Metabolic flexibility is the ability of the body to switch between using carbohydrates and fats for energy. This is an important ability, as it allows the body to adapt to different situations. For example, if you are going to exercise, your body will use carbohydrates for energy. If you are going to rest, your body will use fats for energy. If it’s been awhile since you last ate, you can switch over to burning fat stores. It is also important for weight loss, as it allows you to burn more calories throughout the day. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 amazing benefits of metabolic flexibility.
Metabolic flexibility exists on a spectrum, with some people being more flexible than others. It is determined by a number of factors, including genetics, diet, age, and lifestyle.
Our ancestors were metabolically flexible as a necessity. Some days they would hunt and gather, while other days food would be scarce. This required their bodies to be able to switch back and forth between burning carbohydrates and fats. In today’s modern world, we don’t have to worry about food scarcity, but we can still benefit from being metabolically flexible.
Metabolic flexibility is a key component of health and well-being. Here are ten reasons why :
Better adapt to stress
Your body’s ability to adapt to stress is crucial for survival. Metabolic flexibility is the key to adaptation, and allows your body to switch between different fuels depending on the demands of the situation. When you are stressed, your body needs energy quickly, and will rely on glucose as its primary source of fuel. However, when you are not under stress, your body can use other sources of energy such as ketones. It allows your body to switch back and forth between these different sources of energy in order to better adapt to the current situation.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is key to overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people struggle with this task. When you are metabolically flexible, your body can easily switch between burning carbs and burning fat for energy. This allows you to maintain a healthy weight, even if your diet changes from day to day.
Improves insulin sensitivity
When your body is able to switch between different fuels, it can better regulate blood sugar levels and keep them within a healthy range. This is especially important for people with diabetes or prediabetes, as they are at risk for developing serious health complications if their blood sugar levels get too high.
Lowers blood sugar levels
A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism has found that metabolic flexibility can help lower blood sugar levels. The study, which was conducted on mice, found that those with greater metabolic flexibility had lower blood sugar levels than those with less metabolic flexibility. This is an exciting discovery, and could lead to new treatments for diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
Metabolic flexibility leads to less inflammation because blood sugar and insulin levels are better regulated. It helps to keep blood sugar and insulin levels in check, which reduces inflammation. It is also associated with a healthier gut microbiome which leads to less inflammation.
Protects against heart disease
Impaired metabolic flexibility is associated with cardiac damage and poor heart health, whereas optimal metabolic flexibility is linked to better heart function. This is because metabolic flexibility allows the heart to adapt its fuel usage in response to changes in demand. For example, when exercising, the body demands more energy and the heart needs to be able to switch to using more glucose for fuel. If the heart is unable to do this efficiently, it can lead to cardiac damage.
Promotes brain health
The brain needs a variety of nutrients in order to function properly, and metabolic flexibility allows the body to get those nutrients from a variety of sources. For example, if you eat a lot of carbohydrates, your body will store them as glycogen. However, if you don’t eat many carbohydrates, your body will use fat for energy. This is why a ketogenic diet can be beneficial for brain health. The presence of ketone bodies has a neuroprotective effect on the brain. Ketone bodies also improve mitochondrial function and lower inflammatory chemicals in the blood, aiding in the maintenance of good brain function.
Increases energy levels
When it comes to feeling energetic and vibrant, most people think that they need caffeine or some other type of stimulant. The truth is that you can increase your energy levels by improving your metabolic flexibility. When you are able to burn ketones, you will have more energy because ketones are a more efficient source of fuel than glucose.
Improves athletic performance
Being able to switch between different metabolic pathways easily allows athletes to adjust better to the demands of their sport. For example, a cyclist who can quickly switch from burning glucose to burning ketones will be able to ride longer and with more energy.
Metabolic flexibility reduces free radicals and inflammation, two of the main causes of aging. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells, leading to inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or stress, but chronic inflammation can cause a host of problems, including accelerated aging.
These are just a few of the many benefits of metabolic flexibility. If you want to improve your health, it is important to focus on improving your metabolic flexibility.
How To Improve Metabolic Flexibility
To improve metabolic flexibility, here are a few dietary and lifestyle changes you can make:
- Cycle through a ketogenic diet several times a year
- Eating more protein and healthy fats
- Reducing your carbohydrate intake
- Avoiding processed foods
- Exercising regularly
- Managing stress levels
- Intermittent fasting
By taking steps to improve your metabolic flexibility, you can enjoy all of these amazing benefits and more.
Join Dr. Ryan for the 14 Day Keto Kickstart Program to help you on your journey to better metabolic flexibility.
Start the program today and see the amazing benefits for yourself!
If you have any questions about metabolic flexibility or the ketogenic diet, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help.