Vitamins for Energy & Tiredness: 18 Supplement Ingredients That Boost Energy
Most of us experience a dip in energy from time to time, as it's only natural that your body can't give 100% effort all of the time. However, most of us don't have the luxury of staying in bed all of the time.
Many people rely on coffee to help keep their energy up when they need it. This can have downsides. Too much caffeine can lead to side-effects and crashes, or you may just not like the taste of coffee.
The good news is that plenty of people use vitamins for energy. Vitamins not only help you boost your energy but they also allow your body to make the most out of the food you eat on a cellular level.
Keep reading to find out what these vitamins are.
If you are interested in this topic, you should also check out our Afternoon Tiredness: The Ultimate 2019 Guide to Stop Feeling Tired article.
Table of contents
Why do vitamin deficiencies cause tiredness?
Before understanding how you can use vitamins for energy, we must first discuss why not supplementing vitamins can lead to excessive tiredness.
To understand why vitamin deficiencies cause tiredness, let’s look at what vitamins are and what their role is.
The below video is a great way to get started with this aspect of micronutrition. It explains how ‘vitamin’ is actually not a term for a specific molecule, instead ‘vitamin’ describes the activity in the body caused by nutrients. Therefore, you can have multiple sources for the same vitamin.
We distinguish between 13 different vitamins, some of which are soluble in water, others in fat. For example, when drinking a carrot juice or smoothie you may be asked if you’d like to add a drop of olive oil. This is because the beta carotene, the antioxidant known as a version of vitamin A, is soluble in fats.
Vitamins soluble in fats include vitamin A, D, E, and K.
Vitamins soluble in water include the B vitamins and vitamin C.
All of these vitamins are needed for the body to function properly, in particular, to ensure the body’s metabolism. Essential nutrients such as vitamins need to be part of our diets since the body either cannot synthesize them at all or not in sufficient quantities.
Overall, this group of essential nutrients ensures that we feel well and energized. Therefore, a lack of vitamins, especially of those discussed in the next section, will cause you to feel tired.
Importantly, vitamins work in antagonistic pairs. This is important when supplementing vitamins for energy as taking one vitamin will affect how another vitamin works. Therefore, supplementing without knowing what vitamins you are deficient in will not necessarily be helpful and could indeed make the situation worse.
Therefore, if you are feeling tired and you think it may be due to a vitamin deficiency make sure to get checked out at the GP's. Your GP will then discuss with you what, if any, supplements you will require to get back to feeling energized.Alternatively, you can purchase 'supplement stacks' - these are nutritious food supplements that contain many vitamins and nutrients. They are generally formulated to be well-balanced and have a specific effect, and so is a favoured choice for those using vitamins for energy.
Which vitamins give you energy?
So, what are some good vitamins for energy?
All vitamins are involved in your body’s metabolism and therefore in your ‘energy’. However, the group of vitamins especially associated with feeling energized is the group of B vitamins. Again, these vitamins work together. Therefore, being deficient on for example vitamin B6 can impact how your body takes up vitamin B12.
Similarly, taking just one B vitamin may not be sufficient. This is why B vitamins are usually taken as a complex including all of the eight B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), biotin (B7), B6, folate (B9), B12.
All of these vitamins are involved in cell metabolism and keeping the nervous system healthy and running.
In terms of nutrition, B1 is involved in breaking down food and releasing its energy.
B2, B3, and B5 also help the body release energy from foods we eat.
B6 helps us to store energy and is involved in the oxygen supply of the body through the facilitation of haemoglobin formation.
Similarly, B9 helps the body to form red blood cells. B7 is involved in breaking down fat. Finally, B12 is involved in both the formation of red blood cells and in releasing energy.
A B12 deficiency is quite common and symptoms include, but are not limited to, feeling low in energy and tired. Therefore, if you feel like that may apply to you, please see your GP.
Similarly, many will have experienced a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is known for ensuring healthy bones. It does so by facilitating the absorption of calcium, phosphate, and magnesium.
Therefore, being vitamin D deficient will make you feel low in energy as magnesium, apart from multiple other crucial functions, is involved in energy production. Not only will B-Vitamins boost your energy, but also help with focus, too.
Now that you know how you can use vitamins for energy, which are the best supplements for energy?
Best natural energy supplement ingredientsTherefore, the best natural energy supplement ingredients include those that are associated with the production and release of energy.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Thiamin (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Biotin (B7)
- Vitamin B6
- Folate (B9)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Coconut oil
Another great source of energy is coconut oil. As pointed out by Dr Axe in the below video, it is great for energy as it is broken down more easily than other oils, thus requiring shorter time periods for digestion.
When thinking about fat-soluble vitamins, coconut oil can be beneficial to their uptake. There are supplements that come in capsules containing coconut oil and a fat-soluble vitamin dissolved in it.
L-theanine is for example found in matcha green tea powder. It works by increasing the levels of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters have multiple functions and effects on brain and body, including feeling relaxed, yet alert and concentrated.
L-theanine also seems to have the effect of enhancing alpha waves in the brain. If you have read the blog post on meditation you will know that these are associated with a relaxed focus as well. Feeling calm and focused will allow you to be productive and feel energized throughout the day.
Another great source for energy can be found in green leafy vegetables, and the supplements sourced from them:
As mentioned before, magnesium plays a role in the production of energy. While vitamin D will allow you to take up magnesium, you will also need to make sure you are consuming enough magnesium in the first place.
17. Green superfood powder
Green superfood powder will include a variety of the above-mentioned ingredients. Be sure to check the ingredient list to find the powder that works best for you. You might especially want to look out for matcha, or L-theanine.
18. Adaptogenic herbsAnd finally, there are adaptogenic herbs, such as ginseng, holy basil, and liquorice. These herbs have been associated with reduced tiredness and stress, thus making us feel more energized.
Supplement stacks for energy
Most people when looking for vitamins for energy use something called a stack. A stack is a supplement that is made up of lots of different ingredients, which makes it a more convenient way of taking vitamins and nutrients, as you don't have to buy all the ingredients separately.
When looking for energy supplement stacks, you should go for products made with the ingredients we've listed above, that have been scientifically proven to support energy.
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RH, K. P. S. K., DN-C. (n.d.). How Adaptogenic Herbs Reduce Stress. Retrieved 4 March 2019
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