In today’s fast-paced world most of us could use more energy, but when those energy reserves are running low, people will often turn to food and drinks that are high in carbohydrates, especially sugar, or they turn to caffeine to give themselves a boost.
At any given time, one in five people feel unusually tired and one in ten people have prolonged fatigue. Women tend to feel more tired than men, but fatigue can happen at any time of life .
Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors, and a common reason is nutrient deficiencies. Supplementing with vitamins for energy can help address any deficiencies that may be present and relieve symptoms brought on by fatigue.
Supplements for combatting fatigue
Vitamin B12 is known as the ‘energy vitamin’ as it is essential for cellular energy production . As it is found mainly in animal foods, such as organ meats, oily fish, lamb and beef, vegetarians and vegans can be at risk of B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 supplementation can be of particular benefit to the elderly, as sub-optimal gastrointestinal function can result in deficiency of this vitamin.
Co-enzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is an essential nutrient required by the body’s cells to take fat and other nutrients and to produce energy.
Best food sources of CoQ10 include organ meats, oily fish, chicken and beef. It is also found in peanuts, sesame seeds and pistachio nuts.
We do make CoQ10 in the body, but, the amount the body makes decreases significantly with statin medications, and supplementing CoQ10 can often relieve symptoms of fatigue.
Iodine deficiency is extremely common in the UK . It is most commonly found in seafood, but diets are often low in this mineral, especially if people do not use iodised salt.
The thyroid gland needs iodine to manufacture the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Although T3 is more potent, both hormones serve similar functions in regulating metabolism and how the body uses energy in virtually every cell in the body. Low energy or fatigue is one of the presenting symptoms if thyroid hormones are too low.
Vitamin D deficiency has been found to be common in people with fatigue and restoring vitamin D status through supplementation has been shown to restore energy .
In the UK, it’s thought that it’s only possible to make vitamin D from the sun during the summer. From October to March the body has to rely on its reserves or obtain vitamin D from other sources.
The B vitamins are necessary for converting food into energy. They include vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and folate. If the body lacks B vitamins, the ability of the cells’ mitochondria (the power house of the cell) to generate energy will be compromised.
Fatigue and its symptoms
People suffering from fatigue tend to stumble through the day, the brain is slow and the body aches. Fatigue is often not just tiredness, and there are a number of symptoms associated with it:
- Chronic tiredness or sleepiness
- Aching muscles
- Slowed reflexes and responses
- Impaired decision making and judgement
- Poor Concentration
- Blurred vision
- Appetite changes
- Poor Immunity
- Low motivation
Fatigue can often start with the physical symptoms of sleepiness and impaired physical ability, but someone suffering these symptoms can go on to develop mental and emotional fatigue as a result.
What causes fatigue?
Many things can contribute to fatigue. Sometimes there may be an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, especially if symptoms have been ongoing for a considerable time.
Most of the time, a lack of energy is caused by our lifestyle, our diet, psychological and emotional issues, or the pressure of work.
Lack of sleep – lack of sleep may be caused by poor sleeping conditions such as bright rooms, noisy environment, a snoring partner or too much stimulation before bed. But there may be other reasons such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnoea.
Poor diet – Diets packed with processed foods and refined carbohydrates will result in fluctuations in blood sugar leading to energy dips throughout the day. These diets will lack the vitamins and minerals necessary for energy production.
Lack of exercise – Exercise promotes health and wellbeing, has been shown to boost energy and contributes to good quality sleep.
Drinking alcohol, smoking and too much caffeine – Alcohol has the effect of slowing you down and will interrupt sleep patterns. Smoking and caffeine from coffee and tea has a stimulating effect on the body, but disrupts hormones resulting in energy fluctuations.
Workplace stress – This can be from workload pressures, conflicts with colleagues or management or just dissatisfaction with the work itself.
Anxiety and stress – The over-production of stress hormones can cause a person to become exhausted.
Depression – People diagnosed with depression commonly experience fatigue.
Lessen the chances of low energy
There are a few simple strategies to ensure that your energy levels are optimised, such as eating a nutritionally balanced diet of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, along with making sure that the body is well hydrated and receiving adequate restorative sleep.
Inessa Wellness Advances Multivitamin contains the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help optimise the body’s energy levels.