10 Natural Supplements to Improve Your Energy Levels and Overall Wellness
In a world that gets more hectic each day, people are always feeling run down and are looking for ways to boost their energy levels. However, many people want to avoid synthetic energy pills and drinks with powerful stimulants and have turned to natural supplements instead. Here’s a list of 10 recommended natural supplements that could help improve your overall health and boost your energy levels.
Caffeine is perhaps the most well known and widely consumed stimulant available. Caffeine affects your body by exciting your central nervous system and speeding up the communication between your brain and body. It also affects your cardiovascular system by increasing your heart rate and inducing blood pressure changes, which may be dangerous for people who have underlying cardiovascular issues. It’s thought that caffeine can increase endurance and promote faster recovery after intense exercise.
Moderate caffeine consumption is known to be safe for most people. However, the downside of caffeine is that it’s mildly addictive and may cause certain side effects, such as jitters and irritability. It can also cause a host of problems in large doses, so moderation is essential.
Ginseng is a well-known natural energy supplement that’s been used in East Asian medicine for centuries. Ginseng is an adaptogen, meaning that it helps your body adapt to increased levels of stress. It’s also been found to stimulate the central nervous system and increase resistance to fatigue.
Ginseng can cause some side effects, including headaches and digestive problems, and it may interfere with some medications. Therefore, it’s important to exercise care when using this supplement. Check with your doctor before you begin using ginseng to ensure it won’t result in any harmful interactions with prescriptions you take.
3. Bitter Orange
Bitter orange is an extract from the rind of a certain variety of citrus fruit, but not the type of oranges used to make orange juice. The main stimulant in bitter orange that makes it effective as an energy booster and weight loss aid is called synephrine, which is similar to ephedra. Ephedra was briefly removed from the market in 2004 because of serious concerns about its safety. Some evidence suggests that bitter orange is a safe alternative, but more research is needed. If you choose to use bitter orange, it’s always important to not exceed the recommended amount and to consult with your physician first.
4. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 is an antioxidant that people’s bodies naturally produce, and it’s essential for normal functioning. It’s found in the mitochondria of your cells and is essential for producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the major energy source for cells. CoQ10 has been shown to have many beneficial effects in treating various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and even some types of cancer. Some evidence supporting the habit of taking supplements with CoQ10 reveals that it can improve athletic performance in healthy individuals. Overall, it’s thought that CoQ10 can increase energy by providing cells with more ATP.
5. B Vitamins
B vitamins are actually a group of eight different vitamins, and all of them are essential for good health and energy. Supplementation with B vitamins has been shown to reduce fatigue and stress as well as improve depression and anxiety. B vitamins work best together, and it’s often found that multiple B vitamin deficiencies occur simultaneously. However, B vitamin deficiencies are typically a result of underlying medical conditions or medications. B vitamin toxicity is possible, but no fatalities have been reported due to B-complex vitamin overdose.
6. Amino Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 amino acids that are required for human protein synthesis, which is necessary for all functions of the human body. So, it’s not surprising that amino acid supplementation could potentially promote healthy metabolism and energy balance.
However, two specific amino acid supplements have gained more recognition when it comes to boosting energy. Creatine is essential for building muscle and reducing fatigue, and many people take it to enhance their athletic performance. It has also been shown to improve cognition. Carnitine is a derivative of the amino acid lysine, and it’s essential for the production of energy in cells. Some research indicates that people with chronic fatigue syndrome may benefit from carnitine supplementation because it helps increase energy.
7. Bee Pollen
Bee pollen could be called nature’s superfood. It’s recognized as a top natural energy and wellness supplement and contains various vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and other nutrients. However, its exact makeup varies based on the bees that collected it and the areas where they gathered it.
Nonetheless, all of this adds up to better health and more energy. Bee pollen has also been shown to have antibiotic and wound-healing properties. People who are allergic to bees, however, should not take bee pollen as a supplement because the same allergic reaction may occur.
8. Royal Jelly
Royal jelly is a substance secreted by worker bees that’s essential for the development of the queen bee. This combination of honey, bee pollen and enzymes is packed with various vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. It also has natural anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. People have traditionally used it to treat a host of ailments, but royal jelly is one of the best natural energy supplements.
Spirulina is a type of single-celled algae that was discovered by the Aztecs thousands of years ago and subsequently became a staple of their diet. This easily digestible superfood contains extremely high levels of protein and vitamin B12 in addition to many other vitamins and minerals. All of its vitamins, minerals, proteins and beneficial compounds make spirulina not only a superfood but also a great energy booster.
10. Gotu Kola
Gotu kola is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years in East Asian medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety and mental fatigue. It’s often confused with the kola nut; however, unlike the kola nut, gotu kola does not contain caffeine. Herbalists tout the benefits of gotu kola because it lessens mental fatigue and anxiety without the stimulant effects of caffeine.
All of these supplements are great for increasing energy and overall health, but some work faster than others. Caffeine and ginseng, for example, are supplements you can take as needed, and their effects are rather immediate. However, other supplements should be taken on a regular basis to improve your overall health and boost your energy over time. Be sure to consult your physician before taking any of these natural supplements.