If you’re like most Americans, you probably down a cup or two (or three!) of coffee every morning, hit the cafe come 2 pm, and are slouching at your desk by the time the inevitable late-afternoon lethargy hits. Maybe you’re even struggling to get to the gym after work or find a way to use your weekends or downtime more productively. It’s a common issue—you’re not alone.
Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with a cup of coffee now and then (in fact, some studies show that coffee may reduce your risk of certain diseases), if you’re drinking tons of coffee to fight a losing battle against fatigue, it may be time to find a better option.
Your mother probably always told you to take your vitamins as a kid. And from time to time, you likely did, right? Perhaps you pop a multivitamin supplement these days in the hopes of staving off doctor’s visits. That’s a great start, but there are lots of specific dietary supplements that can help boost your energy, stamina, and mental clarity, putting some extra pep in your step to get you through your day feeling great.
Causes of Low Energy
While there are certain vitamins and nutrients that can help boost your energy levels, it’s important to look first into the specific causes of your low energy. Everything from hormonal imbalance and autoimmune diseases to poor food choices and lack of stress management can cause low energy—and even though supplements can help, it’s best to identify the root of the issue and go from there. Knowing what’s causing your energy drain can also help you find the supplements that are right for you.
For one, hormones, especially as you age, can drag your energy levels down. For example, one study found that low energy levels are associated with low testosterone (or low T, as some call it). In women, menopause can seriously deplete energy levels.
On the other hand, autoimmune diseases, which are conditions in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body, are a major cause of energy depletion, fatigue, and lethargy. According to Healthline, these types of symptoms should not be ignored as they may be a sign of autoimmune disease.
In fact, approximately 50 million Americans (which is 20 percent of the population or one in five people) suffer from autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to be affected, with some estimates stating that 75 percent of those affected—some 30 million people—are women, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.
Another cause? A lack of exercise. In a study published in Sports Medicine, researchers found that “Approximately 20% of adults worldwide report persistent fatigue. Physical activity is a healthful behavior that has promise for combating feelings of fatigue and low energy.”
On top of that, poor nutrition can send your body into a state of tired, sluggish inactivity. That’s where good nutritional choices and eating nutrient-dense food comes in. According to Lisa Valente, MS, RD, “that means embracing whole foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It also means cutting back on refined grains, additives, preservatives, unhealthy fats and large amounts of added sugar and salt.”
Another common culprit is stress. Stress is totally normal — when it happens from time to time. But chronic stress is another issue altogether. Stress can make your immune system vulnerable, and it can deplete your adrenals. According to one study of nearly 2,500 people, stress is often accompanied by fatigue.
The ABCs of Energy-Boosting Vitamins
The eight vitamins in the B vitamin family include pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and cobalamin. They each do different things, and can play roles in helping you feel healthier, keeping your skin glowing, and supporting cognitive health.
You’ll want to focus on getting enough vitamin B12, which you can find in poultry, grains, eggs and milk. If you’re vegan, you may not be getting enough of this essential vitamin. If so, try eating more shiitake mushrooms or nori. You may also consider adding a B supplement to your daily routine.
Another essential mineral is iron, which is also responsible for the circulation of oxygen throughout your body. One potential risk of not getting enough iron is anemia, which can cause leg cramps and fatigue. To get more iron into your diet, make sure you’re eating meat and fish, and foods like beans and dark greens. If you’re pregnant, make sure that you’re having your iron levels checked, since pregnant women tend to be low. On the flipside, you definitely don’t want to too much iron, either, as high levels of iron can be dangerous to your health.
Magnesium is big deal. It has over 600 functions in the body — including managing blood pressure and inflammation — but many of people lack what they need. It You can find it in black beans, swiss chard and more.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Another energy-boosting supplement is coenzyme Q10, often shortened to CoQ10. CoQ10 is an energy producer and an antioxidant, which means it helps fight free radicals from toxins and the environment. You can find it in peanuts and meat. According to Mayo Clinic, the antioxidant can promote heart health, migraines, endurance, and nervous system health. It decreases as you age, so it’s important to add it to your daily routine in supplement form.
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, but we actually don’t get enough of it from the sunlight, especially if we are older, live in a low-sun state or work indoors most of the day. This vitamin helps support energy levels, mood health, and bone health.
When we’re feeling particularly slow on the uptake, an energy supplement can help us convert energy and use it to the best of our ability. A supplement can actually boost your cognitive and physical energy, so it’s a complete mind-body lift.
You should be looking at utilizing ginseng root, rhodiola extracts, broccoli seed, cordyceps, and green tea, which are adaptogens that help you feel your best.
You can also ask your doctor about BodyLogicMD’s Pure Lift, which delivers a combination of micronutrients, adaptogenic botanicals, and adrenal concentrate to fortify the body’s response to stress, promote healthy energy levels, and support proper adrenal gland function as well. This blend contains A, B, and C vitamins and may help you combat the effects of fatigue.
Supplement Sources: Quality Matters
Once you and your physician have decided on a supplement regimen to boost your health and energy, deciding where to get them is the next big step. If you want to make your money count and truly improve your health, it’s best to get supplements from trusted sources only. Be sure to use only professional-grade supplements; these are made with high-quality, well-sourced ingredients. BodyLogicMD offers only professional-grade supplements and takes steps to ensure that your supplements contain only the good stuff—no fillers and no toxins.
And yes, it is key to work with a medical expert to avoid any adverse health effects—according to the National Institutes of Health, “Supplements are most likely to cause side effects or harm when people take them instead of prescribed medicines or when people take many supplements in combination. Some supplements can increase the risk of bleeding or, if a person takes them before or after surgery, they can affect the person’s response to anesthesia. Dietary supplements can also interact with certain prescription drugs in ways that might cause problems.”
The Importance of Healthy Habits
Caring for your body—and being selective about what you put into it — means being holistic about what you put into it. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to eat a wide array of healthful foods, to drink plenty of water every single day, to get a good night’s sleep, to exercise regularly, and limit your intake of vices (that means alcohol and cigarettes). Combining these holistic lifestyle choices with supplementation is the goal.
Life is hard enough — so it’s key that you do what you can to take care of yourself. And even those who are careful about their nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits may need a little extra help. If you feel you are suffering from chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune disease, or hormonal imbalance, there is help. Contact a practitioner within the BodyLogicMD network today. They can help you restore balance to your body, mind, and energy levels by helping you perfect a supplement regimen in conjunction with a lifestyle plan that’s tailored to your individual health needs.