Many have learned to fear the slow-down that comes with age. Reduced energy, tense joints, and inhibited cognition are just some of the many markers we associate with aging.
Aging is inevitable, and people tend to fear processes they don’t understand. To most, what happens in their bodies feels like a mystery.
The answer lies in your cells.
What is cellular energy?
When you’re young, cells have a bounty of cellular resources at their disposal. One molecule, NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), is particularly useful to the body.
NAD+ is a resource called a coenzyme, meaning it works with enzymes in your body to support cellular energy production. Mitochondria, your cellular powerhouses, use NAD+ to help convert food into the energy that powers everything you do.
Your cells need energy to build tissues and organs. All movement, both voluntary and involuntary, is the result of trillions of cells working together to help you walk, breath, eat, and thrive. Cellular energy fuels these basics.
Yet as you age, your body produces less and less NAD+. Between the ages of 40-60, NAD+ production begins to decline by as much as 50%.
Imagine having access to just half of your daily resources. With half of a night’s sleep, half of your required calories, or half of as much water, function would be noticeably impaired.
How do I increase my cellular energy?
There are several solutions to maintain youthful NAD+ production:
A review published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise concludes that an active lifestyle helps cells defend against oxidative damage. Naturally increasing your stamina through exercise helps your body use energy efficiently while supporting organ health. Try this workout at home if you’re strapped for time. Even ten minutes of exercise per day can support your long-term health.
Sleep improves energy.
This is fundamental knowledge you can experience in real-time; rest relieves stress and sustains energy at the cellular level. Many of your most necessary functions follow a sleep-wake cycle called circadian rhythm. To support your cognitive health and overall health, shut off devices an hour before bed and aim for eight hours of sleep every night.
Nutrition affects cellular performance.
Certain foods are of unique energetic value to your body. While all food can be broken down into energy, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, and lean protein provide a higher ratio of nutrients to energy than processed foods.
Cellular nutrients support energy metabolism within the cell. Vitamin B3 helps increase NAD+ production, thus maintaining cellular energy production, function, and repair. While vitamin B3 is naturally present in many foods, many prefer it in the form of a capsule.
How do I defend my NAD+ supply?
Stressors are inevitable facets of daily life that strain one’s cellular function and energy. Stressors can often cause damage to cells, which prompts cells to utilize a large amount of NAD+ to counteract cellular stress.
Exhausted cells are less equipped to repair the body as needed.
While you may not be able to dodge cellular stress at every turn, understanding the most common cellular stressors will heighten your awareness.
Though no one’s lifestyle is entirely stressor-proof, simple measures can be taken to help defend your cellular energy.
Wear sunscreen with SPF 35 or higher, even on cloudy days.
Focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle; exercise regularly, cut back on alcohol, and consume a proper ratio of carbs, fats, and proteins.
Practice good hygiene to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
Establish an airtight sleep schedule.
Finally, stay hydrated. Mayo Clinic suggests a daily intake of 15.5 cups of water for men and 11.5 cups for women.
Everyday practice is the key to everyday energy.
Change rarely happens overnight. When you start at square one, it may take several weeks to notice the effect of a new routine.
For example, muscle tone doesn’t improve after a single workout. It requires repeated daily effort.
And while a meal packed with vegetables may feel beneficial in the moment, your body reaps the most benefit after several weeks of healthy eating.
Like anything else, noticeable changes in energy take time. Though cells will make use of a single serving of cellular nutrients, elevated cellular energy is best achieved through continuous practice.