Supplements to Boost Energy
We lead extremely busy lives; we wake up early and often go to bed far too late. Many of us get nowhere near the recommended amount of sleep. This can leave us feeling fatigued throughout the day making even the most basic of chores that much more difficult.
For many people simply getting enough sleep can fix the problem but chronic fatigue is a far bigger issue.
Although it does little for you in the long run, many people feel that they can’t get going until they have had a strong cup of coffee or three. Coffee certainly stimulates you in the short term but it also puts stresses on your adrenal glands and you may well suffer an energy dump later in the day.
Similarly, high energy drinks will not do your body a great deal of good. They depend on sugar and caffeine for immediate stimulation but contain no valuable nutrients that are in any way good for our health.
Good energy levels depend on several key factors – sleep, exercise and diet. These are all factors that will help you to stay physically and mentally alert. Getting the right nutrients from an organic food source and hydrating yourself with water can make all the difference. Starting up an exercise program or increasing the amount of exercise you do will also help and it goes without saying that getting more sleep is a must.
Lifestyle and diet changes will make a difference but what should you do if you feel you need an even bigger energy boost. Whatever you do, don’t start adding more coffee to the machine, consider one of these natural supplements which can help clean out your system and jump start it into life.
1. Vitamin B12
Energy is essentially a function of the body’s cell metabolism and each and every cell in your body depends on vitamin B12 for energy. The body is unable to create its own B12 so you either need to get it from dietary sources or through supplemental means. Most multivitamins contain vitamin B12 so if you are already taking a daily multivitamin, you should be fine.
The best dietary sources of the vitamin are red meat, seafood and dairy products so if you are vegan, or eat very little meat and dairy then you may well need to supplement with B12.
There are no side effects associated with vitamin B12 nor is there an upper daily limit from natural sources.
If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, you may be lacking in melatonin a hormone released by the pineal gland which influences your energy metabolism and is
also responsible for helping us drop off to sleep. It is light sensitive and the darker you can keep the room, more of it will be produced.
You can try to increase your melatonin levels naturally by keeping your bedroom as dark as possible and absolutely avoiding computer or tablet screens in bed. Poor sleep patterns are linked to imbalances in melatonin which has a direct effect on energy and blood sugar and may even cause weight gain.
If you cannot increase your melatonin levels through natural means and you are still having trouble getting off to sleep, you can get melatonin in supplementary form.
An iodine deficiency is not uncommon and many people will be unaware that they are lacking in this important mineral. A deficiency in iodine can cause sluggish thyroid functions which may lead to slower metabolic rate and possibly weight gain.
Iodine is used by the thyroid to form two hormones (thyroxine and triiodathyronine) responsible for regulating the function of the other bodily hormones.
Excellent dietary sources include dark leafy vegetables, seaweed and seafood and it is always best to try and get your vitamins and minerals naturally. However, if that is not possible, iodine is available in a number of supplementary forms.
Magnesium is associated with an array of health benefits from ensuring proper nerve and muscle function to an active and healthy heart and brain. It is also vital for energy metabolism and various studies have demonstrated that a deficiency in magnesium is directly linked to poor levels of energy and poor physical performance. One study found that depleted magnesium levels in postmenopausal women adversely affected heart function and reduced levels of energy. (1)
It should be easy enough for most people to get sufficient magnesium from their diets. Spinach, nuts, sesame seeds and beans are all very rich in magnesium. If you feel that you need an extra boost then magnesium supplements can help you out even more.
5. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes and this herb sourced from one of the world’s oldest trees remains a very popular supplement today. It is known for its potent antioxidant qualities and is often taken as a natural treatment for degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and to improve focus and memory.
According to scientists it can boost the production of cellular energy ion the brain which improves cell metabolism protecting the cells from damage and aiding longevity.
Ginkgo supplements are readily available but try to be sure that you buy them from a reputed source in the most pure form possible.
6. Acetyl L-carnitine
Acetyl L carnitine is a type of amino acid which plays an important role in the production of cell energy. It is good for preventing fatigue especially during periods of intense physical exercise. It may be of great interest to athletes because it can improve the speed that oxygen gets delivered to your muscles.
Any runners will be familiar with the aches and pains as your legs fill up with lactic acid but carnitine can prevent this lactic acid build-up helping you to go further with less pain.
Acetyl L-Carnitine not only gives you a physical lift but it can also help give your brain a boost and may be invaluable at times when you need to focus harder at work or during exam time. It is a relatively cheap supplement that we feel is worth trying.
Ginseng is an extremely popular herbal supplement with adaptogenic qualities. It is widely used as a natural treatment to prevent stress and anxiety which can have a huge impact on your levels of energy.
A study published in 2013 found that ginseng was very effective when given to patients suffering from chronic fatigue. Those who took ginseng displayed significant physical and mental improvements including cognitive ability and reduced toxin levels in their blood.
And that is not all, patients also reported improved levels of energy. (2)
When choosing your supplements, make sure that you get the best quality product from a reputable supplier to ensure the best results . Many reports indicate that ginseng supplements often contain very little of the herb and instead contain a lot of filler ingredients.
8. Coenzyme Q10
If you have never heard of it, I should point out that CoQ10 plays an essential role in the production of cellular energy. It is present in all of our cells and in greater concentrations in our major organs. Despite its presence throughout the body, it is possible to be deficient.
This can occur when it is involved in the process of neutralizing harmful free radicals which means it is less available to help in energy production. One of the main symptoms of Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is fatigue and supplements may be able to help.
9. Rhodiola Rosea
Like ginseng, rhodiola rosea acts as an adaptogen helping you to control stress and anxiety. Supplements are derived from an herb native to colder regions in Northern Europe. It is considered to be a safe herb which might effectively help treat mental fatigue and milder forms of depression.
Although scientists are not certain, it is thought to boost serotonin levels which have a direct impact on mood and hormone function.
It is considerably cheaper than ginseng but do your research and make sure that you get the best quality product to ensure success. This article has more information on Rhodiola Rosea and how it works.
Most of the time low energy levels are normal and there is nothing that a good night of sleep will not fix. If you are feeling constantly fatigued, then you may need to look hard at your diet and make the necessary changes.
With any luck, these changes to your lifestyle will get you back on track and you will not need any supplements to help you.
If you have used any of the supplements above to charge your batteries or you have had success with another natural supplement let us know about it. We would be delighted to hear from you.