Energy plays a major role in success in any field. To keep you pumped at healthy limits, here are four quick answers to burning questions from board certified clinical nutritionist Leslie Malloy, Ph.D.:

1. What are the best ways to obtain more liveliness and what’s the deal with vitamin B?

Cellular energy or ATP is created from eating calories of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. The B vitamins act as co-enzymes or vitamin helpers that help the body convert the calories we eat into energy or ATP.  If B vitamins are low, symptoms of fatigue may occur. Since white sugar has no B vitamins, it places a burden on the body to convert it into ATP; it is more difficult.  I do not think that B vitamin supplements are necessary unless the person is taking a medication that interferes with B absorption (anti seizure) or drinks more than 2 drinks a day (alcohol blocks absorption of B vitamins). Breads and cereals have been fortified with B vitamins, so they are easy to obtain in the diet.

2. What do you think of Rockstar, Five Hour Energy, and the other energy drinks?

I do not like energy drinks such as Rockstar as they are filled with stimulants like caffeine which boost the feeling of energy but do not actually supply one with energy.  Although the sugar can be used for energy, some have too much sugar which can cause stomach cramps.  Usually there will be a blood sugar crash an hour or so after consumption which leaves the person feeling nervous and fatigued.  Caffeine (small amounts) has been shown to help increase fat burning when consumed before an aerobic activity such as running.

3. What is it about health drinks like Odwalla and the like that are good or bad for increasing energy?

If Odwalla has sugar in it, the sugar may be converted to energy or stored as fat if energy is not needed. I tend to have my clients limit juice as the calories and lower fiber can be a negative.

Sports drinks that replace sodium, potassium, and that have less than 5% glucose in them are necessary for some high level athletes, especially if they are exercising in the sun for long periods of time.

4. How does exercise enhance performance?

…Training the body aerobically and anaerobically help to build more muscle and increase lung volume and thus increases endurance. The increased endurance helps people to function throughout the day with less fatigue. If exercise is over done, the immune function decreases and one can feel tired throughout the day.

Want More? Check out Malloy’s website, this energy drink nutrition breakdown, and this energy amount in food calculator.

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