11 Ways to Balance Energy Levels

It can be difficult to maintain energy levels as you get older. Fortunately, there are natural ways to balance energy levels into your 50s and beyond.

Do you feel as you’re getting older, your energy is just not what it used to be? Or, maybe you’re feeling more bubbly when you first wake up, but this perkiness seems to dwindle as the day goes on. If you’re nodding your head yes right now, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are ways to balance energy levels no matter what your age is.

These changes are incredibly common, and can become more prevalent with energy levels at 50 and beyond. This loss of energy levels in the human body is due to several reasons. However, it is largely due to a gradual loss of mitochondrial function in our cells as we age.[1]

Mitochondrial function refers to the mitochondria, the primary energy powerhouse in all of our cells. Fueling the mitochondria in ways that render them more efficient can help boost your energy naturally at its core and help keep it steady.

Mitophagy

Healthy mitochondria life-cycle

In order to keep your cells and energy in tip-top shape, a process called mitophagy is necessary. Mitophagy helps rid your body of old, damaged cells and facilitates the production of new, highly functional cells.

Keep reading to learn what affects energy levels as you age and how to increase energy levels as you get older.

What affects our energy levels as we age

The state of your energy levels can either make or break your day. If your energy is good, you feel like a million bucks. If it’s subpar, you’re probably dragging and counting the hours until it’s bedtime. Do energy levels actually decrease with age, and if so, why does that happen?

Agents that accelarate the aging process

Cellular aging

As our cells age, they gradually become less efficient and functional. Cellular aging is a natural phenomenon to some extent, but certain habits can accelerate the process such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Eating a highly processed and high-fat diet
  • Exposure to air pollution, pesticides, and chemicals

Engaging in these habits over time can lead our cells to become dysfunctional. When this happens it becomes harder for our cells to digest food, provide oxygen to our organs, and support healthy blood flow. This is essentially how cellular damage can reduce energy levels as you age, as all of these bodily processes are not being performed effectively.[2]

Slower digestion of food makes you feel sluggish, and when oxygenated blood is not flowing properly to your organs, you will experience fatigue more quickly and more frequently throughout the day.

Person with headache

Change in sleep patterns

Age influences our circadian rhythms and thus can alter our sleep schedule. Along with these changes, you may find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, resulting in more frequent night waking. This overall lack of good quality sleep or schedule changes can impact your energy throughout the day and make you start to nod off mid-afternoon.

It’s possible these sleep disruptions are due to a decrease in melatonin production, the hormone that helps regulate your circadian rhythms. They also may occur if your schedule has changed, you’re not as physically active, or you’re dealing with stress or depression.[3]

Blood

Restricted blood flow

Blood flow can become less efficient with age as fatty deposits build up in our blood vessels. This can increase the risk of high blood pressure and other heart issues over time, but it can also zap our energy as less blood is flowing to our brain and muscles.[4]

This lack of blood flow can lead to fatigue and reduced endurance as your body has to work harder to perform each task. When this happens, it can feel like it takes longer to complete a certain task or you lose steam more easily than you used to.

Belly

Slowed metabolism

A gradual decrease in metabolism can also reduce energy levels as you age. Your body begins to lose muscle and gain fat more easily due to hormonal changes, which can reduce your overall energy and endurance. With less muscle, you may not have as much physical strength, which can make you feel more tired and less energetic.

Hormone molecules

Hormonal changes

Speaking of hormonal changes, many of them become altered as we get older, including insulin and reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, as well as melatonin.

All of these hormones influence our metabolism, stamina, and blood sugar balance. Insulin resistance, a precursor for diabetes, also increases with age, so supporting healthy blood sugar levels is one of the top priorities.[5]

While there are various reasons for decreased energy levels as we age, there are also many solutions to this problem to get you back to feeling yourself.

11 ways to balance energy levels as you age

If you’re struggling to get your energy back, here are 11 easy ways of maintaining energy levels as you get older. These tips will not only bring you more energy but help you to maintain that energy throughout the day.

People running

Stay active

For optimal energy levels in the human body, it’s essential to exercise both your body and your mind. So whether you’re feeling physically fatigued or mentally tapped out, there are ways to get out of this cycle.

Physical activity

While it may seem counterintuitive, physical activity actually gives you energy. If you’re feeling tired, exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do. But if you just give yourself 5 minutes, chances are you’ll be getting into a groove soon enough as those endorphins start kicking in.

Exercise amplifies energy by increasing oxygen circulation and boosting blood flow throughout the body. It also speeds digestion, helping you to more efficiently absorb and utilize nutrients from the food you eat. Doing this helps your body to function at its peak level of performance, leading you to feel energized afterward.

Both cardio and strength training are important forms of exercise, but cardio exercise will provide a more immediate energy boost. Examples of cardio exercises include:

  • walking
  • running
  • swimming
  • dancing
  • hiking
  • or biking.

The recommendation for exercise is 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity such as walking or dancing, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity such as running or swimming.[6]

When it comes down to it, doing something that you enjoy is the most important. If you enjoy it, you’re more likely to be consistent and experience the energizing benefits.

Elder reading on a couch

Mental activity

Stimulating your mind on a regular basis can also enhance your energy. It may do this by boosting your mood and motivation by challenging your mind. If you’re finding it harder to focus or to sustain mental energy for difficult tasks, engaging in mental activities like reading, drawing, or doing crosswords can help increase your mental stamina.

These activities keep your mind sharp and make it easier to perform mentally-stimulating tasks time and time again.

Healthy food

Prioritize nutrition

Good nutrition is imperative to optimizing your energy at any age. However, sometimes as you get older, you may find it harder to eat well either because you don’t have an appetite, you’ve had major life transitions, or your lifestyle completely changed.

Not to worry - there are a few simple ways to tweak your diet to bring that energy back.

Establish a regular meal schedule

If you regularly skip meals or go too long without eating, chances are this is making your energy levels feel like a rollercoaster ride. Erratic meal schedules cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, and chaotic energy levels.

Establishing a consistent meal schedule can help provide you with more steady energy so you don’t keep succumbing to that mid-afternoon slump.

Set a goal of eating a balanced meal every 3-4 hours at around the same time each day. Meals should consist of healthy proteins like chicken, fish, or beans, complex carbs like whole grains or sweet potatoes, and plenty of fruits and/or vegetables.

Try to stick to a similar schedule on the weekends so you don’t feel like a zombie come Monday.

Don’t skip breakfast

Yes, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day! Maybe you’re retired or semi-retired, so you’ve fallen out of a breakfast routine. But if you’re not eating breakfast or are just drinking coffee for breakfast, you’ll probably find yourself reaching for all the candy by 10:00 am.

And even if you’re not, skipping breakfast can leave you feeling more hungry later in the day and cause you to overeat. And this can contribute to that afternoon energy slump.

Get into a habit of eating something for breakfast to get your energy juices flowing, even if it’s small. This could be a banana, a slice of toast with peanut butter, or a smoothie.

Stock up on healthy snacks

Having healthy snacks on hand not only curbs hunger between meals but can keep your energy levels steady all day long. Snacks are especially helpful for preventing mid-meal energy crashes, and the right ingredients can help you meet your daily nutrition needs.

Some healthy snacks to keep on hand include Greek yogurt, protein bars, fruit with peanut butter or cottage cheese, veggies with dip or hummus, nuts, or a homemade trail mix. These types of whole-food snacks will provide longer-lasting energy than processed snacks like potato chips, pretzels, or cookies.

Eat more polyphenols

Polyphenols are beneficial plant compounds found in fruits, vegetables, tea, red wine, olive oil, dark chocolate, and spices. They are found in varying amounts in these foods, but pomegranates have one of the highest amounts of polyphenols.

When properly digested, pomegranates produce a molecule called Urolithin A (UA) that has been shown to slow the cellular aging process, reduce inflammation, and even improve insulin sensitivity. Improving cellular health at the mitochondrial level as UA does can support energy levels by age 50 and beyond.[7]

Urolithin A can be produced through the digestion of certain foods, however, unfortunately, many people don’t have the right bacteria to produce it. In this case, a supplement containing UA can help.

Consume vitamins for energy

There are certain energy-booster vitamins that are especially vital for energy such as vitamin B12, iron, vitamin D, CoQ10, and magnesium. In addition to these vitamins, Urolithin A can also help maintain energy levels naturally by supporting the health of our mitochondria.

Person practicing meditation

Manage stress

Older age often comes with new stresses. Too much stress and anxiety can rid your body of needed energy. How you manage it is key to preserving your energy, and your happiness. You can’t avoid all stress in life, but you can control how you deal with it.

Make it a point to engage in stress-relieving activities daily such as:

  • meditation
  • yoga
  • exercise
  • listening to music
  • reading
  • talking to a close friend

Doing these things regularly can calm the mind and reduce tension, bringing vital energy back to where you need it most. If these activities are not enough, speak to your doctor for a referral to a supportive mental health specialist.

Person sleeping

Create a healthy sleep routine

Insomnia often increases with age, and it can be a contributor to loss of energy and motivation throughout the day. Even if you’re trying to eat healthily and exercise, it will only take you so far if you are not sleeping enough to fuel these activities.

The good news is insomnia doesn’t have to be inevitable. Start by aiming to get as close to 7 hours of sleep per night as possible. Try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day so you get your body back into a more natural circadian rhythm.

Cup of water

Drink more water

Many of us don’t drink enough water, and dehydration can affect both our physical and mental performance. If you find yourself having trouble focusing or losing energy shortly into your workout, drinking more water can help.

Everyone’s water needs are a bit different, but in general, it’s recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. You can also meet some of your water needs with other beverages such as milk, coffee, and tea. In addition, eat more foods with a high water content such as watermelon, strawberries, celery, and cucumber, which can all contribute to your daily water intake.

Alcohol drink spilling off a cup

Limit alcohol

Alcohol causes dehydration and inflammation in the body, draining you of your energy. While it may feel like that nightcap is helping you fall asleep, research shows alcohol interferes with deep sleep. This means each time you overindulge you’re getting poor quality sleep, leaving you feeling more tired the next day. This is true even if you got a full 8 hours.[8]

To feel more energized, drink alcohol in moderation. This means limiting alcohol to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. One drink equals 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, and 1 ounce of spirits.[9]

Person holding Timeline Berry Powder

Try an energy-boosting supplement like Mitopure

When it comes to boosting energy, there are many supplements that claim to do just this. However, choosing a supplement that specifically targets cellular energy levels is imperative in order to get to the root of the energy-depleting problem.

Urolithin A (UA) is the rare molecule that helps our aging cells regenerate, a necessary process to maintain optimal energy levels. Since most people cannot directly produce UA from food, a more potent direct form of it is needed on many occasions to produce its beneficial effects.

Mitopure® is a highly purified direct form of Urolithin A that contains stronger levels than one could get from diet alone. Urolithin A can help maintain steady energy levels throughout the day through the power of mitophagy, the clearance of old damaged cells.

Through this mitochondrial turnover and regeneration, low energy can become high energy.

Last words

Energy levels and aging are intricately linked, and it is common to lose energy as you get older. But, this doesn’t have to be your fate, and it is entirely possible to feel energized well into your 70’s, 80’s, and beyond.

There are many things you can do to improve energy as you age such as prioritizing nutrition, staying active, managing stress, establishing a sleep routine, drinking more water and limiting alcohol.

While all these habits are essential, addressing energy woes at the cellular level in the mitochondria is paramount to achieving the biggest benefits. The new exciting nutrient Urolithin A is available in Mitopure® and can reduce cellular aging at its core energy center - the mitochondria.

Authors

Dietitian-Nutritionist, Weight Loss Expert and Health Content Writer

Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

Dietitian-Nutritionist, Weight Loss Expert, and Health Content Writer

References
  1. Chistiakov DA, Sobenin IA, Revin VV, Orekhov AN, Bobryshev YV. Mitochondrial aging and age-related dysfunction of mitochondria. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:238463. doi: 10.1155/2014/238463. Epub 2014 Apr 10. PMID: 24818134; PMCID: PMC4003832.

  2. Yousefzadeh M, Henpita C, Vyas R, Soto-Palma C, Robbins P, Niedernhofer L. DNA damage-how and why we age? Elife. 2021 Jan 29;10:e62852. doi: 10.7554/eLife.62852. PMID: 33512317; PMCID: PMC7846274.

  3. Hardeland R. Neurobiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of melatonin deficiency and dysfunction. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:640389. doi: 10.1100/2012/640389. Epub 2012 May 2. PMID: 22629173; PMCID: PMC3354573.

  4. Olive JL, DeVan AE, McCully KK. The effects of aging and activity on muscle blood flow. Dyn Med. 2002 Dec 19;1:2. doi: 10.1186/1476-5918-1-2. Erratum in: Dyn Med. 2003 Jul 8;2(1):3. PMID: 12605712; PMCID: PMC150384.

  5. Karakelides H, Irving BA, Short KR, O'Brien P, Nair KS. Age, obesity, and sex effects on insulin sensitivity and skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. Diabetes. 2010 Jan;59(1):89-97. doi: 10.2337/db09-0591. Epub 2009 Oct 15. PMID: 19833885; PMCID: PMC2797949.

  6. Yang YJ. An Overview of Current Physical Activity Recommendations in Primary Care. Korean J Fam Med. 2019 May;40(3):135-142. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.19.0038. Epub 2019 May 20. PMID: 31122003; PMCID: PMC6536904.

  7. Sharifi-Rad J, Quispe C, Castillo CMS, Caroca R, Lazo-Vélez MA, Antonyak H, Polishchuk A, Lysiuk R, Oliinyk P, De Masi L, Bontempo P, Martorell M, Daştan SD, Rigano D, Wink M, Cho WC. Ellagic Acid: A Review on Its Natural Sources, Chemical Stability, and Therapeutic Potential. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022 Feb 21;2022:3848084. doi: 10.1155/2022/3848084. PMID: 35237379; PMCID: PMC8885183.

    Raimundo AF, Ferreira S, Tomás-Barberán FA, Santos CN, Menezes R. Urolithins: Diet-Derived Bioavailable Metabolites to Tackle Diabetes. Nutrients. 2021 Nov 27;13(12):4285. doi: 10.3390/nu13124285. PMID: 34959837; PMCID: PMC8705976.

  8. Colrain IM, Nicholas CL, Baker FC. Alcohol and the sleeping brain. Handb Clin Neurol. 2014;125:415-31. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-62619-6.00024-0. PMID: 25307588; PMCID: PMC5821259.

  9. Mostofsky E, Mukamal KJ, Giovannucci EL, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB. Key Findings on Alcohol Consumption and a Variety of Health Outcomes From the Nurses' Health Study. Am J Public Health. 2016 Sep;106(9):1586-91. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303336. Epub 2016 Jul 26. PMID: 27459455; PMCID: PMC4981808.

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Table of contents
Authors

Dietitian-Nutritionist, Weight Loss Expert and Health Content Writer

Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

Dietitian-Nutritionist, Weight Loss Expert, and Health Content Writer

Knowledge is power
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. References: *Nutrition studies: 500mg Mitopure® have been shown to (1) induce gene expression related to mitochondria function and metabolism and (2) increase the strength of the hamstring leg muscle in measures of knee extension and flexion in overweight 40-65 year olds. Data from two randomized double-blind placebo-controlled human clinical trials. **Nutrition NOURISH Study: 500mg Mitopure® have been shown to deliver at least 6 times higher Urolithin A plasma levels over 24 hours (area under the curve) than 8 ounces (240ml) of pomegranate juice in a randomized human clinical trial.

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