The best supplements for energy in midlife is a little subjective and depends on what works for your particular body type but I have listed what's worked for me as well as some that have been recommended.
I take supplements but it is a bit ad hoc. I either forget them, or I have run out and need to find time to replace them.
Note to self – step up the dosage of Magnesium and Ashwagandha for ratshit memory.
The best way to get your vitamins and nutrients is with a well-balanced diet.
However, for many women, thanks to our busy lifestyles arguing with teenagers, pets, and jamming as much into our day as we can before flopping into bed, eating healthy enough to get all the goodness you need is not possible.
Taking supplements can help fill in the gaps where your diet may be lacking
As you move through perimenopause and into midlife your body doesn't absorb vitamins from your food as easily as it used to.
Genuine deficiencies can be easily revealed by having a blood test. It's advisable to talk to your doctor about this.
Supplements are the perfect way to improve any deficiencies that show up. This goes with a warning though.
Some supplements can be toxic when taken in excess, for example, Vitamin A is stored in the body, therefore, can cause toxicity when taken in excess amounts.
Always read the label thoroughly when starting on a new supplement and check for any contra medications.
I've listed here the supplements I currently take (these are subject to change) along with other expert recommended choices.
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Supplements That I Personally Get The Most Benefit From
For healthy hair, skin and nails and a boost of energy
As we age our bodies may find it more difficult to extract B12 from the foods we eat.
A Deficiency in B12 may contribute to anaemia as well as an increased risk for heart disease, which are common concerns for menopausal women.
B12 promotes a healthy blood flow giving you a gorgeous glow.
Supplements can be taken in liquid or tablet form. I have listed both here.
As a liquid form I recommend Garden of Life B12 Vitamin
In tablet form I like Vitamin B12 - 5000 MCG Supplement with Methylcobalamin (Methyl B-12)
For calcium absorption, cell growth and maintaining a healthy immune system. It may also regulate mood and guard against depression.
D3 helps your body to absorb calcium which is important to help reverse the role that age plays on the deterioration of our bones.
Vitamin D also positively affects low mood and cognitive performance.
I noticed a huge difference in the level and frequency of my mood swings when I started on D3. It holds me on much more of an even keel.
My doctor is always very pleased to see my D3 level is good.
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Regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.
If I had a top choice of supplements it would be magnesium.
Magnesium helps the body to do what it does well. Keeping blood pressure normal, bones strong, and the heart rhythm steady.
It can be effective in helping with depression and is important for optimal thyroid function.
One of the first signs of magnesium deficiency is fatigue.
Muscle cramps are also a sign as well as loss of appetite and nausea.
Magnesium levels are badly affected by stress, alcohol, and too much added sugar in your diet.
Limited evidence and research suggests that this herb helps the body manage stress, boosts brain function, lowers blood sugar and cortisol levels, and helps fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Ahswagandha is a herb used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India.
I am only just discovering this supplement myself. Research has found that Ashwagandha improves resistance to stress possibly because it slows down cortisol production in the body.
Ashwagandha has also been found to help keep hormones balanced which will lessen some of the impacts of menopause such as hot flushes, mood swings and anxiety. It may also improve energy levels.
There are other possible benefits of this herb but there is no solid evidence yet to support these.
Those are the 5 supplements I recommend.
If you like free things here are some supplements that won’t break the bank
Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of serotonin, the hormone associated with boosting mood and improving your chances of a better night’s sleep.
Get outside for at least 10-15 minutes each day and put your face up to the sun.
Your skin will do all of the work for you synthesising vitamin D from cholesterol.
Not enough sleep can amp up the hormones that increase your appetite. And turn down the hormones that make us feel satiated. Hello cravings!
Good sleep can reduce our levels of stress which will, in turn, improve our blood pressure.
Dehydration can impair energy levels and mood and greatly reduce brain function and memory.
Keep hydrated with at least 1.5 litres a day.
Practising forms of self-care will improve productivity, positivity, boost your immune system, fight fatigue and give you a general feeling of wellbeing.
And not so free – but cheapish.
Energy foods – nuts, seeds
Nuts and seeds contain a number of important vitamins and nutrients. They are also high in protein so when eaten in moderation can give sustained energy throughout the day.
My favourite supplement.
As a stimulant, caffeine acts on the brain and nervous system. In small doses, it can make you feel refreshed and focused. In large doses, you are likely to feel anxious and have difficulty sleeping.
This doesn’t mean we can start slamming back high energy drinks. They usually have ridiculously high doses of caffeine as well as masses of sugar.
Stick to a coffee or two and make them earlier in the day.
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A general multivitamin is an easy way to roll some of these vitamins into one tablet. You will find that the dosage is not as good but when taken regularly they can be effective.
This is a women's multivitamin designed to nourish you and your needs. Made with the active-form of the nutrients, whole-food organic fruits and vegetables, probiotics, and live enzymes for a vibrant life beyond 50 plus.
Just when the wrinkles start to show our CoQ10 levels and energy often start to decline. We can’t get enough CoQ10 from diet alone. Therefore, a CoQ10 supplement, especially as we age, can support antioxidant activity, help maintain heart health and aid in the production of energy.
The body’s capacity to produce CoQ10 declines with age. Signs of deficiency include fatigue and muscle pains.
Fatigue is a common problem as you start to enter midlife. Boosting your energy doesn’t need to be difficult, CoQ10 may be the perfect supplement for you.
Our bodies need omega-3 fatty acids, which are not made in the body, in order to work normally.
It is difficult to eat enough fatty fish to cover our need for omega-3 so it is a good idea to take it in the form of a supplement. As with all supplements you get what you pay for. Consider opting for supplements of better quality that the bargain bin specials you see inside the door of every large pharmacy.
Herbal supplements are generally taken from the leaves, stems, seeds, or flowers of plants. They are made into teas, capsules, and other forms.
Many of the plants used for menopausal symptoms have naturally occurring compounds called phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens can have some effects in the body similar to estrogen, the female hormone which decreases during menopause.
There is little conclusive evidence in clinical studies to support the use of herbs such as red clover and and black cohosh in the treatment of menopause symptoms.
Sage, which you will be familar with as a culinary herb has been used in the treatment for hot flushes and night sweats for generations.
Again there is not much research to show that sage is effective in reducing symptoms but women have been using it for eons so I tend to think there must be something behind the history.
Sage can be taken as a tea, in a capsule or used as an essential oil.
Sage tea and capsules are easily ingested however, DO NOT ingest the oil.
It is very concentrated and has very high amounts of a compound known as thujone.
In high amounts thujone can damage the nervous system.
Pregnant women should not use sage oil and tea (though they can still use it as a culinary herb).
Sage may have a sedative effect on some people.
The mindfulness of yoga in marrying the breath with the body may be beneficial in reducing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.
These benefits aside yoga can help reduce anxiety, improve strength and flexibility and add to the general feeling of wellbeing.
Stimulating certain points along the meridians with particular amounts of pressure may help to balance hormones and so lesson menopause symptoms.
Choosing supplements is a bit of a minefield so I encourage you to get the freebie offered at the beginning of the post.
Despite all of the information in this post the best supplements for energy in midlife are the ones that you feel give you the most positive changes. Everyone reacts differently. Monitor how you feel closely. If you feel nauseous or there is a change in your bowel movements or anything negative at all that you notice stop taking them.
If you’re post menopausal also check out this post -