Energy is a cellular function of the diet, vitamins, and minerals that your body consumes each day. An imbalance in your cellular function can occur when energy levels are low. Natural energy supplements help to restore this imbalance in a way that won’t make you crash or dehydrate you after a while.
Caffeine stimulates the body but it can also stress the adrenal glands and endocrine system. When used excessively, caffeine is associated with unpleasant side effects, including heart palpitations, insomnia, and indigestion. Three key factors contribute to having consistent, natural energy: Sleep, exercise, and eating protein along with natural organic food.
I found myself developing a dependence on caffeine, requiring more cups of coffee to achieve the same effect or to feel normal. Alcoholics go through a similar process where they build a tolerance for alcohol and have to increase their intake to achieve the same level of buzz. Daily over consumption of caffeine can have a similar negative effect on the body. Clinical research has shown the potential of botanical supplements to provide an energy boost without the risk of dependence or side effects associated with caffeine.
In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits of eating natural organic food, basic vitamins to build energy at the cellular level, the use of adaptogens as natural energy supplements, and a list of the top natural energy supplements to buy.
Natural Organic Food: Worth the Price?
The term “organic” is used to describe the way agricultural products are grown and processed. These crops must be grown without synthetic pesticides, Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), or petroleum-based fertilizers. GMOs are living organisms that had genetic material artificially manipulated in a lab. Some crops are modified to resist a virus and some to resist insect attacks.
Even though only a few of such crops are grown around the world, there is not a ton of actual evidence that suggests that genetically modified plants pose a significant threat to human health. The European Commission, one of its biggest opponents, has undertaken over 130 research projects carried out by more than 500 independent teams regarding GMOs. None of the studies found any special risks from GM crops (Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-truth-about-genetically-modified-food/).
Humans have been altering or selectively breeding crops for centuries. Ordinary wheat is an example of a human-engineered plant. It cannot exist outside of farms since its seeds do not scatter. Strains of wheat, rice, peanuts and pears have been altered over time for the past 60 years with no harmful risk. The main problem with GMOs lies in its threat to existing crops and wildlife, especially in third world countries. The severity of these threats are usually unknown and fear-driven.
As far as health is concerned, the problem lies in the amount of pesticides used. Some types of conventional produce are much higher in pesticides than others. These are the ones worth buying organic if possible. According to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization for government pesticide testing, the fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide levels (therefore, worth buying organic) are:
- Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers
- Cucumbers, Celery
- Kale, Collard Greens, Summer Squash
- Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes
- Grapes, Peaches, Strawberries
Grass-fed cows are not considered organic, but have been claimed to be a healthier alternative to grain-fed cows. After studies from Texas A&M and Texas tech universities, it was found that both beef types contain the same amount of cholesterol and both contained similar amounts of oleic acid, which is a known anti-carcinogen to fight against cancer (Source: https://animalscience.tamu.edu/2013/12/07/ground-beef-from-grass-fed-and-grain-fed-cattle-does-it-matter/).
Although grass-fed beef is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids (due to it growing in plants), the grain-fed beef was found to be much higher in HDL-cholesterol. This is the “good” cholesterol that cruises the bloodstream and removes the bad cholesterol. It is beneficial for fighting heart disease. Although grass-fed is healthier for the cow, these studies have shown that the beef may not be much healthier for a human than the grain-fed process.
Building Natural energy cells
To support energy production at the cellular level, we need to first introduce some basic vitamins and minerals to our diet. There are two vitamins and two minerals that should be addressed:
1. Vitamin B12 is essential to provide energy
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in neurological function and forms red blood cells, which are used to transport oxygen to the muscles. You are at greater risk for fatigue, weakness, or unhealthy weight loss if you do not get enough Vitamin B12 in your diet (Source: Study from National Institute of Health).
2. Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin necessary for cell function of energy
The cells in the body need CoQ10 to produce energy, especially those who have cardiovascular disease. It can be found in meat, peanuts, and fish. It may need to be taken as a supplement, since the body’s ability to produce it diminishes as you get older.
3. Magnesium is a mineral that promotes better sleep
Magnesium is an abundant mineral found throughout the body, which is required for muscle and nerve function, energy production, and controlling blood glucose levels. This mineral can be found in fish, whole grains, and almonds to name a few.
4. Iron is a mineral that helps oxygen move throughout the body
Iron is an essential mineral that promotes the transmission of oxygen to circulate throughout the body. It is also necessary for cell growth and function. Meat and seafood are the best sources for dietary iron. For vegetarians, you may want to go with beans, lentils, and spinach to get your fill of this mineral.
There are other Green foods and Supplements that provide natural caffeine-free ways of building your cells naturally. These supplements include:
- Spirulina: a blue-green algae super food that’s packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients. It helps reduce inflammation through antioxidants and gamma linoleic acid (GLA).
- Green Tea Extract: contains bioflavnoids for increasing energy and boosting the body’s metabolic rate. It supports cardiovascular health and can enhance weight loss.
Adaptogen Science: Do adaptogens work?
Adaptogens are a group of botanical supplements that protect the body by allowing it to “adapt” to the effects of mental and physical stress. In order to be “Adaptogenic”, an herb must be non-toxic, help balance the body’s processes, and provide widespread physiological support.
These plant-based medicines, such as Ginseng, have been utilized in traditional Eastern medicine for centuries. They offer numerous health benefits to help regulate important hormones. Adaptogens can increase your mental focus and endurance, provide an immune system boost, encourage a healthy mood, help with weight loss management, and reduce side effects.
Adaptogens have been scientifically proven to impact the body in an extremely positive manner. Some key ingredients to look for include:
1. Ginseng: the most well-known herbal adaptogen can be found in many energy drinks. It improves mental performance and cognitive function, reduces blood pressure and blood sugar, reduces inflammation within the body’s cells, and lowers the severity of stress response.
2. Ashwagandha: an herb that has the nickname of “Indian Ginseng”, it has been shown to improve immune system function while lowering cortisol secretion. It also helps to reduce stress while improving our resistance to disease. It supports increasing your muscle strength and size as well as improve testosterone levels.
3. Holy Basil: an herb also known as “Tunsil”, it’s consumption has been proven to improve feelings of alertness and energy. It reduces blood sugar while improving hormone levels.
4. Rhodiola: a type of succulent proven to positively impact our mental state. It provides strong anti-depressant effects while improving immune system function.
Best Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogenic supplement blends can provide a great way to get multiple herbs in one dose. The top adaptogen supplements that I have come across so far include:
1. AdaptoTrax by Vitamonk: a powerful and popular adaptogen supplement blend that contains a high dose of Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Bacopa, Panax & Siberian Ginseng, and Holy Basil. Combined, these herbal supplements can also improve memory and learning capacity as well as improve endurance and stamina. It is great for physically fit athletes as well as people that work in high stress environments. You can find the best deal here. Boost your mental and physical performance the natural way!
2. Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health: an Adaptogenic formula designed to restore normal hormonal function within the body and improve the health of the endocrine system. This is achieved through maintaining optimal immune system function and reducing cortisone secretion. It is great for people who work in highly stressful environments.
3. NOW Super Cortisol Support: Now supplements are popular for producing high quality products. This adaptogenic blend was created to improve energy levels, reduce lethargic feelings, and reduce cortisone secretion. It contains Green Tea extract, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil Extract, and Banaba extract to name a few. It is great for supporting weight management while enhancing energy levels.
Natural Energy lifestyle
Your body has basic needs that should be addressed before taking any of these supplements. These needs include: getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly.
If you maintain a healthy lifestyle but still feel tired or lethargic, then these natural vitamins, minerals, and adaptogens can help address the issues. They can also set up your long-term wellness by changing your diet habits. It will curb your cravings and allow you to fully appreciate the natural God-given gifts of healing herbs and super foods.