5 Habits for Mitochondrial Health

Looking for simple habits you can practice every day to support mitochondrial synthesis and efficiency? Here are 5 science-backed ways.

1️⃣ Eat the Rainbow. Colorful foods are rich in plant nutrients called polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidants, combatting free radicals that could pose a threat to mitochondrial health. Great foods to try? Pomegranates, blueberries, purple cabbage, and green tea!

2️⃣ Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent fasting means eating only during restricted windows of time. Examples include fasting for at least 12 hours overnight, alternate-day fasting, or the 5-2 diet. Studies show that fasting triggers the production of various mediators that support the synthesis and function of mitochondria.

3️⃣ End Shower on Cold. Exposure to cold triggers a series of events in the body that support mitochondrial synthesis. While you can go to the extreme of cold plunges or ice baths, a simpler hack is to end your showers with 30-60 seconds of cold.

4️⃣ High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Any form of exercise is good for your mitochondria, but the best research is on HIIT. HIIT means exercising at high intensity (until out of breath) for brief bursts, alternating with lower intensity to recover. For example, you might sprint for one minute and then walk for 3 and repeat. One study found that 12 weeks of HIIT supported muscle mitochondrial number and function.

5️⃣ Prioritize Sleep. Sleep is a restful time for your body to take care of housekeeping tasks that clear toxins, recover, and rebuild. Adequate sleep is essential for healthy mitochondrial function.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways to support mitochondrial function, but it does give you some of the simplest things you can do every day at home. Remember—your mitochondria are critical for energy production in every cell of your body and can influence almost every aspect of your health.