We all have days when we could use a little energy boost. But if you are tired more often than you aren’t it’s time to find out why. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to lack of energy and exhaustion. Adding energy supplements to your daily routine could put a bit more pep in your step.
This post explores four vitamins and supplements that impact energy levels. We also review how they work in our bodies and proper levels for supplementation.
Anemia resulting from deficiencies in vitamin B12 is not as well known as iron-related anemia, but it can lead to long-term health problems. B12 is needed by our bodies to make new red blood cells and to keep our metabolism working properly, among other important benefits. If you don’t get enough of this B vitamin through your diet and/or supplements, you could develop permanent nerve damage. Persistent tiredness is one of the symptoms of B12 deficiency. Other symptoms include tingling or numbness in your hands and feet and mood changes. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be treated with regular injections from a doctor or supplements. It’s also found in foods like meat, shellfish, eggs, and dairy.
This energy supplement is found naturally in our bodies, where it helps us turn the food we eat into energy. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can improve our cell’s energy production, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and it’s being studied for its potential to help patients with heart conditions. It’s found in small amounts in meat and seafood, but supplements are also available. It can interfere with some medications, including chemotherapy and blood thinners, so talk to your doctor before you begin to take CoQ10 supplements.
One of the key symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia is exhaustion. This is because iron is required to make hemoglobin, a key part of the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Women are at particular risk for this deficiency because of iron lost each month through menstrual periods. Other symptoms of iron deficiency are headaches and constipation. Along with supplements, you can get extra iron through foods like meat and dark-green vegetables.
If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, you could experience muscle weakness and pain, Real Simple reports. And according to WebMD there is also some evidence that vitamin D deficiency is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. Vitamin D is found in oysters, eggs, and fortified milk, and it is easily taken in supplements. You can also get it through exposure to sunlight, particularly in the warmer months of the year, but be sure to balance that with UV protection.
Keep in mind that there are other medical reasons for low energy, including depression and thyroid imbalances. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms to make sure you aren’t missing a medical issue that requires treatment. Also, remember that while caffeine and energy drinks might work in the short term, they aren’t a long-term solution and can be dangerous.