Severe tiredness can turn an otherwise normal day into a trudge up Mt. Everest. It’s natural to search for the quickest possible turnaround with caffeine, sugar, or near-miraculous herbs and vitamins for energy and tiredness. Unfortunately, that’s not how your body works.
Retaking control of your energy levels and lifestyle has more to do with restoring equilibrium in your hormones and nutrient levels than taking any one particular vitamin or quick fix. However, some vitamins are more closely linked to your energy levels than others, and a deficiency in those may contribute to fatigue.
No vitamin or herb will cure an underlying condition or balance your hormones, but there are some that can help you level the playing field. However, a customized, hormone-facing nutritional plan closely shaped to your bloodwork is the best way to stay at your peak every day and take back control from fatigue.
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by The Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Vitamins for Energy and Tiredness
Very limited evidence suggests that vitamins may give you an energy kick. Truly defeating fatigue is about maintaining a delicate balance of hormones and nutrients while reducing your risk of chronic diseases that could further drain your energy.
Staying on top of your nutritional needs can help improve your longevity. It can also extend your healthspan by preventing obesity and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. However, if you do start to feel disruptively and consistently tired, speak to a health professional so they can rule out other causes.
Keeping chronic disease at arm’s length is a great way to maximize your energy reserves. The best vitamins for tiredness and a lack of energy are likely the ones you don’t get enough of in your diet.
Fatigue is a common symptom of B12 deficiency, and supplementing can help correct it. B12 is a central pillar of your nervous system and helps to build your cells through a process called methylation.
According to Renae Thomas, MD and family, preventive, and lifestyle medicine physician, many people suffer with undiagnosed and energy-draining B12 deficiencies. “I have a huge passion for B12,” says Dr. Thomas, “especially methylated B vitamins, because so many people are deficient and undiagnosed, including those who eat meat.”
Dr. Thomas points out that even many meat eaters need more methylated B12 to avoid a rise in homocysteine from increased methionine. “And much of the B12 in meat is only there because the animals are injected with B12 — especially if the animals aren’t grass fed.”
B12 is a soil-based organism. “Since we no longer drink from streams, eat from the ground (unwashed/scrubbed fruits and vegetables), and many of us have impaired gut lining and stomach acid, B12 deficiency is common,” says Dr. Thomas. “Nutritional yeast is not a reliable source of B12, and many fortified foods are fortified with synthetic cyanocobalamin, which will make methylation problems worse for many.”
The solution? Look for a methylated B12 product like Lifeforce’s Detoxification Methylation, formulated with clinician-grade ingredients and based on research in Tony Robbins’ bestselling book, Lifeforce.
However, unlike with a B12 deficiency, which routinely causes constant tiredness, many doctors don’t test vitamin D levels when a patient complains of fatigue.
A 2016 study examined otherwise healthy individuals with low vitamin D and found that supplementation improved self-reported fatigue. Even those without a diagnosed deficiency may see an energy boost from taking vitamin D, since standard lab ranges may be suboptimal.
It’s also a good idea to take Vitamin D together with vitamin K,” says Dr. Thomas, “since both play a vital role in the metabolization of calcium. Taking them together can also help prevent your body from depositing dietary calcium in your arteries.”
Magnesium deficiency can cause fatigue, so making sure you have enough might keep tiredness at bay. This vital mineral helps your muscles and nerves function and supports energy production throughout your body. Yet 48% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
Beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy vegetables, and dairy products like milk and yogurt are all good sources of magnesium that can help prevent deficiency. However, if you still don’t get enough magnesium from dietary sources alone, you may benefit from taking a supplement to help you meet your daily magnesium requirement.
If you have severe, ongoing fatigue and a physician finds low iron levels in your blood, they may diagnose iron deficiency anemia and prescribe iron supplements.
Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin — the substance that allows your blood to transport oxygen. If you’re short on hemoglobin, you can easily become breathless and tired.
However, it’s crucial to take an iron supplement only if a doctor diagnoses iron deficiency anemia. If your iron levels are too high, it can damage your liver. That’s why it’s essential to understand your blood nutrient levels before deciding to take a supplement.
Men's and Women’s Vitamins for Energy and Tiredness
Men and women often have different reasons for feeling tired, so it’s natural to wonder if different vitamins for fatigue affect males and females differently. The reality is that vitamins for energy and tiredness are fairly non-gender-specific — at least according to current research.
Let’s take a look at the best women's and men’s vitamins for energy and tiredness.
Supplements for Fatigue
Some herbal supplements may help provide the extra jolt of energy you need, as part of a tailored and clinician-backed approach. Studies have supported the ability of some herbs to provide extra energy with a low risk of side effects.
However, just as with taking vitamins for energy and tiredness, no single herb will provide all of the solutions for your fatigue, and many remain unproven by large-scale, reliable clinical trials.
It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to avoid unwanted side effects or interactions with medications.
If you don’t have enough coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), supplementing can be vital for your energy levels. Every cell in your body needs (CoQ10) to make energy, grow, and stay healthy. People with low CoQ10 levels may feel consistently tired if their body can’t produce enough.
Fish, meat, and nuts provide CoQ10, but not enough to significantly restore levels. CoQ10 supplements can help, and are safe for most people, with very few side effects.
Poor sleep often means low energy the next day, so supplementing melatonin may be a good foundation for reducing fatigue if you struggle with sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone that stimulates sleep, increasing as evening darkness falls and reducing when the light returns in the morning. Like CoQ10, your body makes its own melatonin. But if your sleep cycle is out of sync, you can supplement extra to try and reintroduce a healthy sleep pattern.
Melatonin is particularly effective for regulating sleep cycles in those who work late or in shifts. It’s also helpful for jetsetters who travel between time zones and experience the sleep-depriving effects of jet lag. In otherwise healthy people who live with insomnia, results are mixed, but some reviews have found melatonin to be an effective way to improve sleep.
In rare cases, melatonin can cause daytime drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches, but it’s mostly well-tolerated and safe for short-term use.
For those looking for a lower dose option, Peak Rest™ combines a low dose of melatonin with magnesium, ashwagandha, and other relaxation-promoting ingredients to support deep, restorative sleep — without the next-day grogginess.
Developed by Lifeforce (co-founded by Tony Robbins), Peak Rise™ is a premium-grade nutraceutical with vitamins for energy and tiredness. It extends the duration of caffeine by up to three times, keeping you energized, focused, and alert without any jitters or mid-afternoon crash.
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Ashwagandha is an herb central to the ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda, and its adaptogenic actions might help your fatigue. Adaptogens are plant compounds that may support your body in reacting less severely to stress.
Stress is a leading cause of fatigue, so ashwagandha may reduce how tired you feel day to day.
A placebo-controlled trial using elite cyclists found that a group who cycled after using ashwagandha performed significantly better than the placebo group. Ashwagandha may reduce physical as well as mental fatigue.
Research has also found that its components have little-to-no toxic effects, meaning that it's safe to try as a potential fatigue solution for most people.
Ginkgo is an ancient Chinese herb that has been honored for centuries as a way to reduce fatigue and anxiety. New research shows Ginkgo contains special molecules called ginkgolides that may fight inflammation in the nervous system and counter the effects of disease-causing free radicals.
A randomized, controlled study on refugees and war survivors found that gingko supplementation significantly reduced mental, physical, and activity-related fatigue.
The results of an earlier study testing ginkgo’s effects on older, healthy participants showed that a ginkgo extract reduced depression, anger, and fatigue.
It’s worth noting that no large-scale, reliable studies have supported ginkgo as a fatigue remedy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also not approved ginkgo as an appropriate treatment for any condition. Speak to a doctor before supplementing with ginkgo.
A review of 11 studies of around 500 people supports Rhodiola rosea’s ability to reduce fatigue and improve physical performance. Like ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb that may help your body deal more effectively with stress.
Larger studies would add more evidence for Rhodiola rosea’s energy-boosting benefits, but the initial results are promising. Rhodiola rosea is as safe to take as a supplement as any of the vitamins for energy and tiredness above, with a low risk of side effects for most individuals.
Hormones and Fatigue: What’s the Connection?
Hormonal changes can make a world of difference to your energy levels. Taking vitamins to help with fatigue can be effective, but hormone optimization has far more potential to boost your energy.
Levels of the male sex hormone testosterone drop with age — typically about 1 to 2% each year in men, starting in the mid-30s.
According to Lifeforce Medical Director Vinita Tandon, MD, “An epidemiological study found that out of a group of men who visited their primary care doctor with a variety of symptoms, up to 55% of them tested positive for low testosterone.” That can result in reduced bone and muscle mass, strength, and libido. Energy levels and concentration levels can also suffer.
What You Can Do to Balance Hormones and Reduce Fatigue
The first step in addressing hormone-related fatigue is to measure your baseline. A simple blood test, like the Lifeforce Diagnostic, can help you track your levels and understand whether you have a deficit. Supplementing hormones when you don’t need to is unlikely to improve fatigue and can cause other health problems.
But if you do find a deficiency through testing, you can supplement with pills, injections, or topical treatments. Speak with your clinician first to determine your optimal dosage, the best delivery method, and what to expect during your hormone optimization journey.
Does Taking Vitamins for Fatigue Actually Work?
If you have a vitamin deficiency, supplementing can help fight your fatigue. If you aren’t deficient and you’re otherwise healthy, using vitamins to fight fatigue is unlikely to be effective. However, if you’re struggling with fatigue, it’s definitely worth discussing it with a physician, as they can help identify areas you may be suboptimal, and what may be worth trying for you.
A lifestyle that includes a well-formulated, scientifically-supported multivitamin can help optimize your levels and prevent deficiency, making fatigue less a factor in your daily life. While it may be possible to get all the necessary nutrients from your diet, a multivitamin may simplify your vitamin intake in a flexible, manageable way. This is especially important as our soil quality and nutrient availability continue to get worse.
Keep in mind, taking a multivitamin won’t address a hormone balance issue or other chronic health concerns. A physician needs to rule out other conditions that can cause fatigue and diagnose deficiency based on blood tests.
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When to See a Doctor About Fatigue
If you find that exercise, stress relief, healthy eating, and consuming enough fluids don’t improve your fatigue after two weeks, get in touch with a physician.
If you live with mental health difficulties and are having thoughts of suicide, contact 9-1-1 or the U.S. Suicide and Crisis hotline on 9-8-8.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about vitamins for energy and tiredness.
Which vitamin gives you the most energy?
The best vitamins for fatigue and tiredness are the ones you don’t have enough of in your blood. A blood test should help you identify any deficiency.
What supplements should I take if I am always tired?
Speak to a doctor to find out why you’re always tired. Some people take herbal supplements like ashwagandha, ginkgo, and Rhodiola rosea, but evidence on their reliability is limited. Others take hormone supplements like testosterone and estrogen, which can help people with low or irregular levels.
If your doctor identifies a chronic condition that requires medication, do not take a supplement without discussing it first to make sure the supplement and medication don’t interact.
What vitamin are you lacking when you are tired?
Deficiencies of vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium, and iron can cause fatigue. If your bloodwork identifies a deficiency or suboptimal levels, correcting this through the best vitamins for fatigue can often help.
Does B12 give you energy right away?
B12 is not a stimulant, so it won’t give you a sudden burst of energy. Instead, supplementing B12 can help correct a deficiency and make you feel more energized over time.
Do vitamins and supplements actually help with tiredness?
Some vitamins may help with tiredness, but they’re only proven effective by small studies or when correcting a deficiency. If a chronic cause is causing your fatigue, then supplements may help, but they won’t resolve your tiredness until you treat the cause.
Taking vitamins to fight fatigue or natural supplements to help with energy can work for you if you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. However, the causes of fatigue can run a lot deeper than a simple deficiency. It’s important to get a medical opinion and receive a full diagnostic panel to check your blood levels of any vitamin you’re looking to supplement.
Based on research in the bestselling book Life Force by Tony Robbins, improve your energy and optimize your health with the Lifeforce Membership. It empowers you with everything you need to track your body, get expert guidance, and take the right steps to live at your peak.
This article was medically reviewed by:
Renae Thomas, MD, MPH; ABFM Board Certified in Family Medicine, ABPM Board Certified in Public Health, & General Preventive Medicine; ABLM Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine