Top 5 Vitamins and Minerals for an Energy Boost
Life can be busy, stressful, hectic – and, of course, tiring! To combat fatigue, many people start searching for something which may help to improve their body’s energy production and therefore reduce feelings of tiredness and day-to-day lethargy.
Many people will reach for a cup of coffee or an energy drink when fatigue hits, however, certain vitamins and minerals can also help to ensure that your body has the support it needs for healthy and sustained energy production.
So, put down the caffeine; here at Natures Aid, we’ve created a guide to the 5 best minerals and vitamins for energy that will help you fight the fatigue and swap your coffee percolator for natural perkiness.
The Best Minerals & Vitamins for Energy
Vitamin B5 is also known as pantothenic acid and will often be listed on your multivitamin as ‘calcium pantothenate’. It is one of the eight B vitamins and it plays many roles in supporting the health of the body, including contributing to the normal production of energy and helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue. As well as being one of the best vitamins for energy, Vitamin B5 also contributes to:
- Healthy mental performance
- The normal synthesis and metabolism of vitamin D and some neurotransmitters
All of this makes vitamin B5 a key nutrient for anyone dealing with a busy and hectic lifestyle and looking for a little extra support.
The best food sources of vitamin B5 include broccoli, cabbage, sweet potato and wholegrain cereals, poultry, dairy products, and eggs are also excellent sources for those who can include them in their diets. Supplements which include vitamin B5 will include vitamin B complex, multivitamins and, of course, any product sold for energy will usually include this nutrient.
Next on our list of the best vitamins for energy is B12. The body cannot make vitamin B12, so we need to ensure it is provided in our diet or, failing that, in a supplement. Those who may struggle to ensure that their diet is providing enough vitamin B12 include vegans and pregnant women. Vitamin B12 is absorbed in the stomach with the help of a protein known as intrinsic factor. It is thought that long term use of PPI (ant-acid) medications could affect the production of intrinsic factor, leaving those on these medications also at risk of low B12.
The best food sources of vitamin B12 include meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs, which is why vegans are more likely to have low vitamin B12 levels.
As well as helping to support normal energy production, vitamin B12 has many important roles in the body, including:
- Contributing to the normal functioning of the nervous system
- Helping to support healthy psychological function
- Contributing to normal red blood cell formation (working alongside iron)
- Supporting a healthy immune system
As well as being a great supplement for energy, Magnesium also supports the health of your body in many different ways, including:
- Supporting healthy muscle function (so anyone wanting to support healthy muscles should not overlook this essential nutrient)
- Helping to support healthy bones and teeth
- Contributing to the healthy function of the nervous system
The best way to get magnesium into your diet is to include foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, brown rice, beans and – best of all – dark chocolate. During times of stress, additional magnesium may be required and, if you feel your diet may not be as good at it should be, it can be worth considering a Magnesium supplement to offer a little extra support.
When it comes to the best minerals and vitamins for energy, Iron is one of the most well-known. Iron is an essential nutrient which helps to support the healthy formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. Low levels of iron can lead to anaemia, a condition where you lack enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around your body. The symptoms of anaemia include:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Cold hands and feet
If you suspect that you may have anaemia or could be low in iron, then it is important to speak to your doctor and possibly get a blood test. Those people most at risk of low iron include women who menstruate, vegetarians, vegans and those who exercise regularly.
Whilst there are many great vegetarian sources of iron, including dark green vegetables, pulses, and dried fruit, it is sadly the case that the body does not absorb iron from these foods as effectively as it does from meat.
If you do decide to try an iron supplement, there are several things to look for:
- The form of iron used
Many people have tried commonly-used iron supplements and may have found that they upset the stomach. To avoid this, look for a product which contains Iron Bisglycinate. Iron Bisglycinate is a well-absorbed form of iron, which is gentle on the stomach and does not generally cause any digestive issues.
- Extra vitamin C
Vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron, so iron supplements which include vitamin C will generally be absorbed best.
- B12 and Folic acid
Iron is not the only nutrient which helps to support the healthy production of red blood cells. B12 and folic acid are also involved, so an iron supplement which includes these nutrients as well will provide a complete support system for red blood cells and aid in the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Most people are aware that vitamin C supports a healthy immune system. However, vitamin C is also one of the best vitamins to take for energy and it also plays many other important roles in supporting the health of your body, including:
- Supporting the normal production of collagen to support healthy bones, teeth and skin
- Supporting the healthy function of the nervous system
- Contributing to normal energy-yielding metabolism
- Supporting the healthy absorption of iron
I am sure you will be aware that oranges and citrus fruits are a great way of getting extra vitamin C into your diet. Other foods which help to supply the vitamin C your body needs include broccoli, red peppers, leafy greens, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
A Vitamin C supplement can help as a top-up if you are concerned your diet may be falling short, especially if you are looking for ways to help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
For more minerals and vitamins for energy, explore our full range of energy supplements here at Natures Aid.
Written By Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a Nutritional Therapist who has worked with clients in Health Foods Stores and Private Clinics for over 20 years.)