Another Player in the Game: Mitochondria

Now, mitochondria recently came up in a Twitter discussion of obesity. In order to burn fat, it’s not YOU that does the work, it’s your MITOCHONDRIA. That’s great, but what about those of us who don’t need to burn fat? To explore this, we must first as the question:

What does our mitochondria do for us?

Mitochondria are basically the digestive systems of our cells, creating cellular energy. Just like if our guts aren’t working properly, we won’t get enough nutrition, if our mitochondria aren’t working properly, our cells won’t have energy to do their jobs.

I’m wondering now if the kind of tiredness best described as “I’m fatigued but not sleepy” is related to mitochondria, because it never feels like it’s ME that’s tired.

In order to kick-start mitochondrial biogenesis, you need to create a short-term energy shortage. In other words, you need to “trick” your body into thinking it’s out of energy so that it will create more mitochondria, and therefore more energy.

How to jump-start your mitochondria

+ (High-intensity) exercise

+ Intermittent fasting

+ Low-carb diet

Funnily enough, this list dovetails perfectly with the paleo/primal lifestyle. It also (at least on the surface) explains why exercising gives you more energy.

Personally, exercise is the hardest thing to incorporate into my health routine, but I always have this nagging feeling that it will “fix everything” (even though I know that’s not true).

What’s your favorite way to jump-start your mitochondria?

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