How to Give Yourself an Energizing Metabolic Tune-Up

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ARE YOU TIRED and worn out? Do you have sore muscles, fatigue, and brain fog? If so, you might have metabolic burnout!

Imagine if you could find a way to tune up your metabolism, increase your energy levels, think clearly, and feel less achy. Imagine if you could prevent diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Imagine if you could heal fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Imagine if you could get to the roots of aging, slow the whole process, and eliminate most age-related diseases.

These aren’t just fantasies.

All these things are possible–if you give yourself a metabolic tune-up.

You might have heard of the rats fed high doses of resveratrol, the plant compound found in red wine. But did you know that those rats lived 30 percent longer than their peers — the equivalent of an additional 120 human years — even though they ate a bad diet?

In fact, they even became fitter and lost weight even while eating a poor quality, standard American diet.

How could they eat high amounts of bad food and not exercise, yet still become fitter AND live 30 percent longer than the average rat?

One word: MITOCHONDRIA — the source of your energy. The resveratrol protected and improved the function of the mitochondria through its effects on special master aging genes.

So what are mitochondria and what do they have to do with having more energy, losing weight, and living to be 120 years old without any disease?

Today you will learn the answer to that question. And I will provide you with eight tips you can start using today to give yourself a metabolic tune-up and boost your energy metabolism.

The key to more energy lies in providing your mitochondria with the right environment to thrive. When you do, you can boost your energy metabolism. (This is actually step number six of the 7 Keys to UltraWellness, and it is absolutely essential if you want to obtain optimal health.)

So let’s look at what mitochondria are and what they do.

What Are Mitochondria?

Mitochondria are the little factories in our cells that take the foods we eat and the oxygen we breathe and convert them into energy. That energy is called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, and it is used to support every function in our body.

When the mitochondria are damaged, you suffer all the symptoms of low energy–fatigue, memory loss, pain, rapid aging, and more.

Each cell holds hundreds or thousands of mitochondria; they are found in greater amounts in active organs and tissues such as the muscles, heart, and brain. In fact, we have more than 100,000 trillion mitochondria in our bodies, and each one contains 17,000 little assembly lines for making ATP.

Why are these are these little energy factories so important to your health? The answer is simple: Mitochondria are the place where metabolism happens.

When your mitochondria aren’t working properly, your metabolism runs less efficiently or can practically shut down. Problems occur because these powerful energy producers are VERY sensitive to damage.

And when they are damaged, you suffer all the symptoms of low energy–fatigue, memory loss, pain, rapid aging, and more.

Fatigue is the most common symptom of poorly functioning mitochondria, and it is the reason we tend to poop out as we age. We add constant insult and injury to our mitochondria, and this causes them to break down and stop producing energy.

The main way your mitochondria are damaged is by uncontrolled oxidative stress. That may sound complicated, but in reality we are all familiar with “oxidative stress” even if some of us don’t know what the term means.

Oxidation is the rust on our cars, the brown color that appears on an apple when cut and exposed to air, the rancid vegetable oil in our cupboards, even the wrinkles that form on our skin.

What most of us don’t realize is that our own tissues are rusting, our own fats are going rancid, and our brains are melting as we go about our daily life.

What starts this process is some insult — too many calories, smoking, a sunburn, exposure to toxins, anti-nutrients, sugar, and more — that tips the balance, starting a chain reaction of cellular and tissue damage that leads us down the long road to weight gain and chronic illness.

For a healthy metabolism eat less processed food, junk food, sugar, and empty calories. In fact, you should really avoid these things altogether.

The ultimate outcome of oxidative stress and the resultant loss of energy is death! But the good news is that we can counteract the damage by giving ourselves a metabolic tune-up.

Let me explain …

What Is a Metabolic Tune-up?

Dr. Bruce Ames, a renowned scientist from the University of California, Berkeley, has spent the last decade discovering how we can give ourselves a metabolic tune-up.

In one study, he gave two compounds to old rats who were tired, wouldn’t get on their treadmill or swim very far, and couldn’t find the cheese in the maze. These compounds make mitochondria run better, boosting metabolism.

They are alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine.

Overnight, these old rats became young rats. They got onto the treadmill, swam long distances without fatigue, and could easily find the cheese in the maze, just like their young, healthy counterparts.

How could that happen?

Well, Dr. Ames simply gave the cells the raw materials they need for optimal function. That’s it!

You can do this too, and the process is very simple …

First, find the things that damage your metabolism and mitochondria, then eliminate them. Second, give your body the things that help mitochondria function optimally. Here’s how you do that.

Eight Tips for Giving Yourself a Metabolic Tune-up

The first step to giving yourself a metabolic tune-up is locating and eliminating the causes of damage to the mitochondria:

  • Eat less processed food, junk food, sugar, and empty calories. In fact, you should really avoid these things altogether.
  • Detoxify by getting rid of environmental and internal toxins.
  • Cool off the inflammation in your body.
  • Balance your hormones.

Once you’ve done that, you need to boost your mitochondrial function and provide the mitochondria with the correct environment to thrive:

  • Try interval training, which increases the efficiency and function of your mitochondria, and strength training, which increases the amount of muscle and the number of mitochondria.
  • Eat whole, real, colorful plant food. That’s eight to 12 servings of fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains every day. These foods are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  • Take mitochondria-protective and energy-boosting nutrients such as acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, N-acetyl-cysteine, NADH, D-ribose, resveratrol, and magnesium aspartate.
  • Increase your intake of omega-3 fats to help build your mitochondrial membranes.

Taking care of your mitochondria and giving yourself a metabolic tune-up will allow you to increase your energy, lose weight, and age well. It is a cornerstone of creating lifelong vibrant health.

Now I’d like to hear from you …

Have you experienced burnout and fatigue? What was that like?

What do you think about the idea of giving your metabolism a tune-up?

Do you believe that supplements can help you optimize biological function?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

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13 Responses to How to Give Yourself an Energizing Metabolic Tune-Up

  1. linda jaseck March 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    hi, can you please suggest a recommended dosage for coenzyme Q10 for a normal, healthy person wanting to get your program for overall health/prevention of Diabesity? I can’t seem to find dosage recommendations anywhere. Also, is there a difference between COQ10 and COEnzyme A and should I be taking both? Thank you. Dr. Hyman is saving lives and doing amazing work!
    -linda

  2. Ryan April 5, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    So on page 273 of BSS it talks about branched chain amino acids and say to go to the website for more info such as where to buy them. Does anyone know about these? I’m a long distance cyclist and the notion is that the aminos will increase function as well as create more mitochondria.

  3. Dana Srebrenick April 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Hello, I was curious if you could recommend someone like Dr. Hyman in the NY or NJ area.

    Thank you!

    Dana Srebrenick

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff April 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi Dana,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. To locate a practitioner of functional medicine in your area see the “Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner” link at the Institute of Functional Medicine website: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  4. Regina Dyer June 9, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Dr. Oz now says no to L-carnitine supplements. He also says to take no more than 600 mg. of calcium supplements. Do you concur?

  5. Lisa October 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I suffer from fatigue and tiredness. I have GERD and whenever I eat fresh fruits and vegetables I throw-up because of the citric acid in them. How do I then get the antioxidant I need that will aid in this cellular rebuilding. I am disheveled to know the two things most vital to my cells (mitochondria) I cannot consume. Is all lost for me or will supplement be able to replace the preferred naturally consumed source my cell’s mitochondria needs. Since it has been established that I cannot each fresh fruits and vegetable unless processed all the way through (thoroughly cooked or baked). I need some advice: what do you think about intravenous therapy to resolve my antioxidants and vitamins deficiency.

  6. Debra July 15, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    I have been taking Dr. Andrew Weil’s vitamins for a some time, but the cost is more than I want to pay. Dr. Oz tells us about supplements and the cost is affordable. Is there a source of affordable quality vitamins available. Usually, I take multivitamin, antioxidant, COQ10, Omega 3, & Alpha-Lipoic Acid. Just trying to stay healthy.

  7. Bob July 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    Is too much Vitamin B bad. I always read it can cause numbness in hands and legs, due to nerve damage. also to much vitamin A can kill. Dr Hyman , how / where can we learn the proper dosage of vitamins to take. Many multi vitamins are going to have to much of one but not enough of another. This is very frustrating when shopping for them. Some will say these are soluble, and these are not??? I’m very confused. Thanks for all you do, Bob

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi Bob,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

    • Mort August 21, 2014 at 1:32 am #

      Bob…B-vitamins ,,anything regarding nerve damage would most likely go away once u lowered or stopped them. In general they’re good for u, energy, detox, your liver (b12) in particular. a good hi potency b-complex mid-morning/afternoon should halp ya. Vitamin A (retinol palmitate) could be toxic…but its like many times over the RDA (5000iu) for extended periods of time. most likely bone fractures, perhaps liver damage. I wouldn’t worry about 5000-10,000 iu. Beta Carotene form of (A) is pretty safe , even up to 25,000 iu per day. that’s alot. I’d use a good multivit for most of these things.

      “NOW, Thorne, Allergy Research, Pure Encaps, Douglass” without iron (now too good in most supplemental forms and u get enough from food). these multi’s usually have plenty of B-vitamins and you can split the dose over i or 2 meals. generally breakfast and lunch. by the way….CoQ10, in the 100-200mg goes along way to help w/ energy. not a panacea….but it helps. hope this helps. I read ALOT on this stuff. look at this page for upper limit on nutrient and best wishes http://www.drlam.com/supplements/oda.asp

  8. Susan July 28, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I have the HLA B27 marker and suffer from ankliosing spondylitis. Is it possible to help the aches, pains, and tiredness with functional medicine? I would love to find a Dr. near me.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 28, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health!
      Dr. Hyman Staff

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