Best Energy Pills: Our Ultimate List

Daily commutes, pick-and-drop schedules, and tight deadlines are just some of the things many people have to accommodate in their already full agendas. And the result can be exhausting!

People trying to do so much more than what their body feels comfortable with often experience mid-day crashes and flagging energy levels. This often results in a search for something (or anything) that will perk up energy reserves and keep them going.

However, quick fixes such as stimulants or sugar-laden energy drinks often don’t do much. While they can give you an instant jolt for a short time, they can’t retrieve your energy levels for long.

But before you embark on the pursuit of the perfect energy pill for your daily hardships, take a moment to consider what energy really means.

best energy pills

Best Energy Pills

Energy not only refers to physical stamina and endurance (although that is integral to its definition) but also factors in mental alertness and vigilance. After all, you can only have more energy when you feel fully awake and alert and not dull and sluggish. When your mind is one the move, your body will naturally follow suit.

That said, everyone will have different expectations from their choice of energy booster. Say, your worst time of the day is in the afternoon when you simply have to drag your feet to keep things going. Or maybe you’re that person who feels tired all day long and needs a more robust solution. Perhaps your mood is what’s holding you back and you need something that will also support mental health.

Given your individual situation, you need something that caters to you specifically. And that means that not all energy pills are one-size-fits-all. You need to do some serious searching to find the best energy pill that will reclaim your energy back.

That is why we will talk about some of the most popular energy enhancers that you can add to your daily routine to improve your performance on both the physical and mental levels.

All our recommendations today look at energy pills that do both these things. While they obviously work on the physical aspect of energy, they also signal the mind to become more vigilant. This dual-faceted synergy has the best effect on boosting energy levels in the body.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. [1] Found in more than 60 plants globally, it also happens to be the primary active ingredient in coffee, tea, and energy drinks. While many people rely on coffee and tea to get their caffeine buzz, it is best not to turn to energy drinks for revving up your caffeine dose as these come with a very high sugar content, which easily outweighs any of its benefits.

caffeine

Extensive research shows that caffeine holds the potential to boost alertness and wakefulness in users. [2] Given its stimulant properties, caffeine speeds up the messages between the brain and body. When consumed in small doses, it can make individuals feel more awake and alert.

Most people start to feel the effect of caffeine within 5-30 minutes of consuming it, which can last up to 12 hours. That said, the effect someone feels largely depends on individual factors like body mass, metabolism, and caffeine tolerance. People who rarely drink caffeinated drinks or those more sensitive to caffeine will feel a bigger effect from a small dose while regular consumers may need a stronger dose to take effect.

As an exclusive energy booster, caffeine presents enhancing effects in improving both mental and physical performance. It doesn’t simply give the body more energy but also manipulates brain chemistry to make you feel less tired.

That said, caffeine is by no means the perfect energy booster for it comes with a plethora of side effects. The most notable of these include irritability, anxiety, energy crashes, jitters, and dizziness. That’s why it’s critical to administer caffeine in calculated doses only so that you can maximize its effects without experiencing the side effects.

To completely avoid caffeine side-effects, I recommend combining it with L-theanine. More about this combo follows below.

L-theanine

Another ingredient that is sourced from the tea plant is L-theanine. [3] It gives the tea its savory notes and primarily works as a relaxant. So, how does a relaxant help with improving energy levels? It works best when combined with the stimulant caffeine.

l-theanine

Caffeine and L-theanine have a synergistic relationship where the former alerts and awakens and the latter yields calm alertness while heightening creativity.[4] So, while caffeine provides a jolt of energy, l-theanine balances it by preventing jitters. To understand this a little better, here’s a look at l-theanine by itself.

L-theanine is also considered a nootropic that can help improve cognitive function. But its best benefit is perhaps its ability to reduce stress and mental fatigue. It does so by amplifying alpha waves in the brain which has an anxiolytic effect. At the same time, L-theanine also boosts GABA and other hormone levels that promote focus, calm, and a regulated mood. So much so, that it is even used as a sleep aid.

But L-theanine works on both sides of the sleep cycle. Once awake, you can take L-theanine to start your day focused with research showing study participants performing better on attention tasks after supplementation. [5]

When L-theanine is combined with caffeine you get caffeine working on replacing adenosine in the brain. L-theanine, on the other hand, blocks excitatory responses, but without taking anything away from the energy aspect. So, while caffeine helps you power through your workouts, L-theanine is busy keeping things calm.

To dose the two together, experts recommend using a 1:2 caffeine-to-L-theanine ratio. The simplest way to do this would be to take say, a 100 mg caffeine capsule along with two 100 mg theanine ones. Most capsules containing caffeine and theanine do come in 100 mg doses, but not always so. As such, it’s recommended to always check the label before use.

Citicoline

Joining the ranks of other natural energy boosters, citicoline is a nutrient found throughout the body. [6] However, it is particularly important for brain health. Clinical research shows this nutrient to support alertness and boost energy levels. It has been studied to add to mental clarity, focus, attention, and recall by stimulating electronic impulses, maintaining healthy neurons, and shielding them from free radicals.

Its role in energy production is related to mitochondrial function in the brain. Studies show that the brain uses about 20% of the body’s energy while at rest. This means that there is a constant demand on cellular mitochondria. Citicoline supplementation shows improvement in mitochondrial health through various mechanisms.

For instance, it helps upkeep healthy levels of a phospholipid called cardiolipin in mitochondrial membranes. Cardiolipin is vital for transporting mitochondrial electrons and typically declines with age. Then, citicoline also assists in restoring mitochondrial ATPase activity and finally, it reduces oxidative stress by inhibiting the release of specific fatty acids from cell membranes.

The resulting improved mitochondrial activity energizes the brain and can help improve cognitive functions like focus and attention.

Citicoline also assists in acetylcholine synthesis making the brain’s primary operational neurotransmitter more readily available. This mechanism is needed for improving all executive functions including speech, muscle contraction, information processing, and memory recall.  As such, citicoline provides the brain with the raw materials it needs to create new cellular structures and for actual mental performance.

In another capacity, the potential of citicoline to improve phospholipid metabolism and reduce oxidative stress suggests its neuroprotective effects. Clinical uses of citicoline include using it to support focus and attention in healthy teenagers and young adults and to support cognitive function in older adults. [7]

Since citicoline is more readily absorbed than choline, a lot of experts give precedence to it than regular choline. Plus, citicoline also delivers cytidine to the brain which in itself is a powerful nootropic agent.

Rhodiola Rosea

The most common uses for Rhodiola Rosea include increasing energy, strength, endurance, and mental capacity. Typical factors that contribute to low energy levels include stress, anxiety, and inadequate sleep. A combination of any of these can easily bring about feelings of physical and mental tiredness.

Rhodiola rosea

Studies on Rhodiola Rosea show this herb to be effective in all these areas. For instance, Rhodiola is considered an adaptogen, meaning it can increase the body’s resistance to stress in non-specific ways. Some studies show Rhodiola’s effect in improving symptoms of stress such as exhaustion, anxiety, and fatigue. [8] Some others point to its effect on improving burnout symptoms which can occur with chronic stress. [9]

Other areas of research show Rhodiola to be effective for improving mental function. Study participants who received Rhodiola supplementation showed reduced mental fatigue and improved performance on work-related tasks by improving energy levels.

Findings from another study looking at the herb’s effects on mental fatigue, sleep patterns, and motivation showed improvement in all areas. [10]

While enhanced brain performance is one aspect, the other is improved exercise performance. Rhodiola has also been tested for its effect on physical performance with one study looking at how it impacts endurance exercise performance. Findings showed participants given Rhodiola finishing a race significantly faster than others.

From the perspective of improving energy levels, Rhodiola shows the potential to improve exercise performance by lowering perceived exertion or how hard participants felt their bodies working. Because they were able to work longer and harder indicates that Rhodiola can step up energy levels during endurance exercise.

Although also available as a tea, Rhodiola when taken in the pill form, promises accurate dosing. To get the best of the benefits that Rhodiola offers, it’s recommended that you look for formulations that contain a standardized amount of its active ingredients. This means that the pill should have 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are a group of nutrients that impact many bodily functions. While each has a slightly different function, collectively, they are involved in converting the food you eat into energy.

As such, B vitamins are considered crucial for boosting both mental and physical energy. But this is not in the traditional sense where the vitamins themselves become the source of the energy. Only foods can do that.

Instead, these vitamins help carry out a number of metabolic processes that convert dietary energy into ATP. [11] This is a form of energy that the body uses in a series of complex chemical reactions.

Your body only requires a certain amount of B vitamins. As long as you’re getting the required amounts, additional B vitamins will not surge your energy levels. But if you fail to get sufficient supplies of these vitamins from the diet, you could be in for a drop in your mental and physical energy levels.

This happens as compounds in these vitamins are responsible for everything from maintaining brain cell health to metabolizing carbs, the main source of fuel in the body. They also work to break down amino acids and transport oxygen and energy-containing nutrients around the body.

Looking at physical energy first, B vitamins are prominent players in many of the body’s energy-producing functions. For instance, B6 is crucial for the chemical breakdown of glycogen which gives the body the fuel it needs from glucose for physical activity. [12] It is actively involved in the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and plays a part in the enzymatic reaction that releases glucose from glycogen.

On the mental health front, B12 and B9 are considered key players as these may ward off depression and other mental health problems. [13] [14] B vitamins are necessary for the basic upkeep of nerve and blood cells and both B12 and B9 help rid the body of homocysteine, a byproduct of protein metabolism linked to heart issues and stroke.

B12, on its own, is responsible for forming red blood cells that transport oxygen to all parts of the body. Once oxygen gets delivered to cells, it’s then utilized for energy production. It’s also important for neurological function and a deficiency puts you at a greater risk of weakness, fatigue and low energy.

Sufficient intake of B vitamins can prevent this and much more.

Energy Pills – Dos and Don’ts

Energy pills are mostly sought in two scenarios; either when you’re chronically fatigued (maybe a new parent who is sleep-deprived) or you wish to improve your physical and mental performance (perhaps an athlete looking for their personal best).

In either case, energy can dip due to nutritional or biochemical imbalances. In some cases, there may be stressful factors leaching your energy which makes the cause psychological. Or, you may simply not be getting enough hours of quality sleep.

And as mentioned in the earliest part of this article, mental and/or physical overexertion may be what causes the slump in energy.

When you decide to take an energy pill to resolve any of the above, you also need to pair this practice with other practices that will not only support your energy but also stop it from depleting.

At its most basic, this means eating a healthy, balanced diet, keeping your body moving, and getting sufficient sleep. If you still feel energy-deprived after following a healthy daily regimen, then get in touch with your doctor to find the cause of your low energy levels.

Your doctor can then advise you by detecting the area where you lack energy. Whether it’s a loss of focus, poor working memory, or reduced motivation, you can learn to stack energy enhancers accordingly to get the best results.

Other areas where a dip in energy levels can affect performance include mood swings, irritability, reduced creativity, and poor decision making. All these and other factors can have a negative effect on your cognitive and physical performance.

Safety concerns

Safety is very important when it comes to using energy pills. A lot of the products contain synthetic stimulants that are harmful, substances that are addictive, and ingredients that are unfamiliar.

Formulations that do not provide sufficient information about its ingredients should always be avoided.

On the other hand, opting for natural substitutes for synthetic variations is always a safer option. The best energy pills use smart doses of ingredients that have undergone thorough testing and are certified safe.

Our Favorite Energy Booster Pills

If you want to try some of the best natural energy pills that you can currently find on the market, we recommend checking our top list of best nootropics.

You will find all the important information there.

Click here for more info >>


YOUR INCEPTION FINAL RECOMMENDATION

Energy pills will help you stay alert and energized throughout the day but they still can’t replace your body’s basic needs of good sleep, healthy food, hydration, and regular exercise. When you feel rundown despite taking good care of yourself, choosing from our recommended options may help you get down to the true cause of your low energy. And unlike other solutions that yield an instant but temporary burst of energy, these will set you up for long-term wellness.

 

CEO & Founder at | Website

Grega Gostincar, MSc, is the founder of Your Inception. He has been researching, testing, and experimenting with nootropics since 2015. Greg, a certified expert in nutrition and brain biohacking from Emory University, is one of the most recognized researchers in the field of nootropics.

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