School can be mentally and physically demanding for both students and teachers. Here, we look at some dietary supplements that are of potential help in boosting the mental and physical health of students and teachers so that they can meet the demands of school.
Reasons to Supplement During School
School is an environment where teachers and students must maintain mental effort and focus all day, and sufficient physical energy in order to do so. Dietary supplements can be of use in bolstering cognitive health or physical health & energy levels, or both. They are not intended to make up for a diet that is calorie-deficient or consisting of unhealthy foods. Used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and diet, one or more of these supplements can provide physiological benefits for teachers and students.
Some of these supplements are also useful in preventing mild illness (namely, a cold) that can occur from being in close contact with others. It is common for students to contract a cold from being in proximity with others while at school.
Supplements Useful for Students & Teachers
The following supplements are recommended to either support cognition and focus, support all-day physical energy levels, or both. Talk to your doctor or pediatrician before taking one of these supplements or dispensing them to your children.
Iron is essential for the body to produce hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout the body via the bloodstream. Those who are deficient in iron can become iron anemic, resulting in reduced energy levels and fatigue. Meat and seafood are prime sources of iron; vegans are more likely to experience anemia. Supplementing with iron can prevent iron anemia and ensure that you have enough to support your body’s oxygen use.
Ashwagandha is touted for its ability to help bolster energy levels by helping you manage anxiety and stress. This is useful because the demands of the school environment can be stressful on teachers. Studies have shown that adults taking ashwagandha were better able to manage stress and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Melatonin can be helpful for both children and adults who have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Melatonin is safe and useful as a short-term sleep remedy for children. If your child has trouble sleeping while adjusting to a school schedule, consider melatonin.
Supplements to Prevent Sickness
Andrographis is an herb that is available as an oral supplement. Taking andrographis has been shown to help reduce incidence of winter colds among students. Its combination of anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immune-boosting properties enhance its effectiveness.
Elderberry is known to be useful in treating and preventing colds. At least one study has shown that in a group of people near each other, those regularly taking elderberry were less likely to experience colds. Elderberry can also be useful in treating the symptoms of strep throat, ear infections and sinusitis.
Zinc can both help prevent and treat the common cold in children. Studies have shown that children taking zinc regularly were less likely to come down with a cold. Studies have also demonstrated its use in diminishing the length of a cold in children if taken during onset of a cold.
School life should be approached with a conscious intention to be healthy and ready for its demands. The right supplement can boost a teacher’s or a student’s capacity to remain alert during school and avoid the cold which is common among students, particularly during certain parts of the year.