There are a lot of supplements out there for low energy. Here are a few to look at, to help you sort through the misconceptions and find one that works for you.
COQ10 is found in cellular mitochondria and is partially responsible for cellular energy. For people with certain medical problems, including heart disease, type II diabetes, migraine headaches, and a handful of other issues, taking a COQ10 supplement may help restore energy that they lost with their chronic illnesses. In the case of migraines, it may reduce the incidence of headaches. Not everyone benefits from COQ10, but those who are helped by it consider it a great supplement for boosting energy.
Creatine is found in the human body, in muscle tissue. This widely used supplement is valued by gym rats and beyond for its usefulness in weight training. It is most useful in athletic people and isn’t as effective in providing energy to the elderly or to people who aren’t actively working out regularly.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is promoted as an effective way to boost energy and a possible anti-cancer supplement. Proponents of DHEA say it can help provide energy in people suffering from heart disease, as well as infectious diseases that cause fatigue.
DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone, and there are no studies that can conclusively back the laundry list of benefits it is said to provide. The side effects of taking supplemental DHEA can cause imbalances of the sexual hormones in men and women and can lower the levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol in the serum. It may be toxic to the liver or cause strain on the liver. More evidence should be found that it is safe before most people should try to experiment with this supplement.
Ephedra was a hugely popular supplement in the ’90s, and was widely used for weight loss, energy boost at the gym, and just for the general malaise. It was banned from workout supplements in 2004, because of concerns about its long-term effects and the effect of ephedra when taken in large doses. It works by boosting the CNS with ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which also stimulates the fight vs. flight response in people. This can cause increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Although it can be obtained online, it is not considered a safe product for increased energy.
Ginkgo has experienced different eras of popularity based on its potential effects on cognition and use for increased energy. There is little or no solid documentation to show that it has any real effects that can be proven. Some minor studies have shown that it may possibly improve certain aspects of mood, possibly benefiting calmness and the ability to stay alert in otherwise healthy subjects.
Ginseng has been used to increase energy by eastern practitioners for centuries. It is well documented that it can cause improvements in mood, athletic performance, and energy levels. It is said to be an “adaptogen”, which means it could possibly increase energy without causing a crash in blood sugar, or subsequent lapse in energy later. More data needs to be accumulated to show how true these claims are, and there is strong evidence to conclude that it doesn’t improve aerobic performance or how the body uses oxygen to boost energy.
Sorting Through The Data
As you can see, a lot of popular supplements for increased energy lack a lot of data to show that they actually work for most people: especially people who have a lack of energy due to chronic disease.
Never start any supplement unless you consult your health care practitioner, especially if you suffer from chronic illness, or if you are pregnant or nursing. It’s always a good idea to get your doctor’s advice on matters like supplements for energy.