Maintaining healthy levels of energy is very important for everyone. When we go through life perpetually fatigued, focus gets lost and distractions are abound. We can become overworked when distracted, which means less gets accomplished while taking up more time. All of these can negatively impact our jobs, as well as our social lives and our mental health. Depression and chronic fatigue syndrome are, unfortunately, very often linked to low energy.
The best ways to combat fatigue are typically eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a steady sleep schedule. Stress and too much caffeine can negatively affect our energy levels, as well, so learning how to manage stress and not drinking that mid-afternoon coffee for a short term boost can help in the long run.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to maintain a decent sleep schedule or hit the gym regularly between work, family, school, and all the extra-curriculars that make life fun. There could also be underlying deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for higher energy. Though you should consult your physician before making any determinations on vitamin deficiencies, there are many supplements we can take to help us tackle low energy at its source.
Getting all of our necessary vitamins and nutrients plays a very large part in keeping energy up, as so many play a part in our blood production. Blood carries oxygen throughout the body, and our brains require roughly 20% of it to function normally. Deficiencies lead to all sorts of problems, but which are the most important supplements to help combat these deficiencies and, therefore, keep our energy levels high? What are the most common supplements for energy? And what are some less common supplements for when we just need that extra health boost?[/vc_column_text]
Common Energy-Boosting Nutrients
Over the years, dietary guidelines have changed. For years, the food pyramid was the gold standard. But the fact is, our needs go beyond a neat little chart that teachers can easily turn into an exam. We need certain vitamins and minerals for good health, high energy, and consistency in our day-to-day lives. If you're feeling a lack of energy, it's important to figure out what supplements you need in order to have a better overall performance.
While dietary guidelines have changed, so have those day-to-day lives of many people. Not everyone has access to the finest quality meals when processed foods are so much cheaper and readily available. Sometimes, digestive disorders outside of our control prevent us from absorbing all the nutrients we need, no matter how healthy our diet. People everywhere have different lifestyles and health concerns that can contribute to nutritional deficiencies.
Supplements can help.
Here are some of the best energy supplements that work to product energy while reducing fatigue:
1: Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient. It keeps our nerve and blood cells healthy, creates our very DNA, and helps prevent a type of anemia. This anemia, megaloblastic anemia, makes us tired and weak.
As we age, our need for Vitamin B12 increases. As infants, we need less than a microgram, but the needed amount for sufficient energy levels changes as we age. Older adults, or those with certain digestive disorders, may have trouble absorbing B12 through their food due to lower hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Vegans/vegetarians also may be at risk for a deficiency as only animal products (beef, poultry, fish, dairy products) naturally contain B12 and other necessary amino acids.
Not having enough B12 can cause a failure to thrive, tiredness, weakness, and a whole host of other issues. Taking a supplement isn’t harmful, but a deficiency certainly is. B12 is a great vitamin for energy if you're needing an energy boost for better performance.
2: Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is another vital B vitamin that helps produce energy. It’s involved in over 150 enzyme reactions and functions, including those which help us to process foods, control our nervous systems, and even our immune systems. A deficiency can leave us with rashes, mood swings, tingling pains, seizures, and tiredness/low energy.
Though B6 is present in the majority of food we eat, they are water soluble and do not stay in the body long. They are also tricky to absorb, so even a mild digestive disorder can lead to a deficiency over time, leaving you with the side effects listed above.
B6 is directly involved in making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen throughout the body. Without hemoglobin, we can develop anemia. B6 is also involved in creating melatonin, which…
Melatonin is a natural sleep aid. It controls our sleep-wake cycle and influences our internal clocks so you can get quality sleep each night. Since our energy levels are so dependent on the amount of sleep we get, conditions like insomnia and sleep disorders (such as circadian rhythm and delayed sleep-wake phase) can be detrimental. A melatonin supplement can assist in improving these disorders by reducing length of time needed to fall asleep.
Unlike vitamins, melatonin is not found in foods. It is a hormone produced by our bodies, and most supplements have to be created in a lab. The biggest benefit to a melatonin supplement, though, is that the dependence typically encountered with sleep medications is absent, so there are no addictive side effects. You also won’t “get used to it,” so it continues to be effective with repeated use. Since melatonin production decreases as we age, a supplement can help keep our bodies on track and get us to naturally have better energy and performance and less fatigue.
4: Vitamin B5
Pantothenic acid, (vitamin B5), has many uses just like the above B vitamins. It’s primary importance lies in helping our bodies produce red blood cells, stress-related hormones created in the adrenal glands, and process carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.
These breakdowns are important in the body, as this converts what we eat into energy. If we are eating a healthy diet, but do not have the required vitamins in our systems to break those foods into something usable, we may as well be eating fast food every day.
While vitamin B5 can be found in many animal products, vegetables, and fruits, much of it is lost in processing and cooking as it cannot tolerate high temperatures for long. Signs of a deficiency can include tiredness, weight loss, dizziness, headaches, mood swings, and more undesirable side effects. B5 and the other B vitamins listed above are vital for energy levels, so it's crucial to find these B vitamins in supplements if they don't naturally occur in your diet.
5: Vitamin C
We’ve likely all heard of Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid. Anytime any of us starts to feel sick, we reach for the orange juice. Not only does it offer the best vitamins for warding off nasty colds, but it also includes some of the best vitamins for energy. Did you know that Vitamin C is also essential in producing tissue and plasma concentrations? Unfortunately, our bodies don’t produce Vitamin C the way most animals do, so it’s essential that we obtain it in our diets. While we only need to get a few micrograms of Vitamin B12, we need nearly or above one hundred milligrams of Vitamin C to maintain our best health and performance.
While people think of scurvy as being an issue relegated to pirates of days gone by, it can still occur in rare cases. Signs and symptoms can occur within one month of limited intake of the vitamin, and often start with fatigue.
One study introduced ten grams of Vitamin C to a group of healthy office workers between 20 and 49 years old. It showed that the boost of Vitamin C reduced fatigue after just two hours and the effects persisted into the following day. The study participants who did not receive the Vitamin C boost showed no change.
6: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is most often associated with bones. I’m sure we all remember the old Got Milk? commercials and their emphasis on drinking milk to grow up strong and healthy. But the calcium Vitamin D aids us in absorbing and using (as our bodies do not produce it naturally) also helps our blood safely clot, our muscles contract, and our hearts beat. The proper levels of Vitamin D reduce our muscle fatigue as they are directly related to helping us move more efficiently.
It’s absorbed through the sun (though this can be difficult for people who live in wintry climates, have darker skin, or are above the age of fifty), through dairy and fish, and through Vitamin D energy supplements. Often, certain drinks or foods have Vitamin D added to them because it doesn’t show up naturally in much. That’s one reason why energy supplements are so beneficial.
For help with sleep, making sure we have enough magnesium in our bodies is very important. It can help us slow our hearts, relax our muscles, and settle busy minds after a long, hard day. We all know that better sleep leads to a better performance the next day for most people. Magnesium is an essential part in hormone regulation, particularly in releasing serotonin. You might know it as the “happy” hormone, and it relaxes our bodies and calms the mind.
Magnesium has so many roles, we need even more of it than we do Vitamin C to maintain a healthy performance. Males need over four hundred milligrams by the time they’re fourteen and females need more than three hundred.
Without iron and the oxygen we need to thrive, we become more sluggish and feel more fatigue. We sleep more, but don’t feel rested. This is a problem that many people have. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency there is, which can be very dangerous for us. As briefly mentioned with the B vitamins above, our blood production is very closely linked to our energy levels. Iron is vital in our ability to carry oxygen in the blood cells, as it’s actually the reaction between iron and oxygen which causes our blood to be red. More than eighty percent of functional iron in the body makes up emoglobin.
In our diets, there are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Heme is more easily absorbed and can be found in meat, fish, and poultry. Non-heme iron, found in green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli), is less easily absorbed by the bodies. Because some iron is used (functional) and some is stored, so we need more of it to perform important tasks.
Vegans and vegetarians are most at risk for having an iron deficiency as far as diets go. Additionally, women are more susceptible to the deficiency than men during pregnancy and menstruation. Supplements can help combat this and keep your blood flowing healthily through your veins, avoiding those anemic symptoms. If you're looking to increase energy overall, iron is a great place for many people to start.
Uncommon Energy-Boosting Nutrients
The above vitamins and minerals are all likely things we have heard of before, whether naturally or in supplements. Because those deficiencies are more common, our doctors and grade school health teachers talk about them pretty often. Our parents probably gave us all chalky cartoon-character-shaped multivitamins as kids. Recently, gummies have become more prevalent for childhood multivitamins to get kids even more hyped about being healthy and taking supplements.
But, like our ever-changing dietary guidelines, science doesn’t give us one answer and then move along. We live in a fast-paced society, and sometimes, people need an energy booster to be able to get through the day.
1: Ashwagandha Extract
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract is one of those extra boosts that can help us. One study conducted in 2020 showed that ashwagandha improved the quality of sleep in participants. It decreased sleep latency and increased sleep efficiency. Better still, there were no adverse side effects in any of the participants. As with melatonin, better sleep is a great way to increase energy and overall performance.
But what is ashwagandha?
It’s a plant! Native to India and North Africa, the ashwagandha plant is a small, yellow-flowered shrub. The root and berry are used to make medicines, particularly stress-reducing and anti-inflammation ones, which are made available to take as supplements. It’s positive effects are becoming more known as we continue to test and explore its natural benefits, but it's known to address general fatigue and chronic fatigue.
2: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is found naturally in the mitochondria of our cells. They’re responsible for taking in nutrients, breaking them down, and converting them into energy. As we age, and in the presence of certain disorders/diseases, our CoQ10 production slows.
With the loss of CoQ10, our get up and go, well, gets up and goes. We’re not able to naturally fuel our bodies without it, and our body is needing a way to boost energy. CoQ10 is also a vital resource for our hearts, as that energy directly goes into helping our hearts pump blood through our bodies. Good blood flow and production helps, again, with avoiding anemia and the chronic fatigue that comes with it.
While this coenzyme can be found in very small amounts in our daily diet, it’s really only in beef heart, pork, chicken liver, and fish. Typically, that would only lead to us getting two to five milligrams, which isn’t nearly enough to replenish what we naturally lose every day. Taking a supplement with food can give us that post-lunch boost many of us need to finish the day without downing sugary coffees and negatively impacting our sleep schedule.
Instead of coffee, let’s reach for tea. Green, black, and white teas contain an amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine has the unusual ability to simultaneously stimulate and relax the brain, which is what tends to give us that boost of concentration and creativity that sparks our best ideas or our most effective work sessions.
Studies have shown that L-theanine has a direct effect on our minds. By stimulating our alpha frequency band, it increases our concentration in addition to our energy and relaxation. It helps us in shutting out the outside noise, the distractors we so easily get lost in when we’re too tired to focus on the task at hand.
It’s most effective in the higher doses found in black teas. Drinking too much caffeinated tea, however, can throw off your sleep schedule, so it’s simpler, safer, and better in the long run to take the supplement. There aren’t even any known side-effects. It’s a great, effective solution when we need a boost to make it through the day.
4. Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)
Like CoQ10, pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), or methoxatin, is a biofuel involved in the production of energy in our cells. But while CoQ10 is the trigger for energy production, PQQ gives us more opportunity to make energy. PQQ has been shown to increase the number of mitochondria itself and improve the efficiency of energy production. This allows CoQ10 to work even more efficiently as it doesn’t have to clean up as much mess since the unused cellular energy is disbursed to other parts of the body.
With continued use, PQQ also tends to reduce cortisol – the stress hormone – so allows for a better, more effective sleep. So not only does PQQ provide an immediate boost of energy, it helps in improving energy levels over time.
PQQ is most commonly found in kiwis, green peppers, and parsley, but only in small amounts. Supplements with PQQ can give us an optimal amount in a way our bodies can most easily interact with and use. allowing for people to feel less overall fatigue.
L-Tyrosine is another amino acid we need to function at peak levels. Though it’s labeled as non-essential, it’s a very important piece of the thyroid hormone that works in conjunction with others to boost energy and fight fatigue. The thyroid gland is an important part – possibly the most important part – of the endocrine system. Our endocrine system is responsible for metabolism, growth and development of body and mind, and regulating our body temperature. If you have a fever burning sickness away, your endocrine system is responsible for it.
Regarding energy, our metabolism is, effectively, the process of generating exactly that. The process takes all of those nutrients we take and the food we eat and converts it into energy. A low metabolism tends to mean low energy, and a low level of tyrosine means a low metabolism, which affects people in many ways.
Tyrosine is also helpful in managing stress. It tends to build up over time, as the body’s natural reactions to stress become more and more sensitive. Eventually, we may find ourselves panicking over the smallest of issues, things we would never worry about when our hormones are properly balanced. This amino acid assists us in building up and boosting our natural hormones, but production decreases with age and is harmed by many health issues.
Supplementing tyrosine is a simple and effective way to boost our metabolism and, therefore, our energy levels.
Above are only a few examples of the best energy supplements that can help people fight fatigue and have an overall better performance. Both common and uncommon, instant or built up overtime, these nutrients are essential building blocks for improving our energy. Energy boosters, or energy supplements, help us avoid fatigue by allowing for us to sleep better, reducing exhausting stress, and helping our cells produce more natural energy. Energy supplements can boost our metabolism, giving us more energy from the foods we eat more effectively. They even assist us in evading creative slumps and feel more motivated by helping us ignore the dozens of distractions life throws our way. This culminates in less mental health problems and happier days for people everywhere.
As we age, many of these naturally produced vitamins and minerals fade. As we grow older, we find ourselves in need of energy boosters that once came without prompting. Seeing people in better shape can be frustrating when we need to take supplements to fight fatigue, but when you take the proper supplements, you can feel much better about your body. Need more energy in bed? Check out one of our male enhancement products such as Semenax volume and intensity enhancer.
Supplementing these vital nutrients can help us live our most productive lives, our most creative lives, and our happiest lives. And what could possibly be better than that?