Sleepy, lethargic, and exhausted: everyone has those days where they’re just really, really tired. As humans, we work long hours to get as much done as possible, but this isn’t sustainable for our overall health. Since we’re constantly plugged into day-to-day life, even during off-hours it can be easy to forget our daily vitamins.
Maintaining your energy levels can often be the most challenging part of the day. The afternoon slump is real—despite having a healthy lunch with energy-boosting foods, those yawns can be relentless.
To not feel burned out, we’re always seeking out the next best solution to help us fight off fatigue. Did you know that vitamins can help with your energy levels? If you don’t know where to start, we got you covered.
Let’s cover the best vitamins that will help you get that energy boost you need to be on your A-game, every day of the week. Goodbye afternoon slump, hello energy!
CoenzymeQ10 for Cellular Energy
According to research from the Mayo Clinic, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a powerful antioxidant that helps with energy production. It is known to help support heart health, physical fitness and endurance, and can aid in temporarily alleviating migraines and headaches.
In fact, research focused on CoQ10 reveals that it can help with a variety of health systems, including:
- Heart health: CoQ10 can support congestive heart failure treatments. Also, while research findings are mixed, CoQ10 may help support healthy blood pressure and aid in recovery for people who’ve had heart valve surgery.
- Metabolic health: While more research is needed, studies suggest that CoQ10 supplements may help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (AKA, the “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.
- Physical fitness: Because CoQ10 is involved in energy production, this vitamin may help improve physical performance.
While you can find CoQ10 in foods like fish, meat, organ meats, and whole grains, you may want to consider using herbs and vitamins to supplement your diet. Overall, CoQ10 can help give you that little boost of energy you’ve been craving.
Magnesium for Better Sleep
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, used for over 300 different biochemical reactions, like nerve and muscle function, blood glucose control, and you guessed it—energy production.
Recent studies reveal that magnesium can help you feel more energized when you need it most. In fact, one of the first signs of magnesium deficiency is fatigue.
Magnesium is essential for every cell in the body as it helps convert food into energy, create new proteins, and regulate processes in the nervous system. So how much do you need, and how do you get enough in your diet?
You can find magnesium in many foods that are part of a healthy daily diet, especially avocados, almonds, and leafy greens like spinach. Even a simple avocado and black bean salad can be a great way to boost your magnesium levels.
It might be a good idea to chat with your doctor if you notice any signs of magnesium deficiency, as they may want to do a blood test to check your calcium and potassium levels, too. Calcium and potassium play a role in how magnesium works in your body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body can’t make on its own. That’s why we need to get our omega-3s from foods like fish, walnuts, flax seeds, oils (think olive, sunflower, avocado), and leafy green vegetables.
But what makes omega-3 fats so special? Essential for cell functioning and brain health, omega-3s can be a preventive measure against fatigue by playing a role in how your body uses energy.
Omega-3 fats also support processes that make sure your blood clots the way it should, muscle contractions take place as normal, and inflammation is regulated.
All B vitamins (except folate) are heavily involved in energy production and proper functioning of the nervous system. In fact, having a deficiency in B vitamins can directly lead to fatigue.
It is also important to note that B vitamins are water-soluble and the body does not store them for use later on, which is why it’s so important to get enough of them every day!
Similar to vitamin B5 and vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 is essential for healthy brain development and helps ensure that the nervous and immune systems are healthy. People with kidney issues or related conditions that reduce the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrient-rich foods are more likely to have a vitamin B6 deficiency.
Certain autoimmune disorders can also lead to a vitamin B6 deficiency, which can cause anemia, confusion, and a weakened immune system.
While vitamin B6 can be taken as a supplement, this vitamin can also be found in B6-rich foods like:
- Poultry like chicken and turkey
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
B vitamins are essential for energy because they help break down simple carbohydrates into fuel (glucose) that produces energy. Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is another one of the eight B vitamins.
Studies reveal that this particular form of vitamin B can help reduce fatigue and is necessary for healthy skin, hair, liver, and eyes.
In addition to naturally producing energy for the body, vitamin B2 works as an antioxidant, which helps fight off damaging particles known as free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA and cells, contributing to the aging process.
Most people who follow a healthy, well-balanced diet usually receive enough riboflavin. However, seniors and those who consume high amounts of alcohol may also be at a higher risk for riboflavin deficiency.
Some of the most common side effects of riboflavin deficiency include:
- Slowed development and growth
- Excessive fatigue
- Sores and cracks around the corners of the mouth
- Eye sensitivity and discomfort
- Soreness and swelling of the throat
- Light sensitivity
You can find this vitamin in power foods like almonds, mushrooms, and wild rice. If you plan to take vitamin B2, it is best absorbed between meals.
Studies suggest that 40% of the population has a vitamin B deficiency. Vegans and vegetarians are more at risk, as they don’t get enough vitamin B12 in their diet without supplementation.
According to research by the Mayo Clinic, vitamin B12 is useful in boosting athletic performance and energy levels. Vitamin B12 is found primarily in foods from animal products, such as eggs, dairy products, shellfish, and meats like beef and lamb.
While the average adult requires just 2.4 mg of B12 per day, it plays a major role in cellular and metabolic processes throughout the body. After all, vitamin B12 stimulates blood cell production, protein conversion, DNA synthesis, neurological function, and fatty acid synthesis, among other things!
Common symptoms of a B12 deficiency may include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Dizziness and Nausea
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
The good news? A deficiency in vitamin B12 is highly treatable if you know the signs and can address them early. However, the length of treatment will depend on the severity of your deficiency.
If you’re experiencing the above symptoms, you might want to talk to your doctor about B12 supplements.
Iron for Optimized Cell Function
Iron is another essential mineral that helps circulate oxygen through the body. It is also essential for the body’s cells to function and develop in a proper way.
However, iron deficiency is the leading cause of anemia, which can lead to a decrease in immunity, impaired cognitive abilities, and reduced productivity and performance. When iron levels are low, weakness and fatigue are often the most common results.
As a mineral, iron carries oxygen in red blood cells, allowing cells to produce energy. Iron can also help remove carbon dioxide in the body. When the body’s natural iron levels become low, it cannot produce enough normal red blood cells that carry oxygen effectively.
Other symptoms of iron deficiency may include:
- Dizziness and nausea
- Headaches and migraines
- Pale skin and nails
- Swollen tongue
Despite being widely available in food, women between the ages of 19 and 50 years old may not get the amount of iron their body requires on a daily basis.
You can find iron in animal sources such as meat, poultry, and seafood, in addition to foods like spinach, beans, fortified cereals, and grains like rice and bread.
If you are a vegetarian, it’s best to opt for lentils, spinach, beans, nuts, and fortified grain products as your go-to iron products. You can also use iron supplements to help maintain proper levels of iron.
Vitamin C for Energy Boost
Commonly known as an immune booster, vitamin C is also reported to help minimize the signs of fatigue. However, consuming too much vitamin C fruits or large doses of vitamin C supplements can be dangerous.
Excessive amounts of vitamin C may lead to heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C can usually get you your daily fill of this essential nutrient. This includes foods like red peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and berries like strawberries and black currants.
If you plan to take a supplement, make sure not to exceed 2,000 mg per day.
Vitamin D for Muscle Efficiency
Low energy and fatigue is a common symptom of vitamin D deficiency. This is because vitamin D helps mitochondria—the part of the cell that generates energy—use power and oxygen in the body.
Muscle fatigue is a common symptom of vitamin D deficiency, and over 50% of people worldwide are deficient in vitamin D.
Those who are more at risk of having a deficiency include:
- Older adults
- Obese adults and children
- Those with darker skin tones
- Those with less exposure to the sun, such as people living in colder climates
Studies have found that vitamin D supplements can help improve energy levels. Another study revealed that soccer players with higher levels of vitamin D were associated with improved athletic performance.
While we can get a lot of our vitamin D intake from the sunlight, it’s usually not enough to get us our daily dose since we increasingly spend more time inside.
If you plan to get enough vitamin D from the sun, make sure you do still wear sunscreen, and limit your overall exposure.
Better yet, you can boost your vitamin D intake with supplements or foods like:
- Fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon
- Fish oil
- Vitamin D-fortified milk
- Fortified breakfast cereals
Especially when paired with a well-rounded diet, vitamins can help boost energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue.
Ultimately, making sure your body is getting enough nutrients will not only help you maintain good health in general, but it can also help you manage other fatigue-related symptoms such as stress, migraines, and muscle aches that may follow.
Don’t ignore feelings of weakness and tiredness. If feelings of fatigue occur regularly, Vessel can help you figure out where your body needs help the most with the Vessel Wellness Card.
All you have to do is pee on the test strip, and check the app to see where your body needs a little help from pH to vitamin C to B7. We’ll help you understand what changes you can make to put some pep back in your step!