I’m all for having a revolution. A few well-placed free radicals are all that we need to start the ball rolling to burn fat and create energy. Just like with any political revolution, your body needs a few free radicals to function properly and get the process going. In this instance, the process I ‘m referring to is making energy. Internally that’s called ATP – the energy currency for every cell in your body.
ATP is made in the mitochondria of your cells from the reaction of food and oxygen. Try thinking of your mitochondria as little engines within the cell. Your brain and heart cells may contain up to 5000 of these little engines in each cell. The reactions of making ATP are like little explosions going off constantly. As with any explosion, you get a little collateral damage, which in this case are a few free radicals.
Putting up with a few free radicals is perfectly fine because it is part of the body’s natural process. Taking too many antioxidants to kill them all off is not necessarily a good thing. Remember, free radicals are part of the process. In politics or cellular health, a few free radicals are the catalysts for change. It’s when they get out of hand that they have to be dealt with.
I’m not saying we should ignore them either. Every day your DNA undergoes a free radical attack up to 100,000 times. Out of control that can lead to a breakdown and things like cancer other chronic diseases. Calling in the troops isn’t the answer either. You don’t always need a radical response to deal with it.
In this case the answer could be just changing your diet. If you produced less free radicals wouldn’t you require less antioxidants? If you consumed a cleaner diet you might also have enough of them in the food you eat to keep healthy. Is this at all possible?
It is always possible to change your diet and metabolism over to a cleaner fuel that gives you more energy and produces a lot less free radicals that damage your DNA. That fuel is called fat and you’ll be switching your metabolism over to be a fat burner or fat metabolism. Essentially you’ll be burning fat as your primary fuel instead of carbohydrates. Fat burns much cleaner, for longer, and produces much less free radicals. Think of it as putting a higher octane fuel in your car – it burns cleaner and produces more power.
Now it can’t be just any fat. It has to be high quality. Olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil and grass fed butter are great. Try eating pasture raised eggs, organic cheeses, raw nuts, and avocados. Be sure to limit your carbs to make the switch over to being a fat burner.
Switching over to fat requires a very low carb intake. It usually feels great as your brain loves the ketones made from good fat. Sometimes though you can experience a big drop in energy as you adjust to figuring out the exact number of carbs in your diet. You want to have enough in your system to operate as an alternative fuel even though you’re primary fuel is fat. It can be really tricky for athletes to find the perfect zone of carbs and fat.
This is because one of the four essential nutrients needed to make ATP is ribose, a type of sugar made out of glucose. Ribose has the unique ability to enhance ATP in two ways. One as a primary fuel, the other as a recycling agent. It is crucial to maintaining adequate levels of ATP in the cell. Ribose can be supplied in the diet as a pure supplement called D-ribose. Taken in supplement form, it supplies an immediate source of fuel for making ATP. This can be extremely beneficial to those on a low carb diet as they are regulating sugar, the primary source of making ribose. At HerbWorks, we use D-ribose in TianChi to help create what we call Calm, Clear Energy. It’s one of the reasons so many athletes love our product.
The revolution is here. It’s time to throw that low fat lifestyle out the window along with the excessive free radicals produced by the excessive amounts of sugar and carbohydrates you’ve been consuming. Switch to fat and your taste buds will love you for it.