Comprehensive Energy Analysis Interview

Supplements, Vitamins, Drinks, Herbs and Foods that Give You Energy

  • Best vitamins, supplements and herbs for energy
  • Best foods that give you energy
  • Healthy energy drinks

cofeeFoods that give you energy, what are they? Which foods give you the most energy? What about energy from herbs, vitamins or supplements? A lot to discuss in today’s article, but I’m going to give you the full run down on proven methods to boost your energy.

First- A brief note about choosing vitamins or supplements: In 2007, the FDA issued Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for dietary supplements, a set of requirements and expectations by which dietary supplements must be manufactured, prepared, and stored to ensure quality. Manufacturers are now expected to guarantee the identity, purity, strength, and composition of their dietary supplements.

This means if you are taking a supplement without a GMP label (and yes please look because you generally cannot purchase these at stores!)…… are not getting what the label says and you might be getting things like heavy metals, talc and goodness knows what else! Here is the whole story” that you SHOULD know before purchasing anything you are going to put in your mouth or on your skin. 

B-Complex Vitamins as a group are the best vitamins for energy

B-comples vitaminsToday, I’m discussing foods that give you energy, as well as vitamins, supplements and herbs. Although you can follow different avenues to boost your energy levels, vitamins, consumed through food and supplements, are amongst the safest.

B-complex vitamins and vitamin D have proved useful in staving off fatigue and promoting healthy levels. Each of these vitamins can work together to provide maximum results, for increased energy levels, without the negative side-effects associated with many stimulants and energy supplements.

Vitamin B-12 is probably the best vitamin for energy

B-12 may be the most well-known of all the B vitamins for its role in increasing energy levels. The National Institutes of Health notes that B-12 is used for boosting mood, energy and concentration. Vitamin B-12 deficiency, on the other hand, is characterized by low energy conditions, including fatigue and weakness caused by anemia. It can even cause dementia, so should be checked in any person over 50 who are exhibiting memory issues. B-12 is not found in plants, but instead from animal products and distributed through supplements and injections for deficiencies.

Special fun note your doctor won’t know:

Studies now show that a “good dose” of B12 will increase the production of the most powerful anti-oxidant your body makes within its cells called glutathione. This will enhance ATP and hence energy production within the cells which is then felt throughout the body.

Other vitamins that give you energy:


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) improves energy levels to varying degrees and is a must if you are on Co-Q 10 depleting statin drugs. It improves brain focus to some extent as well.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is produced in the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight. There are few foods that contain vitamin D: fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and some fortified foods. If you do not get regular sun exposure, you can get the right amount through supplements. However, you need adequate amounts of vitamin K. Note – most of the time, sun exposure is not sufficient and supplements are needed for adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

The Latest Research has Glutathione Way in the Lead for How to Gain Energy:

Glutathione (GSH) is the body’s master antioxidant. It is a small protein produced naturally in our cells. It functions as an antioxidant and cellular energy-amper-upper. It is a major defense system against illness and aging.

Glutathione, functions very specially in the world of antioxidants. It regenerates (recycles), directly and indirectly, a variety of other antioxidants including vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin E. More than 6 percent of total energy (ATP) production of the whole body may be used to synthesize and regulate intracellular glutathione levels. Glutathione is the only non-enzyme antioxidant that does not itself become a free radical after it has quenched a free radical.

We lose the ability to make our own glutathione as we age at a rate of 1% per year after age 20. Stress, exercise, infection, injury and environmental toxins are some of the factors that can significantly reduce your body’s supply of glutathione.

Reduced glutathione levels result in lower energy, a greater vulnerability to cellular damage, inflammation, accelerated aging and a weakened resistance to various diseases, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and more.

Increases in glutathione will improve mental function, increase energy rapidly, improve concentration, permit increased exercise, and improve heart and lung function. Andnote that oral preparations cannot be absorbed so sprays and injections are the only route of “delivery” of this miraculous energy-boosting supplement!

What’s suggested below is for short term or occasional use only and when used this way in small doses these are the best energy pills for a temporary boost – but need to be used with caution.

Supplements for energy:

  • Caffeine
  • Herbal sources of caffeine and related compounds like guarana, yerba mate, and kola nut
  • Green tea (also a source of caffeine)
  • Siberian Ginseng
  • Bitter Orange (specifically, the ingredient synephrine)

If you’re feeling groggy after lunch, what you really want is a stimulant. Of all the exotic herbs and amino acids sold as energy supplements, one of the most potent stimulants is also the most familiar: caffeine. This is amongst the most popular energy pills that work and DO give you a boost of energy. Caffeine in energy drinks, supplements, and any product marketing energy enhancement is likely to be the ingredient you feel the most, improving mental focus, and boosting your metabolism temporarily.

However, I would like to caution you that long term use of any stimulants such as caffeine and the other products listed below can cause your adrenal glands to start pumping out excess cortisol and adrenaline. At some point the boost you got will turn into tiredness and then eventual fatigue and sleep disruption. If this is happening you need to read this. 

Although some products are seen as natural alternatives to caffeine, many actually contain caffeine itself or similar chemical substances that have similar effects. These include kola nut, yerba mate, and guarana. Green tea also provides a dose of caffeine and a related compound, theophylline, as well as the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It is possible that, because of these specific compounds, green tea may have unique effects on mental and physical energy.

Bitter orange, an extract from the rind of a different citrus species is another energy supplement unrelated to caffeine. Though it hasn’t been studied much, some experts are concerned about potential risks. Its active ingredient — synephrine — is chemically similar to ephedrine, the active ingredient in ephedra, which was pulled off the market in 2004 because of its life-threatening health risks. Do not take this if you have high blood pressure. You CAN take it but if so, I recommend a week on, a week off and so on so you don’t run into cortisol excess issues.  

Asian ginseng is not a caffeine derivative, but it may also serve as a mild stimulant. This is not to be confused with Korean (Panax) or Siberian ginseng. Will it help boost energy? Yes, and in fact of all of the short-term use methods I’m discussing, this is the best energy supplement in this stimulant category in terms of not causing “adrenal stress”.

Amino Acids and Mitochondrial – One of the Basic Supplements for Energy:

Acetyl-l-carnitine and other and amino acids like tyrosine and taurine are natural supplements for energy because they are found in foods and the body “knows it needs them”.  Of all of the natural energy supplements my personal favorite is acetyl-l-carnitine because it does other “healthy things”. It protects brain cells, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and helps maintain muscle mass.

As we age, our cells of respiration called mitochondria predictably produce less ATP as mentioned in the vitamin section above. When this happens we start losing energy, and the slowly the mitochondria undergo “apoptosis” or cellular death bit by bit. We know that we can increase ATP production and slow mitochondrial apoptosis with supplements which are designed for mitochondrial function.

IN my opinion, these are not only amongst the healthiest but the best energy supplements we can all take. They are labelled as mitochondrial boosters and contain a variety of natural ingredients including many herbals which we will discuss below.

Herbs for Energy

harbsAdaptogenic herbs demonstrate a nonspecific enhancement of the body’s ability to resist a stressor. Modern herbalists say adaptogenic herbs are neither habit-forming, over-stimulating nor inhibiting normal body function, but rather exerting a generalized tonifying effect. They increase your resistance overall against physical, chemical and biological stressors. These herbs are a great help for adrenal stress or adrenal fatigue. Adaptogenic herbs will give you sustained energy and vitality while allowing your mind to think freely, calmly and without excessive stimulation. Below, you will find the herbs that are shown to increase energy.

Korean Ginseng (Panax Schinsen)Feeds the adrenal cortex the nutrients it needs to produce lasting, stress-resistant energy.Improved energy levels and increases body’s natural resistance to stress.
Eleuthero Root (Siberian Ginseng)Support herb containing powerful analgesic Painkilling, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting compounds.Helps reduce fatigue and stimulation of the adrenal cortex, regulates key hormones in the body related to all energy levels.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)One of the most vital herbs in Ayurvedic healing, improved benefits when combined with ginseng of eleuthero root.Boosts immunity, memory and learning capacity; reduces anxiety, depression and fatigue; stabilizes blood sugar; decreases inflammation and LDL cholesterol levels.
Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root, Roseroot, Aarons Rod)Effects are potentially mediated by increases in serotonin and dopamine levels.Improves mood and alleviates depression.
MACAVitality-enhancing effects in the body, in addition to being incredibly mineral dense and nutritious.Reduces fatigue, increases energy and endurance, libido and semen quality, and effective adaptagen for everyday living.
Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis)Its berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs.Supports immune system, relieves anxiety, increases energy and mental clarity.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)Commonly used in mitochondrial preservation supplements.Enhances aerobic performance, improves immune system and stamina, has anti-stress properties.
Panax GinsengTaken orally as adaptogens, aphrodisiacs, nourishing stimulants. Found in some mitochondrial boosters.Anti-inflammatory, regulates blood sugar, increases endurance, and may serve as an anti-depressant.
Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)Equivalent to modern painkillers and protects somewhat from radiation poisoning.Reduces stress, inflammation, digestive problems, colds, headaches, and may even reduce blood glucose levels and cholesterol.
AstragalusHistory as herbal medicine and used in Traditional Chinese medicine. Used in adrenal support preparations.Benefits the heart, liver, immune system, and adrenal support. Used in adjunctive therapy for cancer.
Reishi MushroomTraditional Chinese medicine used to “Calm the spirit”. Great immune booster.Reduces anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, lowers blood pressure, and increases energy, immune response, mental clarity, libido, overall homeostasis.

Lets Talk About Food! There are Indeed Foods that Give You Energy!  

Before we go through a list of foods that give you energy, you need to know what foods will zap out any positive effective of the “good foods”, OK?

Improve Your Diet:

If you want to have more energy then your very first step must be to pay more attention to what you are consuming on a daily basis. Even if you are eating a great diet, you may be lacking in key vitamins and minerals that could be contributing to your lack of energy. If this is the case, then you should closely examine what you are eating and look for ways to boost the nutritional density of your food. If you would like a free copy of my anti-aging, anti-inflammatory diet just got to the store, look to the upper R for the orange “get Module 1 free” button, click there and you’ll get not only the diet but all of module one. Please DO watch the 15 minute webinar – it will truly amp up your heath and your energy levels pretty quickly!

At the other end of the spectrum, if you are eating processed foods, junk food and fast food, then that needs to change. Why? If you have been reading anything in my blog about diet, you KNOW what is “inflammatory eating”. You also know it zaps energy like crazy. Your diet should consist of whole foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, high quality sprouted grains and grain replacements such as quinoa. Organic, free range eggs and other high quality protein sources such as omega-3 rich wild salmon, sardines and anchovies are your best protein choices. Giving your body proper nutrition means giving it proper fuel! And the result-more energy!

So what are the foods that give you energy?

It may sound simplistic but the best high energy foods are real, whole, recognizable foods! When I have patients swap more processed foods for ‘real’ whole foods, their energy has gone through the roof, and many lose weight, even if they end up eating more calories. True!   Don’t eliminate healthy fats if you want more energy. You need fat to absorb some key antioxidant vitamins. Antioxidants are important for energy as well because they fight free radicals to help keep your cells healthy.

The secret to eating for energy, according to many nutritionists? Eat locally and in season at your local farmers market! Eat a wide variety of superfuits—organic & GMO free apples, stone fruits, berries, tomatoes.

Natural energy foods to grab and go:

  • Almonds are a superstar in the snack world, as they contain important nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins that help convert food to energy.
  • Salmon can be pre-made and is especially tasty if poached. Salmon isn’t called a “brain food” for nothing. The rich-tasting fish earns the moniker from its omega-3 fatty acids: nutrients that have been found to improve memory and reduce depression, as well as boost energy and mood.
  • Powerhouse pistachios have a combination of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that adds up to a perfectly satisfying snack.
  • Hummus is a Mediterranean dip with only a few simple ingredients — puréed garbanzo beans, sesame-based tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice — that all contribute nutrients for energy. The fiber and protein that the beans provide stabilize blood sugar, take the edge off hunger, and boost energy.

Healthy Energy Drinks

With all of the un-healthy energy drinks out there, selling big-time I know you will usually want to “go for the quick fix” by grabbing a caffeine and sugar laden energy drink or worse, a cola drink. But if you can bypass this urge and try some drinks that are actually GOOD for you, you’ll have more sustained energy, look and feel healthier and have less chance of what has been mentioned previously-adrenal “burn-out”.

First for you adventurous people, here’s an herbal tea which can be consumed hot or iced. Please note that stevia (pure) is the only acceptable sweetener.

Yerba mate

A powerful herbal tea with 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and 11 polyphenols and antioxidants, yerba mate, an amazing rainforest plant, is an excellent alternative to coffee for boosting energy levels naturally.   Yerba mate tea also helps stimulate the immune system; reduce bad cholesterol levels; improve mental clarity; relieve allergies; and fight bad breath. Here are some helpful instructions for how to prepare yerba mate tea at home.

Next, for a great energy boost make a healthy smoothie:

Use whey protein concentrate (not isolate) and make sure it is without additives, artificial sweeteners, etc. Put it in a blender with almond milk and frozen organic non- GMO berries-blend well. This is an amazing energy burst. Use pure stevia if your smoothie needs to be sweeter but don’t use sugar or you’ll ruin the effect. No high-fructose juice, either!

Last option – using a blender bottle and water, ice cubes and organic non GMO powders made from fruits and veggies, mix up one of these drinks when you hit a mid afternoon lull and the “hit” of anti-oxidants will get you moving again!

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