Almost everyone is familiar with the phrase “mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell”.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of our mitochondria. Virtually every biochemical reaction and cellular process in the human body relies on them. Our energy levels, how we age, our exercise recovery times, and virtually any other category of health you can think of, have inexorable links to the health and abundance of our mitochondria.
But advice on how to support mitochondrial function can be vague. “Diet”, “exercise” and “lifestyle” are obviously involved, but if you’re going to take mitochondrial function seriously, you need greater specifics.
These are specific recommendations for 4 major focuses of mitochondrial support:
Specific Dietary Tip: Qualia Life + IF
You may already know the immense health benefits that come with intermittent fasting, and its role in triggering biogenesis of new mitochondria. You also may know that limiting refined carbs (soda, white bread, pastries, etc.) is good for a host of health benefits including mitochondrial function.
But you may not know that a 36-ingredient beast of a nutritional formula called Qualia Life is specifically designed to optimize mitochondrial function and cellular health. There’s nothing on the market that checks more nutritional boxes for mitochondrial support in one supplement than Qualia Life.
I've taken Qualia Life for years and the difference it has made to my energy levels and personal training goals have been phenomenal. The company behind it, Neurohacker Collective, is well known for their premium nootropic products such as Qualia Mind, which I can't recommend enough for mental performance. I've gotten to know the Neurohacker team over the years and I was pumped when Qualia Life came out because Neurohacker specializes in very comprehensive formulas. Qualia Life contains NAD+ boosters, polyphenols, adaptogens, ergogenics, antioxidants, you name it. Neurohacker's calling card is how much you can nutritionally accomplish with one supplement.
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Specific Exercise Tip: High Intensity Interval Training
Needless to say, exercise is vital to mitochondrial production, and any exercise beats none, but if you want the biggest return on exercise training for mitochondrial health, I highly recommend high intensity interval training (often abbreviated as HIIT). A recent study in Cell Metabolism found that HIIT exercise in particular- such as 15 second sprint bursts or 30 second cycling bursts followed by brief recoveries- had the strongest correlations with mitochondrial production. Evidence also shows this is true for strength training exercises such as squat jumps and similar rapid burst exercises followed by brief recovery.
Specific Therapeutic Tip: 30 Seconds Of Cold Shower
The benefits of heat and cold therapies for mitochondrial function- such as sauna, cryotherapy, and outdoor cold exposure- are vast. But for those of you lacking the time, money, or discomfort tolerance to follow through on hardcore cold/heat options, you still have no excuse according to a new finding. A recent study published by Plos One indicates that just 30 seconds of cold shower exposure can deliver significant benefits associated with mitochondrial support. So even if you hate cold therapy, just toughing out a mere 30 seconds at the end of your shower can deliver big benefits to mitochondrial function (and beyond). And don't forget that even walking outside for a few minutes in winter without a jacket is considered cold therapy!
Specific Lifestyle Tip: Ritualize Relaxation
After asking you to do high intensity exercises and cold therapies, this last tip is the gentlest of them all- relax! Stress hormones can negatively alter mitochondrial function, so any daily practice that prioritizes relaxation- from meditation to massage to nature immersion- is actually serving an important role in overall mitochondrial health. How you reach a relaxation state is less important than the fact that you do. Maintain that state for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day, taking it just as seriously as exercise, nutrition, or biohacking therapies.
From nutrition, to exercise, to therapeutics, to lifestyle, those are 4 specific actions you can take today to address mitochondrial health in a comprehensive way.