Boosting Your Power: Vitamins and Minerals that Give You Energy
Feel like you’re dragging a little bit lately? Even if the answer is no, the idea of adding some extra energy to your day is probably a bit appealing. People have different needs and expectations when looking for an energy boost, though. Clearer thinking and enhanced cognition might be your idea of energy, while the next fellow wants a pick-up that he feels more physically.
Whatever “energy” means to you, the right balance of vitamins and minerals can get you there. Ideally, you would get the recommended amount of essential nutrients from food. Public Health England provides documentation to guide you on diet, but if you are still dragging, your next best option is to take a combination of dietary supplements to get that extra energy. How do you know what will work for you, though? Find out more about how key vitamins and minerals affect your energy level.
Dr. Jane Naufahu, a lecturer in human nutrition at the University of Westminster, states that B complex supplements are a practical place to start. Technically, vitamins don’t contain units of energy like carbohydrates, but B vitamins help create energy-producing pathways. This way, you utilise natural energy forms to get that boost. B vitamins have considerable health value, too. B12 and folic acid, for example, reduce your risk of anaemia, which is a blood condition that makes people often feel run down and fatigued.
B vitamins are the optimal choice for focus and memory, too. There are indicators that poor B12 absorption may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, B12 deficiency presents with many of the same symptoms, including poor memory and focus. Folic acid can make you more alert and focused, and B6 promotes the production of dopamine to enhance mood and alertness.
If that tired feeling is chronic, low iron is a likely culprit. Persistent fatigue may indicate you have an iron deficiency. Iron is the transport mechanism that takes oxygen to the cells, and without it, you may suffer from anaemia.
Iron is a mineral you need to get from food if at all possible. Look for fortified cereals, nuts and green vegetables to increase the iron in your blood. If that doesn’t help, see a doctor about taking an iron supplement. The proper dosage is critical to ensure you get the right amount of iron, as a buildup of iron in the body can be toxic.
While not technically a vitamin or mineral, co-factor supplements, such as ubiquinol or ubiquinone, have been used for decades to improve energy levels, especially for those needing a stimulant for that boost. The most common co-enzyme is Q10, an antioxidant that your body needs to produce energy. Your body does make Q10 naturally, but it’s a complex process and, unfortunately, one that declines after the age of 25. A quality supplement can fill that void.
If you are more interested in energising your noggin rather than your body, then look for something containing vitamin E. Alpha tocopherol is a primary element in vitamin E, and it works to boost brain power and protect you against dementia and other age-related brain disorders.
A dietary supplement containing vitamin C boosts your energy in many ways. For one thing, vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, so it intercepts free radicals that interfere with your brain health. Vitamin C also helps boost the immune system so you can fight off common colds and other illnesses that keep you dragging.
Finding the right combination of dietary supplements can help make up for what you lack in nutrition to give you more physical and mental energy.
Harris, Siobhan. “How Do Energy Supplements Work”? Boots WebMD.
Mann, Denise. “Nourishing Your Noggin,” MedicineNets.com, September 2004.
Nutrition Science Team, "Government Dietary Recommendations," Public Health England, 2016.
Writer bio: Darla F. is a full-time freelance writer and healthcare professional who specializes in helping agencies meet their goals by developing creative and engaging content.
- Darla Ferrara