Between juggling work, school, travel, hobbies, family, friends, and all the hustle and bustle of modern life, who couldn’t use a little more energy? Though a number of factors can affect your daily energy levels, scientists have learned that genetics play a crucial role in energy production. A DNA fitness test can now be used to learn the most efficient ways to maximize your energy levels based on your unique genetic needs.
What’s Affecting Your Energy Levels?
Your energy levels depend on a number of factors, including age, sleep, physical activity, nutrition, and genetics. And when it comes to genetics, not only does the genetic code itself matter but also which genes are activated by your lifestyle. Factors like UV exposure and stress can actually activate certain genes, causing health effects years later.
To make sure you’re reaching your full energy potential, follow some of the following general guidelines to boost your daily energy. Then, take it one step further with a DNA test which can help you discover what your body needs to increase energy most efficiently.
Aging brings with it a natural decline in hormones and growth factors that impact energy. Paying attention to nutrition and physical activity becomes even more important due to their roles in maintaining energy levels, as well as in managing body weight, as metabolism slows with age. Though regular exercise becomes increasingly important, more recovery time may be required after strenuous exercise.
Other age-related changes impacting energy levels include adult-onset food allergies, which can cause systemic inflammation, and the development of nutritional deficiencies that impair metabolism. Particularly in older adults, the body is more susceptible to developing nutritional deficiencies due to gastrointestinal absorption of certain vitamins and minerals becoming less efficient.
Sleep is a time when the metabolism slows and the body performs a number of restorative functions such as tissue repair and protein synthesis (including muscle growth). Sleep is also when growth hormones are released. High-quality sleep is essential for optimum brain functioning, facilitating things like learning, the formation of long-term memories, and emotional control. An adequate amount of high-quality sleep improves mental alertness and energy levels throughout the day.
- Physical activity
Physical activity improves energy levels in many different ways. Exercise increases blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues of the body. It also strengthens the heart muscle and increases lung capacity, producing the benefits of better circulation and higher energy levels all the time, not just during workouts. Exercise also helps with stress management and improves the quality of sleep. And of course, endorphins released during exercise provide a great mental boost, making you feel more energized.
DNA fitness testing can be used not only to improve energy levels but also to achieve other fitness goals such as gaining muscle and losing weight. Genetic variances have been found that influence aerobic capacity, recovery time after exercise, the rate of lactic acid clearing from the muscles, and the propensity to build muscle.
Food provides the energy needed by every cell in the body in the form of macronutrients, which include carbohydrates, fat, and protein. In addition, certain micronutrients play vital roles in energy metabolism—especially the B-complex vitamins, which include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, biotin, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Lifestyle factors such as stress and smoking can also affect nutritional status (for example, by depleting the body’s reserves of certain vitamins and minerals) and can even affect which genes are activated. Not only does the body need the right nutrients, but it needs them at the right time. Eating every four to six hours provides a steady supply of energy, and replenishing after strenuous exercise helps prevent fatigue from setting in.
Foods can also impact energy levels through the glycemic response, which is the effect a food has on blood sugar. For example, refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and white rice) are metabolized fairly quickly, whereas high-fiber foods (like oatmeal and legumes) provide a longer, steadier supply of energy since fiber slows the rate of digestion. High-sugar foods like candy and soda are metabolized the fastest and provide a quick burst of energy but are a poor choice for sustained energy. After consumption, blood sugar rises, leading to an insulin spike that’s quickly followed by a drop in blood sugar. Slow and steady wins the race.
Nutrigenomics, the field studying the interaction between nutrition and genes, has discovered genetic variants that impact how different people metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and even caffeine, all of which influence energy levels. Furthermore, some individuals may have genetic variants that predispose them to vitamin or mineral deficiencies which can reduce energy levels. In fact, deficiencies in vitamin B6, folic acid, or magnesium are strongly associated with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Vitamin B6 and folic acid are essential for making neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which plays a role in mood regulation. Magnesium has many functions in the body including protecting neurons and regulating the stress response.
Genetic variants have also been found that are associated with increased hunger hormones, cravings, and the predisposition to be overweight. Five or six small meals a day with the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat may be especially important to people with these genetic variations to help them have a steady supply of energy, feel satisfied, and prevent weight gain. For those who struggle with weight loss, DNA fitness testing can also provide insight into how much effect exercise is likely to have on body weight and if the most beneficial type of exercise is likely to be power, endurance, or a combination of both.
Get Energized with DNA Fitness Testing
A DNA health test can help you understand your genetic propensities concerning energy and determine which activity and dietary goals to pursue to optimize your energy levels. Learn which exercises, foods, and dietary supplements are likely to be the most beneficial based on your DNA, and eliminate the guesswork. With Vitagene’s DNA fitness testing, you can give yourself the energy you need to live every day to its fullest.