10 Best Supplements to Fight Fatigue
We’ve all been there.
And it sucks.
You wake up and haphazardly stumble through your day.
Your brain doesn’t seem to be working at full capacity.
Your joints and muscles seem to ache.
Overall, everything just seems to feel awful.
When it comes to fatigue:
It’s typically thought of as a feeling of “tiredness” or “drowsiness”.
When, in reality, it’s a culmination of quite a bit more than that.
In fact, fatigue is a combination of:
- Physical weakness; and
- Mental weakness
It’s a common symptom, especially in this day and age, where everyone is looking to get places faster, accomplish tasks quicker, and juggle everyday tasks of family, work, school, and everyday life.
From a general health point of view, fatigue can be caused in a number of ways:
- Anemia (iron deficiency)
- Chronic pain
- Depression (or grief)
- Medicine (anti-depressants, sedatives, etc.)
- Sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy)
- Thyroid issues (overactive or underactive); or
- Alcohol (or drugs)
In some cases, fatigue is a result of various sicknesses as well:
- Anorexia (or other eating disorders)
- Arthritis (rheumatoid or otherwise)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney Diseases
- Liver disease; or
However, when you’re able to rule out any of the aforementioned (potential) causes of fatigue and have been able to develop and maintain a strong set of core habits, fatigue may still find its way to slow you down.
At this point, it may be time to turn to a number of various supplements that have been shown to positively reverse the effects of fatigue.
If you break fatigue down, by its most common ways of affecting your daily life, namely:
- Stress; and
… supplements can be a tremendous aid in helping to regain your natural energy levels, improve sleep, and increase overall performance in the gym.
Please note: the content of this article are not intended to serve as official medical advice. Always consult with a medical professional before starting any new supplement routine.
Lack of Sleep (And Supplements to Improve It)
When it comes time to wake up, it’s certainly not uncommon to reach over and want to hit the snooze button.
After all, who doesn’t want five more minutes of sleep in the morning, before the day’s craziness begins?
If getting out of bed each morning feels like a form of torture unfit for even your worst of enemies…
You start to look forward to your afternoon nap within the first few hours of starting your day…
…then it may be time to add some supplements to your daily routine to get you back on track.
1.) Iron, Magnesium, & Whole Foods
More often than not, the cause of frequent bouts with fatigue comes down to a simple deficiency.
To be more specific, an iron deficiency.
Better known as “iron deficiency anemia“, this is a condition in which the blood lacks proper levels of healthy red blood cells, which are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body’s tissues.
Simply put… an iron deficiency disallows your body from producing ample red blood cells, which prevents it from getting enough oxygen (hemoglobin).
If you’re low on energy and tend to lack proper (and deep) sleep, start by increasing the amount of iron and magnesium in your daily diet.
Aside from energy levels, these two minerals can also help to maintain proper blood pressure levels, provide oxygen to the blood, and increase overall muscle function and performance.
Typically, it’s recommend to consume at least:
Both iron and magnesium can be consumer through a proper nutritional diet focused on whole foods, like:
- Squash & pumpkin seeds
- Chicken (liver)
- Beef & lamb
- Whole grains, cereals & bran
- Dark leafy greens (spinach)
- Dark Chocolate & cocoa powder; and
- Dark leafy greens (raw spinach)
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish (mackerel)
- Beans and lentils
- Whole grains (brown rice)
- Low-fat dairy
- Dried fruit (figs)
- Dark chocolate
If, however, you find yourself wanting a more simple and convenient route of consuming your iron and magnesium, there are a number of perfectly-suited supplements available as well, which allow you to:
- Know exactly how much of each mineral you’re consuming per serving (and per day)
- Consume each mineral in easy-to-swallow capsules
- Consume each mineral without having to eat certain foods you may not care to eat
Our highest recommendations for iron and magnesium supplements can be found below:
Nature Made Iron (65mg)
In terms of magnesium, we’re big fans of the brand Life Extension.
Life Extension Magnesium Caps (500 mg)
For those of you who are accustomed to a nightly routine of taking some form of “sleep aid”… melatonin is perfect for you.
Whether you’re being exposed to too much light in the bedroom prior to bed, or…
Mental stimulation is exceedingly high during the 60 minutes prior to bed, or…
Levels of mental or physical stress are higher than normal before bed…
All in all, if it feels as though your body is “unwilling” or unable to fall asleep, it’s actually due to melatonin itself.
Melatonin is actually described by Examine.com as:
“A hormone secreted in the brain that regulates sleep. It appears to be highly sensitive to Light Therapy and Dark Therapy. Oral ingestion of melatonin may be used as a sleep aid. It is non-addictive.”
In layman’s terms…
The darker the room, the more melatonin our bodies produce and the better we sleep.
The lighter the room, the less melatonin our bodies produce and the worse we sleep.
If, for whatever reason, you prefer not to try melatonin (while we highly recommend it), here are a handful of techniques to try first to decrease exposure to bright lights in the 30 to 60 minutes prior to bedtime.
- Keep the bedroom lights “low”
- Avoid “fluorescent” light sources like TV screen, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
If you’ve tried these secondary tactics, to no avail, as always, we’ve got a tremendous melatonin recommendation for you below:
Natrol Melatonin Time Release (5 mg) (2-pack)
Glycine is, as described again by Examine.com (if you can’t tell, we’re fans of their science0based research):
An amino acid and neurotransmitter. it can play both stimulatory and depressant roles in the brain. Supplementation can improve sleep quality.
Known to be found in a plethora of whole food sources, glycine is also a great source of collagen (the most abundant source of protein found in the body used to strengthen hair, nail, and skin).
Typically, the recommended dose is in the 3 grams per day dosage and is highly affordable in powder form.
BulkSupplements Pure Glycine Powder (1 Kilogram)
Theanine is another form of amino acid that is known to help primarily with sleep.
Though, it’s not a sedative…
It does help to improve sleep quality and provide a sense of “well restiveness” come morning time.
In terms of natural sources, tea has been a generous source.
Caffeine also typically contains caffeine, which is counter productive to a good nights sleep.
While there are various types of caffeine-free tea available, the supplemental form is typically is the easiest means of increasing theanine levels.
Suntheanine L-Theanine 200mg (Double Strength)
High-Stress Levels (And Supplements to Improve It)
Unless you find yourself in a parallel universe, chances are…
You’d be hard-pressed to find some, rather… anyone that you know (including yourself) that doesn’t suffer from the occasion stressful day.
Don’t get us wrong, in very specific circumstances, stress can be helpful during times of:
- Conquering fears
- Stepping outside of comfort zones
But, during times of harmful stress, here is a list of factors that help to identify when your stress levels are over-optimized:
- You’re chronically sick (and can’t seem to get healthy)
- You’re having trouble concentrating
- You suffer from chronic headaches
- You suffer from chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain
- You suffer from poor sleep
- You suffer from poor libido and sex drive
L-Tyrosine is another one of our favorite amino acids, which is best known for its effectiveness in fighting stress.
This particular amino is so well-studied, it’s been found to be useful when taken prior to an event that’s expected to be of particularly high stress.
When the body becomes stressed out, it helps to secrete what are known as neurotransmitters, known as:
- Adrenaline; and
These neuro agents help to keep stressful symptoms in check.
However, once our levels of adrenaline and dopamine fall below “safe” levels, we start to experience symptoms, such as:
- Increase fatigue
- Increased sweatiness
- Decreased motivation
- Decreased attention
Ideally, it’s recommend to consume upwards of 500 mg to 2,000 mg of L-tyrosine at least sixty (60) minutes prior to any type of stressful event.
Here’s our favorite brand of L-Tyrosine below:
Now Foods L-Tyrosine 750mg
6.) Rhodiola Rosea
“Rhodiola” for short, this Traditional Chinese medicine is a herb found in Scandinavia that’s used to promote physical and cognitive performance and vitality.
Research shows that it’s been proven to reduce not only fatigue but also exhaustion associated with prolonged situations that keep stress levels elevated.
Essentially, it helps to prevent “metabolic burnout”.
Along with its effects to reduce stress, Rhodiola Rosea also helps to combat mild depression and improve cognition.
Effective dosages, though wide in range, have been found to be anywhere from 290 mg to 680 mg for daily use.
For less than $1 a day you can pick up enough Rhodiola Rosea to last you an entire month.
Our favorite brand is below:
Mental Refreshment: Rhodiola Rosea (900 mg – 180 capsules)
L-Ornithine helps to fight chronic stress, fatigue, and “foggy” thinking.
Primarily, it helps to alleviate chronic fatigue that can result from having too much ammonia in the blood.
Aside from stress, L-Ornithine is also used to help reduce the severity of hangovers.
Additional research shows that supplementing with Ornithine can help to:
- Reduce fatigue in extended exercises
- Promote lipid oxidation
- Increase growth hormone and IGF-1
Our favorite L-Ornithine supplement so far is:
NOW Foods L-Ornithine (500 mg – 120 Capsules)
Long Workouts (And Supplements to Improve Them)
There’s no better sense of accomplishment than walking into the gym knowing that you’re about to kick some ass…
And then walking out of the gym knowing that you’ve accomplished exactly what you’ve set out to do.
When it comes to workout fatigue, there are a number of in-gym tactics to employ to ensure that you break through your own plateaus, whether it be in the form of energy levels, reps pushed out, or total weight moved.
Supplements aside, here are a number of ways to improve you workout stamina:
- Watch the clock and focus on making sure your time spent during a workout is on just that… your workout
- Add supersets and cardio
- Skip the Smith machines and use free weights
- Focus on stability by adding more exercises that require a BOSU or stability ball
- Focus on “explosiveness” by training fast-twitch muscles
- Increase weight resistance
- Add sets “to failure”
- Document your workouts to know exactly where you stand and what to aim for next time
- Train with a partner
All of these above examples are great for improving the efficiency and the length of your workouts, but as always…
If you’re looking to optimize your results, then we’ve got a few supplements that we think you’re going to love trying out to help increase your energy during workouts.
Creatine is one of the workout supplements “Starchild”.
With 200+ clinical studies performed on its effectiveness, creatine is one of the most effective supplements you can use to:
- Increase muscle size
- Reduce fatigue; and
- Promote effective energy usage
Primarily, creatine works through the body by creating large stores of creatine phosphate, which is then used to replenish ATP.
ATP is a molecule used by the body in order to store and replenish energy during extends bouts of physical exertion.
Naturally, by promoting the body’s usage of creatine phosphate, the body’s cells are better equipped and prepared to preserve glucose stores for later use.
This, in turn, is what helps to deter fatigue from rearing its ugly head when you’re in the middle of leg day.
There are multiple forms of creatine, but we highly recommend using creatine monohydrate, as it’s been proven to be the purest and most bioavailable form available.
Micro Ingredients Pure Micronized Creatine Monohydrate
Again, with literally, hundreds of scientific studies performed on creatine, we recommend doing some independent research of your own in order to better understand how large of a role creatine can play in your fitness results.
Below, we’ve provided a handful of our favorite studies on creatine:
- Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance
- Creatine supplements and exercise performance: recent findings
- Adverse effects of creatine supplementation: fact or fiction?
- Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training
- Effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation in resistance-trained males
With such a widely studied supplement, you tend to find just about every supplement brand on the planet with a creatine supplement of their own.
To help weed out the truly great products, from the not-so-great ones, here’s our list of our top ten favorite creatine supplements for this coming year.
9.) Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs are a group of amino acids, which include:
- Isoleucine; and
Predominantly, BCAAs are used during an intense workout to help fight fatigue.
One of our favorite studies conducted on BCAAs found:
The present study has shown that BCAA administered before and following damaging resistance exercise reduces indices of muscle damage and accelerates recovery in resistance-trained males.
Keep in mind, BCAAs are recommended for both men and women who are interested in increasing post-workout muscle recovery.
Aside from aiding in recovery, here are three primary benefits of using BCAAs:
- Immune system support
- Protects against amino acid deficiencies
- Prevents loss of lean muscle mass
As lovers of BCAAs ourselves here at Supplement Demand, here’s one of our favorites to recommend to our readers:
In fact, Transparent Lab’s BCAA Glutamine ranks amongst the best-of-the-best on our Best BCAA Supplement Guide as well. Take a look to learn more about why (and how) BCAAs are a great option to optimizing your supplement regimen!
10.) Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)
“ALCAR” is a form of L-carnitine, which is an amino acid, that’s highly popular in the world of fitness for its ability to prevent fatigue during intense workouts.
Primarily, this is made possible by carnitine’s ability to enhance the oxygen.
More importantly… the rate at which oxygen is delivered to our muscles.
By providing oxygen to the muscles in this fashion, carnitine helps to prevent lactic acid build up.
This, ultimately, helps to prevent muscle soreness.
Along with aiding in muscle soreness, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is also useful for increasing mental capacity, recall, memory, and focus.
With more than 2,000 great reviews on Amazon, this is our favorite ALCAR supplement that we’re currently using:
BulkSupplement Pure Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) Powder
Besides BulkSupplements, there are several other brands that are currently producing some truly high-grade ALCAR supplements right now, many of which can be found most affordably on Amazon.
Fighting Fatigue Has Never Been So Easy
If you’ve ever felt that your life, work, and training has been affected by fatigue, this guide is n excellent first step to take in providing you with the perfect list of the ten most effective supplements for fighting the “good fight”, known as fatigue.
Above, we provided details (and our recommended favorites) for each of the following fatigue-fighting supplements:
- For Better Sleep
- Iron, Magnesium, & Whole Foods
- For Fighting Stress
- Rhodiola Rosea
- For Improving Workout Endurance
If you’ve taken the time to read through this entire guide, we’re confident in a few things:
- Your serious about making a change and fighting your fatigue
- You’ve tried various methods to fight fatigue without much success
- You’re willing to try something new (and proven) to give you your energy back
If you decide to try one of the supplements above to help you fight fatigue, let us know!
We love nothing more than hearing from our beloved readers, especially when/if they’ve found success with any of the supplements that we’ve recommended to them!