You could possess all the cognitive and creative potential in the world, but when your energy is zapped, completing even the simplest of tasks feels like swimming upstream. That’s where fatigue-fighting supplements come in handy. The best supplements for fatigue not only energize your body but they support energy flow to your brain.
Of course, lifestyle habits that support healthy energy production are crucial, but sometimes you need a little extra push to get the ball rolling.
In this article, we’ll highlight the best supplements to help push you out of an energy rut and get your cognitive juices flowing.
The Six Best Supplements For Fatigue
Panax ginseng is a plant that’s grown in Korea and China and has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for a variety of ailments. The primary benefits associated with ginseng are related to improved mood, energy, and overall feelings of well-being.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29624410/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18567057/
The main active ingredient in panax ginseng is ginsenosides, which are compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Antioxidants play a vital role in fighting fatigue as oxidative stress is thought to be one of the primary factors at the root of chronic fatigue issues.
Therefore, due to the health-promoting impact of ginsenosides, research shows that Panax ginseng may be a promising treatment for fatigue related to physical ailments.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29624410/
Panax ginseng has also been shown to support cognitive performance in people that are mentally drained. Specifically, research shows that taking Panax ginseng may enhance memory and concentration in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3629193/
Not every supplement blend works for everyone. Take this quiz to find which ingredients work best for your brain and body.
Ashwagandha is an ancient herb that’s been used for thousands of years in the ancient medicine of India, Ayurveda. As an adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha works by helping your body adapt to stress.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/
Interestingly, the herb itself is adaptive as it can promote energy when you’re fatigued and worn down, but it can also calm you when your nerves are on edge.
Stress is one of the biggest physical and mental energy drains, so supporting your ability to be resilient in the face of overwhelm is vital for optimal performance.
Research shows that ashwagandha not only has anxiolytic (helping you calm anxiety) properties, but it also increases stamina.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
Noopept is a mildly stimulating synthetic nootropic (brain and mind enhancer) that’s also known for its ability to calm anxiety.
In this way, Noopept can enhance physical and mental energy while also helping you preserve energy stores that would otherwise be siphoned off to stress and anxiety.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S1819712420030113
As mentioned, stress is a powerful energy-drainer. Therefore, doing what you can to manage stress will pay dividends to your energy reserves.
Unlike some of the herbal remedies that may take days or weeks to show their effects, Noopept works almost immediately to give you the cognitive boost you’re looking for as it’s easily absorbed in your gut and passes through your blood-brain barrier.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10977920/
One of the primary benefits of Noopept is its ability to enhance memory formation and recall. Animal research suggests that its impact on a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is at least partly responsible for its cognitive enhancing qualities.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19240853/
Take this quiz to find your ideal supplement blend for lasting mental energy.
Sulbutiamine is a synthetic version of vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, which is highly bioavailable and passes seamlessly through your blood-brain barrier.
Thiamine is a crucial part of energy production as it assists your cell’s ability to turn carbohydrates into usable energy in your body.https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002401.htm. It should come as no surprise then that researchers have found sulbutiamine to have anti-fatigue effects in physical, mental, and psychosocial aspects.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28755683/
There’s a good chance you’ve used caffeine for low energy at one point or another. Caffeine can give you an almost immediate boost in wakefulness and alertness, which comes in handy when you really want to get to work.
However, the real benefit of caffeine isn’t only its energy-producing activity but rather its impact on cognitive function. Research shows that caffeine is effective at off-setting the cognitive fog that comes with sleep deprivation. As such, caffeine can help wake your brain up so you can absorb incoming information.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763416300690
While caffeine does a beautiful job as a quick fix, it’s also essential to understand the potential downside of relying too heavily on caffeine. Ideally, drinking a cup of coffee (or two) is all you need to wake up. However, if you find that you’re downing five to six cups of coffee just to keep yourself going, it may be time to look at other aspects of your health.
In other words, in small doses, caffeine is an excellent ally. In large doses, however, it can act as a bandaid for more deep-rooted imbalances.
B12, much like thiamine, is crucial for the production of energy in your cells as these nutrients help to metabolize both fat and carbohydrates.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/147323000703500301
Furthermore, B12 plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells. One of the most crucial roles of red blood cells is to carry oxygen to the tissues in your body. From here, oxygen is taken up and plays an essential role in the production of energy within the mitochondria, your cell’s power plant.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19837879/
Since B12 is found primarily in animal-based foods, it is especially helpful for enhancing energy production in vegans or vegetarians who may be deficient in this vitamin.https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201446
The Impact Of Fatigue On Mental Performance
Although feelings of fatigue may be subjective, research shows that when you feel tired, it can negatively impact your motivation and alertness and cause a drain on your mental hardware. In addition, when you’re tired, it can alter brain activity in a way that makes simple tasks seem impossible, and the drive to complete them feel non-existent.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306934/
What’s more, a tired brain is more susceptible to moodiness and emotional states like anxiety and depression, which leave you feeling heavy and unmotivated.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318605/
From here, many people experience a downward spiral where their fatigue keeps them stuck in an unmotivated rut.
If fatigue has lasted for more than a few days, your energy stores for self-motivation have likely gone out the window. That’s when supportive supplements come into the mix. Supplements that improve energy levels not only enhance your mental state but can also support cognitive performance.
Takeaway: Get Your Energy Back With Targeted Supplements
Feeling fatigued and tired is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right. It could be as simple as a need for more sleep at night, or perhaps you’re deficient in nutrients necessary for energy production.
Depending on where your fatigue is coming from, finding the right supplement for you could make a world of difference.
For a quick hit of motivation and endurance, go for supplements that include caffeine like coffee or tea. If you think you might be low in nutrients, cyanocobalamin or sulbutiamine can provide your cells the crucial components they need to produce energy.
If it’s overwhelm and stress that’s at the root of your fatigue issues, herbs like ashwagandha and Panax ginseng can help enhance your resilience to stress and preserve energy stores. And for a nootropic that works on stress while offering mild stimulation, Noopept may be the way to go.
In general, most people find that a combination of nutrients is what they really need to pull themselves out of fatigue and get back on their feet. If you’re looking for the perfect fatigue-fighting, cognitive-enhancing supplement combo take this quiz to determine what your current needs are.