You’re eating right, working out regularly, sleeping enough, but you’re still experiencing that early afternoon energy slump! Cue these six energy-boosting vitamins!
You’re eating a balanced diet, you’re sleeping well enough, and you work out regularly. Yet, you’re still hitting that afternoon slump, or maybe even that mid-morning slump. And to make matters even more frustrating, it seems that no amount of coffee can put the pep back in your step.
It turns out, even with a well-balanced diet, we may be lacking in specific energy-boosting vitamins and minerals. How is that possible? Well, a lot of us can get caught up in a busy schedule and sometimes forget to eat, or not eat enough. So even if we are consuming healthy foods when we eat, we can still come up short on essential vitamins.
Then on the flip side, there are those of us who eat healthy 50% of the time, and for one reason or another, the other 50% is whatever we can eat at the moment. Typically that winds up being some pre-wrapped, processed food that’s high in calories but low in nutrients.
Whether you fall into the first group or the second, the fact of the matter is that you just might be lacking certain nutrients that can help keep you energized and going strong.
Luckily, there are supplement options that can help with that pesky energy slump. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of six energy-boosting vitamins that could help you skip that extra cup of coffee altogether.
- Vitamin B-12
The role of B-12, along with other B vitamins, is to help the body transform the food you eat into energy that your cells can use.
Vitamin B-12 can be found naturally in certain animal products, including meats, fish, and dairy products. Other foods, such as non-dairy milk and yeast, are fortified with B-12 to help with meeting intake requirements.
In regards to energy levels, B-12 is key to keeping our nervous system and our blood healthy. It plays a role in preventing a type of anemia that can leave us feeling run down and weak.
It is important to note that certain groups are more susceptible to vitamin B-12 deficiency than others. Those groups are:
- Vegetarians & Vegans: Since the primary natural source of vitamin B-12 is animal protein, vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk of a deficiency of B-12.
- People with GI Disorders: Those who deal with Chrons, celiac disease, or other gastrointestinal (GI) disorders may have a more challenging time absorbing B-12.
- Adults 50+: Because 10-30% of adults over the age of 50 produce less stomach acid and proteins, they have a more difficult time absorbing B-12 from food.
Finding a B-12 supplement or a meal replacement shake, like LadyBoss LEAN ®, which is fortified with vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins, can help boost energy levels over time. Additionally, a supplement that includes a full B vitamin profile can be beneficial with improving overall health.
Iron, like vitamin B-12, plays an essential role in blood health. You need iron to create hemoglobin, the protein in blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. So, without adequate amounts of iron, oxygen can not be adequately carried throughout the body.
Like a B-12 deficiency, lacking proper iron levels can result in certain types of anemia, which will leave you feeling fatigued. Ensuring that your iron levels are healthy will help you feel less run down and more energized due to increased oxygen and blood flow.
Since the natural sources of iron are meat and seafood, vegetarians and vegans are again at a higher risk of deficiency. The requirements of iron for vegetarians and vegans are 1.8 times higher than those who eat meat.
You are also at risk for iron deficiency if you are pregnant. Pregnant women require twice the average amount of iron to help with healthy fetal growth. If you are someone who experiences heavier menstrual cycles, you might also experience iron deficiency on account of additional blood loss.
Since there are health risks associated with the consumption of excess iron, it is important to first talk with your doctor so they can help determine if an iron supplement is right for you.
As a result of ashwagandha helping your body build resilience to mental stress, it can also help with energy levels. Studies have shown that ashwagandha’s presence significantly reduces the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) levels found in the blood. Lower cortisol levels help preserve energy levels due to the lower overall stress felt in the body.
Along with helping battle mental stress, ashwagandha can help aid in staving off fatigue by reducing the effects of physical stress. One study found that ashwagandha may even help counteract fatigue and increase endurance during exercise. Imagine leaving the gym after a long stressful day and still having energy? That possibly alone makes ashwagandha worth trying!
Citrulline contributes to healthy energy levels because of its essential role in circulation health. It works to increase nitric oxide throughout the body. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which simply means that it causes blood vessels’ muscles to expand and widen, thus increasing circulation.
With improved circulation, proper movement of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body increases. As a result, our energy levels increase as well. However, when nitric oxide production reduces, it can result in physical weakness and overall fatigue.
Another role citrulline plays in warding off low energy and fatigue involves the urea cycle, which is the body’s method for removing dangerous gases. Citrulline helps eliminate ammonia from the body, which is a significant contributor to fatigue, often triggered by intense exercise.
Taking a citrulline supplement can benefit your workout as well. One study found that those who supplemented citrulline regularly could exercise 12% longer and 7% harder than those who don’t due to the increased oxygen in the blood and reduced ammonia throughout the body.
Citrulline supplementation is also widely established as safe, even in larger doses. You can also get citrulline from watermelon, which is the best natural source and is where citrulline was first isolated from. In fact, the name citrulline comes from the Latin phrase Citrullus vulgaris, which means watermelon.
- Rhodiola Rosea
Like ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea is an herb used in ancient medicine for thousands of years and only grows in high, cold mountainous regions.
Also, like ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea helps enhance the body’s natural abilities to cope with stress. Several studies have shown the positive effects of rhodiola rosea on reducing mental fatigue while having little to no side effects.
Rhodiola rosea can also help improve mood and ease symptoms of depression that are commonly related to fatigue. Further studies found that rhodiola provides antidepressant properties because of its ability to balance neurotransmitters in the brain.
A separate study found that those who suffer from chronic fatigue can benefit from regular supplementation of rhodiola rosea. Those benefits included reduced stress and fatigue symptoms while experiencing improved mood and concentration.
Rhodiola rosea supplements have shown little to no side effects and are safe to take, even in larger doses. There are also work out supplement options available that include rhodiola rosea in their ingredient profile.
- L-Theanine & Caffeine
Caffeine probably needs no introduction since it is the most commonly used stimulant for helping improve energy levels. However, when combined with L-Theanine, you can get caffeine’s energy-boosting effects without the jittery side-effects.
L-Theanine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in some teas and mushrooms. It is a known natural promoter of relaxation without inducing drowsiness. Several studies have shown that the combination of caffeine and L-Theanine can help improve memory while reducing mental exhaustion and the feeling of fatigue.
While there are little to no side effects to L-theanine, and is considered safe in higher doses, caffeine intake should be limited to around 400 mg a day. That would be the equivalent of 3-5 cups of coffee. After all, while L-theanine can reduce caffeine’s side effects, consuming too much can still result in side effects and health issues.
If you want to reap the benefits of L-Theanine and caffeine without having to take a supplement, try a cup of black or green tea, where both occur naturally. If you are extra sensitive to caffeine, you can still enjoy the benefits of L-Theanine, as several supplements do not include caffeine.
Six Vitamins That Can Give You a Natural Energy Boost
There is no denying that daily life can deplete our energy.
The number of times we have felt that we needed to be at multiple places simultaneously is insurmountable. The fact that any of us can eat a meal at all, let alone a healthy, well-balanced meal, is a miracle. So if you are finding time to eat, and eat healthily, give yourself some much-deserved credit.
And don’t even get us started about regular workouts. The fact that anyone in this busy world can get a workout in regularly while balancing career, family, and who knows what else is worthy of an achievement award.
Yet, somehow we still manage to do it. Unfortunately, it can take its toll on our energy, even when you are doing everything right.
Lucky for us, there are options out there besides another latte to help us get up and get going again. Perhaps all your body needs is a little natural support. That’s why supplementing energy-boosting vitamins and minerals can help you avoid that dreaded afternoon slump.
Some, like B-12, iron, and citrulline can help us with energy by boosting our overall circulation and blood health. Ancient remedies like ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea can boost up our energy by lowering our overall stress levels. L-Theanine and caffeine, as well as ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea, can even help improve our workouts with their energy-boosting abilities.
The bottom line is that there are options for those who felt that your destiny was to feel forever run down and tired. You can choose one or two vitamins to supplement individually or even find a supplement that may include all the energy-boosting vitamins.
Just remember, it is crucial that before beginning any new supplement regimen, you should talk with your physician or dietitian to check what is safe for you and your health.
But with everything most women are able to accomplish on a day to day basis in this busy world, we are already powerhouses. No woman should have to deal with afternoon energy slumps. We deserve the natural energy that keeps us planning and achieving all the day through.
It’s time to conquer the day – all of it.