria need the right nutrients. So when you’re thinking “are there any energy supplements that actually work”, think about clinically researched supplements for your mitochondria.
Nitric oxide is a small molecule that your cells use as a hormone, principally to tell your blood vessels to relax, increasing blood flow and thus more nutrient delivery to your cells.
People used to boost nitric oxide with amino acids like L-arginine, ...until clinical research showed that it doesn’t work. It’s too bad people keep buying useless supplements, that’s one reason why we back our supplements with clinical research.
You’d be better off with a nitric oxide booster that’s backed by science and quality-certified like Resync Recovery. Red spinach extract, beetroot powder, and the polyphenol antioxidant-rich aronia berry extract blow other nitric oxide boosters out of the water. Check out our post on the best nitric oxide boosters on the market in 2020 here.
The benefits of greater nutrient delivery isn’t limited to better mitochondria (which we’ll get to in just a moment). Lack of nutrients in the brain is a big component of brain fog and memory issues.
Your heart too gets a big boost from nitrates, too ー without the right level of nitric oxide, your heart isn’t pumping your veins with nutrient-rich blood.
When your heart isn’t delivering nutrients with every beat, your brain isn’t thinking at its best, and your muscles are moving like molasses, it’s pretty easy to see how these work together to bring your energy levels down. Add some nitrates to your diet or try the Resync line of standardized nitrate products, and you’ll see what your potential could really be.
In addition to systemic health-promoting effects, nitric oxide plays a major role in telling your cells to make more mitochondria, especially if you’re feeling the energy-sapping effects of aging on nitric oxide.
Exercise physiology research from Stockholm, Sweden clearly shows that there may be no effect on the number of mitochondria, but supplementing with nitrates can increase the efficiency of your mitochondria. This research shows that nitrates can either increase ATP production, or decrease ATP needs, translating into more energy.
As a proof of concept, people with a genetic condition for poor mitochondria function don’t seem to benefit from a nitrate supplement, nor do severe coronary artery disease patients - presumably because their mitochondria and nitric oxide machinery is broken in the first place.
In contrast, another study using different methods showed no effect of a nitrate supplement on mitochondrial efficiency in healthy adults. Then again, different studies show different effects of nitrates for performance enhancement, but that doesn’t stop elite athletes from using them for any competitive advantage they can get, now does it?
This is an active area of research, but focusing in on the mechanism like a scientist may be missing the forest for the trees for the majority of people: if a nitrate supplement helps you maintain your energy, as it does for so many high-performing athletes, then you should consider sticking with it. If it doesn’t help you, then there are probably more important factors in your health to be paying attention to.
The fact is that most people in the U.S. are walking around with severely depressed nitric oxide levels.
- heart disease
- clogged arteries
- lung disease
- chronic kidney disease,
- sedentary lifestyle
- natural aging
- antibacterial mouthwash
- PPI heartburn medications
These lower your nitric oxide levels too. If you’re looking for the best supplement for older people, this is where I think you should start.
All of these point to the fact that modern humans should be paying more attention to their nitric oxide, for their mitochondria and for their whole body health and energy.
Before we can even talk about the effect of turmeric or its active ingredient, curcumin, on mitochondria, I have to let you in on a secret.
You know those turmeric supplements that are all the rage right now, claiming antioxidant, pain-reliving, anti-inflammatory effects?
If you’re not taking your turmeric the right way, those supplements are a waste of money - you might as well be taking a sugar pill (not that we recommend taking straight sugar as a supplement, talk about mitochondrial damage!).
Turmeric is poorly absorbed and your liver gets rid of it as quickly as it can - that’s just the fact of the matter. To get the real clinical benefits of a turmeric supplement, it has to prepared in the right way and taken with other ingredients to boost its bioavailability.
I bet you could guess what a company like Resync would do in this situation. We source a highly bioavailable curcumin product and we include ginger, which is known to increase turmeric bioavailability too.
All that, just to make sure you get the anti-inflammatory, mitochondria-enhancing effects of this golden spice. Here are some of those benefits directly related to mitochondria:
- Acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting your cells from damage
- Upregulates NRF2, which means that it gets your antioxidant system, not just a single antioxidant, up and running at full capacity
- Increases mitochondria number
- Increases mitochondria power (ie respiration)
- Helps regulate processes that let mitochondria do a better job, like excessive nitric oxide in diabetic rats (interestingly, other studies show turmeric increases NO in healthy subjects)
All of these effects on mitochondria provide a mechanism by which curucmin has a positive effect on fatigue, whether it be chronic fatigue, loss of muscle with aging, or caused by soreness after exercise.
Ginger’s pungent spice alone is enough to boost my energy levels! In addition to its unique flavor, ginger boasts positive effects on energy and fatigue.
- Ginger shares some similar pathways with turmeric in the way it can increase mitochondria size, function, and ATP production.
- Ginger can help with chronic fatigue from cancer
- Ginger can help alleviate pain, especially muscle soreness
If there’s anything we know, it's that these anti-fatigue effects are most obvious when combined with an anti-inflammatory diet protocol.
Anthocyanins and Polyphenols
Polyphenols consist of about 6000 or more plant chemicals, one class of which is called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are probably most known for their neuroprotective effect, which holds massive promise for Alzheimer’s and Dementia prevention, but their potential effects on mitochondria are too good to pass up.
Polyphenols have seen recent popularity for their anti-inflammatory pain-reducing effects after exercise, but do they have effects on mitochondria?
One source of anthocyanin polyphenols in particular is noted for its extraordinary antioxidant capability. Aronia Berry not only affects nitric oxide and inflammation in humans, but it might also prevent mitochondrial dysfunction. Other research shows that in addition to their antioxidant effects, aronia polyphenols may have a positive effect on inflammation by regulating mitochondrial function, and they might even improve mitochondria energy production. Promising results for such a relatively unknown fruit!
This is why when you think of what’s the best natural energy drink mix, we’ve got one solution for you: Resync Recovery is a recovery drink, but a healthy recovery starts with healthy energy, and we’ve got your bases covered with our natural nitrate blend of beetroot and extracts of red spinach and aronia. Try Resync and let us know how it makes you feel!
Supplements for Healthy Gut Bacteria
Gut health is an under-appreciated avenue towards better energy. The mitochondria-microbiome conneciton is in its early stages of scientific exploration, but it only makes sense: your gut bacteria regulate digestion, inflammation, and your immune system ー all of which are related to your energy levels at the end of the day ー so why wouldn’t they have a direct impact on your mitochondria.
Your mitochondria are, after all, the multi-million-year-old vestiges of a bacteria that became a symbiotic resident of your cells. Your cells gave them food, and those bacteria returned the favor by taking over specific metabolic processes, and then multicellular life evolved so that those cells and internal bacteria could not survive without each other.
Kiran Krishnan, CSO and research microbiologist with Microbiome Labs, points out that butyrate ー a short chain fatty acid made by happy gut bacteria directly linked to lower inflammation and better gut health ー can improve mitochondria numbers, improve your ability to burn fat, and increase ATP production. A happy colon plus more energy? Sounds like a good combination to me!
How do you increase butyrate? Eat more fiber! Vegetables, low-sugar fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and legumes are your best sources of fiber and they directly translate to more butyrate producing bacteria and thus better mitochondria and more energy.
There are other chemicals to note, too:
- Urolithins, especially Urolithin A, can increase mitochondria energy output and lengthen the functional life of your mitochondria and your cells.
- Lactate (lactic acid) improves the number of beneficial bacteria, and serves as a fuel for muscles, heart, and other tissues.
The great news is that the other ingredients we mentioned can directly influence your gut bacteria. Turmeric, ginger, and polyphenols all improve gut health, which means that Resync Recovery can deliver a one-two punch to sagging energy levels. Learn more about why Resync might be a good choice for you!
Other Science-Backed Supplements for Energy
We did a lot of research for this one, but it’s a lack of time (not energy, that’s for sure!) that keeps us from elaborating on every single energy supplement without caffeine for mitochondria energy. Here’s a list of other mitochondria supplements we found in the research:
- B vitamins, especially riboflavin - vitamins for energy don’t give you a boost, they help make sure your enzymes and your metabolism is able to run smoothly, burning any fat and calories
- Astaxanthin, an anti-inflammatory component of mitochondrial membranes
- Vitamin E (not the most effective vitamin because it doesn’t get to where it needs ot be: the mitochondrial membrane)
- Selenium (check out our blog on this underappreciated element)
- Ketones & fatty acids
- CoQ10 & pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ)
- alpha-lipoic acid & acetyl-l-carnitine
- NAC & Glutathione (check out our blog series on supplementing for glutathione here)
- Resveratrol (possible lack of effect due to poor bioavailability, pair with quercetin to enhance it)
- Ginkgo biloba
- Medicinal mushrooms
- Creatine - helps regenerate ATP in muscle contractions
- Nicotinamide Riboside / NAD+. Or influence the same pathway with a food alternative, apigenin
Remember, there is never a straightforward ingredient that can increase your energy. But you may be missing one essential mineral or vitamin that affects the way you feel and perform.
Lastly, always ask critical questions before you buy any supplement. Here is a blog we wrote on that subject - it will help you make a healthier decision for yourself.
If you liked this blog you might also enjoy some of our other articles:
- Think You Have The Best Nitric Oxide Supplement?
- Nitric Oxide And Your Immune System
- What To Eat To Support Your Immune System
- 6 Healthy Benefits Of Nitric Oxide From Natural Nitrates
- See Why Resync might be right for you!
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While other companies try to sell you through clickbait and fake news, we back up what we say with hard data. We believe that when you have the right information, you are empowered to make the best decision possible. That’s why we break down complex science into practical takeaways you can use today.
Wishing you the best in your health,
The Resync Team
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Written by registered dietitian, Detrick Snyder, MPH, RDN. Updated 05/19/2021.
This content is for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute the practice of any professional healthcare service, INCLUDING the giving of medical advice. No provider-patient relationship is formed. The use of this information, and the materials linked to this content is at the user's own risk. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should abide by the advice of their healthcare provider, and should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have.