Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are the best ways to maintain your natural energy levels.
But these things are not always possible, especially when balancing the demands of life.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Fortunately, there are many supplements you can turn to for an energy boost. Here are 6 natural vitamins and supplements that may boost your energy.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Ashwagandha is one of the most important medicinal herbs in Indian Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medicinal systems. Ashwagandha is thought to increase energy by enhancing your body’sresilience to physical and mental stress.
In one study, people given ashwagandha showed significant improvements in several measures of stress and anxiety, compared to those given a placebo. They also had 28% lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that increases in response to stress.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Strengthening these findings was a review of five studies examining the effects of ashwagandha on anxiety and stress.
All of the studies showed that those who took ashwagandha extract scored better on tests measuring stress, anxiety and fatigue.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, In addition to improving mental fatigue and stress, research also suggests ashwagandha can alleviate fatigue associated with exercise.
A study of elite cyclists found that those who took ashwagandha were able to cycle 7% longer than those given a placebo.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, What’s more, research suggests that ashwagandha supplements are safe and have a low risk of side effects.
2. Rhodiola Rosea
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Rhodiola rosea is an herb that grows in certain cold, mountainous regions. It’s widely used as an adaptogen, a natural substance that enhances your body’s ability to cope with stress. In one study, researchers combined and analyzed the results of 11 studies that examined the effects of rhodiola on physical and mental fatigue in more than 500 people.
Of the 11 studies, 8 found evidence that rhodiola can enhance physical performance and ease mental fatigue. There were also no major safety risks associated with rhodiola supplements.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Another review concluded that rhodiola carries a low risk for side effects and may be helpful for alleviating physical and mental fatigue.
Rhodiola has been suggested to help with depression as well, which is commonly linked to fatigue.
A 12-week study compared the antidepressant effect of rhodiola to the commonly prescribed antidepressant sertraline, or Zoloft.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Rhodiola was found to reduce symptoms of depression, but not as effectively as sertraline.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, However, the rhodiola produced fewer side effects and was better tolerated than sertraline.
3. Vitamin B12
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Along with the other B vitamins, vitamin B12 helps transform the food you eat into energy that your cells can use.
It also keeps your body’s nerves and blood cells healthy and helps prevent a type of anemia that can make you weak and tired.
Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a variety of animal proteins, such as meat, fish and dairy products. Many foods are also fortified with B12, allowing most Americans to meet their vitamin B12 needs by consuming a balanced diet containing foods rich in B12 .
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Nevertheless, some populations may be at risk of a B12 deficiency, which occurs when your body does not get enough or is unable to absorb the amount you need.
As a result, some people’s energy levels may receive a boost with B12 supplements.
People who may be at risk of deficiency include:
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Older adults: Approximately 10–30% of adults over the age of 50 have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food. This is because they produce less stomach acid and proteins, which are required for proper absorption.
Vegans: Vegetarians and vegans are at risk of B12 deficiency since animal foods are the only natural food source of this vitamin.
Those with GI disorders: Conditions that affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb B12.
However, there is no evidence that suggests supplementing with B12 — or any of the B vitamins, for that matter — can boost energy in people who have adequate levels.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from your lungs to the organs and tissues throughout your body.
Without adequate levels of iron, your red blood cells cannot effectively carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
This results in iron deficiency anemia, which may leave you feeling fatigued and weak.
Causes of iron deficiency anemia include:
Iron-poor diet: The richest sources of iron in the diet include meat and seafood. For this reason, iron requirements for vegans are 1.8 times higher than for people who eat meat.
Blood loss: More than half of your body iron is in your blood. Therefore, blood loss through heavy periods or internal bleeding can dramatically deplete levels.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women require twice as much iron to support normal fetal growth. Unfortunately, about half of all pregnant women develop iron deficiency anemia.
In these cases, an iron supplement may be needed to correct a deficiency and avoid complications associated with iron deficiency anemia, including fatigue.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, However, because there are health risks from excessive iron intake, consult with your doctor to see if iron supplements are right for you.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Melatonin is a natural hormone that plays a role in sleep. It’s produced and released depending on the time of day — rising in the evening and falling in the morning.
Supplementing with melatonin may be an effective way to alleviate insomnia, a sleep disorder that affects approximately 30% of adults around the world.
Chronic insomnia can make you constantly tired and low on energy. Symptoms include difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, waking up too early and poor sleep quality.
For people with chronic fatigue syndrome, melatonin supplements have been shown to improve concentration and energy while reducing fatigue. Interestingly, reduced melatonin secretions have been associated with aging, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, However, it is currently unclear whether taking melatonin supplements can help reduce fatigue for people with these conditions.
Melatonin supplements appear to be safe. What’s more, they do not cause your body to produce less melatonin and are not associated with withdrawal or dependence.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, CoQ10, which stands for coenzyme Q10, is made naturally in the body. CoQ10 comes in a few forms, including ubiquinone and ubiquinol. They are ubiquitous in the body, meaning they’re found in all cells.
All cells contain CoQ10, although the heart, kidneys and liver have the highest levels. Cells use CoQ10 to make energy and protect themselves from oxidative damage.
When levels of CoQ10 decline, your body’s cells cannot produce the energy they need to grow and stay healthy, which may contribute to fatigue.
Fish, meat and nuts contain CoQ10, but not in large enough amounts to significantly increase levels in your body.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Therefore, CoQ10 supplements may be a better solution for reducing fatigue in people who have declining or low levels.
CoQ10 levels decrease with age and may be low in people with heart failure, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes or in people who take statins, a class of medications used to lower blood cholesterol levels.
However, CoQ10 supplements are unlikely to increase energy in people with adequate levels of the enzyme.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Additionally, studies in both humans and animals suggest that CoQ10 supplements are safe in appropriate doses.
Vitamins And Supplements To Boost Energy, Studies show that one of several forms of CoQ10, known as ubiquinol, is more efficient at improving the levels of CoQ10 in older men.