I am going to put you on the spot right now and ask ‘can you tell me what you are taking those supplements for?’ This question can produce a confused look as I often hear, ‘I just got this because someone recommended it to boost your energy ’.
If you are struggling to make it through the day without your energy flat lining, it’s probably time to reassess what you are taking.
As a part of my thorough consultation process, I always ask which vitamins/herbs you are taking and why. Because over the last 10 years in clinic, I have seen some interesting and questionable products. I want to make sure you are getting the most out of your supplements.
Our body relies on good food and nutrition to be able to produce energy in our body. Here are my 5 top nutrients to boost your energy and to help you bounce back from fatigue. I always encourage food sources (discover five foods to boost your energy ) over supplements but understand that it is not always possible.
Magnesium is needed for over 300 reactions in the body, including those that help us produce energy. When we are stressed, our body’s magnesium levels decrease, and our magnesium requirements increase. If you get muscle cramps and spasms, that’s your body telling you that you are particularly low on magnesium. Luckily, this mineral is abundant in many foods including nuts, seeds, cocoa, cod, eggs, figs, kelp, leafy greens, legumes, molasses and parsnips.
There are 8 essential B vitamins which are vital for energy production in the body. They also support the formation of red blood cells and the nervous system. B vitamins are especially helpful during times of stress as this is when energy levels tend to run low. Because B vitamins are water-soluble they aren’t stored in the body, so it’s important to get a steady supply in the diet or through supplements. Brewer’s yeast, which is easily added to a smoothie, is particularly high in B vitamins. It’s also considered a probiotic so can help with digestion.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 for short) is required by every cell in the body. It’s needed for the conversion of raw energy from foods into cellular energy which fuels the body. CoQ10 also slows down the ageing process, protects the heart and blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, and even supports the immune system. Although CoQ10 is produced in the body, this production naturally declines after age 40. Certain medications also place a higher demand on the body for CoQ10. This nutrient is found in beef, eggs, chicken, herring, trout, sardines, mackerel, sesame seeds, pistachios, broccoli, cauliflower, oranges and strawberries.
The body needs iron to produce haemoglobin, a protein that’s found in red blood cells which transports oxygen around the body. Too little iron, or low iron stores in the body, means that your brain, muscles and body cells don’t receive enough oxygen. For more information regarding iron deficiency, read HERE. This results in in fatigue. Iron deficiency is very common, especially in menstruating women and vegetarians/vegans. The best dietary sources of iron are liver and red meat. Vegetarian sources include lentils, spinach, pumpkin seeds and blackstrap molasses. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, so always pair iron-rich foods with a food that’s high in vitamin C – for example broccoli, citrus fruits or tomatoes.
Water is hugely underrated! The human body is made up of around 60% water, so we need to keep hydrated for the body to work optimally. Even mild dehydration can leave you feeling tired and sluggish, so aim for 8 glasses of water each day. Drink filtered water if possible and add a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint for some flavour.
Keep this handy table close by, so you know which nutrients and foods will help boost your energy .