Had a late night out with friends? Falling asleep at your desk? Doubling up on your espresso shots can help you beat fatigue in the moment, but the crash that comes along with too much caffeine may not be worth it. Enter: Supplements. These
natural energy supplements contain ingredients that are scientifically proven to give you the boost of energy you need, without the crash that accompanies a sugary coffee.
While studies have shown some caffeine may actually be
good for your heart health, too much of this stimulant can have adverse side effects — leading to jitters, crankiness, headaches, nervousness, and other health issues. If you find drinking your cup of Joe isn't enough to wake you up, it could be helpful to add supplements to your morning routine, or to keep them on hand for when you feel your midday sleepiness setting in.
leading a healthy lifestyle — by getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, staying active, and practicing self-care — is by far the best way to keep your energy levels up, supplements can be a great additional tool. Here are eight supplements that can increase your energy levels and how they work, according to science.
Gaia Herbs Energy Vitality
Gaia Herbs Energy Vitality supplements aim to "promote energy and stamina" with a unique blend of ginseng, schisandra, gingko, green tea extract, and other herbs.
Ginseng is known as energy booster with a mild stimulant effect. It is frequently used in people with moderate fatigue, helping [boost] both physical and mental activity," Dr. Luiza Petre, a board-certified cardiologist who specializes in integrative health and wellness, tells Bustle.
What's more, studies have shown that
schisandra is an adaptogen — meaning, this berry extract not only helps protect your central nervous system from stress, but it is believed to have an energizing qualities.
If you start to feel fatigued midday, Gaia suggests on their site that adults can take one to three Energy Vitality supplements a day, between meals.
HUM Nutrition Über Energy
Beauty and wellness company HUM Nutrition formulated the
Über Energy supplement to help you feel energized, without having to deal with any sort of crash a couple hours later. According to their site, the supplement is "high in vitamin B-6, L-tyrosine, and an herbal concoction of energizing extracts including eleuthero, ashwagandha, and rhodiola." L-tyrosine is an amino acid that primarily comes from your diet that plays a role in producing adrenaline, as well as dopamine. So, it's no surprise that research is beginning to show this amino acid is a stress buster, and that it may improve cognitive function even when you're sleep deprived.
Per HUM Nutrition, Über Energy works best if you take two capsules with food, so this supplement may be an effective way to beat lunchtime lull many of us get.
Garden Of Life B-12 Spray
mykind Organics B-12 Organic Spray not only tastes like delish raspberries, but it's the perfect size for when you're on the go. Not to mention, it is crafted to promote concentration, energy, and heart health. " Vitamin B-12 is a vitamin that helps convert food into glucose and energy. It isn’t stored in the body, therefore daily intake is necessary," explains Dr. Petre. "It also plays a vital role in nervous system functioning."
While most a majority of people in the U.S. get B-12 through their diet (mostly through meat, egg, and dairy products), Healthline reports that
certain people are at higher risk for vitamin B-12 deficiencies, and the accompanying fatigue — including vegans, people with autoimmune disorders, and those who have a history of gastrointestinal issues. If you suspect you have low levels of vitamin B-12, consider talking with your doc about adding a B-12 supplement or spray into your daily routine.
Coming in thirteen different flavors, including cherry limeade and mango orange,
Nuun Electrolyte water tablets are a tasty way to combat fatigue. Containing with green tea extract and B vitamins, Nuun Electrolytes gives you the energy you need without the massive amount of sugar that's added to most coffee beverages or energy drinks.
Furthermore, the supplement is also formulated with
magnesium, a mineral that is essential to many of your body's biological functions — everything from your nerve and muscle function, to your blood pressure is affected by your magnesium levels. According to Dr. Petre, "Magnesium is a very important mineral that creates energy by activating the fundamental energy unit called ATP. Without enough magnesium, food cannot metabolize energy efficiently."
Adding a magnesium supplement like Nuun Electrolytes to your water bottle daily, and aiming to eat more
magnesium-rich foods (veggies, fruits, nuts, and legumes) can help you feel more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed during the day.
Nature's Bounty Energy Gummies
If you're feeling a litle groggy,
Nature's Bounty Energy Gummies can help make you feel more awake. These supplements contain vitamin B-12, as well as an herbal blend of green tea extract, kola nut, and guarana. Like green tea, kola nut contains caffeine to make you feel more energized.
Guarana is also an effective way to boost your alertness. Dr. Petre explains that, "Guarana seeds are used for many purposes, one of them being energy increase." She adds that though guarana is a stimulant, has "less jitters than caffeine because it is slowly absorbed by the body." In fact, guarana has been proven in studies to
provide more "stimulation" than caffeine alone.
Simply take two of these watermelon-flavored supplements with food on days you're feeling tired, and you'll be set.
Rainbow Light Bright Energy
Rainbow Light is an eco-conscious company that crafts a variety of vitamins, including their Bright Energy supplement for a natural pick-me-up. Bright Energy has a blend of green tea, L-tyrosine, rhodiala, ginseng, eleuthro, and ashwagandha. An herb that's standard in Ayurvedic medicine, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports that ashwagandha has been shown in studies to reduce chronic pain, quell symptoms of anxiety and depression, and decrease stress levels.
"[Ashwagandha] acts as an adrenal gland support that
regulates the cortisol level to normal levels, improving endurance and overall energy," explains Dr. Petre. Overall, Bright Energy is a supplement to keep on hand for days you don't get at enough sleep, or as an everyday vitamin.
Care/of Extra Batteries Quick Stick
The Care/of Extra Batteries Quick Stick is a tasty supplement formulated to support "attention, focus, and mental energy." In addition to vitamin B-12 and caffeine, Extra Batteries contains citicoline — a compound naturally found throughout your body that increases neurotransmitters (aka, the chemicals your brain uses to communicate). Research has also suggested that citicoline can enhance cognitive function, and therefore, lead to more energy.
You can use Care/of Quick Sticks anytime, anywhere, since you just open a packet into your mouth, Pixie Stick style.
Smarter Nutrition Curcumin
If you want a supplement that is all around good for your health,
Smarter Curcumin is the way to go. As Medical News Today reported, turmeric (aka curcumin) boasts a ton of proven health benefits: It reduces pain, aids with digestion, and has anti-inflammatory properties. What's more, Dr. Petre says it's a "star ingredient when it comes to combating fatigue."
increases levels of dopamine and serotonin, helps blood flow and brain plasticity," she explains, adding that, "It keeps your body and brain healthy, reducing inflammation, improving energy, vitality and sense of well-being through its brain happiness, hormone boosting effects." Taking two capsules a day could be an energy-boosting addition to your morning wellness routine.
Before taking supplements, especially those for energy, be sure to check in with your physician, and keep track of your caffeine intake. Herbal supplements for energy can give you the natural boost you need in the A.M. (or P.M.), as a part of your overall wellness practice.