It’s hard to stay on top of our health with the stress that comes with our modern lifestyles. Such as not enough sleep, long work hours and commutes, or just raising kids and trying to balance a career. It’s hard to find a moment for yourself let alone ensuring that your eating well, managing stress, and exercising regularly. What are some simple ways that can help combat the stress and fatigue that comes with our busy lives? Supplementation is a great way to assist in giving yourself that extra boost to help you sleep better, feel better, and reduce stress levels.
Vitamin B Complex
B1, B6, B9 and B12 are essential vitamins in charge of metabolic functions in the body. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, increases stress resistance and helps the brain regulate stress. Vitamin B6 helps relieve stress and anxiety, and studies have shown that people who are under chronic stress can deplete their vitamin B6 levels. Vitamin B9 (also known as folic acid) also helps reduce stress and is especially important for women. Vitamin B12 is very effective in relieving fatigue. If you are a vegetarian, then B12 is an essential supplement. B-complex vitamins support body function by maintaining energy levels in the body, and several studies have shown that B12 can help with stress.
A herb that’s grown in colder parts of Asia and Russia, it has a long history in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for its relaxing and stress-busting benefits. Studies found that it helped those with chronic fatigue syndrome feel more rested. It is also touted to improve mood, energy levels, and reduce stress, with studies showing improvements on those who had stress-related fatigue.
Similar to rhodiola, withania may also reduce mood problems, anxiety, and feelings of stress. Native to India, withania has been used as a medicine for hundreds of years, mainly to strengthen the body's resistance to stressors. Withania has also been shown to help reduce the release of substances in the body that cause stress to rise.
A cellular antioxidant, vitamin C can substantially reduce the damage we take by free radicals which can cause us to get sick and develop other diseases. Free radicals come at us in variety of forms such pollution, smoking, alcohol, poor diet, stress etc. and ensuring that our bodies have enough vitamin C is a way to help keep our bodies and immune system functioning properly.
Many of us are lacking in vitamin D due to the amount of time we spend indoors, often because of our work, meaning we’re not getting enough exposure to the sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining our bones, muscle strength, and immune system.
Glycine is neither a vitamin nor a mineral; it is an amino acid that helps build protein. It has been linked to improved sleep quality, reduced feelings of fatigue, increased morning alertness, and the elimination of daytime fatigue. Glycine is also known for its sedative effects, anti-anxiety properties, and ability to lower core body temperature, and may even help stabilize blood sugar, maintain a good mood, regulate PMS, and enhance memory.
Magnesium is a mineral that is involved with hundreds of metabolic reactions in our body, like our energy metabolism. Stress can affect the levels of magnesium in our body meaning that many of us may be deficient. Supplementation of magnesium has the potential to help us regulate our stress responses and improve our mood, including reducing anxiety and depression. Magnesium is also often combined with glycine in supplementation for maximum benefit.
Iron is an essential mineral that helps us carry oxygen in our blood. While it’s fairly easy to get enough iron from diet alone, women and vegetarians/vegans are especially prone to deficiencies in iron which can cause severe fatigue and muscle weakness. If you suspect you might be iron deficient, check with your doctor before taking supplements as iron can be toxic if too much is taken.