When low energy leaves us unable to meet life’s demands, tweaks in our nutrition can have a profound effect in restoring natural vigor. Key powerhouse vitamins and minerals help cultivate energy to see us through the week.
That golden feeling from waking up on the right side of the bed after a good night’s sleep can be all too elusive in the midst of a demanding week. More often, a variety of factors like poor sleep hygiene, hormonal imbalances, hidden inflammation, or even last night’s glass of wine can be to blame for the all too familiar cycle of fatigue. It can be hard to get to the root of why we’re so tired, but when we’re lacking in energy, it’s important to look to diet first as a potential offender. Calories are foremost a unit of energy—they’re how we fuel ourselves, but where those calories come from matters. Spikes in blood sugar from refined carbohydrates can cause serious crashes, leading us to feel sluggish and heavy, while a diet deficient in vital nutrients prevents our bodies from running efficiently. While caffeine can be helpful in providing a jolt of stimulation, it can’t deliver the smooth, steady energy needed for sustained momentum throughout the day. Instead, there are certain vitamins, minerals, and adaptogens that can make all the difference in providing healthy energy to propel you forward. So, this leaves us with the question, what vitamins give you energy?
Of course, a well-rounded plate full of colorful whole foods is key. However, sometimes your body requires more, and daily supplementation can be required to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs for radiant, lasting energy. So whether they’re in your bowl or in a supplement, here are six roots, herbs, and vitamins that can help boost energy and keep you at full charge all day.
If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you’re likely familiar with how important it is to get adequate levels of vitamins like B‑12 (cobalamin) into your system. There are actually 8 B‑vitamins that our bodies need, and you might know them by other names, like vitamin B, niacin, riboflavin, biotin, and folate.
Aside from helping your cells multiply by making new DNA, B‑vitamins are also essential for your energy levels. They help your body use macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fat for fuel, by converting food into energy and releasing that energy throughout the body.
Those with thyroid problems, alcohol dependence, plant-based diets, and other lifestyle factors and health concerns may not be getting or absorbing proper amounts of B-vitamins. Findings show that a significant portion of the population in developed countries suffer from insufficient B-vitamin intake (1). Symptoms can manifest as brain fog, low mood, or feeling drained, and a supplement may be required to reach optimal levels.
Our non-stimulant alternative, Ting™, Ginseng energy supplement, provides these nutrients for a non-stim pick-me-up without the jitters. B Complex, extracted from organic tulsi and guava, provides cofactors to help convert macros into cellular currency, or ATP, while folate and methylated B12 help support a bright and balanced mood.
2. Ginseng Vitamin
If you’ve been feeling weak or fatigued, ginseng may also offer a natural energy lift. Native to Asia and North America, ginseng root has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic for its invigorating effects.
One study (2) showed that ginseng had a positive impact on people with chronic fatigue. Further, a 2014 study of cancer patients found that ginseng helped reduce cancer-related fatigue in those who were undergoing treatment (3). Along with a range of B vitamins to support elevated energy levels, adaptogenic ginseng is another key ingredient in Ting, helping promote healthy brain function and short-term memory.
3. L-Theanine Vitamin
One of our favorite compounds, L‑theanine is an amino acid used to improve mental performance. It can be found naturally in some mushrooms and black tea, or in our Magnesi-Om blend, promoting alpha wave activity in the brain to encourage a focused calm.
Considered a nootropic, L‑theanine is known for producing that highly desirable effect of relaxed focus, without either drowsiness or shakiness. If you must have that morning cup of coffee, try pairing it with L‑Theanine for a more relaxed buzz. When combined with caffeine, L‑theanine can increase alertness and attention.
4. Magnesium Vitamin
If you’ve found yourself tossing and turning at night, or experiencing headaches, brain fog, fatigue, or low mood, it might be time to get your hands on some bioavailable magnesium to improve sleep and enhance your energy levels. Magnesium is an essential micronutrient and one that over 60% of Americans are not getting enough of through their diet (4). Every cell in the body relies on this mineral in order to function. Moreover, studies have shown that magnesium supplements could be beneficial for improving exercise gains (5, 6, 7) by keeping energy more level during a workout. This is because magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles and can flush out lactate, which can accumulate during exercise, leading to exhaustion. Because magnesium also helps regulate neurotransmitters involved in sleep, a magnesium supplement could also help you get a better night’s rest, which leads to increased energy levels throughout the day.
Magnesi‑Om is the ultimate magnesium supplement, containing three bioavailable forms of magnesium. This means that the body is able to absorb them into its circulation as active elements. We suggest mixing one teaspoon of Magnesi‑Om in water on a nightly basis to reset energy levels and promote overall wellness.
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5. Ashwagandha Vitamin
From the evergreen shrub of the ashwagandha plant, this Ayurvedic root is known for its adaptogenic effect, or its ability to help our physiologies cope with stress.
Ashwagandha has been traditionally used for thousands of years to increase relaxed energy levels while improving concentration. Research shows potential benefits in athletic performance, including enhanced strength and oxygen consumption during exercise (8, 9). It can also be a good source to help improve sleep and stress levels, resulting in better energy levels overall.
While it’s not an ingredient you’re likely to find in the produce section, you’ll see a patented extraction of organic ashwagandha across many of our mixes. You can also find it in our natural supplements for stress relief, focus, and energy.
Your body needs sufficient amounts of iron in order to deliver oxygen to the brain and muscles, making this mineral crucial for mental and athletic performance. Inadequate levels of iron can affect the efficiency with which your body uses energy, leading to symptoms like reduced stamina. Iron-deficiency anemia, a blood condition causing fatigue, occurs when iron levels are so low that the body doesn’t have enough to produce the hemoglobin it needs (10).
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C supplements can help the body’s ability to absorb Iron, so that it can carry oxygen throughout the body for energy. It does this by converting types of iron that are difficult for the body to absorb, such as iron from plant-based sources, into a form that is bioavailable to the system. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may want to consider adding this vitamin into your daily routine to ensure you’re absorbing iron efficiently.
Vitamin C is also needed for certain enzymes that are transported to the mitochondria for energy. It Vitamin C plays an important role in the production of energy, and a diet poor in this vitamin can lead to fatigue or weakness (11, 12, 13).
8. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is another condition that can result in fatigue (14), muscle weakness, and low mood. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D assists your body in calcium and phosphate absorption.
In today’s world, many people aren’t getting enough vitamin D from the sun. Those who use sunscreen, have darker skin, or don’t get that much natural light on our skin may have trouble getting their vitamin D needs met. Given the risks of going without sunscreen, the CDC warns that there’s no way to safely absorb vitamin D from the sun without increasing the likelihood of skin cancer. And that’s where vitamin D supplements can come in handy.
9. Vitamin A
A 2010 study found that vitamin A (or you might know it as retinol), could play a crucial role in the synthesis of energy in our cells. Researchers found that when cells were deprived of vitamin A, the synthesis of ATP in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, decreased. When vitamin A was reintroduced, these declines reversed (15).
10. Rhodiola Rosea Vitamin
Rhodiola, another adaptogenic herb, is an arctic root found in the mountains of Asia and Europe. It’s often used to enhance mental functions such as learning and memory, but it’s also been shown to have a beneficial impact on energy levels and mood.
Numerous studies found evidence that rhodiola can reduce mental fatigue and increase athletic performance (16). It’s also been shown to have benefits for those suffering from depression and burnout—conditions sharing common symptoms to fatigue (17). You can find wildcrafted rhodiola from the Altai mountains in SuperYou, your daily stress defense to improve energy, mood, and focus.
As more people turn away from the adverse effects of caffeine and energy drinks, there’s an increasing emphasis on consuming high-energy foods and supplements that provide sustainable energy. Incorporating optimum B-vitamins and adaptogenic herbs into our meal plans isn’t always intuitive or even feasible, but bioactive (easily assimilated) forms can be found in blends like SuperYou, Magnesi-Om, and Ting. We’ve harnessed the best plant wisdom in standardized extractions and clinical strength formulations to boost energy levels every day.
The supplements market can be a sketchy place. At Moon Juice, we’re radically transparent with our sourcing and levels, using only ingredients that are clinically studied, 100% traceable, and third-party tested for heavy metals and pesticides.
Aside from the powers of sleep, rejuvenating exercise, and morning sunshine to correct circadian rhythms, a diet rich in adaptogenic herbs and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals is one of the best steps we can take toward achieving energetic health.
For more information on how our adaptogens and clinical-level actives can support your energy levels, check out our full suite of natural energy support supplements.