One thing your body needs

Matamata Chronicle - - Conversations -

I feel like I do most things well when it comes to food and nutri­tion. But I don’t ex­er­cise. I knowI need to but I just don’t do it. If I did one thing, what would you sug­gest? Thanks, Kris.

Hi Kris. Build mus­cle. The greater your mus­cle mass, the higher your meta­bolic rate and the bet­ter your en­ergy.

Your body is made up of about 50 tril­lion cells. The best way to pic­ture this is as 50 tril­lion tiny, lit­tle cir­cles. In­side most of th­ese cir­cles is a mouse on a tread­mill, ped­alling re­ally fast, gen­er­at­ing the en­ergy you then ex­pe­ri­ence. The mouse is the mi­to­chon­dria, the en­ergy pro­duc­ing unit in­side the cells. The more mus­cle we have, the more mi­to­chon­dria we will have.

In­stead of there be­ing just one mouse (mi­to­chon­dria) in­side one cir­cle (cell), with a greater mus­cle mass, you may end up with 10 mice in­side one cell. Now that packs a mighty en­ergy punch for you to en­joy!

Un­less we ac­tively build mus­cle from the age of 30 on­wards we lose it. Em­brace re­sis­tance train­ing. This doesn’t have to mean go­ing to gym un­less that spins your tyres. In a yoga prac­tice, you re­sist your own body weight. Pi­lates, too, is ex­cel­lent re­sis­tance train­ing, as is walk­ing, gar­den­ing, farm work, car­ry­ing gro­ceries and chil­dren. Don’t avoid move­ment. Take the stairs. Build mus­cle.

My chil­dren tell me I over­re­act to things af­ter I’ve had coffee. I didn’t be­lieve them un­til one of my friends asked me if I was ok in the later part of a catch-up we’d had where I’d had two cof­fees. Have you heard of peo­ple get­ting tense af­ter coffee? Thanks, Alexis.

Hi Alexis – the short an­swer is yes. What you are de­scrib­ing is very com­mon and a sign that you are con­sum­ing too much caf­feine for your body. I had a client a few years ago who shared the fol­low­ing with me. I have her per­mis­sion to share it here:

I al­ways liked to start my day with a latte that I make my­self. I some­times then buy a coffee mid­morn­ing when I amout and about. If I don’t speak to any­one all day, I feel OK.

I do no­tice my en­ergy crashes about two hours af­ter the se­cond coffee, but so far as the feel­ings of be­ing over­whelmed go, they don’t kick in.

But th­ese days, at the age of 41, I only have to get a phone call from my hus­band, and, if he is pan­icked about some­thing or seems frus­trated with me, I can’t stop shak­ing on the in­side af­ter I hang up. I feel like the small­est task on my to-do list is over­whelm­ing, I get so tense and I make moun­tains out of mole­hills for the rest of the day. I Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

can end up in tears or shout­ing, which I don’t like about my­self, even though I felt fine when I woke up.When I came to see you about my pe­ri­ods, you asked me to take a break from coffee for two men­strual cy­cles.

Not only did my pre­men­strual ten­sion go away, but those feel­ings, even when my hus­band was worked up, did not arise the whole time I was off coffee. I can’t tell you the dif­fer­ence it has made to my day and to my health.

I now have one coffee on the week­end if my hus­band and I take the chil­dren out for break­fast, but it took that break for me to re­alise that the coffee was like the straw that broke this camel’s back!

Alexis, use the feed­back from your body and take a break from caf­feine or cer­tainly cut it right back.

Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional.

Photo: 123RF.COM

You don’t need to be a body­builder, but you must have mus­cle.

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