Natural Energy Boosters: 8 Most Potent Supplements for Energy

When people talk about food energy, some people assume that it just means the adrenalin boost that you get from energy drinks or your fave sugar fix. But that kind of energy won’t do you any good beyond a quick fix: it may get you through the next 30 minutes, but you’ll crash and burn like a paper plane in a monsoon and feel even more fatigued than before. But you already knew that.

So what’s a busy person to do?

Well, as you already know – getting healthy food energy from actual foods is the real deal: the better quality food you eat, the better quality energy you get. And there are certain foods that are better prepared to give you longer, steadier bursts of energy than even a triple shot of espresso can.

If you’re currently feeling sluggish and want to boost your energy without resorting to energy drinks or caffeine, here are the most potent natural energy boosters that’ll get the pep back in your step!

Top 8 Supplements for Energy that Lasts

Cacao

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: raw cacao is good for so much more than making delicious chocolate. Cacao is an amazing brain booster and keeps your circulatory system healthy and thriving. It’s also a great source of energy!

Cacao contains a great deal of magnesium (the most per ounce out of any food) and iron. Both are good for bones, brain and muscle alike! Iron especially is important for maintaining energy levels, as it’s the required to metabolize energy and carry oxygen about your blood. It’s also loaded with thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin B6, all of which are essential nutrients required to convert carbohydrates into energy producing fuel.

Including a healthy does of B vitamins (by drinking a cup of dark cacao, for example) will ensure that the food you’re eating is properly absorbed and give you steady energy throughout the day.

Chia Seed

Chia seeds are jam-packed with nutrients that keep your body and brain alert. If you haven’t come across them before, chia seeds are little black seeds—even smaller that sesame seeds—that come from the Salvia hispanica, a plant related to mint and native to South America.

Long renowned for giving long-lasting energy, they were a crucial part of the Mayan and Aztec diet and they were much more than just a staple food – the Aztecs believed chia seeds gave them supernatural energy and stamina. So much so that chia was their go-to “running food” – couriers would rely only on chia for nourishment while relaying messages throughout their sizable kingdom.

A huge part of chia’s energy-enhancing prowess is owed to its nutritional density – these tiny seeds are filled with protein, omega-3 fatty acids and a whole lot of fiber. The fiber in chia seeds are mostly insoluble, making them great for absorbing water and slowing the digestive process. Result? You’ll feel fuller for longer without eating needing to snack. Yea, chia seeds come with energy-enhancing and weight loss benefits.

Bee pollen

Bees are synonymous with hard work and energy, so it’s no surprise that bee pollen is packed with fuel to keep you going. Bee pollen is a superfood so densely packed with nutrition it provides hours of continuous energy.

Made from pollen gathered by bees that has been condensed with the equivalent of bee saliva, it’s typically used to feed juvenile bees. No wonder it’s so healthy if it’s made to help baby bees grow up big and strong. Here is a quick nutritional rundown of bee pollen:

  • 8 essential amino acids (the ones that we need to get from food because we can’t make them ourselves) – 18 amino acids total
  • High levels of vitamin B-complex—that’s all 8 forms of vitamin B, necessary for converting carbohydrates into usable energy
  • 28 minerals, 11 enzymes or co-enzymes, 14 beneficial fatty acids, 11 carbohydrates

With the dense range of nutrients found in every ounce of bee pollen, it’s no wonder that it’s considered a natural energy enhancer.

One note of warning: those allergic to bee stings should be wary of taking bee pollen. Severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis have been recorded.

Coconut…Everything

Coconut is delicious in all its forms. The flesh is wonderfully succulent and high in protein and fiber. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, magnesium and potassium. Knowing this, it may surprise you to know that it’s coconut oil that’s the real star of the show.

Though the idea of straight-up drinking oil may remind you of the Bulletproof Coffee craze of 2013-2014, I can assure you this is based in actual science and isn’t as questionable as drinking coffee with butter for breakfast.

The fact is, taking coconut oil with your meals can help you better absorb vitamins and minerals. First of all, it’s rich with magnesium and B vitamins—two important nutrients in producing energy. They’re also incredibly rich in a particular form of fat called medium-chain triglycerides, or medium-chain fatty acids (MTCs.) MTCs are a unique source of energy in that they are immediately used by the body instead of being stored away as body fat.

You can eat it on toast, melt it and poor it on air-popped popcorn, or use in your baking to make coconut oil a new staple in your diet.

Cordyceps Sinensis

Cordyceps are a genus of about 400 fungi, a handful of which have been used medicinally in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicines. They have a bit of a bad rap in the natural world. Sometimes referred as the Caterpillar Fungus, cordyceps creep up and feed off of other plants as well as insects and arthropods (most notably caterpillars.) Bad rap aside, these little mushrooms amazing!

They’re rich in adenosine, a nucleic acid that’s at the center of adenosine triosphate (ATP.) ATP is a coenzyme responsible for transporting chemical energy within cells. That means every time you bend down to sniff a flower and then jump back 30 feet when you notice a particularly… interesting…looking insect on it’s petals, you’re using a great deal of ATP.

Cordyceps are brilliant in helping you generate more of that chemical. They also contain a gentle stimulant that attaches to the same receptors as caffeine, giving you a jolt without the nasty crash afterwards. So when you take cordyceps you’ll always have the steam to steel yourself against surprises (like huge bugs you weren’t expecting to have millimeters from your face) and whatever life throws your way.

Ginseng

Ginseng, the perennial plant whose root is harvested for medicinal purposes, is well known for it’s energizing qualities. The active stimulating properties are called ginsenosides.

Ginsenosides, also called panaxosides, are a natural form of steroid glycosides and triterpenes saponins. Though the mechanisms for action aren’t completely understood, the belief is that they aid in regulating the body’s natural hormone productions.

As certain hormones send signals that you’re tired or sad, ginseng can help lower those levels and keep them on the manageable side. By influencing our hormone production and release, ginsenosides can influence blood pressure, insulin production and metabolism, helping you feel energized during times of stress or fatigue.

Maca

Lepidium meyenii, or just plain old maca, is a plant of the mustard flower family native to the Andes. Typically it’s the root (which resembles the love child of a radish and parsnip) that is harvested and used for medicinal purposes. Maca is nutritionally dense, with fantastic amounts of vitamins, enzymes and essential amino acids, most notably B vitamins, particularly B12.

In addition to this, maca works as an adaptogen, meaning it can alter to respond to the body’s different needs as needed. Too much of one hormone? Maca can lower it. Too much of another? It’ll get to work ramping up production. Thanks, Maca!

Spirulina and Chlorella

The one-two hit of spirulina and chlorella supplements are well known for being nature’s energy drink. Spirulina is a microscopic freshwater blue-green algae that is the most protein dense food on the planet; chlorella is a single-cell green algae. Both are amazingly packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Chlorella provides your body with the integral material needed to produce healthy cells, nucleic acid. As you age, your body’s ability to make healthy copies of cells slows down. Thanks to the extraordinary rate of growth, called the Chlorella Growth Factor, or CGF, it can almost endlessly help you produce new, healthy cells with its great amount of nucleic acid.

The little green stuff also helps you ditch toxins. Its cell walls absorb bacteria and boost muscular contractions to help get your bowels going, preventing you from retaining any toxins that the chlorella has absorbed. New research shows that it could also be effective in regulating blood-glucose levels and fighting depression, two common reasons for low energy.

Spirulina provides the highest concentration of protein in the world. It contains all essential amino acids, meaning that it can provide you with all the building blocks to muscle that we can’t manufacture ourselves. It’s also got an amazing amount of iron and magnesium, two sure-fire ways to help combat anaemia, which leaves you feeling lethargic and ill. When you take these two forms of algae together, you can’t help but give your body all the good stuff it needs to keep going.

Wheatgrass

If you’re already in the know about all the various benefits of wheatgrass, this might all be old news. But for those of you who aren’t – the first thing you should know is that once ounce of wheatgrass contains all the minerals known to man (obviously including the 13 essential ones), plus Vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K, as well as 17 amino acids (you know, the building blocks of protein) which are mostly poly peptides that the body is able to use more efficiently in the blood stream and tissues.

It also packs eight grams of protein, 240% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) for Vitamin A, 93% of your RDI for Vitamin C, and 356% of your RDI for iron. Wheatgrass is also one of the best sources of chlorophyll, being over 70% made of the stuff. Chlorophyll is very similar to hemoglobin at a cellular level, and is actually shown to help carry more oxygen to the bloodstream

These last few elements are of particular note, because the amount of people (especially women) who suffer from anaemia is staggering. Taking a couple shots of wheatgrass daily is just the ticket to nip it in the bud without taking iron supplements, which can cause constipation and intestinal distress.

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food - and her waistline shortly afterward. When she's not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn't suck.

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