Do Vitamins and Supplements Help With Energy?

If you are looking to improve your energy, there are a myriad of ways to do so. However, if you are looking for a more natural and healthful way to improve your energy, you may be curious whether there are any supplements you can take to help and whether these supplements even work.

So, do supplements work?

In this article, I will look into whether or not any supplements exist to help you boost your energy levels. I will also break down a few vitamins that you can take to help boost your energy naturally.

Can Supplements Help Improve Your Energy Levels?

Vitamins and minerals are essential for our bodies to function. Vitamins help with cellular energy production, DNA synthesis, and neurologic function, which can lead to a reduction in both mental and physical fatigue.[1]

Preventing deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals will help to promote adequate energy levels. But which vitamins and minerals are the most crucial? Let’s take a look at the top vitamins and minerals to improve energy levels.

Vitamins and Supplements That May Boost Energy Levels

Here are some of the most important vitamins and supplements that may help boost your energy levels.

Vitamins

1. Vitamin D

According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a common symptom of Vitamin D deficiency is muscle fatigue.[2]

Vitamin D is not found in many foods, so taking an oral supplement may be the best solution if you have a deficiency you want to correct. It is recommended that adults up to 70 years of age take 600 IU per day of Vitamin D, and those over 70 take 800 IU/day. Recommendations may vary for women who are pregnant or lactating, so it is recommended that you speak with your doctor before starting supplementation.[3]

2. Vitamin B12

There are eight B vitamins in total that are all essential for the body. B vitamins are especially important for brain function, including energy production. Having a deficiency of various B vitamins can therefore lead to fatigue.[4]

One of the most crucial B vitamins for energy is Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin. Older adults and those who have undergone weight loss surgery are particularly at risk for Vitamin B12. If this applies to you, it may be helpful to start taking a Vitamin B supplement to promote adequate energy levels.

Because Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, it is generally considered safe to take a larger amount. If you consume more Vitamin B12 than your body needs, you will simply excrete it in your urine. However, if your body is short on Vitamin B12, it will store what it needs, which may help to improve your energy levels.

3. Iron

Individuals who have iron deficiencies have a condition known as anemia. One of the major side effects of anemia is fatigue. According to Mayo Clinic, some groups of people may be more predisposed to having an iron deficiency. Those include women who are menstruating, vegetarians, those with a disorder causing an inability to absorb iron (such as celiac disease), or women who are pregnant are more likely to have anemia.[5]

If you are looking to increase your iron levels to improve your energy levels, you may wish to include more iron-rich foods in your diet. These foods include meat, eggs, and leafy green vegetables. It is also important to eat enough foods with Vitamin C as these can help your body to better absorb iron. Foods rich in Vitamin C include broccoli, citrus fruits, and leafy greens.

If adding these foods into your diet does not seem realistic for you, an iron supplement may be the best solution for improving your energy levels. Make sure to speak with your doctor before starting an iron supplement to determine whether it is appropriate and what the adequate dosage is.

Supplements

1. Ashwagandha Root

While less researched, a study from 2012 in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine looked at whether Ashwagandha root supplementation could improve energy levels. They found that supplementation with this herb reduced stress levels, which may lead to overall improvements in energy.[6]

Ashwagandha root is becoming more common, and it is easier than ever to find it on the shelves at your grocery or health food store. However, it is very important that you speak with your primary care physician before starting with this supplement to ensure that it is appropriate for you.

2. Creatine

Creatine is becoming more and more popular, especially among gym-goers. Creatine is an amino acid, which is one of the building blocks of protein. More and more weightlifters have been using creatine supplements to improve gym performance and help build muscle.

If you are an athlete and have low energy levels, creatine supplementation may be for you. A study conducted in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that creatine supplementation was helpful in improving recovery, reducing the risk of dehydration, and preventing sports-related injuries.[7] Given the improvement seen in athletic performance with creatine supplementation, it stands to reason that, for athletes with low energy levels, creatine supplementation may be indicated.

3. Melatonin

If your low energy levels are caused by sleep deprivation, melatonin may be the right supplement for you. While melatonin does not directly boost energy levels, you may still see an improvement from taking it. This natural hormone helps to play a role in sleep. If you have insomnia or just difficulty falling asleep, it may help to take a melatonin supplement at night before bed to help regulate your sleep schedule and improve your energy levels during the day.

Certain populations have been found to have lower levels of melatonin secretion, which may lead to difficulty sleeping and subsequent poor energy levels during the day. Individuals who are elderly or have type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, or Alzheimer’s disease may be affected.[8]

Melatonin supplements are available in most grocery stores and pharmacies. Melatonin also comes in gummy form, which makes taking it easy and delicious.

In Conclusion

There are a host of supplements on the market that claim to work and help boost your energy levels. However, it can be tough to tell which supplements are actually going to do what they claim to. Given the research, it is clear that some supplements may help boost energy levels for those who are deficient in them.

When you are looking to start a supplement for improvement in energy levels, as discussed, it is extremely important to contact your doctor to get their opinion. Not only will they be able to help you decide on the right dosage of these supplements for your body, but they will also be able to advise you on which supplement would be most appropriate given your lifestyle and lab values.

More Related to Health Supplements

Featured photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] NCBI: Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue, and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence
[2] The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: Improving the Vitamin D Status of Vitamin D Deficient Adults Is Associated With Improved Mitochondrial Oxidative Function in Skeletal Muscle)) According to Cleveland Clinic, certain medical conditions predispose individuals to Vitamin D deficiency. Those with cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, obesity, and kidney and liver diseases may be more at risk. Additionally, older adults, those who have undergone weight loss surgery, and those who are homebound or have darker skin tones may be more likely to have a deficiency in Vitamin D.((Cleveland Clinic: Vitamin D Deficiency
[3] Cleveland Clinic: Vitamin D Deficiency
[4] NCBI: B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review
[5] Mayo Clinic: Iron deficiency anemia
[6] Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine: A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults
[7] Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine
[8] Healthline: 11 Vitamins and Supplements That Boost Energy

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