When considering energy and bioenergetics, there are many key factors to consider beyond simply consuming vitamins. Before one should even consider the use of vitamins, it’s imperative to examine the amount and quality of one’s sleep.
Sleep is the most important factor when it comes to energy levels. Additionally, exercise, diet (including hydration), and stress play huge roles in human bioenergetics.
If you’re wondering about exercise’s impact on energy—exercising boosts oxygen circulation inside your body. This increase in oxygen not only supports the mitochondria’s energy production but also allows your body to function better and utilize energy more efficiently.
In this article on vitamins for energy, I will focus on outlining some of the most effective vitamins to improve energy levels and the expenditure of one’s energy.
Why Take Vitamins to Boost Energy?
There are benefits to using vitamins and supplements when it’s difficult to source the same nutrients from readily available food. Some individuals may live in places that do not have a robust variety of food sources and therefore, benefit greatly from supplementation.
Generally, one should look to food to source as much as possible in terms of nutrients, vitamins, minerals. Here are ten vitamins for energy for men and women.
I’ve been taking this supplement for three years, and it’s proven to be quite beneficial. I’ve also created a few YouTube videos discussing the benefits of Ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha is widely regarded as one of the most important medicinal herbs in Indian Ayurveda—quite possibly one of the world’s oldest medicinal systems. It’s also one of the best vitamins to boost energy for men.
Ashwagandha’s intended use is to increase energy by enhancing your body’s resilience to physical and mental stress. There are mental stressors all around us with the constant influx of information in today’s age, and ashwagandha can help mitigate them.
In one study, people given ashwagandha showed significant improvements in several measures of stress and anxiety, compared to those given a placebo. They also had 28% lower levels of cortisol, which is a hormone that increases in response to stress.
In addition to improving mental fatigue and reducing stress, research also suggests that ashwagandha can alleviate fatigue associated with exercise. In a study of elite cyclists, researchers found that those who took ashwagandha were able to cycle 7% longer than those given a placebo. Additionally, research also suggests little to no side effects from the use of ashwagandha.
2. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a variety of animal proteins, such as meat, fish, and dairy products. People generally at risk of Vitamin B deficiency include older adults (10–30% of adults over the age of 50), vegans, and those with GI disorders.
B-vitamins are highly beneficial, making them some of the best vitamins for energy for both men and women. Alongside other B-vitamins, vitamin B12 helps transform the food you eat into energy that your cells can use. Vitamin B12 also keeps your body’s nerves and blood cells healthy.
I’m a huge proponent of using Creatine, and it’s another supplement I’ve discussed in my YouTube videos.
Creatine is a compound that acts as a source of quick energy in your body, and that is naturally found in red meat, pork, poultry, and fish.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the energy currency of life, and when your body uses ATP for energy, it loses a phosphate group and becomes adenosine diphosphate. Creatine can be used as a quick source of energy by lending its phosphate to ADP, thus becoming ATP.
Creatine is an excellent source of energy for exercises, such as short sprints, weight lifting, jumping, and other explosive activities. It’s one of the best vitamins for energy for both men and women.
An interesting fact about Citrulline is that the name comes from Citrullus vulgaris, the Latin word for watermelon, from which it was first isolated for consumption.
Citrulline increases nitric oxide in the body, which acts as a vasodilator, causing the inner muscles of blood vessels to widen resulting in increased circulation. This process allows blood, oxygen, and nutrients to naturally travel throughout all areas of the body. Physical weakness and lack of energy are signs that the ability to produce nitric oxide is limited.
In another study on the impacts of citrulline on exercise, taking citrulline supplements allowed people to exercise 12% longer and 7% harder, compared to a placebo.
5. Coenzyme Q10
CoQ10 is made naturally in the body and stands for coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 comes in a few different forms, such as ubiquinone and ubiquinol. They are truly ubiquitous in the body (found in all cells).
The heart, kidneys, and liver have the highest levels of CoQ10. Cells use CoQ10 to produce energy and protect themselves from oxidative damage.
When levels of CoQ10 decline, your body’s cells cannot produce the energy they need to grow and stay healthy, which may contribute to low energy levels and fatigue.
Consuming Coenzyme Q10 as a supplement helps ensure that your body sustains higher levels of energy while protecting from oxidative damage.
6. Vitamin D
Muscle fatigue and deficiencies in energy are common symptoms in people who do not get enough vitamin D. Research shows that almost 50% of people across the world are deficient in vitamin D.
Researchers behind a 2013 study found that when people with low vitamin D levels received treatment for the vitamin deficiency, they demonstrated improved muscle efficiency, making it one of the best vitamins for energy.
Not surprisingly, there is also a link between depression and low levels of vitamin D. Low energy levels and fatigue are common symptoms of depression.
A Norwegian study had more than 400 people receiving 20,000 or 40,000 international units of vitamin D weekly, and over a year, their symptoms of depression reduced significantly compared with those of participants taking a placebo. Reduction in depression will naturally yield higher levels of energy.
7. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea is a supplement I take cyclically. It’s an herb that grows in certain cold, mountainous regions. It’s widely used as an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that enhances your body’s ability to cope with stress/stressors.
In one large overarching study, researchers combined and analyzed the results of 11 individual studies which examined the effects of Rhodiola on physical and mental fatigue in more than 500 people. Eight of 11 studies found evidence that Rhodiola can enhance physical performance and effectively ease mental fatigue. Additionally, no major safety risks were found to be associated with Rhodiola supplements.
Rhodiola has been suggested to help with depression as well, which is commonly linked to fatigue as I covered in the above Vitamin D supplement benefits.
Iron is extremely important and can be found in foods such as shellfish, turkey, red meat, or vegetarian options such as spinach, beans, lentils, and tofu. The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen from your lungs to the organs and tissues throughout your body.
Iron is imperative for red blood cells to function correctly. Without adequate levels of iron, your red blood cells cannot effectively carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, resulting in iron deficiency anemia, which may leave you feeling a lack of energy, fatigued, and generally weak. Common causes of iron deficiency anemia include an Iron-poor diet, blood loss, and pregnancy.
Iron is one of those supplements that you’ll want to consult your doctor before consuming because there are health implications/risks from excessive iron intake.
Tyrosine is found in most high-protein foods, including chicken, eggs, and dairy products, and it’s a good vitamin for energy for both men and women. It is an amino acid that is naturally produced by your body. However, taking supplements may be worth considering if you are lacking in food intake with tyrosine.
Tyrosine is very important for producing neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit messages within your brain. These neurotransmitters (produced with the assistance of tyrosine) are thought to decline during mentally and physically demanding activities, which can interim negatively affect concentration and energy levels.
In several studies, tyrosine supplements have been found to increase alertness and energy levels in participants. Tyrosine may also help restore memory and clarity in sleep-deprived individuals.
Thus far, research suggests that tyrosine is only beneficial for those who have low stores of neurotransmitters due to stressful or cognitively demanding situations, which I can relate to being in the technology space.
10. Caffeine With L-Theanine
I have a love-hate relationship with Caffeine because back in 2018, I was over-consuming (more than seven cups a day) and had to dial things back.
Now, I only consume about one to two cups per week, although I do drink tea, which does have lower levels of caffeine. I often use caffeine for exercise purposes but switch to tea for day-to-day drinking while working.
Caffeine is often consumed for its energy-boosting properties in the forms I’ve mentioned above—coffee, tea, cocoa beverages, as well as energy drinks and sodas. Many people limit or completely avoid caffeine because it can lead to irritability, nervousness, restlessness, and a crash after its initial energy boost.
I personally experienced the crash effect, and later while weaning-off coffee, I experienced symptoms of withdrawal.
Pro tip: Combining L-theanine with caffeine as a supplement may help prevent the inherited side effects of caffeine.
L-theanine is an amino acid found naturally in tea and some mushrooms. It is thought to promote relaxation without increasing drowsiness, which, in my opinion, is huge!
In numerous studies, the combination of caffeine and L-theanine has been shown to improve memory and reaction time, while decreasing tiredness and mental fatigue.
Collectively, the results of these studies suggest that adding L-theanine can help you get the same energy-boosting benefits from caffeine while avoiding unwanted side effects. Additionally, it effectively acts as a nootropic by helping reduce mental fatigue, and I’m a big proponent of using supplements with nootropic-like benefits.
Energy is readily available to us and produced naturally by our biochemistry. The issues most people have are related to lifestyle choices that inhibit the capacity of the body to produce energy effectively.
Anyone wanting to enhance energy levels must consider improvements to lifestyle including sleep, diet, stress, work, and other major factors mentioned in this article. You can start with these vitamins for energy for men and women.
Allow these vitamins and supplements to support your already optimized lifestyle conditions, and your energy levels will thrive!
Featured photo credit: Diana Polekhina via unsplash.com