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Published on March 15, 2021

Vitamins And Supplements For Energy (The Complete Guide)

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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Published on April 14, 2021

How To Relieve Stress And Restore Energy

How To Relieve Stress And Restore Energy

You didn’t get to where you are in life without learning how to relieve stress along the way. But just because you’ve “been there, done that” doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be easier this time around. Granted life experience will likely have taught you the old refrain, “this too shall pass” but that same life experience will also likely have taught you something about the active role you need to take to combat stress from time to time and how we could all stand to benefit from a stress-busting reboot.

I think we all know the dangerous side effects of too much stress in our lives. Stress is a major contributor to many poor health outcomes, such as diabetes, weight gain, hypertension, poor memory, and a whole host of mental health issues.[1] Therefore, how we manage the stress in our lives, needs to be revisited with a fresh and new perspective, in the same way, we need to clean out and freshen up our closet every so often.

Below are my top 10 strategies to relieve stress and restore energy with a fresh look at some old favorites that are guaranteed to help you self-optimize for health and happiness in body, mind, and spirit.

1. Compartmentalize—Prioritization on Steroids

People think of the compartmentalizing tactic in different ways, and there are negative associations with this term. However, when I suggest that you compartmentalize to manage your stress—or better yet, relieve stress—what I am referring to is the idea that you block out certain parts of your life that are distracting you from what you need to do in your daily life.

For example, you are at work but also have some extraordinary stress in your private life due to ailing parents with no siblings to share in the caretaking. Managing this alongside your own family and professional responsibilities, which were already heavy enough, places an enormous amount of stress on you.

When you compartmentalize, you put up mental blinders to help you focus on the task in front of you with the knowledge that managing your parent’s living and financial situation will be handled in due time after work hours.

Learning how to block out these different realms of your life will help you prioritize and manage the work that is in front of you.

2. Get Outside, It’s Like Therapy

Simply getting outside in the fresh air will automatically bring down your stress levels and restore some lost energy.[2] The research around this growing field known as ecotherapy is proving once again how powerful nature is and how we can improve our mental wellbeing along with our physical and spiritual health with time outdoors.[3]

When you are outside, you are more likely to have increased activity levels and will be exposing yourself to the mood-boosting sun, which helps our body create vitamin D. Research on vitamin D indicates that those who are vitamin D deficient may be more susceptible to inflammatory illness, depression and lowered resistance to stress, and more and more of us are becoming vitamin D deficient across the United States.[4]

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Spending as little as 10 minutes outside every day can be enough to improve mood, mental focus, and decrease blood pressure. Think of the increased concentration and improved efficiency you will get as a return on investment that yields way better growth on your aptitude and attitude for life.

3. Do an Organization Reboot

We all know the secret to success is largely due to organization or at least some form of it. I would argue that organization is a process. We build structures to organize information and life events based on our current demands. Over the course of your life, this will vary and probably increase as your life becomes more complicated, which will force you to innovate and change things up as you go.

What was enough in college or your first job out of college may not be enough at this point in your life. Furthermore, many, many systems can help us organize, and too many can detract from their intended benefits.

Assessing and weeding out the unnecessary systems or consolidating from the many to one might just be the answer.

Is a family calendar on Google more efficient than the calendar hanging in the kitchen? Don’t just assume that the answer will be in tech. Sometimes the old-fashioned pen and paper is more practical and might also serve as a better physical reminder—think of the whiteboard in the kitchen vs the hidden “to-do list” on your smartphone with reminders that consistently fail.

Another strategy for your organization reboot is an organization self-assessment. First, what it is that you need help organizing, and what the intended outcome is? Is it for communication purposes—to make sure that everyone is on the same page—or is it to help you process and think about the workload in front of you? Answering these 2 questions will help you move forward as you think about what makes the most sense for you, your family, or your team at work.

Another way to approach an organization reboot is to ask other people how they stay organized. This is especially helpful when taking on new responsibilities that might come with a job change or a new family dynamic.

I did this in a new position I recently took and by collecting data on how other people approached their work (think of the complex systems in public education), I was able to create “a best practice” that worked for me and that I could share with my colleagues. Something that could earn you some extra kudos is a bonus, especially when you are the new kid on the block.

4. Engage Your Creative Brain

When we engage the creative parts of ourself we tap into the part of our brain that releases dopamine, which has a naturally calming, therapeutic effect. Needless to say, this will almost immediately help us to relax and will lower our stress levels. One of the premises for which art therapy has been well established.

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In one study, in particular, it was found that after just 45 minutes of engaging with artistic materials, regardless of the level of production or artistic talent the person had, there was a notable decrease of cortisol in 75% of the participants.[5]

Music therapy is another form of creative art that can relieve stress and restore our energy.[6] Many of us use music to help us decompress or move into another part of our day or activity. Music also taps into this part of our brain that increases focus and can help us emulate the feeling or “vibe” we perceive in the music. As we know, upbeat music will help you feel more positive while slower music can help you feel more relaxed by easing some of the tension in your body.

There are tons of great playlists out there aimed at stress relief. The next time you are on your preferred music streaming service, test out a few and see which works for you. Needless to say, music is one of those things that we can have in the background while moving forward with other parts of our day.

Perhaps this is another area in need of a reboot that could enhance your stress relief routine.

5. Do You Need a Vacation or Weekend Away?

Vacation opportunities may not be as readily available as we would like. However, it doesn’t have to be a week in the tropics to feel the benefits of a short break from your everyday routine.

If we are optimizing our time with some of the above strategies, perhaps we might be able to sneak in that weekend getaway or even just a day trip with the family. Getting out of your everyday environment, especially when trying to build in some respite and relieve stress, can do wonders for our mind, body, and spirit.

We may love our homes, but they do represent the endless “to-do list” and remind us of all the things that contribute to our stress levels. Getting away from this environment where you can get outside and engage in some of your favorite activities with your favorite people will free your mind and your body.

Granted, COVID-19 has definitely hindered our road trip or vacation opportunities. However, with a little creativity, we can build in the little breaks that we need to relieve some stress, reconnect with the people who are important in our lives, and help us to feel ready for the next hurdle in front of us.

6. Meditation and Mindfulness, Make Them a Habit

Meditation and mindfulness can offer endless benefits to us emotionally and psychologically, which will naturally relieve stress. Many of those benefits include increased focus, relaxation, and a decrease in the mental clutter in your head.

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One of the biggest challenges with mediation or mindfulness is that to feel the impact, we need to practice it consistently, which takes discipline. The people who are most successful at integrating mediation and mindfulness into their self-care and stress relief routines are people who build it into their daily practices.

And as is true with many strategies, we don’t need to spend hours doing it. Just 5 or 10 minutes a day can make a difference, but we do need to make sure we are doing it.

Maybe there is a 5 or 10-minute window at the end or beginning of your day where you could fit this consistently? There are lots of great apps to help guide you through your mediation with music and visualization.

7. Fight Off “Aloneliness” and Find Your Alone Time

I read an article recently about “aloneliness,” which is the opposite of loneliness. As an introvert, I have always been that person who replenishes her energy from time alone but never quite thought about the craving as a likening to loneliness for the introvert.

The benefits of alone time are science-backed and include those things that many times go out the window when we are stressed and overwhelmed—things like creativity, mental strength, and productivity. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people without the opportunity to have their alone time, which could be another reason that you are feeling more stressed and less able to deal with your daily challenges.

You might need to be strategic, but you could build some alone time into your life with a walk outside to get lunch for example, which will also be incorporating strategy #2 on this list.

8. Find Balance in Your Life

Stress can turn our lives upside down and throw everything off-kilter. Finding your equilibrium, getting your bearings straight, and finding the balance in your life between the many demands of family, partner, work, and friends is essential.

If you are feeling increased stress, take a look at the demands around you and make sure that there is a balance between the different parts of your life—in particular, the areas where you find more nourishment for the soul.

Incorporating the well-known life coaching strategy “life wheel” is a great way to think about the different parts of your life to ensure that you are giving all areas the time and attention that they need.

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9. Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene

It’s no secret that sleep can be your best friend or public enemy number one. As the saying goes, “what a difference a day can make” is in large part due to a restful night’s sleep. However, when we are stressed, sleep is one of the first things to get out of whack.

If you are going through a period of high stress, you are likely feeling an increase in outside or family demands. Finding the time to fit it all in may naturally creep into your sleeping hours or, on the other hand, the stress might keep you from being able to get a restful night’s sleep. Either of these two scenarios is a case where it might be good to take a look at your sleep routine and force you to be a little more protective of it.

Some of my go-to tips and strategies around maintaining healthy sleep hygiene are:[7]

  1. Plan ahead
  2. Maintain your physical activity
  3. Limit alcohol
  4. Sleep in a cooler environment
  5. Get plenty of fresh air

So, before you get to thinking that you can sleep “later,” remember that healthy people and well-balanced lives have a healthy amount of sleep in their lives.

10. Animal Love

There’s tons of research out there about the benefits of having a pet, in particular, a dog or a cat. Taking care of a pet or any member of the animal kingdom can have such a positive impact on our mood and psychological well-being that our brain releases a hormone known as oxytocin, dubbed the love hormone.

We get this hormone from other nurturing (human) relationships as well, but we cannot underestimate the impact this can have on us when we care for and connect with one of our four-legged buddies. A case in point is the fact that many pet owners report feeling a connection to their pet that rivals that of any significant human connection and, in some cases, can even be more significant than a human-to-human connection.[8]

Additionally, having a pet will likely promote other healthy habits. Some of which I spoke about above, such as being outside more often and increasing your physical activity. On a social level, connecting with friends and neighbors about your pet creates a shared connection—another protective factor in the fight against stress.

Botton Line

Modern life places many demands on us which hits us in different ways during different periods of our lives. Maintaining our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being requires a fresh and renewed approach every so often.

If you take the time today—to take care of yourself for tomorrow by revamping the old worn-out items in your self-care toolbox—you will reap the benefits 20 fold! Learning how to relieve stress from our life is a process that we will need to revisit time and time again, each time getting better and better.

More Tips on How to Cope With Stress

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

Reference

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