4 Ways to Improve your Mitochondria Function

Woman training on the beach

In the previous article, I’ve explained what is the structure and function of mitochondria and also what happens when they’re damaged. In this one, I’ll talk about some tips and tricks you can use increase their function.

Mitochondria-the powerhouses of our cells produce nearly all of the energy we need. We need energy for basic daily activities from eating, thinking, going outside to even sleeping.

If mitochondria are not performing well, we feel tired and our body goes into energy saver mode.

It means that even basic functions such as building, repairing and maintaining body tissues and cells are impossible.

How do mitochondria look

But I guess, you’ll be glad to hear that there are some proven ways to boost your mitochondria and so, your energy.

And even more, many of the modern diseases such as diabetes obesity and heart disease can be prevented by just keeping your mitochondria in a good health.

A man with low energy

What can you do to boost them?

1. Get some sunlight 

Years ago, a French speleologist, named Michel Siffre launched an experiment. He isolated himself in a cave for several months and had no exposure to light, neither did he have a clock.

He was keeping track of when he ate, fell asleep and woke up.

After he came out of the cave, he got to the conclusion that he ate and slept at fixed intervals, he understood that each of us has an inner biological clock.

This later became known as the circadian rhythm.

The sunlight and helps your body to control the sleep cycle by the secretion of hormones.

Confused circadian rhythm

When the morning comes and sunlight filters through our eyes, it helps us to wake up a lot more easily by suppressing the secretion of melatonin, which is the sleeping hormone and increasing adrenaline.

Adrenaline makes us more energetic and drives up our alertness in order to get ready for the day.

For example, when you wake up and don’t get that sunlight in your eyes, your brain doesn’t get signals to produce hormones to make you get up out of bed.

Bright computer screens can confuse these signals and in fact cause a whole bunch of problems. Your circadian rhythm is set by frequencies of light.

These frequencies of light come from the sun, the sunlight. And if we don’t get the sun’s full spectrum light, our internal clock gets seriously confused. We need the full solar spectrum’s light because of the red light which powers the mitochondria.

Woman practising yoga at the beach st sunrise.

What you should do each morning is go outside and let the sunlight pass through your body.

2. Avoid the blue light 

But what can you do if your job requires you to stay in front of the screen for hours?

Woman working on a computer

Obviously, you can’t get that full spectrum’s light, right?

Just like light can help to enhance you mitochondria function, it can hurt them. With artificial light, we barely give our eyes red and infrared light, which is good for our eyesight.

Blue light can slow down the ATP production (energy production) and rise that of free radicals.

With all that artificial light, often we find it hard to maintain our sleep-wake cycle.

That’s why I will tell you another trick to bring your circadian rhythm back in order. Installing an eye protecting software will help you be more productive and sleep better.

I can recommend you trying Iris which is such software.

Iris- software for eye protection and productivity

What it does is match the brightness of your screen to your ambient lighting and also reduce gradually the blue light throughout the day to cope with sleeping and many other problems.

3. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting

I’m pretty sure most of you have heard about intermittent fasting and there are just a few people that are not or aren’t still into it.

These days, everyone is talking about its benefits- from losing weight by forcing your body to burn fat, not sugars and not losing muscle mass to better overall health.

For those who haven’t heard about it, I’ll explain in just a few words.

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating which cycles between eating and fasting. Throughout the day there are the so-called “windows” in which you can consume pretty much whatever you want and a fasting period in which you drink simply water.

Down below, I’ll show you some programs. Of course, there are a lot more, but these are the most popular and recommended.

The health benefits of fasting

  • The 5-2 Intermittent Fasting program

That one is pretty simple. Five days of the week, you eat whatever you want, whenever you decide but the rest 2 days, you should consume as little as 500-600 calories for the whole day.

  • The 16-8 program

During the day, you’re allowed to eat only in a window of 8 hours, the rest 16 of the day, you fast. Even if it sounds hard to get used to it, it is possible your first meal to be at 12.00 PM and your last one at 8.00 PM.

  • Eat-stop-eat

In this variation, 6 days of the week you can eat, the one day that rests, you’re fasting for a whole period for 24 hours. Even if it’s harder to follow, this program remains one of the most popular.

For a long time, we’ve been listening for the benefits of Intermittent Fasting beyond weight-loss. But recently, researchers have found the biological reasons behind that fast-gaining popularity trend.

One of the advantages is exactly that intermittent Fasting is proven to boost your mitochondrial biogenesis which is the creation of new mitochondria. This, in turn, increases out lifespan and energy levels.

3. Cold exposure

The health benefits f cold exposure

Cold baths and contrast showers are actually good for our health. Each time when we’re exposed to a colder temperature, our body switches on to cold thermogenesis.

This is a way to produce heat. Our body uses a form of fat called BAT (Brown Adipose tissue) to burn normal fat for heat generation. This increases the mitochondria function by cranking out more and more ATP molecules.

The more you’re exposed to cold, the more you’re training your body to use fat for fuel. To boost your energy and recovery capacity, add the cold and contrast showers in the daily menu.

In a nutshell

Many of us find difficulties in waking up in the morning or in doing basic daily tasks due to the lack of energy. We try many things to increase our energy but we still feel like we’re hit by a truck each time we try to get up out of bed.

Cold showers, spending time under the sun and avoiding junk light are some of the things that will help.

If you’ve liked this article, share it with your friends on the social media so they can derive the benefits and feel better almost instantly.

If you want to read more about Mitochondria, check this article.

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