I’ve always wanted to love and serve the Lord, my God, with all of my heart, all of my strength, and all of my mind, but there was once a time when I didn’t physically feel up to giving EVERYTHING my 100%. This is one of many reasons why good nutrition is essential to my spiritual life. If you are like I once was, tired of being tired, then it is important to understand how energy works, so that we can all give our all to what we do!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind (Luke 10:27).
The very first thing we must establish is an understanding of what energy is, on a cellular level. Cellular energy comes from the maintenance of adenosine – the main type we talk about is called ATP. So when we speak about energy, we are really talking about how well ATP is distributed throughout the body on a cellular level.
Caffeine is the number one drug that most people think of when they need energy. Caffeine is a quick fix to some symptoms, but it does not give us energy and it can be dangerous in mass quantities. I’ve heard it said by some nutritionists at school that caffeine can be more dangerous than marijuana, alcohol, or even cocaine (when taken as much as many Americans take it). Caffeine drastically alters one’s mood, as well. It is not as easily recognised as mood altering only because of how frequently everyone takes caffeine, but if you find someone who is completely caffeine-free then you will know the difference, believe me!
The way caffeine “provides” energy is by pretending to be adenosine. Caffeine is like the Pokémon, “Ditto”, in that it mimics ATP almost perfectly. Caffeine is like an undercover agent, if you will. The problem is that this agent will eventually be sniffed out by our body and our body will then flush it out. This is why we crash after a high on caffeine. Caffeine is dangerous and does not work in fixing our lack of energy.
Caffeine is dangerous and does not work in fixing our lack of energy.
The next misconception I wish to look at is with amino acids. A lot of what is in your typical “energy” drink is amino acids. The most popular of these being taurine. The reason for these amino acids comes with how we all typically treat our bodies. Our bodies naturally break down proteins while we are sleeping in order to create amino acids to help rebuild the daily wear and tear we all put on our bodies. Our bodies need sleep for proper ATP maintenance but without sleep, we still need these amino acids, if we don’t want to feel all the mileage we are racking up without sleep. So these amino acids in energy drinks helps our body repair itself and allows us to fight off fatigue. These amino acids are far from dangerous, unless you use them to avoid getting the proper amount of rest.
Fatigue usually comes from a lack of sleep or eating too much junk food (carbohydrates!).
Another active ingredient in some energy drinks is ginseng. Ginseng is a root from particular plants that has properties that allows our bodies to fight off this same feeling of fatigue. Fatigue usually comes from a lack of sleep or eating too much junk food (carbohydrates!).
Now on to stuff that truly helps us! B-vitamins convert fat and carbohydrates into ATP in our bodies. This is why a lot of energy drinks and such will be flooded with b-vitamins. B-vitamins are water soluble though, so once your body has reached its limit for them, your body will pee the excess out.
But b-vitamins don’t do much without some fuel. Carbohydrates get turned into fast fuel that quickly burns off. This is why kids get sugar rushes then crash. Fats, however, provide the body with healthy long-term energy! Eating a diet that consists of more fats and b-vitamins will create a more energetic lifestyle!
This is why trail mix is great for energy on a long hike. Typically, trail mix consists of raisins, chocolates, and lots of nuts. The chocolate provides quick energy, the raisins provide quick energy that is slightly delayed, and the nuts are full of fats for long-lasting energy! That being said, I do not advise eating chocolates or raisins, unless one is participating in a strenuous activity (such as hiking) where all the energy will be burned off instead of stored as body-fat!
Finally, I must advise everyone to find a morning activity that is a good cardio work out! It may sound counterintuitive but a morning run will jump start your metabolism and thus get your body to an early start in creating ATP to supply you energy for the day!
Think of your body as a car. It needs fuel – our bodies need fats for fuel (stop eating all the low-fat garbage please!). Our bodies need us to exercise just like we need to crank up our engines before they start going. And we need b-vitamins, so the fuel can combust and we can go on our way functioning properly for wherever life takes us!
When you do this, you will find the energy to do all things to the glory of God, and for Christians this should be a priority!
So, if you are tired of being tired then try to get more exercise, b-vitamins, and fats in your daily diet. Wake up a little earlier (after a good night’s sleep) so you can make yourself a plate of eggs and bacon (both provide a lot of fats, amino acids, proteins, and b-vitamins!) – remember, bacon is the food of the month so try to eat it daily this month!!!! When you do this, you will find the energy to do all things to the glory of God, and for Christians this should be a priority! “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).” We can all start by this one action of eating a breakfast full of more vitamins and fats than our typical sugar dosage of cereal or doughnuts each morning! Doughnuts are delicious but I believe we can give them up (at least most days) for the kingdom’s sake!
Doughnuts are delicious but I believe we can give them up (at least most days) for the kingdom’s sake!
The Point is: Eating fats and b-vitamin dense foods, with plenty of rest and exercise, will keep us all energetic enough to do everything to the glory of God!!!!
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Reference / Reading List:
 Moore, Jimmy, and Eric C. Westman. Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-carb, High-fat Diet. Print.
 Hamilton, Eva May Nunnelley, and Eleanor Noss Whitney. Nutrition, Concepts and Controversies. 2nd ed. St. Paul: West Pub., 1982. Print.
 Smolin, Lori A., and Mary B. Grosvenor. Basic Nutrition. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2005. Print.
 Whitney, Eleanor Noss, and Sharon Rady Rolfes. Understanding Nutrition. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: West/Wadsworth, 1999. Print.