Getting your essential vitamins – naturally

Women have certain nutritional needs when it comes to vitamins and minerals, but with so much to choose from and so much competing information out there, what do we really need?

As you walk through your local market or health food store, you might be bombarded with the idea that Americans are low on energy. We drink countless cups of coffee and energy drinks each day, which over time actually exhausts your adrenal system and leaves you more tired than before.

If you want the chemical explanation, it goes like this: Caffeine inhibits a substance called ATP (or adenosine triphosphate), which can lead to sleep problems. Less sleep and you’re more likely to be moodier and even more tired the next day.

But first, a brief chemistry lesson. Every living thing must have something that gives it energy. In humans, our power comes from the mitochondria, which exists in every cell in the body. They are the cell’s power plant, so to speak.

The mitochondrion produce what is called adenosine triphosphate, which is a human beings source of energy. ATP’s primary purpose is to transport chemical energy within cells for metabolism.

Simply put, ATP converts energy from food to energy that our cells can use to allow them to function properly.

As you can see, unless you’re a chemist, the average person isn’t going to know what many supplements actually do.

The theory goes that if you cut down on caffeine, you might actually have more energy, which sounds like a paradox. But, read further.

Questions to ask yourself:

Before you start stocking up on vitamins and supplements that have “energy” in their name, ask yourself three very important questions.

1. Are you an average person who gets moderate exercise?

2. Are you an athlete who runs or sprints who is trying to get faster?

3. Are you simply trying to make it to the end of the workday?

Basically, the particular type of energy each woman needs is based on your answers.

You have stimulants like coffee, green tea, and Asian ginseng.

So, if you get back from lunch and are sitting at your desk ready to fall asleep, you’ll likely reach for a cup of coffee. But one thing you might not realize is that you could be dehydrated and in need of an 8- to 12-ounce glass of water. Our brains need water to function, and caffeine is a diuretic. Deplete your brain of necessary water, and you might find you can’t think clearly. So think twice when reaching for a cup of coffee, especially after lunch, because it can interfere with sleep.

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