Do you ever feel tired and run down, no matter how much sleep you get or how much coffee you drink? If you answered yes, this post is for you. Energy is about so much more than sleep. The science behind energy boosts can be complicated, but this post will break down the basics so you can decide if energy supplements are the right choice for you.
What Are Energy Supplements?
Energy supplements are nutritional products designed to provide an extra boost of energy. They come in a variety of forms, including pills, powders, liquids, and shots. Most energy supplements are composed of ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, caffeine, and other stimulants. The primary purpose of these supplements is to increase alertness, focus, and energy levels so that people can perform at their best.
Energy supplements are often used by athletes, bodybuilders, and those in physically demanding jobs to improve performance. However, they can also be beneficial for individuals who may be struggling with fatigue or feeling run down. Some energy supplements are designed to promote long-term health and improve energy levels all day long while some just deliver a quick energy boost.
How Do Energy Supplements Work?
There are two kinds of energy supplements: short-term and long-term.
Supplements for quick energy are good for when you need an extra oomph to get you through the next few hours. They often work much the same way as caffeine. In fact, most of them contain caffeine because it blocks the receptors that promote sleep and increases alertness. In addition to caffeine, some quick-energy supplements contain sugar since glucose can be used for energy as soon as it gets into the bloodstream. They may also contain Ginseng, which has been found to increase energy (1). Higher-quality instant energy supplements sometimes contain B Vitamins, since they play a role in energy as well as blood production, which is important because blood carries oxygen and other nutrients to the cells. However, B Vitamins are often more commonly found in long-term sustainable energy supplements.
Supplements for sustained energy aim to increase your body’s natural energy levels for long-term results. They do this through two main mechanisms of action: increasing energy and decreasing fatigue. Firstly, they supply B Vitamins because these vitamins are coenzymes for energy synthesis, meaning that they enable the body to produce energy. B Vitamins also play a role in blood cell formation, which is crucial for ensuring that cells throughout the body receive the oxygen and nutrients that they need. Vitamins B12 and B6 are especially important for blood and energy – a deficiency of either is likely to cause fatigue and B12 deficiency may even cause anemia. But this should not undermine the influence of all B Vitamins on energy. Many energy supplements contain Vitamins B12 and B6 but few other B vitamins, making them less effective.
Secondly, energy supplements supply adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogens are herbs or mushrooms that help the body to cope with physical, chemical, or biological stress, thereby reducing fatigue (2). Essentially, adaptogens help the body restore and maintain homeostasis, which is the body’s ability to self regulate for optimal function.
Adaptogens are believed to affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is the body’s central hub for responding to stress (3). The HPA axis affects digestion, energy storage, and energy expenditure, in addition to regulating other processes in the body. Adaptogens may also have an effect on the immune-neuro-endocrine system which regulates energy usage in addition to the immune system (3).
How Does Each B Vitamin Affect How Energy Supplements Work?
- Vitamin B1 – helps break down carbohydrates to produce energy (4)
- Vitamin B2 – helps metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (5)
- Vitamin B3 – promotes circulation, food metabolism, and stress-hormone production (6)
- Vitamin B5 – contributes to blood cell formation and helps break down fats and proteins (7)
- Vitamin B6 – supports the formation of red blood cells and assists with protein, fat, and carb metabolism (8)
- Vitamin B7 – assists in the metabolism of amino acids (9)
- Vitamin B9 – necessary for red and white blood cell production as well as carb metabolism (10)
- Vitamin B12 – needed for red blood cell synthesis and amino acid metabolism (11)
What Adaptogens Should I Look For In An Energy Supplement?
When looking for an energy supplement, you should look for products containing natural adaptogens. Adaptogens are plant-based compounds that help the body adapt to stress. This helps improve mental clarity, cognitive performance, and physical endurance while helping to reduce fatigue and anxiety. Below are some ingredients you’ll want to look for.
- Ginseng is a popular adaptogen found in many energy supplements. It helps to increase endurance and mental clarity and is often used to treat mild depression and low libido.
- Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to help improve mood, reduce stress, and boost energy levels.
- Rhodiola is an adaptogen that helps to reduce stress, increase energy levels, and improve cognitive function.
- Schisandra has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for increasing energy, performance, and endurance as well as improving stress resistance.
- Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to help reduce stress and increase energy levels.
- Maca root is a plant native to South America that is known to help boost energy levels and improve mood.
- Cordyceps mushroom is a fungus that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to help boost energy levels and improve overall health.
- Reishi mushroom is another common adaptogen found in energy supplements. It helps to reduce inflammation, enhance immunity, and improve sleep quality.
Overall, these adaptogens can be beneficial when taken as part of a long-term energy supplement. These ingredients may help provide natural support for the body to help you feel energized and alert throughout the day.
Which Energy Supplement Is The Best For Long-Term Results?
Approved Science® Energysyl™ is expertly crafted to help your body get back on track so fatigue and low energy become issues of the past. This caffeine-free energy supplement provides you with essential nutrients that help the digestive tract break down food into energy. It also contains 8 natural herbs with adaptogenic properties to help ward off fatigue and improve stress resistance. Rather than give you a quick jolt of energy that quickly fades, Energysyl™ helps improve energy levels across the board so you feel more energized throughout the day.
There are energy supplements that give you short-term results and others that give longer-lasting results by improving your overall health and wellbeing. Each has it’s time and place, though supplements for instant energy often contain unwanted ingredients like caffeine or sugar. They can be great for athletes in a time of need, but energy supplements that supply B vitamins and adaptogens to fight fatigue may be the better option if you feel like you’re often low on energy.