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Published on March 15, 2021

Vitamins And Supplements For Energy (The Complete Guide)

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Vitamins And Supplements For Energy (The Complete Guide)

Do you frequently feel tired and lack the necessary energy to get things done?

Some years ago I found that my family and work responsibilities were depleting my energy levels — and were actually putting me at risk of burnout.

I tried eating healthier, exercising, and sleeping more. I felt improvement but I didn’t feel that I had the strength and energy that I used to have.

A friend of mine suggested that I might have a vitamin deficiency. I tried out a few vitamins and supplements, and the difference was night and day. Not only did they help boost my energy but I noticed an increase in my mental and physical well-being.

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about vitamins for energy.

Can Vitamins And Supplements Help?

Vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements can help supply missing nutrients from our diet. Many don’t eat sufficient quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables to get the essential daily nutrients. And even if you do eat an abundance of these foods, you may still not be getting all the nutrients you need.

In 2004, a breakthrough study found that fruits and vegetables have been getting less nutritious as time goes on.[1] Everything from calcium, iron, protein, and vitamin C have been trending downward for years. This is due to the types of vegetables that are being grown today. Modern intensive agricultural methods have reduced the number of nutrients from the soil resulting in fewer vitamins for our bodies.

Instead of eating more fruits and vegetables to fix this issue, you can take vitamins for energy and supplements. Not only can they help balance out your diet, but they can also boost your energy and help you get better sleep at night.

Here are just a few of the reported benefits of taking vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements [2] [3]:

  • Boost immunity
  • Help with digestion and metabolism
  • Help improve cardiovascular health
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve and maintain reproductive health
  • Strengthen bones and help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis
  • Treat mild to moderate depression

14 Best Vitamins for Energy

Below you’ll find the 14 best energy supplements that can help you get through your day.

1. Multivitamins

Multivitamins can help your memory retention, energy levels, and overall clarity. You’ll be at peak performance when your body is getting the required supplements it needs.

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I recommend you check out our Infuel Focus Boost supplement. It features a proprietary blend of vitamins and essential nutrients that will help increase your energy and help you focus throughout the day. Also, take a look at our article 8 Best Multivitamins For Men, Women And Kids. In terms of the amount to consume, most multivitamins have a recommended dosage of one or two capsules/tablets per day.

2. Omega-3 (fish oil)

Our bodies cannot produce omega-3, so you must get enough omega-3s through the proper food sources or supplements. Omega-3 has many proven health benefits, including treating depression and mental health issues, preventing heart disease and stroke,[4] and protecting eye health.

This is a supplement that I’ve found so helpful that I decided to launch our own Lifehack product. It’s called Infuel Omega-3 Fish Oil and it consists of the perfect blend of fish oil and omega-3 healthy fats with high EPA and DHA content. This supplement directly supports the regular growth and development of the brain, eyes, nervous system as well as maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. If you would prefer to get omega-3 directly from your food, then add plenty of oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and herring) to your diet.

3. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is vital for correct brain function[5] and the synthesis of red blood cells. As vitamin B12 is only available through animal foods, vegans are especially encouraged to supplement their diet. Vitamin B12 can also help with your energy levels by preventing a type of anemia that makes you tired. Low stomach acid can make it harder for your body to absorb B12 as well.

The best foods for boosting your vitamin B12 levels are meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, and some fortified breakfast cereals.

My pick for the best B12 supplements is Doctor’s Best Vegan B12. As well as being suitable for vegetarians and vegans (who are some of the group’s who most need extra vitamin B12), it’s also offered in easy to swallow capsules that contain 15000mcg of vitamin B12.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, helping your cells be protected from damage done by free radicals. It’s also well-known for its ability to protect against colds,[6] scurvy, and other diseases.

Foods high in Vitamins C are:

  • Lemons
  • Oranges 
  • Kiwis
  • Papayas
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Parsley
  • Peppers

However, if your diet is lacking these types of fresh fruits and veggies, then you might want to consider taking a supplement. The best one I’ve found is made by Nature’s Bounty. Each capsule contains 500mcg that you can take daily and increase your energy production.

5. Vitamin D

Most can get vitamin D through sun exposure. If you work during the night or can’t get outside much, vitamin D deficiency can cause depression, bone pain, fatigue, and muscle weakness. Vitamin D can also an effective treatment for mild anxiety and depression.[7]

If you suffer from long winters with barely any sunshine, you can supplement your vitamin D.

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Foods that are high in vitamin D include oily fish, red meat, eggs, and some fortified fat spreads and breakfast cereals.

If you want to add a vitamin D supplement to your diet, I recommend you check out Nature’s Bounty Vitamin D3. Produced in easy-to-swallow soft gels, this non-GMO, gluten, and dairy-free supplement will provide you with 125 MCG (5,000 IU) in each soft gel.

6. Iron

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S, with almost 10% of all women in the U.S. being deficient in iron. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body.[8] It’s also an important component of hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells. Without enough body, your body will fail to carry red blood cells effectively to your body’s tissues.

Iron deficiency anemia can make you feel weak and tired.

Foods high in iron:

  • red meat
  • beans
  • dried fruit
  • soybean flour
  • liver
  • fortified breakfast cereals

If you’re vegetarian, you won’t need to worry as Solgar’s Gentle Ironis vegetarian friendly. If you aren’t sure if you’re deficient in iron, it’s best to check with a doctor before taking iron supplements. Excessive iron intake[9] can present negative side effects so make sure you require supplementation.

7. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to significantly reduce the fatigue and burnout that come from anxiety and stress.[10] There is also some preliminary evidence that it could help people recover quicker from fatigue caused by exercise.

In a study, it was shown to have a positive increase in fatigue and attention levels.[11] When taken normally, Rhodiola is completely safe.[12] You can’t find any foods as it is an herb, so the only option is to take it in its raw or in a pill form.

When buying a Rhodiola, you want to make sure that it has 3% total rosavins and 1% salidroside. Otherwise, you risk not getting the benefits that Rhodiola has to offer. You can find NOW Supplement’s 500mg tablets here that can help fight fatigue, reduce burnout and help improve your exercise.

8. Coenzyme Q10

This is a compound made by your body and stored in the mitochondria of your cells. The mitochondria are in charge of producing energy, as well as helping to protect your cells from oxidative damage,[13] bacteria, and viruses. It’s important to note that Coenzyme Q10 production decreases as you age. When your cells are not producing energy, you can get fatigued. Thus, older people may benefit more from taking this as a supplement.

Nuts, fish, and meat contain Coq10, but it’s not sufficient enough to increase the Coq10 levels in your body. If you do have normal Coq10 levels, a supplement won’t help increase your energy levels

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I found that Doctor’s Best has a great Coq10 supplement that can help promote energy production and heart health.

9. Vitamin B Complex

B complex vitamins are the building blocks of a healthy body and have a direct impact on your brain function, cell metabolism, and energy levels.[14] Vitamin B complex may help reduce stress and lift your mood. If you’re a vegan, pregnant, or an older adult, you are at higher risk of vitamin b deficiency.

You can find B vitamins in foods such as spinach, milk, cheese, chicken, and fish. If you’re a vegetarian, getting vitamin b complex through your diet can be difficult.

However, if you prefer to guarantee your intake of B vitamins, then I recommend you try Super B Complex by Nature’s Bounty. This high potency one-a-day tablet will ensure your body always has adequate levels of B vitamins.

10. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a powerful herb that has been shown to significantly boost athletic performance by improving lung and heart capacity while also increasing energy levels.[15] It’s not only a great supplement for regular exercisers, but it’s also helpful for people who struggle with fatigue or low energy.

Ashwagandha supplements can also alleviate the fatigue that’s brought on by exercise. Overall, it’s one of the best supplements to give you energy on this list.

Ashwagandha is a great vitamin for energy, check out Ashwagandha by Nature Made. The 125mg capsules are more concentrated than standard ashwagandha extracts and are clinically proven to reduce everyday stress. It’s not certain how much ashwagandha you should take per day, but a good range to stay in is around 500-750mg a day.

11. Melatonin

Proper sleep is vital for our overall health and well-being. If you struggle getting proper rest each night, you may want to try taking a melatonin supplement. Melatonin (which is a hormone) can regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycles,[16] helping to give you the perfect night’s sleep.

Foods that include melatonin include fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds.

If you want to take extra melatonin in supplement form, then I recommend you try Natrol’s Melatonin Time Release. They provide an initial dosage of melatonin to help you fall asleep fast, then they slowly release additional melatonin throughout the night to help you stay asleep.

12. Citrulline

Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that offers some fantastic health benefits, including increasing blood flow, improving cardiac function, boosting your immune system,[17] and enhancing cognition and brain function.

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This non-essential amino acid can be found in foods such as watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers, bitter melons, and gourds. If you want a high-quality and high-potency supplement, then go for Source Natural’s L-Citrulline.

13. Creatine

Creatine is a natural supplement used to help build muscle mass and improve athletic performance. It can also reduce fatigue and tiredness.[18] Creatine is one of the most common supplements for bodybuilders.

Fish, meat, and other animal products such as dairy are all foods rich in creatine.

However, if you want to boost your creatine levels, then check out Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsules. It offers 2.5 grams of pure creatine monohydrate per 2-capsule serving. They also have zero calories and carbohydrates. Best taken with a meal.

14. L-theanine With Caffeine

Taken as a supplement, the combination of L-theanine and caffeine will help improve your mood and cognitive performance.[19] It will also improve your alertness and ability to focus on tasks.

SR’s L-Theanine & Caffeine helps support energy, as well as mental focus and cognitive performance without the crashes and jitters associated with popular energy drinks. If you can’t find L-theanine with caffeine, you can take L-theanine and drink it with coffee.

Your Body Will Thank You!

My experience along with that of millions of people worldwide is that supplementing with vitamins, minerals, and herbs can definitely help increase your overall health and well-being. It can also give your energy levels a significant boost.

If you’re currently feeling low on energy, try adding a few of the supplements I’ve recommended to your daily diet. I’m confident you’ll quickly see a tangible and positive difference.

Featured photo credit: Nastya Dulhiier via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 20, 2021

7 Daily Stress-Management Rituals that Improve Your Productivity

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7 Daily Stress-Management Rituals that Improve Your Productivity

If you’re trying to be as productive as possible, stress will always be your biggest obstacle—and it’s not an easy one to overcome. To do it, you’ll need to develop a plan to make stress management a core component of your daily routine, but doing that takes commitment. The good news is that if you succeed in learning how to manage stress, you’ll unlock your potential and be well on your way to peak performance. But first, you need to learn how to make it happen.

The best way to do that is to learn about and integrate some stress management rituals into your daily routine. To help you get started, here are seven tips on how to manage stress and improve your productivity.

1. Give Yourself an Extra Hour in the Morning

If you were to do some research on some of the world’s most successful—and productive—people, you’d notice that many of them have one thing in common: they tend to be early risers. Apple’s Tim Cook gets out of bed before 4 AM each day.[1] Michelle Obama is already getting in her daily workout at 4:30 AM.[2] Richard Branson gets up at 5:45 AM each day, even when he’s vacationing on his private island.

There’s a good reason why they all do it—once you reach the point in your day that your work schedule kicks in, you no longer have control of your time. That means you have a limited opportunity every morning to reduce your stress by taking care of the things you need to do without anyone making other demands on your time.

What’s important about this isn’t the time you get up. The important part is getting up early enough to start your day without feeling rushed. For most people, getting up an hour earlier than you normally would is sufficient. This should give you ample time to complete your morning tasks without having to hurry or fall behind.

But when you implement this ritual, be careful. Don’t do it at the cost of getting the right amount of sleep each night. If you do, you might increase your stress instead of relieving it. Sticking to a proper sleep schedule and getting enough sleep is, in itself, a critical part of stress management.[3]

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2. Determine and Review Your Most Important Tasks Each Day

If there’s one productivity tip that almost all experts agree on, it’s that you should spend some time before bed each night to write down your three most important tasks for the following day. But if you want to maximize that practice and turn it into a stress-buster, you should turn that notion on its head.

Instead, you should do this as a part of your morning routine. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First, it’s that our always-on, always-connected business world means your priorities can change overnight, literally. You may list your top priorities, go to sleep, and wake up to find them woefully out of date. That means the best time to set your priorities for the day is in the morning. This will keep those priorities up to date and let you think about them before the distractions of the day begin. But don’t stop there. You should take some time before bed each night to review that day’s priorities.

Ideally, you’ll be able to check them off as accomplished. If not, though, think about what prevented you from getting to them. This is your chance to figure out some of the common daily interruptions that get in your way. Chances are, these also cause some of your stress. So, spend the time before bed game-planning how to remove those interruptions and stressors from your day. If you make this a habit, you’ll be more productive and far less stressed out in no time.

3. Save Your Emails for Later in the Morning

Another tip on how to manage stress is to save your emails for later. One of the key causes of stress comes from our inability to cope with the unexpected. If you stop to think about it, what is your most prominent source of near-constant unexpected information every day? You guessed it—it’s your email.

Now, you can’t simply ignore your email. The only thing you can do about your email is to learn how to manage it most effectively. But no matter what you do, it’s going to remain a source of daily stress and distraction. That’s why you should make a habit out of giving yourself an email-free hour or two at the beginning of each day’s schedule.

In that time, try to tackle one of your daily priorities and get it taken care of. Your email will still be there when you’re done. And when you do get to it, you’ll do so in a much better frame of mind knowing that you’ve already gotten some real work done before having to deal with anything unexpected. That alone will improve your mood and reduce the amount of stress you’ll feel—no matter what’s waiting for you in your inbox.

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4. Take a Walk After Email Time

Since you’ll have to deal with your email sooner or later, there’s no way to completely avoid the stress that will come with it. Although you’ll be in a better frame of mind after putting off your email to get some real work done, you’ll still feel some stress when you get to it. That’s why you should make a post-email walk a part of your daily routine.

Taking a walk is one of the best ways you can relieve stress. It’s a form of meditation that will put you back into the right condition to be productive, and there’s no better time to do it each day than after taking care of your emails.

Ideally, you’ll want to take a walk outdoors, and preferably in the most natural setting possible. If you’re in an urban environment, a nearby park will suffice. Studies have demonstrated that walking in such environments for as little as 20 minutes per day leads to an overall reduction in the body’s cortisol level.[4]

Cortisol, if you’re not aware, is your body’s main stress hormone. It helps regulate your blood pressure, energy levels, and even your sleep cycle. Every time your stress goes up, cortisol production also increases, throwing your body into chaos. So, taking a walk right after dealing with your email will help you to relax, reset, and get ready to be productive for the rest of the day.

5. Reserve Time to Research and Plan a Vacation

By now, everybody knows that taking vacations every now and then can improve your productivity and lower your stress level. But did you know that even thinking about a vacation can help you to reduce your stress? It may sound strange, but it’s true.

A Cornell University study in 2012 found that the anticipation of a positive experience—like a vacation—can reduce stress and make you measurably happier. It logically follows, then, that adding to that anticipation each day can maximize the stress-relieving effects of a vacation.[5]

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To do it, set aside at least a half-hour each day to research or plan an upcoming vacation. You can read about destinations. You can research airfares. You can even look at places to stay in locations you’re interested in visiting. And if you’ve already got a vacation booked, use the time to take a deep dive into what your destination has to offer.

This is an especially important daily ritual to observe right now, while the COVID-19 pandemic may be limiting your vacation options. If it’s been a while since you’ve been able to take a trip, the act of planning your next vacation will have a therapeutic effect. With vacation rental bookings still hovering below 50% in most major markets, there’s no doubt that the vast majority of people are in desperate need of their next stress-relieving vacation.[6]

6. Create a Shutdown Ritual to End Your Day

Another simple yet effective way to manage stress is to create a shutdown ritual. Just as it’s important to get your day off to a stress-free, unhurried start, you’ll want to do the same when the day is through. It’s because after spending each day in a reactive mode—dealing with the unexpected—you need to get back into a proactive mode to relax.

Studies have shown that having the perception of control over what you’re going through acts as a buffer against negative stress.[7] In other words, feeling like you can manage even a small chunk of your own time counteracts the stress from the parts of your day when you can’t.

This also means that your shutdown ritual can be whatever you want it to be. You might write in a journal, get in a quick light workout, or prepare your outfit for the following day. As long as you’re the one in complete control over what you’re doing, anything goes. Just make sure that you include the aforementioned review of your daily priorities somewhere in your routine!

7. Set a No-Screens Rule to End Your Day

Even though your shutdown routine is important, there’s one more ritual to include before bedtime that will help you manage stress. Spend the last 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to go to sleep observing a strict no-screens rule. Not only will this give you time to disconnect from the stresses of your day, but it will also allow your body to make a transition into a proper sleep mode.

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The screens we use—smartphones, tablets, laptops—all emit a wavelength of blue light that disrupts our sleep patterns. It’s the same type of light that our bodies recognize as daytime, so seeing it is like telling your brain that it’s the wrong time to be asleep.[8]

By eliminating all sources of this type of light before bedtime, you’ll increase your odds of getting restful, deep sleep. And since getting proper sleep is one of the best ways to manage your stress, this is the perfect way for you to end each day.

Final Thoughts

Although a totally stress-free lifestyle would lend itself to achieving maximum productivity, not many people will ever manage to live that way. So, the next best thing is to work some or all of these daily stress-busting rituals into your day to minimize the inevitable stress instead. Doing so will put you in the best possible position to succeed. And there’s no better antidote for stress than to make the most out of every day no matter what it has to throw at you.

More Tips on How to Manage Stress

Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

Reference

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