Some would say fatigue is tiredness. Some would classify as lack of energy. But there are also situations when fatigue is a symptom of serious conditions like thyroid problems, anemia, and depression.
However, if you rule out serious health and medical issues, you will be left with the reasoning that you might be low on some minerals and vitamins. With that in mind vitamin B deficiency is one of the most common causes of fatigue.
Is that the only vitamin you need? Or there are other vitamins for energy you can take to boost your mood and energy levels?
How much vitamin B you need?
Teenagers and adults need up to 2.4mcg per day. Children, on the other hand, can survive with about 1.8mcg per day. Pregnant women need a bit more, up to 2.6mcg per day, and breastfeeding women need up to 2.8mcg per day.
And while most Americans get enough vitamin B, some are at higher risk because of health conditions.
For example, celiac disease, HIV, and Crohn’s disease carry risk of low vitamin B levels. Those with autoimmune dysfunction, history of bowel disease, vegans, and people drinking alcohol regularly are also at risk.
While fatigue is the common symptom of vitamin B deficiency, there are other signs as well.
- Muscle spasticity
- Muscle stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Mood disturbance
With that in mind, let’s talk about which vitamins for energy you need.
Not just vitamin B.
As mentioned previously, B vitamins are the most common vitamins for energy you can get. There is a plethora of B vitamins that affect your energy levels. Those are B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B7 (biotin), B12, as well as pantothenic acid and folic acid.
All of these vitamins for energy are also crucial for good health. They play an important role in many health functions. What you probably do not know is that popular energy drinks are loaded with B vitamins. Some of them contain more than 8,000% of your daily recommended value of vitamin B.
The most important role of vitamin B is to help the body turn food into energy. That means that without vitamin B, your body will not produce enough fuel for energy.
Vitamin B is commonly found in animal products, but in many other foods as well.
Here are some foods that can help you get vitamin B12, and other B vitamins: avocado, sweet potato, lentils, turkey, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, tuna, chicken, salmon, lamb, beef, sardines, peanuts, shrimp, spinach, tempeh, soybeans, almonds, sunflower seeds, navy beans, black beans, banana, potato, and asparagus.
Another one on the list of vitamins for energy is Coenzyme Q10. It is a compound that occurs naturally within our cells. The main benefit of this compound is its role in creating molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which helps direct energy where it is needed within the cells and the human body.
There are a number of health benefits of taking Coenzyme Q10, but the most important ones include energy boost, stabilizing blood sugar, improving the immune system, and preventing headaches.
It is worth noting that we produce naturally Q10 up to 60% of the recommended need. But 25% of the Coenzyme Q10 in our blood comes from dietary sources, and that is the difference in being fatigued, or having tons of energy.
Lack of omega-3 fatty acids can result in severe fatigue, depression, memory loss, trouble remembering things, mood swings, and much more.
The good news is that omega-3 fatty acids are very easy to source from fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in brain health.
And while we can easily source it, the bad news is that our body does not produce omega-3 naturally. That means if you do not consume vitamins for energy like omega-3, your body will lack fuel for important functions.
Health organizations recommend a minimum of 250-500mg of omega-3 per day for healthy adults. Eating fish twice a week is more than enough to satisfy those needs.
Other ways to boost energy
There are other ways to improve your energy levels, and they do not include taking vitamins for energy. Here are some of them.
- Drinking fresh vegetable juice on a regular basis will provide your body will all the micronutrients it needs
- Improving sleep quality will take care of fatigue, and prevent you feeling exhausted
- Reducing carb consumption is another way. Carbs make you feel sluggish, especially simple carbs like sugary drinks, cookies, and processed foods
- Stay hydrated with water and electrolytes. While foods is crucial for fuel, without water, you will feel dehydrated
- Last, but not least, daily exercise will keep your energy levels high, despite you feeling exhausted just minutes after the workout
Is anything else causing your fatigue?
Vitamin B deficiency is not the only cause of fatigue. As mentioned previously time and time again, there are a number of reasons why you might be low on energy.
With that in mind, here are some common causes of fatigue.
First and foremost, lack of sleep and sleep apnea might be linked to your fatigue. Not getting at least 6 hours of sleep can seriously influence your energy levels. Sleep apnea is another condition that harms your sleep. It is basically a condition in which a person stops breathing for a short period during sleep.
Anemia is another medical condition that can cause fatigue. Iron deficiency is a very common condition, and many people have trouble staying in the normal and recommended iron levels. That applies specifically for women, and people following a vegetarian diet.
Speaking of the diet, what you eat can affect how much you energy you have. You need fuel for your body, and certain foods are just not providing that. Your goal should be to stick to a balanced diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein. You should limit foods high in sugar and fat, as they provide little to no energy fuel for your body.
Many people forget depression as a cause of fatigue. Depression causes sadness and anxiety, but it can also manifest as physical symptoms including aches, pains, and yes, fatigue.
An underrated cause of fatigue is caffeine overload. While caffeine helps boost your energy, too much of it can do more harm than good. When taken in moderation, caffeine is great for improving alertness and energy. But too much of it, and you are in trouble.
Common severe health conditions that can cause fatigue include urinary tract infections, diabetes, and hypothyroidism. In all of these situations you need to pay attention to other condition-related symptoms.
Last, but not least, dehydration is another issue that can result in fatigue. Lack of water will make you feel fatigue, and by the time you feel thirsty, you might have already been dehydrated.