Being a teacher is a noble profession, but it is one that comes with potential for stress (and anxiety), long days and some nights and weekends on your feet, and, for elementary school teachers especially, a lot of time on the move with hustle and bustle. The job often requires teachers to stand for hours at a time, which can be brutal on the back and feet. Teachers must be able to handle pressure (of students, administrators, and parents), maintain a sharp mind, and have the energy and endurance to survive the long haul.
Why Many Teachers Abandon the ClassroomNot surprisingly, more than one-third of all teachers leave the profession within their first five years of managing a classroom, according to EducationWorld.com, per jobmonkey.com. Some teachers leave because of job opportunities in other fields, such as those that match their expertise, be it, say, science or math. Another incentive to leave is the high, almost-unfair demands of the job, such as growing mounds of paperwork related to the recent prioritization of standardized testing in schools. There's also the matters of dealing with school bureaucracies and politics.
Vitamins and Supplements for TeachersFor those teachers who want to keep toughing it out by sticking with a profession that offers a certain degree of unique career satisfaction, there are vitamins and nutritional supplements available that can help them tolerate the various rigors specific to teaching. Here are a few to consider that collectively address issues such as stress, anxiety, energy, endurance, and mental acuity. We encourage you to discuss with your physician usage of any of these vitamins or supplements:
- Valerian root. This perennial plant, native to Europe and used for various treatments since the second century, per takecareof.com, has been shown to reduce stress while also helping to lessen the effects of nervousness and anxiety. Wonder Labs brands its version as Valerin.
- Magnesium. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include anxiety, migraines, insomnia, muscle tension, and high blood pressure, per mindbodygreen.com. Many of us are deficient of this key mineral, a factor that has been linked to soil depletion in our environment.
- Ginseng. At the same time this herb is potentially regulating blood sugar levels and stimulating your immune system, it has shown itself able to protect the body against the effects of stress. That's a big reason why it has for centuries been seen as something that can prolong and enhance the quality of life, per readersdigest.ca.
- L-Theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves and some mushrooms, and which research has shown able to induce relaxation without drowsiness, per healthline.com.
- Caffeine. OK, let's get the obvious one out of the way first, while keeping in mind that caffeine doesn't sit well with everyone. Plus, once its effects wear off, it can leave you feeling drowsier than you were before you started sipping it. But there's no question that caffeine can boost your energy and alertness levels.
- Creatine. Per readersdigest.ca, creatine added via your diet gets absorbed by the body – which already produces the protein naturally – and is added to your muscles and nerves, possibly boosting neuromuscular performance.
- Acetyl L-Carnitine. Per bodybuilding.com, this amino acid plays an important role in regulating cellular energy production. This can aid in keeping energy levels higher and in bolstering overall brain function. One study has shown that volunteers supplementing with acetyl l-carnitine showed improved performance in memory-related tasks because of the brain's enhanced mitochondrial function.
- Guarana. This herb native to Brazil has for centuries been used by Amazonian Indians for its ability to increase energy and delay fatigue.
- Ginkgo Biloba. It can help enhance your memory, and its antioxidant properties can help thwart unhealthy free radicals.
- Vitamin B-12. A deficiency of B-12 affects 10-15 percent of adults over the age of 60, per livestrong.com, disturbing the nerves' myelin sheath, often resulting in issues when it comes to concentration, and memory, among other symptoms.
- Vitamin B-6. This is a vitamin that is instrumental in the production of various neurotransmitters, among them dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine – which contribute to making B-6 a good vitamin for concentration, per livestrong.com.
- Vitamin C. Known best for its purported ability to fight off colds, vitamin C has other potential benefits. One of those is contributing to the manufacture of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is active in the portion of your brain where attention (focus) and responding actions are controlled.