Your cells contain a little powerhouses called mitochondria which produce more than 90% of the energy used by your body. If these energy factories don’t get the nutrients that they need, you will begin to feel tired, fatigued and worn out, No matter how much sleep you get.
Fortunately there are natural ways that you can boost the energy output from the cells, to make you feel more energised and alert. One of the most important vitamins that is needed to form this energy (ATP) is called thiamine (Vitamin B1), and that is the topic of this article.
Just a quick reminder, this article is for educational purposes only, so do speak to your doctor if you have any medical conditions.
Benefits Of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin that comes from different foods, and we need at least 1.1mg of this per day. B1 helps to turn carbohydrates, proteins and fats that you eat into usable energy inside your mitochondria. However it is only stored for a short time, so we must get it from our food. It acts an co-enzyme, helping to speed up and trigger reactions in the Krebs Cycle to produce energy (ATP).
When you have enough B1 you will feel energised, stable and alert because it helps to provide energy in your brain cells, heart cells and all other organs and muscles. It also plays an important role in protecting your nerves against damage, And helping to build serotonin and other neurotransmitters that make you feel happy and in a state of wellbeing. Vitamin B1 can also be produced by friendly bacteria that live inside your large intestine.
Signs Of A B1 Deficiency
People who do not have enough B1 in their bodies will find that they feel tired and fatigued, no matter how much sleep they get. They also find that they feel more anxious or stressed, because B1 is needed to turn off the fight/flight response.
Low B1 can also cause a high heart rate (over 100bpm) when you are resting. You may find that you wake up in the night between 2-3am struggling to sleep, overthinking. A B1 deficiency can also cause digestive problems like acid reflux, GERD or constipation because it’s needed to control various glands and valves in the digestive system.
Causes Of A B1 Deficiency
Most people are getting more than enough Vitamin B1 from their foods like meats, eggs, and fish. The main cause of a deficiency is eating refined foods which contain sugar or flour. Your body has to use up it’s stores of B1 to turn them into energy, because they do not contain the usual nutrients found in nature.
(to help it) Foods like biscuits, pastries, breads, crackers, sweets, soda’s, juices, jams, syrups etc all deplete Vitamin B1 causing tiredness and fatigue. Caffeine and tannins found in coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks also depletes B1, and overstimulates the nervous system. Long term emotional stress also raises your blood sugars, and this also reduces thiamine (b1) stores, causing you to burn out (adrenal fatigue), and also triggers muscle loss in the lower legs.
Alcoholic drinks blocks your body’s ability to absorb b1 or thiamine from the small intestine, And finally certain drugs like antacids, antibiotics, birth control, and diabetes medications can also deplete Vitamin B1.
Boosting Energy With B1
How To Boost Energy With Vitamin B1?
1. Start consuming more foods that are naturally rich in b1 on a daily basis including organic pork, sunflower seeds, garlic, squash, asparagus, mussels and best of all nutritional yeast flakes (unfortified) These foods also contain other minerals and nutrients that work with B1 to spark energy production in your cells.
2. Cut back on refined foods that use up your B1 stores, especially those which contain refined sugar like sweets, soda drinks, pastries, biscuits, chocolate, As well as alcohol and coffee. You should also avoid eating too much white rice, because the outer bran that contained B1 was removed in the refining process. Wild rice is a much healthier alternative.
3. Start taking a daily supplement of 50mg of allithiamine, or 13mg thiamine Cocarboxylase (Coenzymated) to increase your energy output. These are more effective versions of thiamine (b1) which can help to replenish your B stores, Causing you to feel a calm flow of energy, with better mental focus and alertness.
4. Focus on eating more meals which contain whole foods (unrefined) like red meats, a serving of leafy greens and eggs to supply Iron, Folate and B12 These nutrients help to boost red blood cells, transporting oxygen to your mitochondria which works with thiamine (b1) to make cellular energy.
5. I also recommend eating lots of probiotic rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and kefir. These help to colonise your gut with friendly microbes in the lactobacillus and streptococcus families. These help to produce Vitamin B1 inside your large intestine after feeding them with soluble fiber from vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits.
Energy Boosting Recipe
Now I’d like to share with you two natural yet powerful energy boosting recipes that you can use on a daily basis to stop feeling tired.
ALB Energy Drink (Electrolytes)
• 1 Avocado Pulp
• 2 Cups Water (500ml)
• 1 Whole Lemon (Unwaxed) (including the peel, pith and seeds)
• 1 Cup Blueberries
• 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
Place all of these ingredients in a high powered blender, process until smooth and drink. This is an extremely powerful health tonic that’s loaded with magnesium, potassium, monounsaturated fat and Vitamin C. These all work with Vitamin B1 to strengthen your mitochondria and provide a natural energy boost that works much better than caffeine.
Energy Sauce (B-Vitamins)
• 1 Cup Nutritional Yeast (Unfortified)
• 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce (Organic)
• 1 Pinch Garlic Powder
• 1 Green Onion (Spring Onion)
• 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
Place all of these ingredients in a mason jar, process with an immersion blender. Pour this “energy sauce“ or dressing over your salads, meats, or wild rice This is loaded with B-Vitamins (B1), acetic acid and monounsaturated fats that will help your body to recover From emotional stress, overworking, overthinking, B1 deficiencies, fatigue, tiredness and being run down.