You see people hitting gyms, working, studying, and continuously hustling. Don’t you wonder how they are always so high on energy? Being a bag full of energy makes us stand out in a crowd. If you wonder how to reach your maximum energy levels like them, vitamins and supplements are the answer! If you want to know these secret energy-boosting vitamins and supplements, we got you.
In this article, we will be learning the top 10 most effective vitamins and supplements to boost energy. So, let’s start with the vitamin which is commonly found deficient in people, Vitamin D.
1. Vitamin D
Deficiency of Vitamin D is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies found worldwide. A deficiency in Vitamin D has resulted in low energy levels and higher fatigue.
Why Vitamin D?
Our body does not produce Vitamin D on its own, and that’s why it is essential to obtain it from different sources. Nonetheless, Vitamin D is also associated with reactions in our body cells that produce energy. Thus, decreased amounts of vitamin D will lead to decreased production of energy and hence, early fatigue and tiredness.
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is also known as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’. As the name suggests, Vitamin D is obtained from the sun. According to health experts, a minimum of 10 to 30 minutes of sun exposure, a few times a week, is required to obtain adequate amounts of Vitamin D.
However, sunlight is not the only source of vitamin D. Other sources of vitamin D include oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as fat spreads and breakfast cereals.
Additional Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Hence, Vitamin D helps maintain bone health. Nonetheless, Vitamin D has also been associated with preventing osteoporosis and fractures.
According to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine, deficiency of Vitamin D leads to various infections and autoimmune diseases. Hence, Vitamin D is essential for good immunity and the normal functioning of immunologic processes.
Aids in Weight Loss
Deficiency of vitamin D has been most commonly observed in obese patients. Nonetheless, combining diet plans with Vitamin D has been shown to reduce weight.
Author’s tip: To ensure that your decreased energy levels are due to a deficiency of Vitamin D, you can take up the 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test.
Iron is an essential mineral required for various processes in our body. The deficiency of iron has been associated with decreased levels of energy. Keep reading to learn more about how iron increases our energy levels, the different sources of iron, and some added benefits of iron.
As we previously learned, iron is a vital part of different processes in our body. Iron is bound to the hemoglobin molecules in our body and is responsible for transporting oxygen to different cells. A decreased level of iron results in decreased oxygen-carrying capacity and hence, lower energy levels. Thus, incorporating iron into our diet or taking Iron supplements may increase energy levels.
Sources of Iron
Iron is of two types, heme-iron, and nonheme iron. Animal-based foods usually contain heme iron, whereas plant-based foods contain non-heme iron. Heme iron is more quickly absorbed in the body than non-heme iron. The recommended dietary allowance of iron for men over 18 years is 8 mg per day, whereas for females over 18 years is 18 mg per day. However, women over the age of 51 are recommended 8 mg. Menstruating women need higher amounts of iron as they continuously lose blood. Higher amounts of iron are also required in pregnant and lactating women.
Oysters, Liver, Sardine, Turkey, Beef, and Egg, are the highest non-vegetarian sources of iron. Tofu, spinach, lentils, broccoli, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, cashews, quinoa, kidney beans, legumes, and green peas are the most known iron-rich plant-based foods.
Additional Benefits of Iron
As we previously learned, pregnant women need higher amounts of energy. These increased iron requirements are essential to ensure that the fetus obtains adequate nutrition.
Improves Cognitive Functions
Our brain requires higher amounts of oxygen to function correctly. Iron ensures that an adequate amount of oxygen is being supplied to the brain cells. According to a study published in the Pharmaceuticals Journal, disruption of iron levels in the brain can affect neurophysiological mechanisms, cognition, and social behavior.
Promotes Peaceful Sleep
If you face trouble sleeping, iron deficiency might be a reason. Hence, iron is responsible for good quality sleep.
3. Vitamin B12
Why Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is responsible for the conversion of food to energy. It is also responsible for the transport of oxygen to different body cells. Nonetheless, Vitamin B12 is also responsible for keeping the nerves and blood cells healthy.
Sources of Vitamin B12
The recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg per day. Vitamin B12 is more commonly found in animal-based foods rather than plant-based foods. Hence, vegetarians and vegans are most commonly found to lack Vitamin B12. Different sources of Vitamin B12 include beef, clams, tuna, salmon, yogurt, milk, cheese, egg, turkey, banana, strawberries, kidney beans, and spinach.
Additional Benefits of Vitamin B12
May Prevent Significant Congenital Disabilities.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the fetus’ brain development. Hence, having adequate Vitamin B12 may prevent birth defects or congenital disabilities.
Vitamin B12 has been associated with bone health. Decreased levels of Vitamin B12 have shown an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Prevents the Loss of Neurons
Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked with memory loss and brain atrophy. Hence, to ensure good brain health, Vitamin B12 is essential.
4. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is ubiquitous, meaning it is present in all body cells. CoQ10 is naturally produced in our bodies and stored in the vital organs producing energy for the cells. Nonetheless, it is also a natural antioxidant working to combat the harmful free radicals in our cells.
Why Coenzyme Q10?
As we previously learned, Coenzyme Q10 is responsible for energy production. Hence, consumption of CoQ10 leads to increased energy production, boosting your energy levels.
Sources of Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 can be obtained from food or through tablets. 90-200mg of Coenzyme Q10 is recommended in a day. Some food sources containing the highest amounts of Coenzyme Q10 include Soybean, Fatty Fish, Meat, Pistachios, and Broccoli.
Additional Benefits of Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 has cardioprotective action. Cardiovascular diseases like coronary artery disease and high blood pressure cause oxidative stress in the cells, thus damaging them. This process leads to a condition known as heart failure, where the heart fails to pump blood efficiently. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, symptoms of heart failure improve, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases decreases when Coenzyme Q10 is administered.
Oxidative damage causes the production of harmful compounds that leads to cognitive, physical, and memory impairment. Oxidative damage in brain cells is very common as they contain high amounts of fatty acids and higher requirements for oxygen. Coenzyme Q10 box at combating this oxidative stress, thus protecting the brain cells and their functions.
Coenzyme Q10 is responsible for the protection of eggs in the female body. With age, the production of Coenzyme Q10 decreases, and hence, the quality and quantity decrease. Supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 may reverse the condition. The sperms are susceptible to oxidative damage in males, leading to reduced sperm count and quality. Hence, Coenzyme Q10 may improve fertility.
Creatine, a quick energy source, comprises three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Creatine works by helping the muscle cells produce more energy, speeds the muscle growth progress, and thus reduces tiredness and fatigue.
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the molecule that provides energy to the body. When energy is formed, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) becomes Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) by losing a phosphate molecule. Creatine makes up for this loss by providing phosphate to ADP and forming ATP. Thus, Creatine is directly involved in the process of forming energy.
Author’s tip: According to Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, regular consumption of creatine leads to an increase in the energy stores in our body.
Sources of Creatine
The body needs 1-3g of Creatine per day. You can obtain half of this amount from food while the body synthesizes the other half. Creatine is most commonly found in red meat and fish like salmon.
Additional Benefits of Creatine
May Help with Parkinson’s Disease
As we previously learned, Creatine helps with muscle movement. Impaired movements are a common symptom of Parkinson’s, and hence, creatine might prove helpful. Nonetheless, creatine has also been associated with balancing the dopamine in the brain, a reduction of which is a common cause of Parkinson’s. However, much research hasn’t been conducted to prove the efficacy of creatine in Parkinson’s.
Can Improve Cognitive Ability
Our brain requires a maximum amount of energy in the form of ATP to working efficiently. Creatine has been associated with increasing phosphate stores, thus increasing the brain’s memory and intelligence.
Improves High-Intensity Performance Exercise
Creatine is the most common supplement used among gym and fitness freaks. Creatine is a quick source of energy and boosts muscle strength. According to Healthline, it is the most effective supplement for high-intensity sports.
Ashwagandha is one of the most renowned medicinal plant products, which has proved to be effective in various instances. It is a popular Ayurvedic preparation.
Why Ashwagandha and How Much?
The use of Ashwagandha is age-old and hence, relying on it is easy. Ashwagandha is famous for relieving physical and mental stress, thus boosting energy levels. Nonetheless, Ashwagandha does not have any side effects and is safe to use. The recommended dosage or Ashwagandha is 500-600mg per day.
Additional Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has proved to improve fertility, especially in men, by increasing sperm count and motility.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Ashwagandha has been observed to reduce blood sugar levels at low doses within a few weeks. A study published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology showed that Ashwagandha had the same benefits as oral antidiabetics.
Lowers Inflammation and Fights Infection
Ashwagandha increases the immunity cells in our body and reduces C-reactive protein, a standard indicator for inflammation.
Ashwagandha is known to increase mental capability. Task performance and response time have been observed to increase significantly in people consuming Ashwagandha.
Melatonin is naturally produced in our body in response to darkness and is known to induce sleep. However, certain situations like alcohol consumption, smoking, caffeine consumption, shift work, aging, certain medications, and exposure to too much light at night can cause a decrease in the amounts of Melatonin produced. In situations like these, Melatonin supplements prove to be helpful.
Why Melatonin and How Much?
Insomnia or lack of sleep is a common reason for decreased energy. Melatonin induces sleep, thus boosting your energy and ensuring that you wake up fresh, energetic, and sound. It is recommended to start Melatonin at low dosages, approximately 0.5-1mg, and should be taken 30 minutes before sleep. If you don’t observe the benefits of Melatonin, you can increase the dose to 3-5 mg. However, consulting your physician for the correct dosage could be your best option.
Additional Benefits of Melatonin
Treatment of Eye Diseases
Melatonin has been associated with supporting eye health. Nonetheless, they are potent antioxidants and thus, lower the risk of eye diseases. According to a research published in the Current Pharmaceutical Design Journal, Melatonin is an effective agent in age-related eye diseases.
May Help with Acidity
Melatonin is known to be protective for our esophageal lining or the food lining in our body. Thus, it protects against common irritants, helping prevent acidity.
May Alleviate Migraine Attacks.
Migraine attacks are severe and throbbing headaches. Melatonin has been observed to reduce the pain sensations, thus alleviating migraine attacks.
May Reduce the Ringing Noise in Your Ears.
Ringing noises in the ears are most commonly seen in ear infections. Nonetheless, these sounds also lead to disturbance in sleep. Melatonin, when given with ear medications, reduce these ringing noises.
Citrulline is a popular amino acid that was first extracted from watermelon. Citrulline is naturally synthesized in our bodies.
With intense workouts comes over-production of ammonia. Ammonia in excess results in fatigue and loss of energy. Citrulline works at excreting ammonia from the body, thus reducing fatigue and increasing energy. Moreover, Citrulline produces Nitric Oxide, which dilates our blood vessels. Dilated blood vessels ensure the efficient transport of nutrients and oxygen to various body cells. When cells receive oxygen and nutrients, they become more active and energized.
Sources of Citrulline
Citrulline can be obtained from Watermelon, Pumpkins, Cucumber, Bitter melon, and Gourds. Nonetheless, you can take them in the form of supplements as well. The recommended dosage is 3-6g per day if you consume L-citrulline supplements. However, if you consume Citrulline Malate, the recommended dosage is 8g per day.
Additional Benefits of Citrulline
May Reduce Blood Pressure
By virtue of its blood vessel dilating effects, Citrulline may help reduce blood pressure, thus ensuring good heart health.
May Provide Antidepressant Effects.
Low levels of Citrulline have been observed in patients suffering from depression. Thus, increasing Citrulline levels in the body with the help of supplements can help relieve symptoms of depression.
Caffeine with Theanine
Caffeine has been a popular choice for boosting energy. However, caffeine often may leave you irritable and restless. Caffeine is often taken with L-Theanine, a common form of Theanine to combat these side effects.
Why the Combination of Caffeine and Theanine?
Caffeine and L-Theanine is a powerful combination that works together to boost energy levels. Nonetheless, they reduce mental tiredness and fatigue. Since L-Theanine is tolerated well, the primary task is to regulate the amounts of caffeine intake. In a day, you should not ingest caffeine more than 400mg per day or more than 3-5 cups a day.
Additional Benefits of Caffeine and Theanine
Improve Cognitive Ability
Caffeine and Theanine, when used together, can help improve alertness and cognitive ability. According to a study published in Nutritional Neuroscience, caffeine and theanine combination proved beneficial in improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks.
Tyrosine is a naturally occurring amino acid famous for its energy-boosting effects. Tyrosine is also responsible for the production of neurotransmitters and improving mental function.
Some nerve cells decrease in mentally and physically challenging tasks. This decline results in reduced energy levels. As tyrosine is associated with increasing the production of nerve cells, it may help boost energy levels.
Sources of Tyrosine
Tyrosine is a naturally occurring amino acid in our body. However, tyrosine can also be obtained from dairy products, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, and wheat. If consuming these food products is not possible, you can shift to Tyrosine supplements. Tyrosine supplements are available in two forms, free form and N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NALT). The free form of Tyrosine is more effective than NALT. It is recommended to take Tyrosine supplements in 500–2,000 mg and 30–60 minutes before exercise.
Author’s note: Tyrosine supplements will only help if there is a tyrosine deficiency. Providing excess tyrosine when the body has adequate amounts will have little to no benefits in boosting energy.
Additional Benefits of Tyrosine
May Help With Phenylketonuria
Tyrosine is formed in the body by the breakdown of Phenylalanine. Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare genetic condition where Phenylalanine fails to break down into Tyrosine and thus may build up in the body. This buildup of Phenylalanine leads to severe side effects, while the body becomes deficient in Tyrosine and there is decreased production of nerve cells. Supplementing with Tyrosine in such patients may help reduce the symptoms of Phenylketonuria.
May Improve Mental Performance.
Stress often negatively impacts memory and attention by decreasing the neurotransmitters in the brain. When Tyrosine is given to such people, it may reverse the decline in neurotransmitters, and the brain might perform more efficiently. According to a study published in the Neuropsychologia journal, Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility or the ability to switch between tasks by repleting cognitive resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Vitamin is Best for Fatigue?
If you are feeling fatigued, Vitamin B12 may help. Vitamin B12 is a known source of energy. You can consume Vitamin B12 through foods like beetroot, chicken, milk, yogurt, and cheese, or consume tablets of Vitamin B12.
What Causes Low Energy Levels?
Having low levels can be attributed to various factors. Not getting adequate sleep or exercising too much or little physical exertion may cause low energy levels. Nonetheless, low energy levels may also be associated with deficiency of vitamins or chronic diseases.
Do Supplements Have Side Effects?
Supplements may cause side effects when taken in large doses or with multiple supplements. The most common side effects of taking supplements include headache, dizziness, digestive symptoms, elevated heartbeat, and elevated blood pressure. It is always advisable to take supplements only after consulting a doctor.
Should I Take Vitamins Every Day?
Unless you are not hitting your required daily allowances of vitamins through diet, you can take vitamins every day. However, taking vitamins in excess doses may be harmful. Hence, always consult a doctor before starting with the vitamins to ensure that you take them in the proper doses and quantity.
Is it Better to Take a Multivitamin or Individual Vitamins?
It is better to take individual vitamins rather than multivitamins. Multivitamins contain various vitamins, some of which you may not need and would be obtained through your regular diet. Moreover, individual vitamins are targeted according to a person’s needs and may provide better benefits and outcomes.
Vitamin D, Iron, Vitamin B, Coenzyme Q10, Creatine, Ashwagandha, Melatonin, Citrulline, Theanine, and Tyrosine are the top 10 most effective vitamins and supplements to boost energy. All of them work by different means to provide energy. High levels of energy help you live a productive and active life. Nonetheless, you sleep well and feel well. Moreover, energy is not the only benefit these vitamins and supplements have. They have various other nutritional benefits that could help you live a healthy life!
Drop-in a comment below and let us know which vitamin or supplement helps you boost your energy.