The Best Vitamins for Energy and How to Get Them

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important vitamins for energy. Along with the other B vitamins, it helps transform 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 feel weak and tired. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that may help increase energy levels.

Adaptogens are plant-based substances that help the body better manage stress. Results from a study suggest that ashwagandha may help improve endurance during exercise when taken in 500 milligram (mg) capsules twice daily. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) is an enzyme that exists naturally in the body, particularly in the heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is an antioxidant that improves energy and strengthens the immune system.

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy blood and nerve cells, and muscle fatigue is a common symptom in people who don't get enough of it. More than 50% of people worldwide are deficient in vitamin D, and there is also a link between depression and low levels of vitamin D. Fatigue is a common symptom of depression. One review highlighted a Norwegian study in which more than 400 overweight people received 20,000 or 40,000 international units of vitamin D per week for one year, resulting in significantly reduced symptoms of depression compared to those of participants who took a placebo.

B vitamins help create energy in cells, so having a vitamin B deficiency can cause fatigue. Creatine is an amino acid found primarily in red meat and seafood that increases creatine stores in muscles and may help improve performance during exercise. Iron supplements can also help reduce fatigue, as demonstrated by a study looking at unexplained fatigue in women who were menstruating. Participants who received iron supplements for 12 weeks had a 47.7% decrease in fatigue compared to only 28.8% in the placebo group. Eating iron-rich foods with vitamin C can increase absorption, so people should ensure that they consume enough fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and leafy greens.

L-theanine is a natural amino acid found in tea that can be combined with caffeine to help increase energy and cognitive performance. Each person's vitamin needs depend on their age, diet, gender and other factors. Iron, omega-3, DHA, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B12 are all important for maintaining healthy blood and nerve cells. While most Americans consume vitamin B-12 from food, older adults and people who eat few or no animal foods may be deficient. If you don't get enough vitamin B-12 over time, you may feel tired or weak or have pale skin, palpitations, loss of weight and appetite, infertility, and nerve damage. Vitamin B-12 deficiencies can also cause depression and memory problems.

Vitamin B12 supplements are available without a prescription in the form of pills containing only the B vitamins or as part of a multivitamin complex. They are also available as prescription injections or as a nasal gel. Studies claim that vitamin D supplements offer additional health benefits such as reducing pain and depression while others question this belief. That's where energy-boosting vitamins and minerals can help close nutrient gaps when you feel a sense of energy deficiency. Talk to your doctor before adding any vitamins to your daily routine as you may already be getting enough vitamin B in your diet. Serious vitamin deficiencies are rare but some dietary habits may omit important vitamins and other nutrients that affect energy metabolism. Whether you suspect that you may have a vitamin B deficiency, that you are not getting enough B vitamins in your diet or that you are lacking other essential energy vitamins, an additional supplement may be right for you. Although vitamin deficiency is rare, people who may not be getting enough include those who are malnourished due to anorexia, alcohol use disorder or inflammatory bowel disease.

Asking a doctor about a possible deficiency and maintaining good levels of vitamin B-12 can help treat lack of energy due to a deficiency. Each one of these vitamins plays a role in at least one stage of the energy production system within the cell according to a review published in the journal Nutrition. Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sun vitamin” because the skin produces it when it's exposed to the sun's UV rays. An athlete who follows a high-carb diet will need higher amounts of vitamin B1 in their diet to access this energy. Older adults, vegetarians and vegans may be at greater risk of suffering from a vitamin B-12 deficiency as it is found only in animal products or fortified foods. So if you're looking for vitamins to boost energy during the day (and reduce stress a bit) you'll believe in the B vitamin family.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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