I think it’s time I let you in on a little secret of mine.
This is not something that I usually share with just anyone, but I’ve known you for at least thirty seconds now and you look kinda trustworthy so here goes.
I take drugs.
Whaaaa? Woah! No, I don’t mean those kinds of drugs! Let me explain before I end up on the wrong end of a jail sentence.
Have you ever had one of those days when you’re just so tired and totally lacking in energy? You know what I’m talking about. The kind of day when you suspect that a new family has moved in because there’s no way all of that laundry is only yours? The kind of day when you feel like you’ve done fifty school runs, cooked enough food to feed the entire Chinese army and have just been hit by a bus?
Me too … but not anymore.
Natural Energy Supplements
A little while ago I started researching natural energy supplements. I was looking for something to give me a little more get-up-and-go but I wanted something natural. I have to ‘fess up, I wasn’t expecting what I found. The natural energy supplement market is huge with a capital ‘H’. There are lots of products being manufactured to put an extra pep in your step and I’ll admit that I was a little overwhelmed. How was I going to sift through all of these products to find what worked and what didn’t?
The answer lay in doing what I do best. I put on my Stick Insectz research goggles (yes, I really do have a pair of research goggles – don’t judge me) and I read, cross-referenced and talked to people taking different supplements. The outcome was that I now have six natural energy supplements to present to you that actually work (including the one I use myself).
So sit back and relax my friend. Your days of fatigue are about to come to an end.
BUT WAIT … CAUTIONARY TALE: THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
A quick word of caution before we delve into our list lovely, tired people.
Remember in the movie, The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy traveled along the yellow brick road only to find that she already had everything she needed to get home. You remember that?
Good nutrition, sleep, and exercise in balance are vital to your energy levels. The supplements listed here are just that: they are supplements. The first port of call lies within yourself and your own lifestyle. These bad boys are intended simply as the extra kicker.
OK, cautionary tale over, lets’s get into the good stuff:
SIX NATURAL ENERGY SUPPLEMENTS TO GIVE YOU A ZING
#1 VITAMIN B12
B Vitamins are incredibly beneficial for your health, wellness and energy levels. The B Vitamin family is made up of eight different B vitamins that support cellular energy production and help your body to convert the food you eat into glucose. In non-sciency language, that means that they make energy for you.
B12 is often hailed as the super-energizer but taking a supplement that combines all of the B vitamins will benefit your whole body. Folic acid, for example, is recommended during pregnancy, Biotin (vitamin B7) can help to support healthy, skin, hair and nails and Niacin aids cardiovascular health. All-in-all, B vitamins are the superheroes of the energy supplement world.
In a study of women carried out by physiologist Henry C. Lukaski and Forrest H. Nielsen of the USDA: ARS, it was found that taking as little as 100mg of magnesium per day can increase energy levels and promote positive cardiovascular health. Go to the ARS website and type ‘magnesium’ into the search box. You will be surprised at how many studies have been carried out showing the benefits of magnesium and the problems caused by magnesium deficiency.
This root is a common ingredient in many stores bought energy supplements and tea. The Mayo Clinic conducted a study in 2012 which reported that high levels of ginseng were found to combat fatigue in cancer patients. It has numerous additional health benefits including aiding weight loss, however, the Mayo Clinic does not advise taking a high dosage without first consulting a medical professional. Side effects most commonly include trouble sleeping if too high a dosage is taken (this stuff really works!)
Melatonin is known as the all-natural sleep enhancer. I know what you are going to say at this point and yes, this is a list of energy supplements not sleep inducers, but just bear with me here. Although Melatonin is produced by our body to regulate the sleep cycle (circadian rhythm), its influence doesn’t stop there. Melatonin also controls several of our body’s metabolic processes including the flow of energy to and from our fat stores.
As we age, the amount of Melatonin we produce gets less and less and this is possibly why we find it harder to sleep as we get older. You’ve probably figured out by now that ensuring your body gets the full amount of Melatonin it needs, will improve your ability to both sleep well and function effectively. This is why melatonin makes it onto my energy boosting list.
#5 GINKGO BILOBA
Ginkgo Biloba is a plant extract that has been used as a herbal remedy in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Hailed as a brain booster, it’s taken most widely by students. It functions by improving blood flow to the brain and may also help with circulatory problems and relieve premenstrual symptoms. Ginkgo can only be found as a purchased supplement as the raw seeds are toxic.
This one came as something of a surprise to me. Iodine is so important that the WHO have spent the last 80 years working on eliminating iodine deficiency. Ever wondered why iodized salt exists? It’s for a very good reason. Iodine is a great antibiotic and antiseptic. It helps to improve our immune system and consequently boosts our energy. The wonderful thing about iodine is that you don’t have to buy it as a stand-alone supplement. Many foods are iodine-rich such as seaweed, beans, eggs and tuna fish. It may be last on my list here but it is by no means least.
AND THE WINNER IS ….
Now that you know my little secret, it’s time to reveal my top recommendation for energy supplements. You may have guessed it already. My personal number one is…
THE VITAMIN B FAMILY
All of the supplements listed here will help you, but in my mind, B vitamins are so effective for overall wellness. Play around for yourself to see what works best for you and please tell a tired friend. This is a secret worth sharing.
P.S. Now you know everything you need about natural energy supplements. Huzzah.
This article was kindly crafted by our guest, Jackie O. She is the founder of Stick Insectz, a life coach specializing in women’s wellness and mom to three amazing and (sometimes) well-behaved children. She started out life as a high school teacher before turning her trade to health and promoting women’s wellness. The idea behind the name ‘Stick Insectz’ comes from a joke told by British comedian, Jo Brand. It’s a term used to tease supermodels for being too thin. Jackie is all about supporting women to be the best version of themselves, whatever that may be and believes in practical solutions to practical problems. Stick Insectz can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.