Energy Supplements Can Help Fight Fatigue
Tired of Feeling Fatigued all the Time? Supplementing With These Nutrients May Help
Do you struggle with having enough energy to get through the day? Whether you wake up tired or your fatigue hits you like a wrecking ball between noon and 3:00 p.m., you’ve got a lot of ladies in the same boat with you. Sink or swim, we’re in this together!
The truth is, many women can relate to feeling like a member of The Walking Dead cast for at least a few hours every day. So what can we do to stop feeling tired all the time and reclaim the energy and vibrance we used to have when we were younger? In addition to making healthy lifestyle changes, supplementing our diets with vitamins and natural energy-boosting ingredients can give us a little extra pep in our step.
It turns out Mother Nature is a genius and already created exactly what we need to rectify our low energy levels. She gave us a variety of plants and vitamins that can increase alertness and give us sustained energy so we can conquer our day like a boss. Many of these nutrients conveniently come packaged together in supplement form, so we don’t have to try to forage for the ingredients ourselves (nobody has time for that!)
Don’t waste your time (or your money) on commercial stimulants that provide a temporary energy boost but make you crash later. Energy drinks loaded with caffeine aren’t good for your body and won’t give you sustained energy. Instead, try supplementing with safe and natural ingredients. We’ll give you some suggestions for good energy supplements to boost alertness in a minute. But first, let's address the root cause.
Why You May Have Low Energy
The female body isn’t designed to be drained all the time. So why do so many of us constantly feel like we’re running on empty? Though the answer isn’t the same for everyone, most of us can probably find at least one of the underlying causes of our low energy in the following list:
- Poor diet
- Skipping meals
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Too much stress
- Vitamin deficiency
Do any of these things sound familiar? Let’s talk about each item in greater detail, shall we?
Your body is an incredible, intelligent machine that’s designed to run on nutrients (not garbage). If you’re constantly fueling it with cookies, pastries, caffeine, and nutrient-poor foods, it’s not going to be able to run efficiently. That’s why you want to primarily eat nutrient-dense foods.
You can easily spot nutrient-dense foods because they’re the kind Mother Nature whips up in her giant outdoor kitchen. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. If you’re a meat lover, try to purchase organic options, which are more nutritious. Organic meat comes from animals that were raised in the most natural living conditions possible (such as being grass-fed instead of grain-fed) and were not given hormones or antibiotics.
Our bodies tend to feel best when they don’t experience crazy spikes and drops in blood sugar. Going without food too long can cause blood sugar to drop. This can not only make us feel tired but irritable as well. Skipping meals too frequently can also slow down our metabolism, which can make us feel even more tired (and lead to weight gain). Eating too infrequently is generally not the best way to go if you’re already feeling low energy levels.
To break that cycle, avoid skipping too many meals. Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast to get your body revved up in the morning. However, if you aren't hungry in the morning and don't like to eat breakfast, listen to your body and eat as soon as you feel hungry. You may also find that eating one or two healthy snacks during the day can help you maintain alertness and energy through your normal "crash time."
When we’re tired, we naturally want to nap and relax more. The last thing we want to do is exercise, clean the house, or do anything that requires even more of our waning energy. But living a sedentary lifestyle can actually make our fatigue worse. That sounds counterintuitive, right?
To understand how increasing physical activity can boost your energy instead of depleting it even more, you need to have a basic understanding of how the body responds to exercise. When you increase physical activity, your body is forced to pump more oxygen and nutrients to your various tissues.
The increase in oxygen helps energize your body. Regular exercise also increases cardiovascular fitness, so it becomes easier to do tasks that were once difficult to complete. Just 20 minutes of walking or another form of exercise every day can work wonders for your energy level!
Too Much Stress
"I never feel stressed," said no woman ever. Ladies, we know it's impossible to completely avoid stress in life. Just existing as an adult causes stress in many forms, such as parenting, working, education, cleaning the house, shopping with kids … you get the picture.
But just because sometimes stress is unavoidable doesn't mean you have to set out a chair for it at the dinner table. It's still important to try to avoid stressors in your life as much as possible. For some of us, that means learning how to say "no" when someone asks us to do something we simply don't have the time (or desire) to do, like hosting book club for the fifth time in a row. Or putting on a bra.
When you minimize unnecessary, "extra" stressors, you can get back some of your zest for life. Your cellular energy will improve, and you'll have an easier time handling the responsibilities of everyday life without feeling like crawling under your covers and sleeping the rest of the day away.
Vitamin deficiencies are surprisingly common nowadays, thanks to the Standard American Diet and its heavy reliance on processed, “dead” foods. When dealing with one or more vitamin deficiencies, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms we experience. Other symptoms depend on the specific deficiencies we’re experiencing.
It's common for women to have deficiencies in both vitamin D and B vitamins (especially vitamin B12). These happen to be essential vitamins for boosting energy. So when our bodies are running low on vitamin D and B12, we feel it in a big way. The great news is that it's really easy to correct a vitamin D or B12 deficiency. We can quickly get more of these important energy booster vitamins through supplements.
Do Vitamins Have Side Effects?
Too much of a good thing is never a good thing, as the old saying goes. It holds true for a lot of things in life, including vitamin consumption. It is possible to experience unpleasant side effects from consuming too many vitamins. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a vitamin overdose:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nerve problems (such as tingling or numbness)
- Increased irritability
- Stomach cramps
When you ingest more than the recommended amount of vitamins, this is called vitamin toxicity. Vitamin toxicity rarely has serious side effects; however, sometimes, when you continue taking high doses of vitamins, it can cause problems. For example, one vitamin to be particularly careful about is vitamin A since overconsumption can lead to dangerous side effects such as liver damage. The good news is that it's pretty hard to overdose on vitamins, even if you're taking a vitamin supplement while also eating a variety of healthy foods.
Best Natural Energy Supplements
If you're relying on unhealthy energy supplements, like coffee and other caffeinated drinks, to help you function throughout the day, it's time to consider making a change for the sake of your health. There are natural supplement options out there that can provide you with optimum energy support (without the dreaded crash). When combined with a nutritious diet, these natural energy supplements can potentially change your life.
Here’s a list of some popular natural dietary supplements that are like Mother Nature’s own magic energy pills.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that has a long history of use for boosting energy and relieving stress. It also appears to increase thyroid hormone production and stimulate the endocrine system, which can help you avoid feeling tired all the time. You can take ashwagandha in tea or capsule form if you don’t like the taste.
Known for its apoptogenic properties (which just means it promotes homeostasis), Rhodiola Rosea can help minimize fatigue and improve mental alertness. Some people choose to take Rhodiola nutritional supplements before exercise because it helps them perform better.
Coenzyme Q10 goes right to your body’s primary source of energy: the mitochondria. It helps the mitochondria produce more adenosine triphosphate (also known as ATP), which is just a fancy term referring to energy in the human body. It also has a plethora of other incredible health benefits, so it’s wise to add a coq10 supplement to your diet.
Nicotinamide riboside is similar to vitamin B3 and is an alternative form of the vitamin. It’s also commonly referred to as niagen. The cool thing about this ingredient is that once it gets inside your body, it’s converted to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. That’s a mouthful, so let’s just call it NAD+.
Well, it turns out that our bodies can use NAD+ as a fuel for many of our important biological processes, including:
- Setting our circadian rhythm (our internal clock)
- Beefing up the defense systems within our cells
- Repairing damage to our DNA
- Converting our food into energy
The last item on the list makes nicotinamide riboside a good supplement to take for those of us who struggle with fatigue.
Bodybuilders often use creatine to help them gain muscle. But it turns out this important amino acid can also kick energy production into high gear. It can even boost mental energy (which is very appealing to those of us who regularly experience what’s commonly referred to as “brain fog”). Creatine supplementation could help you feel more resistant to fatigue. Just give it time to work (it’s recommended that you take it for at least six weeks for optimal results).
It has a funny name, but ginkgo biloba is a serious contender in energizing herbal supplements. It won’t give you the immediate, albeit temporary, energy boost for which caffeine is known, but it provides more of a steady, long-term type of energy. It’s particularly well-known for its ability to improve mental focus and alertness.
Research shows that ginseng can help stave off fatigue and promote higher energy production in cells. It won’t give you a quick fix, but after taking it consistently for approximately four weeks, you should notice an increase in cognition, mood, and overall energy. It’s important to avoid this ingredient while pregnant, though, since some preliminary research shows it may have harmful effects on the developing baby.
The name may sound intimidating (try saying it five times fast!), but arginine alpha-ketoglutarate performs a pretty simple function. It increases nitric oxide production in the body, which improves vasodilation (meaning it increases the circulation of red blood cells). The increase in oxygen from the blood cells can help boost energy. Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate can not only improve everyday energy levels, but it can also boost exercise performance.
Inositol increases mitochondrial function and reduces insulin sensitivity. Since insulin is the hormone that allows glucose to enter our cells and produce energy, it’s important to make sure the body isn’t too sensitive to it. Taking myo-inositol can help support the body’s natural energy production.
Beet Root Powder
Have you heard about the current beet powder craze? Athletes have discovered how beneficial beetroot can be for increasing energy, endurance, and stamina. But you don’t have to be an athlete to appreciate these awesome benefits. Pass the beetroot, please!
Another important amino acid for energy production is L-theanine. It’s found in black and green tea, but you can also find it in supplements (that don’t contain caffeine). It's recommended that you take 200 mg to get the most effective dose for your daily energy needs.
While we’re on the subject of amino acids, why not add another one to our list? L-Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that is important for heart health. It’s also commonly used to support better blood flow (which, in turn, leads to increased energy). L-Citrulline also increases cellular energy production, so you feel like your best, most animated self.
Out of all the healthy energy-boosting ingredients listed above, there is a single product that contains five of them in one convenient package. HerPower is a non-stimulant energy supplement that can help you feel more focused and energized throughout the day. It contains Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Myo-inositol, beet root powder, L-Theanine, and L-Citrulline.
If you’re tempted to reach for a cup of coffee or a caffeine-laden energy drink in the morning, reach for HerPower instead! Try it for a few weeks, along with consuming a nutrient-rich diet, and pay attention to how much better you feel.
The Difference Between Vitamins and Stimulants
Supplements and stimulants aren’t the same things. Natural supplements tend to boost energy gradually. They don’t provide an instant boost of power like caffeine does, but they work by ramping up your body’s own energy production methods, so you get sustained energy without the caffeine crash.
On the other hand, stimulants provide fleeting energy, leaving you feeling even more drained than you were before you took them. That's why you feel really good right after you drink your morning coffee but feel terrible a few hours later. Stimulants in coffee and energy drinks can also spike insulin levels and may even put you at a higher risk of developing Type 1 Diabetes.
Other Things to Increase Your Energy
In addition to eating healthy foods, avoiding stimulants, and supplementing with vitamins and products such as HerPower, there are other things you can do to increase your energy. Here are a few suggestions:
- Avoid smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Don’t nap too long (a 15- to 20-minute power nap is ideal)
- Drink more water (dehydration is a common cause of fatigue)
- Take a brisk walk outside when you’re feeling tired
- Get adequate sleep at night
- Avoid blue light at least an hour before bedtime (it blocks the production of melatonin so you can’t get sleepy)
- Limit your intake of processed and sugary foods
- Use Hertime Daily to balance your hormones if they're out of whack. This is a great natural supplement for bringing female hormones back into balance!
- Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily
These are all healthy ways to give your body the support it needs to stay energized and vibrant. It may take time to turn some of them into habits, but your mental and physical health is so worth the effort. And once you get your energy back, you’ll be unstoppable, girl!