Topic of the Month
Micronutrients and mental energy
1 July 2012
Mental energy is seen as a combination of high cognitive functioning, high levels of alertness, a motivation to do more and a positive, optimistic mood. Depending on individual circadian rhythms, mental energy levels can change within a 24 hour time period. There is no clear explanation for occasions where mental performance is at its highest in some people and lowest in others. Besides genetics, sleep and pain, oxygen supply and water intake can also influence mental energy or arousal. In addition, the types of foods consumed can enhance or reduce one’s level of mental energy. While glucose is the favorite energy source for the nerve cells, caffeine can increase reaction speed and enhance alertness. Micronutrients such as
B vitamins, antioxidant vitamins, coenzyme Q10 and omega-3 fatty acids are also known to influence mental energy.