Low energy and fatigue could be signs of a nutritional deficinecy—not getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet. Several vitamins and minerals are directly responsible for energy, performance and mental clarity. If you’re feeling foggy or fatigued, taking vitamins for energy can help give you a boost.
About Energy and Performance
Everyone feels sluggish from time to time. However, if you’re noticing more consistently that you’re feeling low-energy, then it could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or an underlying condition.1,2
It’s important to take note of your patterns to help determine a possible cause or contributing factor to your loss of energy. Some of the factors that affect energy include:
- Eating foods high in carbohydrates
- Being dehydrated
- Consuming too much caffeine, sugar or alcohol
- Not getting enough rest or being disrupted during the night
- Not exercising consistently enough
In addition to these factors, many conditions produce fatigue as a primary symptom. Possible conditions to rule out include:3
- Over or underactive thyroid
- Multiple sclerosis
If you’ve ruled out possible underlying conditions and have healthy habits, then you may have a nutritional deficiency preventing you from getting the right amount of vitamins from your diet. Certain vitamins have a direct impact on your metabolism and your red blood cells. A low red blood cell count leads to low blood oxygenation, which can cause fatigue.1
Your metabolism is responsible for converting the food you consume into energy that you burn. If you are deficient in nutrients that support metabolism, then it can cause you to feel as though you are drained and don’t have enough energy to burn.1
Best Vitamins for Energy
Certain key vitamins and minerals can help improve your body’s ability to convert food into energy so you have greater levels of vitality, focus and endurance. The following vitamins for energy can be obtained from food sources or by supplementing if you don’t get the recommended amount from your diet.
Vitamin B1 - Vitamin B1, or thiamine, helps support metabolic function as well as the nervous system. A deficiency of vitamin B1 (called beriberi) can lead to muscle weakness and fatigue, mental confusion and other severe symptoms. Supplementing with vitamin B1 can help prevent a deficiency and improve energy levels.
Vitamin B2 - Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is a nutrient responsible for helping the body produce usable energy. People with diets deficient in vitamin B2 may experience fatigue and require supplementation.
Vitamin B6 - Like all B vitamins, vitamin B6 is essential for proper metabolism. However, it also has a direct impact on cognitive function and mood and can help boost mood and focus when fatigued.
Vitamin B12 - A vitamin B12 deficiency causes noticeable energy slumps and even mood swings. You can get vitamin B12 from meat, seafood, beans and leafy green vegetables.
Iron - Iron deficiencies (anemia) are common in women and are a major cause of having low energy. Iron directly impacts the number of blood cells your body makes, which contributes to your strength and energy levels.