In our too-busy world, there’s a lot of other recommendations one should take on how to increase energy levels — sleep more, for one. But there is a very real possibility that your energy slump is caused or exacerbated by a lack of vitamins and other nutrients which facilitate energy production in the body.
Due to a number of factors like increasingly processed and unbalanced meals, voluntary diet changes (vegetarians, vegans, etc.), or even food allergies, it’s become more and more common for people to develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies that adversely affect their health. Here are five major players in the energy-production game that you need to know:
1. Vitamin Bs
The Vitamin B family is perhaps the most important group of energy-boosting vitamins. Vitamin B-12 is important for converting food into energy, while Vitamin B-6 helps keep your metabolism up to speed for faster food-to-energy conversion. Vitamin B-9 (folic acid) helps to build a strong immune system so your body doesn’t waste its energy reserves fighting off infection. Making sure you’re getting enough of all the Bs will significantly improve your body’s ability to produce and store energy.
2. Coenzyme Q10
Shortened to coQ10, this nutrient is a major player in how cell’s produce energy, so you can imagine it’s importance in generating overall energy levels for the body. The complicated name may be why it’s not as widely recognized as the others on this list, but it’s a huge nutrient source for your cells. Meats, including fish, are very high in coQ10.
This organic acid is, like coQ10, a energy-supplier for your cells. However, creatine primarily provides energy to muscle cells. This is important for those who frequently experience muscle fatigue in particular. It’s almost impossible to get the optimal amount of creatine from eating foods that contain it, so a supplement is best!
4. Omega 3s
Omega 3 fatty acids, most commonly found in fish and nut products, became a bit of a craze several years ago when new research discovered the breadth and depth of their benefits to several aspects of human health. Among these benefits include increased mental energy, which certainly plays a role in physical energy. Research on the latter is promising as well.
You probably know that iron is an important mineral to have in your diet in general, but it’s also a lesser known contributor to your ability to sustain energy. Iron helps create red blood cells, which in turn ferry oxygen throughout your body. Without enough iron, your organs don’t get the oxygen they need to perform at an optimal level, and you get fatigued more quickly and easily than you should.