3 Natural Energy Supplements to Know About
I love fall. I know that’s such a “basic” phrase these days, but what can I say? It’s the truth, and I’ll wear all the comfy sweaters while drinking gallons of pumpkin spice lattes until my heart is content. But even though fall is my favorite season, my energy levels plummet as soon as we reach the Autumn Equinox.
As a teenager and young adult, my low energy levels led me to isolate in my room and avoid spending time with friends. As a result, my daily habits slipped, and getting up for school was a constant struggle. The cyclical dip in energy, and other life factors, sent me into a seasonal depression that lasted through the spring.
Over the years, I’ve worked hard to prevent depression from consuming my daily life, but there are still days when I’m reminded of the necessity to be vigilant in protecting my energy. And some days, that means letting myself feel more lethargic, spending a day in stillness.
But when it’s time to get out of bed and head to work, I need some help. Thankfully, natural energy supplements have been shown to boost energy without the side effects of coffee or artificial energy drinks. So this year, instead of waiting until mid-October when my seasonal depression typically kicks in, I started my supplement routine early. The goal is to boost my energy levels and help fend off the impending winter blues. Here are a few I found intriguing:
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Finish this sentence: The (blank) is the powerhouse of the cell. If you answered mitochondria, then congratulations. You most likely learned this factoid in middle or high school, and it’s probably programmed into your brain for the rest of your life.
These bean-shaped organelles are found in nearly all 37 trillion cells throughout the human body and act as the cell’s power plant. They take the food we eat and the air we breathe and convert them into fuel for our survival.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is produced by the mitochondria and is a naturally occurring antioxidant. Its job is to neutralize free radicals the body produces to stop them from causing damage to the body. Although the process that creates free radicals is natural, having an excess amount can damage the cellular membranes, cellular proteins and DNA.
So CoQ10 plays a vital role in keeping us functioning. But as we age, the antioxidant levels decline, leaving room for free radicals to cause damage. In turn, cells can’t expend the energy to repair the damage, which causes fatigue.
After taking CoQ10, you should notice your energy increasing as the antioxidant works to promote energy production in every cell of your body and looks to eliminate free radicals.
I’m not suggesting natural supplements are a quick fix. Like any significant change in life, progress takes consistent daily actions. Vitamin D is a prime example of that.
“People are like houseplants with more complicated emotions” is a phrase that lives rent-free in my mind because its hyperbole rings true. Why do so many people in the northern hemisphere suffer from seasonal depression and low energy levels? Because we only have a few hours of daylight for many months of the year and the average temperature is frigid, our exposure to vitamin D plummets in the fall and winter months. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in our energy and mood levels.
At one of my lowest points energetically and emotionally in my young adulthood, a doctor ordered a full round of blood work. Notably, they found I was severely deficient in Vitamin D, and for a few months, I had to take a prescription-level dose every day.
As a result, both my mood and energy levels improved. During the summer months, it’s easy to get vitamin D as we can count on catching some rays during the day. But once the days get shorter and the temperatures get colder, adding or upping your daily dose of vitamin D will go a long way when we’re in the dead of winter.
There’s been a growing movement to educate the public on the effects of eating with the seasons. Eating seasonally means you aim to consume crops that are harvested during their prime season. Examples of this eating method include strawberries in the summer or pumpkins in the fall. Beets are another fall harvest food and have been shown to promote healthy blood and oxygen circulation, which boost energy and stamina. So if you’re starting your energy supplement routine in the fall, this might be a good option to naturally boost your energy.
Some honorable mentions include ashwagandha, vitamin B12, and iron. The bottom line is what works for one person might not work for the next. So when it comes to finding natural energy supplements, do your research and listen to your body; it intuitively knows what you need.