Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise and getting enough sleep are the best ways to maintain your natural energy level.
But these things are not always possible, especially when balancing the demands of life.
Fortunately, there are many supplements you can turn to for an energy boost.
Here are 11 natural vitamins and supplements that can boost your energy.
Table of Contents
Ashwagandha is one of the most important medicinal herbs in Indian Ayurveda, one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world.
Ashwagandha is believed to increase energy by increasing your body’s resistance to physical and mental stress.
In one study, people given ashwagandha showed significant improvements in several measures of stress and anxiety compared to placebo. They had 28% lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that increases in response to stress.
Strengthening these findings was a review of five studies examining the effects of ashwagandha on anxiety and stress.
All studies have shown that people who took ashwagandha extract performed better in tests measuring stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
In addition to improving mental fatigue and stress, research also shows that ashwagandha can reduce fatigue associated with exercise.
One study of elite cyclists found that those who took ashwagandha were able to cycle for 7% longer than those who took a placebo.
What’s more, research shows that ashwagandha supplements are safe and have a low risk of side effects.
2. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola rosea is an herb that grows in some cold, mountainous regions. It is 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 could enhance physical performance and reduce mental fatigue. There were also no major safety risks associated with rhodiola supplements.
Another review concluded that rhodiola poses a low risk for side effects and may be helpful in reducing physical and mental fatigue.
Rhodiola has also been suggested to help with depression, which is commonly associated with fatigue.
One 12-week study compared the antidepressant effects of rhodiola with those of the commonly prescribed antidepressant sertraline, or Zoloft.
Rhodiola was found to reduce symptoms of depression, but not as effectively as sertraline.
However, rhodiola produced fewer side effects and was better tolerated than sertraline.
3. Vitamin B12
Like other B vitamins, vitamin B12 helps convert 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.
Still, some populations may be at risk of B12 deficiency, which occurs when your body doesn’t get enough or is unable to absorb the amounts you need.
As a result, some people’s energy levels may get a boost with B12 supplements.
People who may be at risk of deficiency include:
Older adults: About 10-30% of adults over the age of 50 have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food. This is because they produce less acid and protein in the stomach, which are needed for proper absorption.
Vegetarians: Vegetarians and vegans are at risk of B12 deficiency because 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, can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb B12.
However, there is no evidence that supplementing with B12 — or any B vitamin — can boost energy in people with adequate levels.
The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to 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 can leave you feeling tired 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, the iron requirement for vegetarians is 1.8 times higher than for meat eaters.
Anemia: More than half the iron in your body is in your blood. Therefore, blood loss through heavy periods or internal bleeding can reduce levels dramatically.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women require twice as much iron for the normal development of the fetus. Unfortunately, about half of all pregnant women develop iron deficiency anemia.
In these cases, iron supplementation may be needed to correct the deficiency and avoid complications associated with iron deficiency anemia, including fatigue.
However, because excessive iron intake carries health risks, consult your doctor to see if an iron supplement is right for you.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that plays a role in sleep. It is 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 reduce insomnia, a sleep disorder that affects approximately 30% of adults worldwide.
Chronic insomnia can make you constantly tired and low in energy. Symptoms include difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, waking up too early, and poor quality of sleep.
For people with chronic fatigue syndrome, melatonin supplements have been shown to improve concentration and energy while reducing fatigue.
Interestingly, low melatonin secretion is linked to aging, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure.
However, it is not currently clear 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.
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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 are found in all cells.
All cells contain CoQ10, although the heart, kidney and liver have the highest levels. Cells use CoQ10 to make energy and protect themselves from oxidative damage.
When CoQ10 levels drop, your body’s cells can no longer produce the energy they need to grow and stay healthy, which can contribute to fatigue.
Fish, meat and nuts contain CoQ10, but not in large enough amounts to significantly raise the level in your body.
Therefore, CoQ10 supplements may be a better way to reduce fatigue in people who have or have had low levels.
CoQ10 levels decrease with age and may decrease in people with heart failure, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, or people taking statins, a class of drugs used to lower blood cholesterol levels. . is.
However, CoQ10 supplements are unlikely to increase energy in people with adequate levels of the enzyme.
Additionally, studies in both humans and animals show that CoQ10 supplements are safe in appropriate doses.
Studies show that one of several forms of CoQ10, known as ubiquinol, is more efficient at improving CoQ10 levels in older men.
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in red meat, pork, poultry and fish. It acts as a source of quick energy in your body.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the energy currency of life. When your body uses ATP for energy, it loses a phosphate group and becomes adenosine diphosphate.
Therefore, when your body needs a quick source of energy, creatine lends its phosphate to ADP and becomes ATP.
It gives you the energy you need for high-intensity, short duration exercises, such as:
Short sprints such as the 100m sprint or intermittent sprints in sports such as football or soccer .
Short, powerful movements such as shot put or jumping .
Activities that require a large amount of force, such as weightlifting .
A review of 53 studies found that creatine supplements increased bench press strength by 5%. This translates to a 10-pound increase in weight for someone who can bench 200 pounds (91 kg) by taking only creatine.
In another review, older adults who took creatine gained 3.1 pounds (1.4 kg) of lean muscle mass compared to those who did not.
These gains in muscle strength and size are largely due to participants’ ability to train for longer periods of time due to increased energy supply.
The name “citrulline” comes from the Latin word for watermelon, Citrullus vulgaris, from which it was first isolated.
Citrulline works by increasing nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator, causing the internal muscles of blood vessels to dilate and thus increase circulation.
This allows blood, oxygen and nutrients to travel to all areas of the body. But when the ability to produce nitric oxide is limited, physical weakness and lack of energy can occur.
As a precursor to nitric oxide, citrulline supplements may aid energy levels by increasing the availability of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells.
Citrulline also plays a role in the urea cycle, helping to eliminate ammonia from the body. Ammonia production is a major contributor to fatigue resulting from intense exercise.
Therefore, citrulline can reduce fatigue associated with intense exercise, allowing you to exercise longer.
In one study, people taking citrulline completed a cycling test 1.5% faster than those taking a placebo. The citrulline group also reported less fatigue and a faster recovery.
In another study, taking citrulline supplements allowed people to exercise 12% longer and 7% harder, compared to a placebo.
The safety of citrulline is also well established, even in large doses.
9. Beetroot Powder
Beetroot powder is made from the vegetable beetroot and is high in nitrates.
Similar to L-citrulline, nitrate produces nitric oxide in the body, which relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow and oxygen delivery.
This allows your body to produce energy more efficiently, especially in relation to exercise.
Several study analyzes suggest that beetroot supplements increase the time it takes athletes to get tired during exercise.
In some cases, taking beetroot supplements allowed people to exercise for 25% longer than taking a placebo.
This is because the nitrate found in beetroot reduces the amount of oxygen needed to exercise at different intensities.
The less oxygen you need to exercise, the less tired you will feel and the longer you will be able to exercise.
Additionally, because nitrates increase the production of nitric oxide in your body, supplementing with beetroot may also reduce high blood pressure.
However, while harmless, beetroot can turn your urine or stool red.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by your body. It is found in most high-protein foods, including chicken, eggs and dairy products.
Tyrosine is important for the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that send messages to your brain.
These neurotransmitters are believed to be depleted by mentally and physically demanding activities, which can negatively affect concentration and energy levels.
In several studies, tyrosine supplements have been found to help increase alertness and energy levels. They may also help restore memory and clarity in sleep-deprived people.
Currently, research shows that tyrosine is only beneficial for people who have low stores of the neurotransmitter due to stressful or cognitively demanding situations.
Additionally, supplementing with tyrosine has been shown to be safe.
11. Caffeine With L-Theanine
Caffeine is commonly consumed in the form of coffee, tea, cocoa drinks, energy drinks and sodas, as it has energy-boosting properties.
However, many people limit or avoid caffeine altogether because it can lead to irritability, nervousness, restlessness, and a crash after its initial energy surge.
But combining L-theanine with caffeine in supplement form may be an easy way to prevent these side effects.
L-theanine is an amino acid found naturally in tea and some mushrooms. It is believed to promote relaxation without increasing drowsiness.
In several studies, the combination of caffeine and L-theanine has been shown to improve memory and reaction time, as well as reduce fatigue and mental fatigue.
Collectively, these results suggest that adding L-theanine can help you get the same energy-boosting benefits from caffeine without the unwanted side effects.
While L-theanine is well tolerated, it is recommended that you limit your caffeine intake to less than 400 mg per day. This is equivalent to 3 to 5 cups of coffee.
Life can take a toll on your energy levels.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to keep your energy up, including eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
However, for many people these things are not possible all the time.
When this happens, there are several supplements and vitamins that can help boost your energy when you need it most. Some work better for boosting energy during exercise, while others may be better for when you need a quick pickup.
In addition, all the supplements on this list have a well-established safety profile when used appropriately.
Nevertheless, remember that it is still best practice to check with your doctor or registered dietitian to determine whether these supplements are safe for you to use.