If you experience temporary sluggishness and fatigue, you’re not alone. The stress of work, family, school, and household management—along with the hectic, multitasking nature of today’s modern lifestyle—can lead to occasional days of apathy and low mood.
While these blips in energy may seem inconsequential, they can indicate something in your body that needs attention. One possible connection is your gut microbiome, the communities of trillions of bacteria living in your digestive tract.
The beneficial bacteria in our gut support many bodily functions, such as digestion, immune function, and healthy metabolic response. As it turns out, the good guys in our gut also affect our nervous system, which is a big player in healthy mood and energy cycles.
The good news is that you can support a healthy mood and overall energy just by maintaining a healthy gut.
Microbes and Mood
We often think of mood as originating in the brain, but your gut has more in common with your emotions than you may think. Medical professionals have dubbed the gut our “second brain” because of its connection to the brain through the enteric nervous system (ENS), which resides in the gut.
Specifically, the good microbes in our digestive tract—the probiotics—can “speak” with and signal our brain via the vagus nerve, which extends from the brainstem into the gut. Friendly flora called psychobiotics have a beneficial impact on our mood and mental state. Indeed, studies indicate that the good microbes in our gut can help support a positive mindset. (1,2)*
Producing brain chemicals
Our friendly flora help produce and regulate neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin, calming us down and making us feel good. Over 90% of all the serotonin (the “happy chemical”) in our body is produced in our gut! (3)
Keeping cortisol levels in check
Our microbial good guys can work to lower the hormone cortisol, which spikes during stressful situations, leading to temporary anxiety, stress, and other undesirable feelings. (4)
Occasional apathy and fatigue usually go hand in hand, and caring for your mood will often support healthy energy levels. But, seeing how gut health can be the root of both issues, you can support both at the same time by taking care of your gut microbiome!
We think you might also be interested in our Digestive Starter Pack.*
Link Between Energy and Gut Health
We know that a compromised and out-of-balance gut microbiome can lead to changes in mood, but how exactly does your gut health relate to energy?
In addition to supporting a healthy mood—which can automatically positively affect energy—a balanced microbiome with plenty of good bacteria can help with the following:
Our intestinal bacteria help us digest everything we consume, enabling us to absorb all the vital nutrients we need to keep us healthy. Without enough good bacteria, we cannot fully assimilate all of the vitamins and minerals in the foods we eat, and our energy levels suffer. Some probiotic strains even produce vitamins B and K, both of which are necessary for energy production in our body’s cells. (5)*
If we don’t get enough sleep, we feel tired and lack energy. But did you know that friendly flora assists in restful sleep as well?
Research demonstrates that, in addition to producing brain chemicals and supporting healthy stress responses that can interfere with our precious shuteye, your good gut bugs also increase tryptophan levels in the body, crucial for melatonin production and quality sleep. (6)
Healthy Blood Sugar^*
When blood sugar is unbalanced, we may feel like we are on an energy roller coaster. By communicating with our cells, beneficial microbes help support blood sugar levels already within normal range, which is critical for maintaining a steady supply of energy to our body.*
A healthy microbiome can aid in healthy mood and energy response, but how do we make sure our gut stays healthy?
Living a Gut-Healthy Life
A balanced gut microbiome comprises about 85% beneficial bacteria to aid in daily health functions. The problem is that keeping everything in balance isn’t always easy. So many things in our modern lifestyles—from stress and processed foods to antibacterial products, food contaminants, and antibiotics—can deplete the good bacteria in our microbiome, throwing it out of whack.
So, what steps can you take to live a gut-healthy life that supports your mood and energy?
1. Take a daily probiotic*
Adding a high-quality daily probiotic formula like Hyperbiotics PRO-15 to your regimen can help ensure that the good guys are delivered alive deep in your gut, aiding in healthy mood and energy levels.*
If you’re an athlete or like to regularly exercise and train, consider including PRO-Compete in your daily health plan. With six targeted strains that help to support energy, endurance, and immune function, PRO-Compete is the ultimate workout companion.*
2. Eat whole foods
Whole, unprocessed foods support optimal mood and energy and keep your microbes happy, too. Emulsifiers, artificial sweeteners, pesticides, and GMOs can all damage good bacteria in your gut.
Stress can affect your gut microbiome in many ways, from depleting vital bacteria to hindering digestion, which can impact energy and a balanced mood. Practice meditation, yoga, or any activity that will help you relax.
Our energy and mood have a tremendous impact on our everyday lives; if either one is suffering, it can negatively affect our entire worldview.
Thankfully, if we give our body what it needs to keep our gut healthy and robust, our mighty microbes will work overtime to keep us happy, vibrant, and ready to take on the world!
- Nutrition. 2016; 32(3):315-20 [PMID: 26706022]
- Nat Rev Immunol. 2016; 16(1):22-34 [PMID: 26711676]
- Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108(38):16050-5 [PMID: 21876150]
- Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016; 82(12):3649-58 [PMID: 27208120]
- Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014; 98(17):7569-81 [PMID: 24903812]
- J Psychiatr Res. 2008; 43(2):164-74 [PMID: 18456279]
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug (FDA) Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
^Supports blood sugar levels already within a normal range.