What's the first thing you do every morning? If you answered "stumble to the kitchen and pour myself a cup of ambition," as in the Dolly Parton hit "Nine-to-Five," you're not alone! Fully 64% of Americans drink coffee daily.
There's nothing inherently wrong with a cup of java -- in fact, coffee can reduce your risk of certain diseases and help you live a longer life. But if you drink more than 400 milligrams -- the equivalent of about four cups -- per day, it's time to cut back. Instead, check out these energy vitamins that can give you a great dose of get up and go!
We get it -- stopping at your local coffee shop for a venti cappuccino with an extra shot and soy milk whip is a delicious way to put some pep in your step. And it can be incredibly difficult to understand which supplements for energy are right for you.
That's why we've compiled this list of the best energy supplements around.
There are eight vitamins in the B family, including niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and biotin. They all have their individual roles to play, from keeping skin and hair healthy to preventing memory loss and combating migraines.
Together, they help convert the food we eat into fuel -- in other words, they literally provide the energy we need to power through our day.
This is especially true of Vitamin B-12, which help form the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout our body. B-12 is found in animal products like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy; it's also added to a number of processed foods like cereal and bread.
Therefore, vegans who eat a clean diet may be low in this essential nutrient.
A B-complex supplement is one of the best vitamins for energy around.
Another essential mineral, iron is also responsible for the circulation of oxygen throughout your body. Those who don't get enough iron in their diet can be diagnosed with anemia, which in turn lowers your immunity and impairs your cognitive processes.
To ensure that you have adequate energy, boost your intake of red meat and seafood. Dietary iron can also be found in legumes like lentils and beans, in nuts, and in dark leafy greens. Pregnant women should have their iron levels checked, since it's an important factor in the healthy development of the fetus.
While taking any supplement without consulting with your doctor first is ill-advised, this is especially true of iron supplements. Severe side effects can occur if you take iron in excess. Ask your physician if an iron supplement for energy is a good idea.
Magnesium has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. This mineral plays over 600 roles in the human body, including the conversion of food to energy. Yet many people are lacking in magnesium.
Magnesium has been touted as boosting exercise performance, providing anti-inflammatory benefits, lowering blood pressure, and helping prevent diabetes. Spinach, swiss chard, black beans, and dark chocolate are all great sources of magnesium. If you don't eat a lot of those foods, consider taking a supplement for energy.
Our next energy boosting supplement is Coenzyme Q10, often shortened to CoQ10. This one is an antioxidant. It can be found in meats, particularly organ meats and offal, as well as in fish and peanuts.
Cells rely on this enzyme to produce energy. There is also research that it can provide benefits for patients with cardiovascular diseases.
One notable aspect of the role that CoQ10 plays in the production of energy? Our bodies' ability to produce this antioxidant diminishes as we grow older. So although younger people may produce plenty of this essential nutrient, older folks might want to consider supplementing.
Also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, Vitamin D can prevent osteoporosis and promote bone health, help maintain energy levels, fight off clinical depression, and even guard against some types of cancer.
Unfortunately, most humans don't get enough Vitamin D simply from sitting outside in the sunshine. This is especially true for older individuals, since the body needs higher amounts of D as it ages.
These are some of the major players when it comes to producing and converting energy within the body -- and giving you the extra mental and physical charge you need. Yet these essential minerals and nutrients aren't the only ones that can help you become and stay energized.
In fact, there's a whole host of adaptogens, micronutrients, and other plant-based nutrients that power the body. Ginseng root, Cordyceps, Rhodiola extracts, broccoli seed and green tea extracts, and Vitamins A, C, and E have all shown benefits.
To take some of the guesswork out of ingredients and dosages, why not try a specially formulated energy supplement? These can target the various processes within the body, assisting each to work cooperatively with the others to provide the maximum benefit.
As someone who cares for their body -- and who is careful about what they put in it -- you undoubtedly understand that popping a pill can't cure all of your ills. It's vital to eat a wide array of healthful foods, to drink plenty of water, to get a good night's sleep, to exercise regularly, and to limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and illicit drugs.
The hectic pace of modern life can take a toll on even the healthiest individuals. And even those who are persnickity about their nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits may need a little extra help. That's where supplements for energy come in.
Have you found an all-natural source of energy that you'd recommend to others? Which of these energy vitamins and nutrients have a place in your medicine cabinet?
Feel free to start a discussion in the comments and let us know!