Energy can mean different things for different people – while for someone enhanced cognition could be important, for someone else it could mean physical strength. The right balance of vitamins and minerals can get you to your ideal definition of energy.
Both vitamins and minerals play a major role in normalizing bodily functions and an absence of either or both wouldn’t allow the body to function or produce energy enough for sustenance or staying mentally and physically fit.
How do I know what will work for me, you may say. Find out more about how key vitamins and minerals affect your energy level. The healthiest approach to staying your most energetic self is to get these nutrients through your diet, instead of through supplements. Let’s get into the science behind it!
Vitamin B1 & B2: Our body needs thiamine (B1) to convert carbohydrates into energy. Riboflavin (B2) helps in the release of this energy in the Krebs cycle, the process of energy generation.
Vitamin B6: The active form on Vitamin B6, pyridoxine-5′-phosphate (PLP) enables our body to create “the feel-good neurotransmitters” serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for cognitive function and focus. The vitamin is also important for regulating the enzymes we use to draw energy from food.
Vitamin B12: We need this vitamin to protect as well as preserve the myelin sheath, which covers neurons and helps in conducting the electrical signals sent around the body. Vitamin B12 helps in the creation of neurotransmitters and in the metabolizing process of fats and carbohydrate, our main sources of energy.
Vitamin C: Our body needs this vitamin to create carnitine, which is responsible for transporting long-chain fatty acids to the mitochondria for the creation of energy. Vitamin C also helps our body generate catecholamines, a group of hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine that are usually stimulants of energy.
Magnesium: Our body requires magnesium to regulate its metabolism reactions, especially to convert food into energy. The more magnesium we have, the better would be our cognitive abilities, and a decline may do the opposite. It optimizes the purpose of insulin and enables the body to leverage glucose.
Calcium: Calcium plays a big role in turning fatty acids into energy and helps modulate the production of ATP as well, which is our body’s fuel. As is the case with magnesium, without enough calcium, the insulin in our body may not function well.
Zinc: This is a mineral that we don’t need in huge quantities but we most definitely need some as it contributes to around 100 enzymes in our body, many of which are responsible for our energy metabolism. Without adequate amount of zinc, we won’t be able to get proper energy from food and will not be able to build muscle.
Water: This goes without saying that water is the balancing factor of our body. Our brain depends on electrolytes, which are essentially dissolved ions of minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. If the electrolytes are balanced, our brain will be able to receive the electrical signals it needs for functioning well. When we are dehydrated, our cognition suffers.