What causes different levels of energy in people?


For example, people would describe me as having a lot of energy and my gf as having less energy, but what causes this difference? Is it something mental? An actual difference in ATP production? Something else?

In: 6

It’s nothing to do with literal energy. It’s just differences in personality. Of course, there’ll be some set of neuron connections responsible for it, but the same is true for every trait, like what your sense of humour is, or how analytically you approach problems.

ATP would be specific to muscle endurance and activity. That isn’t something that can be seen by others unless they’re literally watching you do specific tests.

It’s more a matter of dopamine/serotonin interplay in your brain. Those who are active, eat well, or are generally happy appear to be “high energy” because that interplay is maintained. In people with conditions like ADHD, dopamine is cleared more quickly, so they appear to be really high energy because they’re always looking for that dopamine hit, the “reward”. In depression, serotonin is altered, meaning there is less of a “reward” to similar activities and they appear more “low energy”.

Edit: there are also other factors. Exercise and diet can definitely reverse depression, but it often leads to exercise addiction in ADHD (whom are more prone to addiction anyways). Exercise and good diet decrease fatigue and increase resting metabolism, leading to an energy surplus. Caffeine inhibits adenosine, which signals fatigue; so caffeine also promotes a “high energy” phenotype, in most ( has calming effect in ADHD)

Edit: to those saying “it could be x”, you’re not wrong. I’m giving a very general explanation and really, really, really summarizing the pathways. They hold true for the vast majority, but yes there will always be other “it could be” factors.

The thyroid. It’s like your body’s engine control. Some people idle-high and others idle-low. If she likes really hot showers, warm beds, naps a lot, and is always cold then she might want to be checked out for hypothyroidism.

Along with a large psychological factor. Real hard to be full of energy and zest for life when you’re depressed. Likewise, I’m usually all out of energy when there’s all sorts of people because it’s draining. Leave me alone though and I’m good to go. That’s the observer effect when it comes to others judging my energy levels.