The 10 Best Supplements for Energy
Keeping up with day-to-day living isn’t always a walk in the park. Exhaustion can creep up bit-by-bit as you take on daily demands, leaving you feeling drained and possibly unable to tackle other responsibilities you may still have.
If you’re familiar with fatigue and are looking for a way to sustain healthy energy levels, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best supplements for energy that can help give you the boost you need to meet your daily demands.
How Does the Body Produce Energy?
Without adequate energy, the human body has difficulty functioning well. You may have heard of mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) from basic biology, which is one of the main methods that our body produces energy. Mitochondria live in each and every cell in order to help the body function properly.
Energy comes from the foods we consume with the main source being carbohydrates that are converted into glucose.1 Carbs, fats and proteins are broken down by enzymes to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP)—an organic compound that provides energy to our cells in one of three ways during cellular respiration.
- Glycolysis: The breakdown of glucose into pyruvate (yielding 2 ATP molecules)
- The Krebs Cycle: The oxidation of pyruvate into CO2 and H2O (yielding 4 ATP molecules)
- Oxidative Phosphorylation: Energy obtained by electron transport (yielding roughly 32-34 ATP molecules)2
Since our energy comes from food, a healthy diet is crucial for maintaining healthy energy levels. Without consistent eating times and nutrient-dense sources of food, we’re more likely to feel fatigued throughout the day.
What Causes Low Energy and Fatigue?
Despite the many factors that can trigger exhaustion (alcohol consumption, irregular circadian rhythm, nutrient deficiencies, etc.) it all boils down to one root cause: the body is burning more energy than we’re able to create and sustain.
One of the biggest culprits for drained energy is elevated levels of cortisol—a hormone that is secreted when we undergo stress.3 Since cortisol causes our bodies to break down and use up our glycogen reserves, more energy is needed when we’re feeling under pressure. This state of stress can also snowball into other obstacles that make feeling energized difficult such as activating our immune system, disrupting our sleep cycle and more.
If you’re feeling tired, healthy sleep, diet and exercise are some keystone methods to recharge and sustain energy throughout the day. Certain ingredients and supplements can add a boost as well when you need a pick-me-up, but sustained energy works best when all habits are included on a regular basis.
Supplements for Energy Support
- B Vitamins: Help with chemical breakdown of glycogen, convert carbs into glucose and more
- Cordyceps: Adaptogen to help reduce feelings of fatigue and help produce ATP
- Green Tea: Plant-based source of caffeine to stimulate calm, stable energy
- Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN): Precursor to NAD+, a coenzyme that acts as an electron carrier during cellular respiration
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): Popular for gym-goers, BCAAs help limit the amount of tryptophan that goes to the brain to reduce muscle fatigue
- Beet Root: Can help improve efficiency of mitochondria in our cells
- Pre-Workout: Another favorite for workout routines, pre-workout delivers caffeine to stimulate activity in your nervous system and cognition
- Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ): Promotes healthy structure and function of mitochondria
- Royal Jelly: Superfood from honeybees that is rich in B vitamins to help support healthy energy levels
- Combination Formulas: Multiple ingredients in one supplement can help support multiple functions and energy needs simultaneously
Additional Supplements for Women
Most energy supplements are fine to take for both men and women, but if you’re looking for some extra benefits there are some options that cater specifically to women’s health.
- Multivitamins with Folate: Added B-complex vitamin that can assist the body with creating energy and red blood cells4
- Hormone-Specific Multivitamins: Can address specific health concerns like menopausal changes, hormonal fluctuations and more
Additional Supplements for Men
The same goes for men—most energy supplements are fine to take for men and women, but you can find some additional benefits in certain ingredients.
- Multivitamins with Selenium: A trace element that may help support healthy levels of testosterone and energy in men5
- Hormone-Specific Multivitamins: Can address specific health concerns like prostate support, hormonal fluctuations and more
Lifestyle Changes to Support Healthy Energy
In addition to vitamins and supplements, it’s important to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle to maintain optimal energy levels. Some of the best energy-supporting habits you can add to your daily routine are:
- Getting 7 hours of quality sleep a night to help recharge and lower cortisol levels
- Eating a diet rich in complex carbs like fruits, vegetables and whole grains; if you feel you have nutritional gaps try powdered greens to help bridge that
- Staying hydrated and drinking water throughout the day helps combat fatigue by helping pump oxygen through your body
- Winding down or taking a step back from stressful situations can help lower cortisol levels
- Maintaining an exercise routine helps power your cells with energy and supports quality sleep
- Avoid caffeine after 2pm to support a healthy circadian rhythm and maintain a consistent bedtime
Choosing the Right Supplement for You
Whether you’re looking for muscle support and energy at the gym, or need a little more pep in your step on a daily basis, there is sure to be a vitamin or change in habit (or both) that can help you feel more energized. From hydration packs to caffeine and beyond, energy can come from a quick bite to a little B-vitamin boost in the afternoon.
You be well, now
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- Carbohydrates. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Read More.
- How Cells Obtain Energy from Food. Garland Science. Read More.
- Cortisol Secretion and Fatigue. Psychoneuroendocrinology. Read More.
- Folic Acid. University of Rochester Medical Center. Read More.
- Associations Between Serum Copper, Zinc, Selenium. Frontiers in Endocrinology. Read More.