You need some to get some. If you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed, the likelihood that you’re in a mindset well enough to consider such health considerations as eating better and sleeping more and exercising daily is low. And that’s a bummer because committing to all of these habits will help you feel less tired and less overwhelmed.
Fortunately, we have a safety net mechanism to help us from spiraling too far down the low-energy cycle: The Crash. This may take the form of your body simply passing out and forcing you to rest or a full-blown mental breakdown, with all the tears and stress and existential dread and unshaven neck hair.
Everyone experiences the Crash in several variant forms during their life, and it’s never fun. But consider it as a sort of “reset” button to wipe the slate clean, reorganize and move forward in a way to prevent the Crash from happening again. In other words, focus more on eating better and sleeping and exercising daily, and any other positive lifestyle behaviors that lead to better overall energy that you can use to find and pursue whatever it is that’s worth the investment of your well-earned energy.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But you can make this all even easier on yourself by seeking a natural energy booster supplement that can give that some you need to get some more—and so on and so forth.
In the next few sections, we’ll cover the importance of natural energy boosters over the feel-good stimulants we tend to view as “energy boosters,” before getting into the best supplements for energy that money can buy.
- Top Supplements To Boost Your Energy in 2020
- Where Does All Our Energy Go?
- Comparing Stimulants to Energy Boosters
- The Non-Stim Paths to Better Energy
- Supplement Ingredients for Lack of Energy
- Pre-Made Stacks for Energy
Top Supplements To Boost Your Energy in 2020
Maritime Pine Bark
Where Does All Our Energy Go?
Staying awake and thinking and seeing and smelling and sitting bored – that’s where our energy goes. Simply being awake sucks our energy up, and the body does what it can to stay afloat under long days of hard work. But once that energy is gone, the brain and body slow down quite literally to a complete halt.
This is why diet and sleep are so important: we need nutritious food to refuel and sleep to recharge our system.
There’s been this growing myth over the past couple decades that the hardest, most successful workers forego meals and sleep in pursuit of success. That only the gluttonous and lazy, who will NEVER! achieve success, eat and sleep. This is likely a myth created by the well-fed, well-rested successful as a red herring to distract the would-be competition.
Thankfully, attitudes have changed. Whether or not they actually practice self-care, people have learned that self-improvement occurs only when, well, take care of the self. Of our bodies and brains. And our brains in particular require special attention, considering that they consume upwards of 20% of the body’s total energy supply to manage and maintain all of their complex cerebral processes.
Here’s the worst part: a sleep-deprived brain correlates with an increase in stress and anxiety, which negatively impact sleep. The stress-sleep cycle can be incredibly disruptive to our energy levels, throwing everything out of whack and keeping us in a constant, low-competitive state of tiredness.
Comparing Stimulants to Energy Boosters
Sleep deprivation is no joke. A lot of people, whether they know it or not, don’t get enough sleep. And they often try to remedy their sleep-deprived fatigue with neurochemical stimulation, such as caffeine (i.e., coffee). This isn’t the worst thing in the world, given that coffee actually does have modest health benefits when taken in moderation.
But stimulants aren’t the best approach to boosting energy.
Namely because they don’t actually boost energy. Not in a healthy, long-term way, at least.
Natural energy boosters outperform stimulants, such as caffeine or synephrine or modafinil, by actually enhancing the body’s natural cellular energy production, namely ATP, where stimulants simply flush the brain and body with a synthetic amount of excitatory chemicals.
Likewise, the brain requires catecholamine neurotransmitters to stay focused and alert under conditions of high activity and stress. When these catecholamines run out, whether due to malnutrition or sleep deprivation, energy and focus plummet. Stimulants amplify catecholamine activity by flushing the brain with a synthetic amount of catecholamines while natural nootropics and energy boosters promote natural catecholamine activity by enhancing natural catecholaminergic pathways.
Thus, the key difference between stimulants and natural energy boosters: stimulants increase energy at the cost of long-term health, whereas natural energy boosters increase energy in support of long-term health. Natural energy boosters don’t come with any additional metabolic concerns, genuinely qualifying as healthy health supplements.
The Non-Stim Paths to Better Energy
Okay, but how do non-stim energy boosters help us increase our energy levels? Assuming that we’ve taken care of our nutrient and sleep needs, natural energy boosters may help to keep an ongoing pep in our step by supporting:
- Mitochondrial Energy Output: the body’s cellular “powerhouse” units, the mitochondria, essentially work by converting food fuel into ATP energy. Antioxidant energy boosters assist with mitochondrial energy output by protecting against oxidative stress and increasing food-to-fuel conversion processes.
- Stress Resistance: herbs or compounds called adaptogens help the body adapt to stress, reducing the negative impacts of stress and fatigue; they help by reducing hormonal stress (cortisol), oxidative stress, psychological stress, anxiety, energy-wasting over-excitement, and more.
- Cerebral Circulation: as we age, blood flow decreases, contributing to a loss of nutrient and oxygen flow to the brain. Without sufficient fuel and oxygen entering the brain, fog and fatigue corrupts thinking, leading to an overall feeling of tiredness and lethargy. Supplements that help keep circulation flowing also keep the brain and body well-nourished and well-energized.
Again, when you consider these pathways to those of stimulants, which do nothing to improve mitochondrial health or stress resistance or circulation but perhaps actually worsens all of these important health factors, it’s easy to see the true health benefits of natural energy boosters.
Supplement Ingredients for Lack of Energy
If natural energy boosters enhance both energy and health, why are stimulants the more appealing choice over natural energy boosters? It’s easy: stimulants provide a quick-fix of feel-good energy that, depending on the stimulant, can be addictive. Energy boosters, on the other hand, build up healthy energy over time. One healthy meal doesn’t suddenly make you healthy. But stick with it and you’ll soon feel great.
With that in mind, here are some a few awesome ingredients you can take to improve your energy levels.
1. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like antioxidant involved in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. (Remember that from high school bio?) Essentially, CoQ10 helps shuttle electrons across the chain to assist with the conversion of food energy into biological ATP energy. CoQ10 is a life-essential compounds found in all cells of all body tissues. Roughly 80% of the body’s CoQ10 is found within energy-producing mitochondria.
No CoQ10, no energy, no nothin’!
As a supplement, CoQ10 works by supporting mitochondrial output. After co-facilitating ATP energy conversion, CoQ10 converts into ubiquinol, a fat-soluble antioxidant, to protect mitochondria against cell-damaging oxidative stress by-produced by the production of ATP. Through a similar pathway, CoQ10 seems to trigger mitochondrial biogenesis, the formation of new mitochondria, in response to oxidative stress.
As we age, CoQ10 levels decline, resulting in an overall decrease in energy. Supplementing CoQ10 may help keep those levels up and ATP readily available.
CoQ10 helps promote the natural production of energy while creatine is energy, so to speak. Highly concentrated in muscle tissue, creatine works as pre-ATP fuel, used to power muscle contractions and stamina. This makes creatine a popular choice among strength trainers and bodybuilders, as creatine essentially allows exercisers to workout harder for longer.
It’s an ATP recharge supplement, one that works noticeably and significantly well after a few days of daily supplementation. Some even consider creatine to have cognitive enhancing properties under cognitive impairing conditions associated with age and low energy.
As an energy booster, creatine makes sense. More importantly, it works. In addition to boosting energy, creatine also seems to stimulate insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) activity, an anabolic protein that promotes lean muscle mass growth.
For the always tired exerciser with big fitness goals, creatine is a smart option, even if used only temporarily.
3. Rhodiola Rosea
This is an interesting herb. Many qualify Rhodiola rosea as an “energy booster,” and it certainly feels like that when you try some, but it’d be more accurate to describe Rhodiola as a “fatigue reducer.” Because that’s essentially what this anti-stress adaptogen does: lifts fatigue and stress from the brain and body, allowing the mind to think more clearly and the body to continue continuing for the rest of the day.
Rhodiola is a pick-me-up herb, one that seems to impact the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that’s known for secreting stress hormone cortisol. Healthy stress levels involve a significant spike of cortisol in the morning and a quick drop-off, whereas the chronically stressed see a small spike of morning cortisol and a slower, steadier decrease in the hormone throughout the day, which keeps the body slightly stressed for longer.
Too much cortisol activity throws off the body’s metabolic balance. Under such conditions, Rhodiola is a great option to help regulate cortisol levels, rebalancing the body towards a healthier, more productive metabolic state.
4. Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Here’s a relatively unknown health ingredient: maritime pine bark extract, a nootropic herb that seems to also possess ergogenic properties thanks to its circulatory benefits. While best known for its rich antioxidant complex that helps protect the brain and body against free radical damages, this extract also seems to have N.O. boosting properties that help to keep the blood flowing.
And as previously stated: good circulation keeps the body’s tissues stocked and energized with nutrients and oxygen.
This is why N.O. boosting is such a big deal among athletes. Increasing nitric oxide (N.O.) relaxes blood vessels to allow for greater circulation, hence the prized “muscle pump.” Good circulation sustains good energy and stamina.
Pre-Made Stacks for Energy
With several factors involved in low energy, no single ingredient 100% covers all angles on energy promotion. And even those that work very, very well in promoting energy levels work even better when complemented by other natural energy boosting ingredients.
You can either buy each ingredient individually and stack them together, creating your own DIY stack, or save yourself the time and headache by opting for a pre-made health supplement that boosts energy (and then some). Here are a few of the best supplements for energy:
1. Performance Lab Energy
Overall rating : 4.5 / 5
It’s in the name: Performance Lab Energy boosts performance by boosting energy, and not stimulatory energy but cellular energy. No stimulants, no caffeine. All of the ingredients in this formula target mitochondrial energy production, with exception to the last listed ingredient here which promotes the formula’s bio-availability:
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine: cofactor for cell energy production.
- R-Lipoic Acid: extends activity of mitochondrial antioxidants.
- Coenzyme Q10: helps convert food fuel into ATP energy.
- PQQ (as BioPQQ®): promotes mitochondrial biogenesis.
- Black Pepper Extract: enhances nutrient absorption.
By targeting mitochondrial energy production from various mechanisms, Performance Lab Energy is the ultimate cellular energy stack.
Plus, by stacking up so much antioxidant activity, Performance Lab Energy seems particularly effective at reducing oxidative stress, having somewhat of an anti-aging effect on the body. The result is better energy in service of greater health and longevity.
2. Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout
Overall rating : 4 / 5
If you’re looking for enhanced cellular energy, you can’t do much better than Performance Lab Energy. However, for athletic energy enhancement, Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout supplies a few great energy boosters in addition to several muscle-protective compounds:
- Creatine: boosts ATP cellular energy levels.
- Cordyceps Sinensis Extract: optimizes oxygen utilization.
- L-Citrulline: increases N.O. boosted muscle pumps.
- L-Glutamine: protects muscle energy, growth, and repair.
- L-Carnosine: protects against free radicals and pH levels.
- Himalayan Pink Salt: replenishes hydrating electrolyte salts.
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract: optimizes fuel delivery to the brain.
High-intensity training burns up energy. This is true. However, the rewards of high-intensity training not only include greater strength and muscle mass but also a more efficient metabolic machine to keep you feeling fresh and ready-to-go throughout the day.
By sustaining muscular energy and endurance during high-intensity training, Performance Lab SPORT Pre-Workout promotes better exercise for better all-around health and energy. A great stack to add to your collection, whether you’re a newcomer or veteran to the gym.
3. Mind Lab Pro
Overall rating : 4.5 / 5
Our number #1 recommended pre-made nootropic supplement, Mind Lab Pro supplies several natural energy boosting ingredients without resorting to cheap stimulation. In total, here are all of the impressive parts to this complex cognitive enhancer stack:
- B Vitamins: B6, B9, B12 – boosts mood and energy.
- Citicoline: enhances acetylcholine and energy levels.
- Bacopa Monnieri Extract: boosts acetylcholine activity.
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: enhances neuroregeneration.
- Phosphatidylserine: improves cell-to-cell communication.
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine: combats stress and fatigue.
- L-Theanine: reduces anxiety to improve focus.
- Rhodiola Rosea Extract: regulates stress hormone cortisol.
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract: optimizes fuel delivery to the brain.
In terms of boosting energy, the ingredients that are relevant here are the B vitamins, Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Rhodiola Rosea Extract, and Maritime Pine Bark Extract. (So, essentially, almost the entire formula.) Altogether, these ingredients improve energy levels by enhancing ATP energy activity, catecholamine levels, stress resistance, and blood flow.
This is truly an impressive, multi-functional health supplement that improves more than just brain health.
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