How to Boost Energy: Top Energy Boosting Supplements

How to Boost Energy: Top Energy Boosting Supplements

Feeling drained? A healthy diet, proper sleep and regular exercise are all essential for keeping energy levels high. However, a demanding lifestyle can make it difficult to maintain the right work/health balance. Fortunately, there are ways to naturally boost energy. Read about these energy-boosting supplements and get the help you need to power through your life.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, a medicinal herb, has a long history in Ayurveda as a healthy tonic. Known as Rasayana (“rejuvenator”), ashwagandha boosts energy by strengthening the body’s resilience to physical and mental stress, reducing fatigue. [1]

In a scientific study, subjects given Ashwagandha demonstrated less anxiety and stress, in addition to having 28% lower cortisol levels, a hormone that increases as a stress response. [2]

A review of five ashwagandha studies confirmed that people who took ashwagandha scored better on anxiety and stress tests. The connection between stress and fatigue is well documented. [3] [4]

Research has also shown that ashwagandha can reduce exercise fatigue. Professional cyclists who took ashwagandha were able to ride 7% longer than cyclists given a placebo. Further studies indicate that ashwagandha supplements have a low risk of side effects and are safe to use. [5] [6]


CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10, Ubiquinone)

CoQ10 is found everywhere in the body. The liver, kidneys and heart contain the highest levels. Cells use CoQ10 to produce energy and protect against oxidative damage. With depleted CoQ10 levels, cells are unable to generate the required energy for good health, which may cause feelings of fatigue. [7] [8]

As one ages, CoQ10 levels decrease. Others who may have low levels of CoQ10 include people with heart failure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers. [9] [10] [11]

Although meats, oily fish, various oils, nuts and seeds contain CoQ10, it isn’t enough to significantly raise CoQ10 levels in the body. CoQ10 supplements can improve energy in those with low CoQ10 levels. [12]

CoQ10 is an antioxidant that has been found to support the immune system. Cells and tissues critical for immune function depend on energy and require adequate CoQ10 for optimal function. [13]

Research with humans and animals show that CoQ10 supplements are safe when taken in appropriate doses. [14]

Vitamin B12

In combination with other B vitamins, B12 helps convert the food you consume into energy for your cells. It keeps the red blood cells and nerve cells healthy, preventing pernicious anemia that can cause tiredness and weakness. [15]

People at risk of B12 deficiency include vegetarians and vegans, older adults and those with gastrointestinal (GI) tract disorders such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease. Individuals that don’t eat animal products are often unable to obtain sufficient B12 from natural food sources. Up to 30% of adults over 51 have trouble absorbing B12 from their food, due to decreased protein and stomach acids. A GI disorder may also interfere with the body’s ability to properly absorb B12. [16] [17] [18]

For people with adequate levels of vitamin B12, there is no evidence that additional supplementation will have any effect on energy. However, for those who are deficient, B12 supplements may be beneficial. [19]


Iron

The body requires iron to make hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that moves oxygen from the lungs to tissues and organs throughout the body. Without iron, oxygen delivery is limited. Iron deficiency is the world’s most common nutritional deficiency. Iron deficiency anemia causes fatigue and weakness. [20]

Research has indicated several causes of iron deficiency anemia, including lack of iron in the diet, pregnancy and blood loss. More than half of the iron in your body is in the blood, so significant bleeding can reduce these levels. Women who are pregnant need twice the amount of iron for normal fetus growth, and half of these women will develop iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy. [21] [22]

Since an excess of iron can cause certain health risks, it is advised that you consult your doctor before taking an iron supplement. [23]

Other Energy Boosters:

  • Creatine has been shown to improve performance for high-intensity exercise and sports. [24]
  • Beetroot Powder produces nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels, increasing oxygen delivery and blood flow. Nitrate supplementation was shown to enhance athletic performance. [25]
  • Melatonin plays an important role in the sleep process. Thirty percent of adults suffer from insomnia, and chronic insomnia can deplete energy. Melatonin may enhance energy and alleviate fatigue in those with chronic fatigue syndrome. [26] [27]
  • Rhodiola Rosea can improve physical performance while reducing fatigue, whether physical or mental, with a low risk of side effects. [28] [29]
  • L-Theanine, when added to a caffeinated beverage, may allow the energy boost without the jittery side effects. [30