Even with Christmas almost here, New Year's Eve is still another week or so away, meaning it's time for holiday revelers (and carolers?) to get a second wind as the parties and celebrations continue, with football-watching parties about to hit high gear. After weeks of shopping, wrapping, driving, packing and whatever else, chances are your tank is about to hit empty. Perhaps it's time for another jolt of energy, more wind for the sails, right? Riiiiiight. We all can use a pick-me-up from time to time, and with the holiday hustle and bustle still on top of us, this is one of those times. Compounding the problem is the time of the year when days are at their shortest and darkness hits full-bore even before any of us have had time to sit down for dinner, let alone set the table. Feeling tired, drained, worn out, bushed – whatever you want to call it? Join the club. Energy is at low tide, with one small consolation: it's likely we have plenty of company.
Energy Is a Cellular FunctionA consistently low energy level, per globalhealingcenter.com, is often a sign of a cellular imbalance, with our energy level being a cellular function largely contingent on what vitamins, minerals, and supplements we consume on a daily basis. During those moments – or hours or days – when we are feeling a downturn in energy, it's tempting to think that the quickest and best fix is a cup of coffee and the jolt of a sugar rush courtesy of that second hit of pecan pie and a bonus helping of molten lava chocolate cake smothered in ice cream. Problem is, just like it is with most energy drinks, the combination of caffeine and sugar is pretty much a sure thing to make you crash. Now we enter a gray area – that space between fatigue and tiredness, which are not really one and the same. Fatigue, per greatist.com, is a generalized lack of energy accompanied by lack of motivation. These often can be signs of serious health issues such as depression, anemia, or thyroid problems; in other words, a chronic condition. If a visit to the doctor or a health care facility rules out such health problems, but you still have that fatigue, help could be achieved through supplementation, as well as making sure you get right back on track in terms of diet and sleep and, yes, exercise.
Energy-Boosting Vitamins and SupplementsGood news for the holidays! Various vitamins and supplements can help boost your energy levels. Maybe that big New Year's Eve party won't be a big drag after all. Following is a list of several worth checking out, although this is a subject worth discussing with your physician or other health care professional before you dive into a new, untested regimen:
- Vitamin B-12. Helps with our internal energy factories, as webmd.com puts it.
- Bee pollen. Considered one of nature's most nourishing foods; boosts health in a multitude of ways, to presumably include energy levels.
- Coenzyme Q10. An antioxidant that our cells use to manufacture energy.
- Creatine. Powerlifters like creatine for its capacity to boost muscle size, but it's also been shown to be useful in reducing fatigue and promoting efficient use of energy, per greatist.com.
- Ginseng. Can help improve mood and energy.
- Glucose. The body's primary energy source. Great for bouncing back from a strenuous workout, too.
- Iodine. The thyroid uses iodine to form two hormones that influence metabolism and are involved in the release of biochemicals related to energy production, per globalhealingcenter.com.
- Iron. It not only helps with energy levels, it can help regulate blood pressure, provide oxygen to the bloodstream and assist in the proper functionality of our muscles.
- L-ornithine. Known to help alleviate the fatigue brought on by high levels of ammonia in the blood test.
- Magnesium. A provider of many benefits, to also include heart health and muscle and nerve function, per globalhealingcenter.com. A study of menopausal women found a direct correlation between low energy levels and low levels of magnesium.
- Melatonin. Wait a minute, isn't melatonin supposed to help us sleep? Exactly, but never forget that an extra dose of restful sleep can mean an extra dose of energy in the waking hours ahead. Sleep tight.
- Theanine. See melatonin. It, too, can improve sleep and, therefore, daytime energy.