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.
B Complex Vitamins
B1, B6, B9, and B12 are essential vitamins that are responsible for a variety of metabolic reactions in the body. B1, also known as thiamin, helps support the adrenal glands which help regulate stress levels and prevent adrenal gland exhaustion. B6 can help manage stress and anxiety levels with studies showing that being under chronic stress levels can deplete your levels of B6. B9, or folate, also assists in reducing stress levels and is especially important for women. B12 is especially important for managing fatigue levels and is an essential supplement if you’re vegetarian or vegan. A B vitamin complex helps support your body by keeping your energy levels up and make your body more capable of managing stress with several studies suggesting its benefits.
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.
A similar herb to Rhodiola, ashwagandha may help to reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Native to India, ashwagandha has been used for hundreds of years to help increase our body’s resilience to stressors. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce morning cortisol levels, the main stress hormone, by as much as 23%.
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.
While not a vitamin or a mineral, glycine is an amino acid that helps to build protein, stimulates serotonin production, and help regulates nerve impulses from our central nervous system. Its use has been associated with better quality sleep, less fatigue, increase morning alertness and less daytime fatigue. Glycine is also known for its calming and anti-anxiety effects as well as its ability to help lower core body temperature and may even help with regulating blood sugar, boosting our moods, regulate PMS symptoms, and assist in memory recall.
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.