Millions of Americans suffer from low levels of energy. Fatigue can be caused by a host of factors ranging from a poor diet and lack of exercise to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Fortunately, there are several ways you can boost your energy levels.
Energy supplements are made from vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that work on a cellular level to boost energy. Find out which energy supplements are the most effective and see how you can boost energy using natural ingredients.
The Best Supplements For Boosting Energy
Having enough iron in your bloodstream is essential to feeling full of energy. Iron deficiency can lead to conditions such as anemia, which cause you to feel fatigued and weak (1).
Research shows that low levels of iron can lead to a reduction in cognition, poor mental health, and fatigue (2)(3). Iron helps to increase energy levels by promoting the production of hemoglobin in healthy red blood cells. This, in turn, helps the body deliver oxygen to vital organs and boost alertness.
Most people get the proper amount of iron from a healthy diet. Look for foods that are rich in iron including spinach, tofu, dark chocolate, broccoli, quinoa, and lentils. If you are still iron deficient, opt for a fortified iron supplement to boost energy levels.
2. Coenzyme Q10
This coenzyme is naturally produced by the body and present in all types of cells. The coenzyme is found in the largest amounts in the liver and kidneys. CoQ10 contains benzoquinones that accept and donate electrons for ATP production (4). The body takes the enzyme and converts it to energy.
As we age, the body produces less CoQ10 naturally. This can lead to feelings of fatigue and low energy. Research shows that fatigue is a classic sign of mitochondrial disorders (5). Since CoQ10 is present in all cell types, increasing intake of the coenzyme may help to boost energy levels.
One human trial investigated the effects of ubiquinol and ubiquinone in enhancing CoQ10 supplements. The research showed ubiquinol was superior in increasing energy levels in older adults (4).
Natural foods such as organ and muscle meats, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds all contain significant amounts of CoQ10. However, the body often requires larger quantities than a normal diet can provide. That’s where CoQ10 supplements come in. If you have low levels of this coenzyme, taking a supplement may help to improve feelings of fatigue.
Creatine is a popular supplement in the fitness world where it is used to boost energy and physical performance. Research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports and Nutrition found that creatine is one of the most effective supplements for building muscle mass (6).
Creatine works by increasing the levels of ATP in the body. ATP, or adenosine triphosphate is essential for proper muscle movement and metabolism. Unfortunately, the body only produces enough ATP for small bursts of intense exercise. That’s why you can only perform maximum intensity exercises for short bursts of time. Taking creatine helps to increase these stores of ATP, so you can work more intensely for longer periods of time. That’s because creatine contains phosphocreatine, which can be converted quickly into ATP (7).
Multiple studies show the effectiveness of creatine in building strength, boosting energy, and promoting muscle mass. One review, published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry found that 70 percent of 300 studies on creatine showed significant improvements in energy levels and e[performance. These studies showed that short-term creatine supplementation increased strength and sprint performance by 5-15 percent (8).
You can find creation in animal food sources such as red meat, fish, and poultry. It’s also present in smaller quantities in dairy and shellfish. Most people who take creatine for energy opt for a supplement since it’s hard to get in a normal diet. Creatine supplements are most often sold in a powder form and can be added to whey protein as a post workout drink. You can also choose chewables or tablets if preferred.
4. Rhodiola Rosea
This herb comes from a perennial flower that is native to the arctic regions of Asia, America, and Europe. The plant is a popular natural remedy for fatigue and disorders such as poor sleep quality and depression. The plant may also be beneficial for boosting energy.
A review published in Phytomedicine examined the effects of Rhodiola rosea on energy and performance. The review examined 11 placebo-controlled studies published between 1950 and 2009. Researchers found that the studies showed improvements in mental health conditions and physical performance, but noted more research is needed (9).
Rhodiola may boost energy by improving mood. One small study investigated the impacts of Rhodiola rosea on mental health. Researchers found that the herb helped to decrease feelings of depression (10).
5. Vitamin B12
B vitamins work in the human body to convert food into energy. Low levels of B vitamins have been linked to increased fatigue and disorders such as anemia (11). Some individuals have a higher risk of developing a vitamin B deficiency. This includes elderly adults, vegans, and people who suffer from gastrointestinal disorders or consume a poor diet. For these people, taking a vitamin B12 supplement may help to increase energy levels.
Research shows that B vitamins are essential to every step of the energy-creation process within cells. They play a key role in creating cellular energy and ATP. The vitamins are also responsible for energy expenditure in the brain (12).
6. Vitamin D
The body converts cholesterol to vitamin D when the human body is subjected to sunlight. This vitamin then functions similarly to a hormone to keep energy levels and other natural processes running smoothly. While vitamin D is present in some foods such as fish and dairy, it is difficult to get the proper amount from a healthy diet alone. That’s why many people supplement with vitamin D — particularly in regions where the sun is scarce throughout the winter months.
Vitamin D deficiencies can cause a host of problems including fatigue and depression. The disorder is fairly common and particularly prevalent among populations with dark skin and in the elderly. People who live far away from the equator and in places with few days of sunlight also have a higher chance of developing a vitamin D deficiency.
One study published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation examined the impacts of vitamin D deficiencies in menopausal women. The study found that women who had low levels of vitamin D also reported higher incidences of fatigue and low energy (13).
A second study found that correcting low levels of vitamin D resulted in a significant improvement in energy levels. The participants reported significant improvements after taking vitamin D energy supplements for five weeks (14).
Since vitamin D is difficult to get even when consuming a whole food diet, many doctors recommend a dietary supplement to those who are deficient.
7. Green Tea
Green tea is a wildly popular beverage that features earthy, grassy, and vegetal flavors. It’s also one of the most well-researched beverages on the planet. Research has shown drinking this tea may have beneficial effects for blood pressure, weight loss, and chronic fatigue.
The active ingredients in green tea responsible for energy production are caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine. Caffeine is a popular ingredient in energy drinks, energy shots, and meal replacements to boost energy levels. The mild amount of caffeine provides a quick pick-me-up that can help improve sluggish moods.
L-theanine helps to moderate the absorption of caffeine. This results in a smoother, longer lasting energy boost compared to a cup of coffee. That means you won’t have to deal with the spikes and withdrawals associated with drinking coffee.
Brew up a cup of green tea in the morning or afternoon to improve your energy levels. We like the blends from Cup & Leaf since they offer premium teas and affordable prices. You can also opt for energy-boosting supplements. Green tea pills and supplements make it easy to get a mild dose of caffeine and healthy amino acids.
Health Risks of Energy Supplements
When it comes to your health, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before adding new supplements to your routine. Taking high levels of some of these supplements can cause negative side effects including heart failure and interactions with other medications. Remember that these energy boosters contain ingredients that play an important role in cellular processes. While they may seem safe, they can cause underlying interactions you may not be aware of. Always talk to your physician before supplementing with vitamins and herbs to increase energy levels.
Boost Energy With Supplements
The best way to boost energy levels is to consume a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Sometimes life gets in the way of that simple solution. That’s where energy supplements may be helpful. Adding an energy supplement can help decrease fatigue associated with disorders such as vitamin deficiencies and anemia.