When you’re running low on energy, everything you do can feel like a challenge and an uphill battle. The reasons why your energy might be low are many: stress, work, kids, school, exercise and more. And aside from fueling your body with nutritious foods, getting enough rest and practicing some self-care, adding energy-friendly supplements to your routine can give the energy you need to get through the day.
Here’s 6 of our favorites.
1. CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)
If you need a little boost before an intense workout, CoQ10 is a top pick. CoQ10 aka ubiquinone is a type of coenzyme and antioxidant that your body naturally produces but can slow with age and other lifestyle factors. It plays a vital part in generating energy within your cells while fending off harmful free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress and damage cells when they build up.* By reducing oxidative damage, CoQ10 can help maintain healthy cells, reduce fatigue and boost exercise performance according to some studies.1,2*
While it may seem strange that a type of fungi has been used as a trusted remedy for centuries, but cordyceps offers a slew of amazing health benefits, including increasing energy.* This fungus is thought to promote energy by improving your body’s energy production of ATP (cellular energy) to help reduce fatigue.* But not just that, cordyceps is believed to help with exercise by improving oxygen use during physical activity according to a small study.3*
3. Asian ginseng
Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is an adaptogenic root native to China and Korea with a well-known history of being used to help improve mood and energy. Exactly how it helps with your energy levels is still being researched, but experts think it might have a stimulating effect on your central nervous system and some hormones that influence your energy levels, including serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.4*
4. Green tea extract
Celebrated as one of the healthiest drinks available, green tea is a favorite worldwide. But even if you’re not a tea drinker, rest assured you can still reap the benefits via supplements and powders. Most of the green tea’s health benefits are thought to come from the amino acid, theanine – and a compound called EGCG, a plant-based polyphenol that promotes healthy brain function, focus and mental clarity according to some research.5,6* Green tea is available both with a bit of caffeine (though less than coffee) or without, so be sure to check the label if you prefer one over the other.
5. Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera
This popular super root is an adaptogen used in traditional remedies to help cope with stress. If your energy is being drained due to stress, ashwagandha may help. When life feels a bit much, your body releases cortisol, your main stress hormone. Left unmanaged for too long, cortisol can cause exhaustion, leading to symptoms of fatigue, poor mood, brain fog and more (…because stress). Ashwagandha helps manage cortisol to postpone exhaustion.*
6. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an essential – and popular nutrient that’s often boasted to help with energy. True: your body isn’t able to create energy without it. But what might be surprising is that taking a B12 supplement won’t instantly increase your energy either. So why the celebrity status for it? Basically, it can help if your levels aren’t up to par. This can happen if you avoid animal protein in your diet, take certain medications or have digestive issues that interfere with proper absorption. This affects about 6% of adults under the age of 60, but up to 20% over 60. So, if you don’t regularly consume animal proteins or concerned your levels might be low – connect with your doctor to check if a B12 supplement is right for you.
For healthy, energy-friendly meals, read A nutritionist’s favorite 4 energy-boosting breakfasts
Gabby is a nutritionist with a master’s degree in strategic communications. She loves using her nutrition-fluency with storytelling to encourage positive change. Before Persona, she worked at a mental health clinic helping clients manage stress, anxiety and other mental health issues through diet.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.