Tiredness seems to be everyone's perpetual state. We're hardworking and constantly connected, even when we're supposed to be at home or away on vacation. But there's always something to do or read and, honestly, 24 hours doesn't seem like enough in a day to do everything. Fortunately, there are vitamins and supplements that can help boost your energy levels and help you get through the day.
Along with the other B vitamins, vitamin B12 helps transform the foods you eat into energy that your cells can use. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a variety of animal proteins, such as meat, fish, and dairy products. Many foods are also fortified with vitamin B12, allowing most Americans to meet their vitamin B12 needs by eating a balanced diet that contains foods rich in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in energy production. Aging, eliminating animal products from the diet, and diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract can contribute to low levels of vitamin B12 and cause fatigue and weakness.
If you think you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor about taking supplements. However, because there are health risks from excessive intake, check with your doctor to see if supplements are right for you. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that could help increase energy levels. Adaptogens are plant-derived substances that help the body better manage stress.
Research suggests that ashwagandha supplements are safe and have a low risk of side effects. The results of one study suggest that ashwagandha may help improve endurance during exercise. Vitamin D is essential for many bodily functions, including energy production. Muscle fatigue is a common symptom in people who don't get enough vitamin D.
More than 50% of people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. There is also a link between depression and low vitamin D levels; fatigue is a common symptom of depression. A review highlighted a Norwegian study in which more than 400 overweight people received 20,000 or 40,000 international units of vitamin D weekly; for a year, their symptoms of depression were significantly reduced compared to those who took a placebo. Older adults, vegetarians and vegans may be at increased risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency, as it is only found in animal products or fortified foods. A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause anemia, causing people to feel low on energy.
Some athletes take vitamin B-12 supplements to improve their performance; however, research does not indicate that B-12 increases athletic performance or endurance in people who are not deficient. To naturally maintain day-to-day energy levels, it's best to get vitamins from food. But if you can't meet your daily needs with food alone, you can take supplements to make up the difference. Creatine is an amino acid found mainly in red meat and seafood. Creatine supplementation increases creatine stores in muscles and may help improve performance during exercise. Iron is essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body; when iron levels are low, fatigue, weakness, and difficulty maintaining body temperature often result. A study looked at unexplained fatigue in women who menstruate; participants who received iron supplements for 12 weeks had a 47.7% decrease in fatigue compared to those who took a placebo. Eating iron-rich foods with vitamin C can increase absorption; make sure you consume enough fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and leafy greens. L-theanine is a natural amino acid found in tea; combining L-Theanine with Caffeine may help increase energy and cognitive performance. Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that participates in energy production; it helps improve heart conditions, migraines, and physical performance.
You can find Coenzyme Q10 in foods such as meat, fish, and whole grains. Magnesium helps you feel more energetic when you're tired; it is a supplement that you can take with your usual diet or find it in foods such as avocado, almond and spinach. Omega-3s are important for cell function and brain health; they can be a preventive measure against fatigue. Omega-3s are most commonly found in fish oil but they are also found in vegetable oil and nuts. Vitamin C is widely known to be an immune booster but it is also reported to reduce fatigue; however it is possible to consume too much so make sure you don't take large doses of vitamin C supplements. We've talked about the benefits of other B vitamins before but vitamin B12 also plays a role in energy levels especially if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency; ask your doctor about taking supplements if you think you may have a deficiency. Riboflavin also helps convert food into energy so make sure you get enough of this important nutrient.