Do you find low energy and often feel tired despite a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone; a large percentage of the adult population does complain about low energy levels and struggling to stay energized through the day! The prevalence of fatigue among the general population falls between the range of 7% to 45%. A study on fatigue symptoms among the U.S. workforce found nearly 38% were chronically tired.
Everyone feels tired occasionally; however, if feeling tired is a chronic symptom, it ruins the quality of your life. It is overwhelming, debilitating, and leads to a loss of productivity. Beverages like coffee or energy drinks give you a temporary boost, but the energy shot is short-lived and not sustainable for the entire day. Needless to say, over-reliance on such stimulants can lead to sleep disruption, increased heart rate, and further exasperate feelings of fatigue and low energy.
If you’ve been bandaging your fatigue with energy drinks and caffeine to get through work, it's time to change your strategy! There are natural ways to improve your energy levels without the side effects! The approach is to address the root cause of the problem instead of choosing temporary fixes. This blog will look at these reasons and ways to naturally improve your energy levels. As always, we will conclude with some high-quality supplement recommendations for you to consider. Here’s what you should do to avoid fatigue, and here’s what you should do to regain your energy,
What should you do to avoid fatigue?
Factors like poor quality sleep, nutritional deficiencies, and stress are some common underlying factors for low energy levels.
Common underlying reasons for low energy levels
Poor sleep quality: Poor sleep is identified as the number one cause of low energy and fatigue. During sleep, your body performs critical functions, such as repairing and regenerating cells and releasing growth hormones. This helps you stay alert and energized the next day.
Unhealthy eating habits: Not choosing healthy foods can lead to nutrient deficiencies that impact the cells' energy release. Nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin B12, folate, and other B vitamins participate in the biochemical reactions involved in energy release.
Falling short of these crucial nutrients has been linked to fatigue . For instance, vitamin B12 is necessary for producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen to various organs in the body. Deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to low energy levels and severe fatigue. Megaloblastic anemia is a type of nutritional deficiency caused by low levels of B12 and folate.
Chronic stress: Chronic stress impairs energy release and is linked to fatigue. Stress also causes structural and functional changes in the brain. When the brain’s cortical centers sense a disturbing stimulus, it responds by increasing heart rate and glucose release as a response to a perceived threat (stress). This exhausts the body’s resources and triggers inflammatory reactions, worsening fatigue and energy levels.
Sedentary living: Studies show that sedentary behavior is more than just physical inactivity - it causes poor blood circulation, chronic inflammation, and even hormonal imbalances, which may surface as low energy levels and chronic fatigue . Staying physically active by adopting a regular exercise regime, such as walking, swimming, etc. helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your cells and keeps your heart pumping efficiently. When your heart functions better, your blood circulation improves, giving you more energy throughout the day.
Now that we know the most common causes of low energy levels let’s look at some natural ways you can replenish your energy reserves. A few healthy tweaks to your diet and lifestyle habits go a long way in improving your health.
What should you do to regain your energy?
Use these healthy tweaks
Adopt clean sleep habits: This translates to following a regular bedtime schedule. If you plan to go to bed at 10 pm, finish your dinner an hour or more before. Another important thing to go with this advice is to avoid using laptops, smartphones, and other media an hour before going to bed. The National Sleep Foundation, a non-profit organization, recommends adopting clean sleep habits and regular sleep timings as one of the ways to fight off chronic fatigue symptoms.
Choose energy-boosting foods: Avoid processed, sugary and fatty foods which make you feel sluggish and lethargic in the long run. Sugary foods give you an instant sugar high and subsequently cause a sugar crash, which dips your blood glucose, leading to feeling drained out. Instead, go for foods and snacks that offer fiber, protein, and healthy fats, which help maintain the blood sugar balance. Including foods rich in B vitamins, magnesium, and other crucial nutrients that help your cells release energy is a great way to improve energy levels naturally. Vitamin B12 is necessary for DNA synthesis and energy production. Oxygen transport requires iron, B vitamins B6, B12, and folate . Falling short of these nutrients increases the risk of anemia, reduces oxygen supply to the cells, and consequently affects energy release. Another crucial nutrient to consider is CoQ10, which plays a vital role in energy release.
Address stress: Chronic stress is not to be ignored and needs to be addressed head-on. Identify the causes of stress and eliminate them. Include mind-body relaxing techniques such as tai-chi, and yoga, which are effective ways to lower stress. Consider taking adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and Rhodiola, which help the body to adapt and respond well to stressful situations and conditions. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study (a gold standard for studies), ashwagandha root extracts were found to enhance sleep quality, reduce stress levels, improve focus and were safe and well-tolerated. Similarly, the root extracts of Rhodiola were found to improve the body’s response to imposed stressors and exert a normalizing effect on the body. This has an indirect effect on improving energy levels by lowering stress.
CoQ10 by Integrative Therapeutics: Integrative therapeutics presents CoQ10 in an easy-to-swallow softgel. It contains Trans-CoQ10, the natural form derived from yeast fermentation. Integrative Therapeutics CoQ10 also supports immune function, skin, and periodontal health. One softgel contains 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone 10). The suggested dosage is to consume 3 soft gels daily or as recommended by your healthcare professional.
Methyl B12 Plus by Douglas Laboratories: Douglas laboratories offer B12 in dissolvable lozenges that are great tasting. Methyl B12 Plus by Douglas Laboratories provides Metafolin® L-methyl folate and vitamin B12 methylcobalamin in a single tablet. The combination of folate and B12 in their respective bio-available form supports energy production and other major biochemical reactions in the body. Methylfolate and methylcobalamin are the predominant forms of B vitamins commonly found in cells that do not require additional conversion in the body. Methyl B12 Plus dissolvable lozenges are naturally sweetened with Xylitol and flavored with natural black cherry and vanilla. The supplement is available in 90-count lozenges. The recommended dosage is to take one lozenge per day or as directed by your health care professional. Douglas Laboratories strongly recommends allowing the lozenge to dissolve in the mouth and then swallowing. The supplement offers 400 mcg of folate as L-methyl folate and metafolin, along with 1000 mcg of Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin.
Ashwagandha by Pure Encapsulations: Ashwagandha by Pure Encapsulations is an exclusive Ashwagandha formulation that solely provides this herb. If you do not want a blend of herbs and looking to take Ashwagandha to explore its unique benefits, this is a perfect formulation. The dietary supplement provides 500 mg of ashwagandha root extracts that is standardized to contain 2.5% of withanolides. The recommended dosage is one capsule daily with or between meals or as advised by your healthcare professional. The formulation is non-GMO, gluten-free, and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Energy Xtra by Pure Encapsulations: If you are looking for a dietary supplement made of hypoallergenic ingredients, gluten-free, and non-GMO, this is for you. The formulation contains herbal blends that support physical energy, promote mental stamina, and fight mild fatigue. Pure Encapsulations Energy Xtra contains adaptogenic herbs that help the body cope with physical and mental stressors. The herbal blend consists of Ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, eleuthero root extract, and Rhodiola extract. The Ashwagandha extract is standardized to contain 2.5% withanolides, the Asian ginseng extract is standardized to provide 5% gingenosides, eleuthero extract is standardized to contain 0.8% of eleutherosides and the Rhodiola extract is standardized to contain 3% of total rosavins and 1% of salidroside. The recommended dosage is to take one capsule daily with meals or as directed by your physician. Energy Xtra is available in 60-count and 120-count capsules and is sourced from non-GMO ingredients, vegetarian and gluten-free ingredients.
The takeaway, diet, exercise, and sleep - all three factors go arm-in-arm, keeping you energized throughout the day. It is important to focus on these factors while taking the supplements for improved results. If you have other health concerns, it is essential to check with your healthcare provider before adding herbal dietary supplements to your diet.