Excerpt: 'You: Being Beautiful' on Energy

In the follow-up to the best-selling book "You: Staying Young," Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz are taking on beauty from three vantage points: looking beautiful, feeling beautiful and being beautiful.

The book provides tips on how to care for your body with everything from healthy diets to weighing the value of cosmetic enhancements. It also teaches readers how to care for their spirit by identifying major stresses and examining relationships.

In this chapter, the book deals with getting your energy up to power through the day. Check out some other books in the "GMA" library.

Excerpt courtesy of Free Press.


You Test: Zapped

When's the first time you feel tired during the day?

a. When I awaken, even after sleeping a full eight hours every day for a week.
b. Morning, or at the latest midafternoon.
c. Whenever I move.
d. Whenever I have to deal with my boss.
e. Not until after a day of working 12 hours or more.

Results: If you answered anything other than E, it could be a sign that the energy systems in your body are either slightly or completely out of whack -- causing you to tire even at times when you should feel vital and energized.

So what starts the process that steals your energy? What sets up the dominos, and what causes your first domino to fall? We don't know all the answers for sure, but we do know a few things that make your cellular energy plants—those mitochondria—inefficient.

Three big ones:

Insulin Resistance: We become inefficient in getting the sugar to our production plants and distribute it into fat storage rather than into cells that need to use it to produce energy, such as muscle cells.

Viruses and Other Infections: Acute infections as well as chronic, low-grade infections can eventually cause the fuse to blow. We often see the buggers invade and fray the wires from your fuse box, reducing the amount of energy that can be supplied. Or the lines get frayed from lack of nutrients to keep them repaired (for example, lack of the healthy fat DHA). That starts the "out of energy" cascade after a pregnancy or after an injury, when your immune system is vulnerable. Viral particles have been identified in the nuclei and mitochrondria of many cells of folks with serious energy deficits like fibromyalgia. Once one area feels less energetic, you put more demand on another area, furthering that cascade, so a little wire fraying by viruses can make you feel exhausted much of the time.

Sleep Problems: Many people always have trouble falling asleep. Additionally, many of us (yes, we are guilty here at times) develop less than optimal habits that worsen our ability to sleep or obtain full sleep time and then we have to fight a vicious cycle. And when your immune system needs all the energy it can get—such as when it's fighting an infection for you—not resting your energy supply adequately acts to overheat those wires and worsen your energy problem. That weakens the energy your immune system can borrow from other parts of your energy stores. So you feel more tired. When your body gets too little sleep or poor-quality sleep (not deep enough or not enough dreaming), you tend to have more pain (the lack of sleep doesn't allow you to refresh fully the neurotransmitters you have that normally suppress pain). And that extra pain drains the line of energy, too—so you feel wiped out very near the start of the day. Sleep is important to feeling beautiful.

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