You know the feeling: even after a full night’s sleep, you find you have to drag yourself out of bed. Or, despite adequate rest, you still don’t have the energy to get things done the way you once did. Worse still, you have a ton of work to get done, but the only thing you feel like doing is curling up and falling asleep.
All this and much more can make you question why you feel so tired all the time. But sleep is not the only reason that fits in the tiredness and lassitude equation. In fact, there are a lot of other factors vying for attention when it comes to keeping your energy levels at their optimal.
Effects of Low Energy
Having low energy is a big concern for a lot of people since energy levels are directly linked to mood and stress. So, if you find that you’re tired a lot, you probably also feel moody and more stressed out than usual. 
Alongside mood, your performance also starts to suffer where you lose focus and get distracted easily. And then there is the decreased motivation and reduced creativity to contend with.
The point is, you want to keep your energy levels up, and so, you turn to energy supplements. But not all supplements are created equal. If anything, you need to know your options when considering a quality supplement; whether to settle for proprietary blends at a lower cost or go for a slightly more expensive option and get your supplements from a trusted source.
Best Energy Supplements
To appraise the best energy supplements, there are a few things to consider first. For instance, sourcing, potency, and manufacturing standards are good places to start with. Ask the following questions:
- Where are the ingredients coming from?
- Will the formula dissolve?
- Will my body absorb it?
- How potent are the ingredients?
- Is it backed by research?
The relevance of these questions becomes apparent when you think about how the involved ingredients break down in your body and get absorbed.
Sometimes, just a different form of a nutrient is better received by the body than another form. For instance, B9 is preferred in folate form than in folic acid. Or, B12 should be in methylcobalamin form and not cyanocobalamin form.
Another concern is the potency of energy supplements. The chosen ingredients need to be used in certain amounts to influence energy levels, or else it will remain an underdosed product with no effects.
And when it comes to transparency, the company should publish their ingredient list, making it entirely accessible for the user.
Once your supplements of choice meet the criteria above, you can feel good knowing that this is something that will serve its purpose.
Best Natural Energy Supplements
Energy supplements can have different types of formulations, such as those using synthetic and powerful stimulants. They can use individual herbs and vitamins for energy, or they could combine multiple energy boosters in a singular stack.
The debate over whether synthetic nutrients provide the same benefits as their natural counterparts has been long-standing. While most synthetic nutrients do get some kind of go-ahead from some regulatory bodies, not all synthetic nutrients are considered safe.
In fact, some sources suggest outright that synthetic nutrients may be dangerous. 
The main difference between the two is based on how they are sourced and prepared. Natural ingredients, for instance, are obtained from whole food sources from the diet, being prepared from concentrated, dehydrated whole foods.
Their synthetic versions, on the other hand, are artificially processed and are also referred to as isolated nutrients. These are manufactured in a manner to mimic the way their natural equivalents would act in the body.
The easy way to figure out if your supplement is natural or synthetic is to check the label. Natural supplements will clearly list food sources and carry the label of 100% plant or animal-based.
Others that list ingredients individually (isolated nutrients) are almost always synthetic.
For the best way to manage your energy crises, I would recommend avoiding synthetic energy boosters or harmful stimulants. Even though these are good for getting that instant but short-lived boost, they may not be beneficial in the long-term.
With the best natural energy supplements, you can be sure of getting a nice combination of minerals, herbs, natural supplements, and vitamins to improve your energy levels. Plus, these pre-made supplements will give you an amalgamation of nutrients for optimal performance rather than yield nutrients in isolation.
Who Should Consider Synthetic Supplements?
Ideally, I would say, no one. But then, this is not an ideal world. On the contrary, there are certain populations that may benefit from taking synthetic supplements, especially those in need of specific vitamins and minerals.
As is, vitamins and minerals in supplements only come in the synthetic form of the nutrients. Here, the word synthetic doesn’t necessarily equate inferior but is used more so to refer to improved absorbability.
Those who can benefit from taking synthetic vitamins include the elderly who tend to be at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency and may also need more vitamin B12 and calcium for bone health. 
Another demographic includes vegans and vegetarians, as certain nutrients are solely found in animal products. As such, this group is often found at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. 
And finally, you have people who suffer from nutrient deficiencies that may be impacting their energy levels. For instance, iron deficiency anemia is a common condition that can cause sluggishness and can be remedied with the help of supplements. 
Best Supplements to Boost Energy
Different reasons can cause low energy levels in different individuals. As such, everyone may need a different type of supplement to manage their condition.
However, there are specific nutrients that seem to work well across the spectrum of tiredness and fatigue. With a little help from these, it can become possible to regain your energy levels and maintain your alertness and focus throughout the day.
Some of these will have a similar working mechanism, while others will follow a different path to create energy. For instance, you will come across a few nutrients that will involve manufacturing ATP in the body while some others cater to energy needs by nourishing the mind and sharpening mental performance.
Here I will look at eight popular supplements that can give your energy a kickstart.
1. Caffeine + Theanine
Yes, caffeine is probably what you know as the instant energy up-lifter, but when you pair it up with theanine, you get something entirely different.
Caffeine, when used on its own, does give you instant energy by speeding up messages between the brain and body. This results in boosting alertness and wakefulness and gives caffeine its stimulant properties.
At the same time, prolonged use of caffeine is also known to cause several side effects. Common ones include headaches, insomnia, some indigestion, and palpitations.
And given that it is a highly addictive substance, caffeine can become an out-of-control problem when not managed properly.
But, when you bring theanine into the equation, the big picture changes entirely. The two actually have a synergistic relationship where theanine accentuates caffeine’s positive effects while toning down its downsides.
Using a combination of the two, you get the energy kick from caffeine minus the jitters while theanine blocks excitatory responses in the brain. It does so with just the right balance without taking anything away from the energy factor. 
And for the two to perform optimally, experts’ recommendation is to use a 2:1, theanine to caffeine ratio. While many energy supplements may already be following this ratio, it’s best to double-check.
Citicoline is a compound that occurs naturally in human bodily tissue. Like other supplements for energy, citicoline also supports alertness and boosts energy levels. Studies show that this important compound has the potential to improve mental clarity, heighten focus, and increase attention. 
In other words, it is the ideal nootropic that gets this potential from stimulating electronic impulses in the brain. Its other brain-protective features include the ability to maintain neuronal health and protect neurons from free radicals.
But to qualify citicoline as an energy supplement, you have to look at its stimulant properties. Because it increases the flow of acetylcholine between neurons, it also increases nervous activity.
Just this one mechanism can do wonders for improving all executive functions such as information processing, memory recall, and muscle contraction.
On another front, citicoline is used to manufacture different phospholipids, which in turn, create cell membranes. So, you could say that this brain-boosting compound provides the raw material needed to construct new cellular structures and improve various aspects of mental performance.
And when combined with others like caffeine or tyrosine, it becomes increasingly effective for energy production.
3. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola has been used in traditional medicine for a very long time. Typically used as a natural anxiolytic, it helps reduce anxiety and alleviate stress.
So, how does that help with improving energy levels? For one, Rhodiola doesn’t merely calm the mind but also helps keep the brain sharp in stressful situations.
It works by a two-fold mechanism where it targets both mental and physical fatigue. On the mental front, studies show Rhodiola to be beneficial for alleviating depressive symptoms by balancing neurotransmitter levels in the brain. 
It can also ease mental fatigue during stressful and strenuous times.
On the physical front, Rhodiola is seen to improve exercise performance by lowering perceived exertion and allowing you to work longer and harder. How so?
Because it increases the amount of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good endorphins as you exercise.  As these endorphins increase, so does your motivation to exercise better and longer.
CoQ10 is a widely used energy supplement as it plays an integral part in energy metabolism. The body does produce CoQ10 naturally, but levels tend to decline with age, and so, supplements can help.
Stored in cellular mitochondria, it helps generate energy in the cells. It is involved in making ATP, which is indispensable for transferring energy within cells. 
Normal mitochondrial function is important for every aspect of health and efficacy-wise; healthy mitochondria are essential for mental and physical performance.
Mitochondria are the main energy generators of brain cells, and any dysfunction can increase the susceptibility to oxidative damage. CoQ10 has shown to protect brain cells from oxidative damage and reduce the action of harmful compounds that can lead to brain disease. 
Any irregularity in mitochondrial function can also reduce muscle energy, making it hard for muscles to contract and sustain exercise. Research shows supplementation with CoQ10 to increase power during exercise and reduce fatigue, both of which can improve exercise performance. 
On the flip side, standard CoQ10 is not readily absorbed. As such, it is advised to look for more bio-available forms of CoQ10 that seem to be more potent.
Magnesium is important for energy as it activates ATP in the body. Alongside this, magnesium is involved in more than 600 reactions in the body so you can imagine the magnitude of its relevance. 
But coming back to its role in energy production, it helps transport blood sugar into the muscles and gets rid of lactate that can accumulate during exercise and trigger fatigue.
Studies show that supplementing with magnesium can enhance exercise performance.
This important mineral also has a role in brain function and mood. Healthy levels play a part in relaying signals between the brain and the body, where magnesium acts as the gatekeeper for NMDA receptors. These are found on nerve cells and assist with brain development and the functions of learning and memory. 
Magnesium also prevents nerve cells from becoming overstimulated, which can destroy them and lead to brain damage.
Low levels have also been linked to depression, which is a condition that leaches out energy from the body on every level. Once again, supplementing with magnesium may reduce such symptoms. 
Tyrosine is on this list of the best energy supplements for a couple of reasons. Most notably, however, because it is a precursor to some of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain.
In fact, without tyrosine, it can become impossible for the body to make dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline.
This amino acid keeps the brain working at its optimal during stress and improves focus with functions that require mental endurance.  This gives tyrosine its nootropic potential, where it helps the brain undertake challenges without burning out.
In another capacity, where tyrosine turns into dopamine, it has mood regulating properties. An increase in dopamine production will help restore focus, satisfaction, and motivation, which can then influence your energy levels.
So, while it may not make you feel like jumping hurdles, it will help you in the form of endurance.
Melatonin is most commonly sold as a sleep aid but is featured on this list as there is a direct connection between the role of melatonin in the sleep cycle and the associated energy effects. 
The human body likes order. In fact, without order, it wouldn’t be able to manage all the complex processes happening. Its circadian rhythm hardwires it to sleep at night and be energetic during the day.
But disruptions to this cycle can quickly become problematic. Issues like fatigue, restlessness, and an increase in overall stress can become apparent, all of which have a direct effect on a person’s energy levels.
Here, the melatonin-energy boosting relationship ties in to improving an individual’s sleep quality.
Sleep or lack of proper sleep is one of the main concerns for having low energy levels. Proper supplementation can help restore circadian rhythm and reestablish recovery and energy levels.
8. B Vitamins
B vitamins are vitamins involved in converting dietary energy into ATP. And this is the form of energy used in a series of complex chemical reactions. 
Among B vitamins, B12 is of supreme relevance with regards to energy production. This vitamin is very active in energy metabolism is needed for DNA and red blood cell production in the body.
By transporting oxygen via healthy blood cells to all parts of the body, B12 ensures that your energy levels are maintained for both mental and physical performance.
In addition, it is also involved in the proper functioning of the nervous system, where a deficiency can surely leave you fatigued.
Another important vitamin in this group is B6, with a working mechanism for maintaining nerve cells, red blood cells, and skin cells. If the first two of these three aren’t maintained properly, not only will you start to feel fatigued, your mental performance will suffer as well.
Top 5 Best Rated Energy Supplements
If you’re looking for pre-made stacks, then here are my top 5 recommendations:
1. STAQ Performer
STAQ performer is a standout energy supplement given its premium-quality ingredients, cGMP-certified manufacturing standards, and well-studied compounds at high enough dosages.
The supplement uses a fine blend of ingredients that yield instant short-term perks such as coffee and L-theanine, as well as others such as Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, and Lion’s Mane Mushroom known for providing long-term results.
Plus, there is a clear-cut absence of fillers in this formulation, which verifies its purity. Overall, this is an outstanding product that delivers all it promises.
- Great short-term effects
- Safe formulation
- Optimally dosed ingredients
- Good price-performance ratio
- It doesn’t contain L-Tyrosine
2. Performance Lab Mind + Stim
Performance Lab is brand that offers a whole variety of high-quality supplements. Some of them, like Mind and Stim, were designed to you improve your cognitive performance, increase energy, focus, and overall productivity.
They contains most of the mentioned compounds that can boost your energy levels. They are high-quality products that deliver amazing benefits.
- Uses vegan-friendly, allergen-free, and Non-GMO ingredients
- Devoid of synthetic substances
- Great nootropics
- Only available on the company’s website
- More expensive
3. Qualia Nootropic Energy
Qualia Nootropic Energy is an “energy shot” instead of the typical capsule type and packs a powerful punch. You can instantly feel the formula kick in within two to five minutes of drinking.
Users report feeling ‘zoomed in’, more present, and calm with the effects lasting well around two to three hours before they start to wear off.
The formulation contains some excellent cognitive supporting nutrients that are certified as vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Ideal for those with an active lifestyle, this Qualia product should be taken on a 5 days on, 2 days off schedule.
- Clean list of ingredients
- Delivers quick results
- Ideal for a short-term energy boost
- Doesn’t come cheap
- Taste is just okay