Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of cells. They take nutrients from food and oxygen to generate energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Mitochondrial health is essential for cellular function; indeed, when mitochondria fail, so does your body. But what if there were actions you could take every day to protect your mitochondrial health? In this article, we will explore five lifestyle habits that have been shown to benefit mitochondrial health through a variety of mechanisms.
To achieve higher levels of performance we must optimize our mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells, to produce energy. Cell function isn’t always the first place biohackers and nootropics enthusiasts start because it is challenging to notice a subjective boost in their mitochondrial function. Whether we can detect enhanced mitochondria subjectively or not is debatable, but the science is pretty clear that a healthy mitochondrial system will have a multitude of benefits for your health and cognitive abilities.
High intensity interval training
High intensity interval training is a great way to boost your mitochondria with some HIIT. The strategy of alternating short bursts of intense exercise with short duration rests, repeating this cycle until exhaustion will help you get the most out of your workout time and it's easy to do from home on days when you can't make it into the gym.
The ketogenic diet is a high fat-low carb and low protein diet that has been proven to be an effective way to improve poor health conditions, and also, optimize mental performance. Ketones are the alternative fuel source when there is limited blood sugar (glucose) available in the body. They often assist during extended fasting periods, but highly specialized diets can help increase their use by up to 400%!
The importance of sleep for optimal mitochondrial health is undeniable, and the glymphatic system has been shown to be one of the main reasons why. The brain clears byproducts from thinking during sleep while also maintaining healthy mitochondria. Sleep does not need to serve a vital function because it is already so important for our bodies. It seems that evolution made this mistake long ago; we’re just now realizing its consequences.
Grounding (also known as earthing) is the practice of applying bare skin to the Earth in order to draw electrons into your body. It has been shown that this practice produces many benefits for humans such as neutralizing free radicals and affecting positive physiological responses like reduced inflammation and improved sleep.
Intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for energy, weight loss, and brain health. It is no surprise that many people are eager to learn more about the practice and its benefits.
Fasting has been practiced for centuries in various cultures all over the world. There have been studies on how intermittent fasting may slow aging, prevent cancer, help with weight maintenance by resetting metabolism as well as improve moods or even aid in cognitive function. "Intermittent fasting" (or IF), is defined as periods of eating followed by periods of not eating at all or very little food.
Scientists have found that INTERMITTENT FASTING can be beneficial for your mitochondria. Certain fasting protocols activate pathways like AMP-dependent kinase (AMPK) and sirtuins (SIRT), which are valuable for enhancing mitochondrial health. These pathways specifically support mitochondrial biogenesis, or the creation of new mitochondria.