The following vitamins for energy represent the top ten vitamins you’ll want to pay close attention to so that you’re always feeling your best. Run low on any of them for a length of time and you’ll start to feel the negative effects. That’s why it’s best to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet, and supplement if necessary to ensure you get what you need.
1. Vitamin B12
A Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to strong feelings of lethargy and fatigue, so if you’ve been exhibiting these signs you should consider having your levels checked, or begin eating more foods that are rich in this vitamin and see if you notice an improvement.
It works by turning carbs into energy, so if you’re not getting enough and those carbohydrates down get converted, you’ll end up feeling sluggish instead of recharged.
Vitamin B12 also provides a boost to your digestive system, and a sluggish digestive system can lead to low energy levels.
Where to find it: Vitamin B12 can be found in chicken, eggs, fish, and milk. In some extreme cases of Vitamin B12 deficiency injections may be required, but you should definitely check with your doctor to see where you stand in terms of how much you have, and how much you need. There are also supplements that contain Vitamin B12 but food sources are preferred as your body will naturally absorb them better.
2. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is not only an important vitamin for energy, but also for greater mental clarity and a stronger nervous system.
Those on a high-protein diet like Atkins or Paleo will want to make sure they’re getting enough Vitamin B6, as it provides much assistance to the digestive system in breaking down and processing the nutrients found in meats.
Not only will adequate supplies of Vitamin B6 have you feeling more energized, you’ll actually be helping your brain do its job better by helping to produce more neurotransmitters.
Where to find it: Fish and organ meats are the best source of Vitamin B6, although you can also find it as a supplement, and many multivitamins will contain it. You can also opt for a B Vitamin Complex, but always choose whole food supplements instead of synthetic vitamins if you go this route.
3. Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
If you have feelings of faintness along with your tiredness it could be that you’re not getting enough folic acid. You may also notice that you suddenly seem out of breath with no reason to explain it. That may be an early sign that you don’t have enough of this important vitamin.
Getting enough folic acid is generally associated with pregnancy and preventing birth defects, but it also plays a role in how energetic you feel, even for those that aren’t pregnant.
The problem of low folic acid is easy to correct through a proper diet because there are many delicious food choices that will help you out in this area. Make sure you are including these foods in your regular menu and monitor how your energy levels increase.
Where to find it: Beans, spinach, avocado are three popular food choices that will up your intake of folic acid.
4. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
This is one vitamin you don’t want to run low on for long. It takes sugar and converts it into energy, which will not only help prevent spikes in your blood sugar, but will help you pull the energy from the foods you’re eating, rather than having that sugar turn to fat.
The energy produced by proper levels of thiamine helps support all of your major organs, which in turn helps the entire body and brain, and makes you feel great.
This vitamin is also important for your cardiovascular system, so it’s part of a heart healthy diet, and plays a role in proper brain health, so it really isn’t a vitamin you’d want to overlook.
Where to find it: Fish, seeds, nuts, asparagus, and beans are some of the most commonly eaten sources of thiamine.
5. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin is a vitamin that plays a part in several different functions of the body, and if you’re looking to increase your energy levels, this is one you can’t leave out.
Supplying energy is one of the main things it does, and it does so on a cellular level. Unlike “energy” drinks that provide false feelings of energy through stimulants, niacin works to provide real energy through its antioxidant effect.
Niacin can help the body detox, which is another way to increase energy, and on a side note it’s also helpful in lowering cholesterol levels, and helping to balance blood sugar as well.
Where to find it: You’ll find niacin in fish, liver, chicken, and avocado, which is handy because each of these foods contains other vitamins and minerals that help make you feel good and round out your nutritional profile for the day.
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an important part of your eye health, which is why carrots are often associated with protecting the eyes. But it also is important in maintaining your energy levels and boosting your immune system.
Your nervous system will also take a hit if you run low of Vitamin A for too long. That’s why it’s good to eat an array of fruits and vegetables to make sure you’re getting all of the essential nutrients you need for your vital systems to work.
Vitamin A can help you looking young, and a young appearance staring back at you in the mirror is one source of positive feelings and will put a spring in your step. It’s a powerful antioxidant that can help battle free radical damage that leads to premature aging of the skin.
Where to find it: Sweet potatoes, liver, carrots, cantaloupe, and mango are some of the places you’ll find Vitamin A. Notice the orange color many of these foods have in common, it’s the signal that they contain beta-Carotene, which provides Vitamin A once consumed.
7. Vitamin C
We all know Vitamin C helps protect the immune system which in turn keeps us from getting sick, but it’s also a source of energy that plays into our overall feeling of get-up-and-go.
Vitamin C helps the cardiovascular system, which provides both short term and long term benefits in the form of a healthier life and a longer life. It helps keep cholesterol levels where they need to be, and can help get the blood flowing better. Because it’s an antioxidant it’s also been noted as an anti-cancer vitamin.
Luckily there are plenty of delicious foods that contain Vitamin C so it’s not too hard to stay topped up on this vitamin.
Where to find it: Oranges, bell peppers, kale, broccoli, papaya, strawberries. You may be surprised to find that there are several sources of Vitamin C that trump oranges in an ounce for ounce Vitamin C showdown.
8. Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been dubbed the Sunshine Vitamin because we are able to create our own supply just by getting out into the sun. Going without sun exposure or supplementation with Vitamin D3 supplements for extended periods of time can lead to depression and general feelings of malaise.
There’s some science behind why you feel better after being out in the sun for even a short period of time. You don’t need to get a sunburn in order to get Vitamin D, and each of us is different when it comes to how much sun exposure is necessary.
You’ll need to expose bare skin without sunblock to the sun so the body can trigger the production of Vitamin D. Again, it doesn’t take long periods of sunbathing for this to occur, and the body is able to store the Vitamin D it creates.
Where to find it: Cod liver oil, tuna, and salmon are a few choices for Vitamin D, but your best best is to expose your skin to direct sunlight so you can produce your own supply of this “feel good” vitamin.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body, which is the primary reason it helps with energy levels. When you don’t get enough antioxidants to combat the free radicals in the body, they’ll take their toll and leave you feeling depleted.
It’s basically a fancy way of saying why healthy foods make us feel good, and processed foods devoid of vitamins and nutrients generally make us feel lousy.
It’s words that science has come up with to help us explain what we already intrinsically know, that healthy foods have substances in them that help our bodies stay healthy and vibrant.
Where to find it: Sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter, and spinach are a selection of healthy choices that will increase your supply of Vitamin E.
10. Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is the last vitamin on our list, and one that you’ll want to pay close attention to if osteoporosis runs in your family. It’s a vitamin that can add to your overall feelings of vitality, and when combined with the other vitamins on this list, makes for a complete nutritional coverage for energy.
You can find this vitamin in leafy greens, as well as green tea, which is one more reason to add green tea to your daily routine.
Vitamin K2 may be most important to your bone health, helping to prevent the onset of osteoporosis and strengthening bones so they stay strong and healthy for life.
Where to find it: Kale, spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are a good start, and they just so happen to all be from the same cruciferous family of vegetables.
You may also like our list of energy boosting foods.
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