Recently, while having dinner with Alex’s family, his mom brought up something she had heard about on Dr. Oz. She was talking about energy levels and how it can be effected by a variety of things, like where you carry your weight and hormones. She named off a few of the types, making me curious of how where I fit in. After reading an article on his site, I found my energy type or “E-Type“.
E-Type 1: Reactive
If you find yourself overly responsive to stress, constantly on edge, and with a tendency to carry extra weight on your upper back, chest, and arms, you are the “reactive” energy-type. The Reactive E-type is primarily the result of an imbalance in the stress hormone cortisol, which is made worse with a high-glycemic (high sugar) diet. The combination of blood sugar surges from your diet and too much cortisol inflame your body at a cellular level, leaving you feeling emotionally and physically drained.
To supercharge your energy, you need to curb your cortisol levels so you’re not being drained by so much stress. Start by replacing sugary foods with high-fiber foods like beans, greens and whole grains. You’ll prevent blood sugar spikes and the accompanying energy crash. Follow that up by being sure to black out your bedroom at night. Light at night can contribute to poor sleep, increasing your cortisol levels. Simply closing the curtains isn’t enough – be sure to turn off the lights on alarm clocks, DVD players, cell phones, and anything else that might interrupt the darkness we need for that deep, cortisol-curbing sleep. Lastly, try adding an adaptogen to your routine. Adaptogens are compounds extracted from herbs that allow your body to resist stress and regulate cortisol. Try taking 1000 mg a day of astragalus, an adaptogen derived from an Asian root, available in health stores.
E-Type 2: Fluctuating
If your period seems unpredictable, you feel tired at random times, and you carry your weight from the waist down, you are the “fluctuating” energy-type. In both men and women, the body maintains a balance of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; a variety of causes, however, can cause an excess of estrogen over progesterone, leading to the fluctuating E-type and its energy drain.
he key to boosting your energy is to reduce excess estrogen. The first step is to add some healthy and tasty foods that contain flavones – compounds that, among other properties, can inhibit estrogen activity. Roots, nuts, seeds, eggs, and dairy all contain high flavones, which can help restore the estrogen-progesterone balance. Next, while soy can be a great part of your diet, it raises estrogen levels, which can be problematic for Fluctuating E-types. If you fall into this category, take care to limit soy in your diet, especially from hidden soy derivatives found in processed foods like sauces, burger patties, ice creams, canned tunas, and artificial flavoring. Check your food labels for the following terms: mono-diglyceride, soya, soja, soybean, soyabeans, soy protein (isolate/concentrate), vegetable protein, textured soy flour (TSF), textured soy protein (TSP), textured vegetable protein (TVP). You should also avoid parabens, or preservative chemicals found in many lotions and cosmetics. They can seep through your skin, and may mimic estrogen activity. Be on the lookout for ingredients containing parabens, such as methyl paraben or propyl paraben, and seek out beauty products labeled paraben free.
While the aforementioned tips are tailored to reduce estrogen levels, you can also boost your progesterone levels by patting on a progesterone cream. Available over-the-counter, progesterone cream is easily absorbed through the skin. Apply 1/4 tsp to a thin part of your skin, such as the inner arm, for 14 days before your expected period to dampen the energy-draining effects of estrogen.
E-Type 3: Sluggish
If you feel exhausted throughout the day, sensitive to changes in temperature, and tend to gain weight throughout your whole body, you are the “sluggish” energy type. In this case, your lack of energy is due to your thyroid not producing enough of the hormone thyroxine, which occurs when your body doesn’t get enough iodine. This can be attributed to consuming too many goitrogens, components of foods that suppress thyroid function.
To supercharge your energy, allow your body to get the thyroid hormone it needs by avoiding goitrogens. Surprisingly, they’re found in many healthy foods like kale, broccoli, cabbage, peaches, and strawberries. Fortunately, you can deactivate goitrogens in your raw veggies simply by steaming them for as little as 10 minutes. That way you’ll reap the benefits of their many nutrients, and give yourself a thyroid thrust. You can ramp up your thyroid function even further by taking a daily dose of vitamin D. It’s a crucial component in thyroid function, especially in winter months when we don’t get enough natural vitamin D through sun exposure. Take 1000 IUs daily for maximum effect.
This final suggestion may be a bit surprising, but naturopaths have been recommending for years that you can hum your thyroid to health! They argue that the inner vibration stimulates the release of thyroid hormone. Try tapping the sides of your neck at the base 10 times while deeply humming. If the vibrations alone aren’t enough to boost your energy, humming one of your favorite tunes surely will help.
Although I don’t carry weight in my upper body, I am definitely an E-Type 1. When I’m put in stressful situations, I usually get very exhausted, very quickly. I often ride that initial stress high, but crash hard when it’s over. I usually eat more (and crave) more sugar than the average person, which makes this much, much worse. Also, when I’m hungry, look out. As pathetic as this is going to sound, I’m much more likely to emotional when my blood sugar is low.
So, what energy type are you??