When you dust off your bike, sit with friends on a patio, or go on a spontaneous outing to enjoy the beautiful sunshine, you know it’s spring again. Spring is a time for reawakening. We are full of drive, and it feels like we have 101 activities on our itinerary. What happens to our bodies when we awaken from hibernation? And what do our cells need to keep up with our surge in energy? You can find out here.
More light, less melatonin
What is it about spring that makes our mood so erratic? Why do we have such a sudden thirst for action? Scientists attribute these changed to the pineal gland, which is located in the brain and is responsible for the producing and secreting the sleep hormone melatonin. The longer the night or a dark phase lasts, the more melatonin is released – and the more weak and tired we feel. However, as the days become longer, the melatonin concentration in the blood begins to decrease. This leads to noticeably more energy.
Spring awakening at the physiological level
When the first warm spring rays caress our uncovered skin, the “happiness hormones” that are released awaken our body. It’s almost as though we are reborn. One of these hormones is serotonin. Serotonin increases our drive, improves our well-being, and dispels negative moods and fears. It also plays a role in regulating sugar metabolism, the feeling of satiety and our circadian rhythm.
The sun helps restore our good mood and replenishes vitamin D
We know that basking in spring sun positively affects our mood. Conversely, numerous studies have confirmed that there is a clear correlation between a gloomy mood and a lack of light. In addition to lifting our mood, it is once again time to use the sun to replenish our vitamin D stores, which have been depleted during the long winter months with fewer hours of sunlight. Moderate sunbathing (15 to 20 minutes) during which the hands, face, and parts of the arms and legs are exposed is sufficient. The basic prerequisite for this is a sufficiently high level of UVB radiation, which only occurs during midday, and not using sunscreen. Our body uses the sun’s UVB radiation to create its own vitamin D from a modified cholesterol compound in the skin. A good supply of vitamin D supports our immune system during the transition between seasons.
Springtime grouch: revitalization for tired cells
Unfortunately, not all people are blessed with boosts of energy in the spring. Spring fever is characterized by constant tiredness, sensitivity to the weather, and weak circulation of the blood. Those who feel worn out rather than vitalized can use additional support. In addition to certain B vitamins, the anti-stress mineral magnesium is a good choice. Magnesium, vitamins B2, B6, and B12, niacin, and pantothenic acid play a role in energy metabolism and help to reduce tiredness and exhaustion. A good supply of potassium – the counterpart to magnesium – is also essential. It helps our body to maintain normal blood pressure during the change of seasons. We also get energy from coenzyme Q10 (see box), which our body can produce itself and which is found in every cell, especially in organs with high energy consumption. The body’s endogenous Q10 production decreases with increasing age. It is therefore good to know that coenzyme Q10 can also be supplied through our diet.
Cell protection is also an issue in spring
When we become exhausted or when we spend too much time in the spring sun, free radicals accumulate in our cells. This, in turn, triggers oxidative stress. The trace elements zinc and selenium neutralize free radicals and thus help to protect the cells from oxidative stress. Increased metabolic activity (e.g., as a result of exhaustion) also leads to increased acid load. Zinc, on the other hand, supports our body in maintaining the acid-base balance.
Coenzyme Q10 quality
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like compound that is found in every cell in our body. It keeps the fire in the mitochondria – the cellular power plants – burning. The quality of coenzyme Q10 in dietary supplements can vary considerably depending on the dosage form. A high-quality dietary supplement provides coenzyme Q10 of the highest quality: It is 100% bioidentical and 100% pure. It is derived from natural raw materials and is ideally available in the ready-to-go form – ubiquinol.
These micronutrients make us fit for spring:
Effect on cells/body Micronutrients
Energy: B vitamins, magnesium
Cell protection: zinc, selenium
Circulation/blood pressure: potassium
Immune system: vitamin D
Conclusion: It doesn’t take much to enjoy spring to the fullest. Quality time with your favorite people, heart-warming sunshine, and the right vital substances are a good start.