Fatigue is an unfortunate blight that many of us are forced to live with. While the symptoms are not particularly extreme in themselves, they are nevertheless significant enough to be highly distracting and to take some of the joy out of our daily life. Waking up tired and not feeling the energy to get out of bed, feeling tired and wanting to go home when we are out socialising, being distracted when watching films or television or reading, and doing things with generally less enthusiasm and enjoyment. This is the reality of fatigue and for those who have lived with it is a serious and traumatic experience.
There are many different potential causes of fatigue and these can range from psychological causes to a range of illnesses. Among these causes often fatigue can be exacerbated by deficiencies in a range of vitamins and minerals – furthermore, even when fatigue symptoms are not caused by deficiencies, they can still be improved often by increasing your vitamins and minerals. Here we will look at a few ways in which various vitamins and minerals can help to increase your energy.
Iron: Anaemia is a condition in which an individual has a low amount of iron in the blood. As iron is necessary for forming the red blood cells which are used to carry oxygen around the body, this condition then results in a lack of oxygen which is important for energy (particularly aerobic energy). Thus by increasing your intake of the mineral iron, you are able to increase your available oxygen and this kind of energy.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is highly crucial for our body’s ability to get energy from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are our main source of glucose and our main source of energy as a result. However if we are unable to get the energy from those carbs then all the bananas in the world won’t make us feel any more energetic. Thus by supplementing with vitamin B6 all the other carbs we eat have more benefit to our energy levels than they otherwise would. Vitamin B6 is for this reason used in a lot of health supplements – so that those using them feel like they get a ‘kick’ from the product and therefore feel like it’s working.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a vitamin that is highly beneficial for the immune system and for helping it to combat illnesses and colds which can sap the energy. The immune system itself uses up energy and so if it is more easily combating minor threats and moving on you will find yourself with more energy to spare. Vitamins A and E both also help the immune system in similar ways.
Zinc: Zinc has many different benefits that help combat fatigue. It increases muscle strength for instance which can help with the feelings of weakness that come with fatigue. At the same time it has a crucial role in many enzymes that help to break up food among other things and is necessary for many chemical reactions. Along with magnesium it can furthermore help to improve the production of testosterone which is the male hormone and which helps with drive, energy, determination, sex drive and more.
Magnesium: Magnesium is necessary for the body to create ATP (adenosine triphosphate) out of glucose. This is the ‘energy currency’ of life, and without this we would not have any energy at all with which to go about our daily business.
Calcium: Calcium not only strengthens bones but also ligaments and tendons and this way it can help to give you more powerful muscle contractions. Again this can help to combat feelings of weakness and lethargy that are associated with fatigue. As an additional bonus, calcium can also help to combat stress and anxiety – both of which are also correlated with fatigue.
As you can see then, vitamins and minerals can help to boost your energy in a whole range of ways, and fatigue may even be caused by a deficiency of some of these minerals and vitamins in the first place. As there are so many other benefits to taking vitamins and minerals, or making sure to get them in your diet, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be making sure you get enough – and especially if you’re experiencing fatigue.