The Top 7 Supplements for Sustained Energy at Work

Is your usual nutritional supplement for work a non-stop caffeine IV? Caffeine may be a great stimulant, but it loses its effectiveness over time. Once tolerance sets in – which happens quickly – you’ll find yourself drinking more and more coffee not to make yourself feel energetic, but just to stay awake. There is a better way. Although it may sometimes feel as though you’ll never have enough energy to get through the work day without help, it’s actually not as hard as you might think to set yourself up for sustained energy throughout the day. The right supplements can definitely help, and no supplement can do a better job of providing energy than the most important supplement that you’ll ever take: the food you eat. We’ll begin with that in our list of the top 7 supplements for energy at work.

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Healthy Diet

The most important supplement that you can take for sustained energy at work is the food you eat. Anything that causes a blood sugar spike will also cause a dip in blood sugar, and that’s when you’ll start to feel drowsy. Don’t skip breakfast – and when you do eat, don’t overindulge. Minimize your consumption of sugars and refined starches. Whole grains and other high-fiber foods provide sustained energy because they don’t flood your system with carbohydrates. Avoid the temptation to snack on junk foods at work; you might find it helpful to store a few healthy foods in your desk.


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Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest forms of medicine. It’s been extensively studied – particularly in India – and researchers have found it to have multiple health benefits. One study shows it to be good for energy levels and mitochondrial health. Another study shows that ashwagandha reduces stress and anxiety, which can also help to improve energy levels. Regardless of what’s causing your low energy at work, you may find ashwagandha extremely helpful.

Vitamin B12

You’ll find Vitamin B12 on many lists of the most popular supplements for energy. According to the National Institutes of Health, there is no evidence that Vitamin B12 improves energy levels in normal individuals. However, some people – perhaps as many as 15 percent of individuals – suffer from Vitamin B12 deficiency. Those people have difficulty absorbing Vitamin B12 from food and may require supplementation to maintain high energy levels. Some of the common causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency include anemia and old age. In addition, people with lower levels of stomach acid – those who take proton pump inhibitors, for example – may need B12 supplementation. Finally, because Vitamin B12 doesn’t occur naturally in plant-based foods, some vegans may require B12 supplementation. However, many nutritional yeasts and non-dairy milks are fortified with Vitamin B12. Your doctor can check your Vitamin B12 levels and confirm whether you have a deficiency.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is one of the more popular supplements that you’ll find in health food stores. It occurs naturally in whole grains and meat. Even if you eat those foods extensively, though, your body’s CoQ10 levels may decrease as you age. According to the Mayo Clinic, a CoQ10 supplement can potentially improve your energy levels because CoQ10 is a catalyst in the body’s process of producing energy. In addition, CoQ10 may help those with heart conditions and early-stage Parkinson’s disease. Ask your doctor before beginning CoQ10 supplementation if you are taking a prescription blood thinner.


If you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet – or your body has low iron levels due to an underlying health issue – increasing your iron intake could help you maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. Don’t begin a regimen of iron supplementation without talking to your doctor. Instead, increase your intake of iron-rich foods such as beans, broccoli, eggs, red meats and beet powder. If you still feel low in energy, talk to your doctor and ask if iron supplementation might be right for you. Remember that menstruating women require more dietary iron than men. If you are a young woman – especially if your menstruation cycles are heavy – you may need to make a special effort to eat more foods with iron. For both men and women, low iron levels can indicate a more serious health issue such as anemia or a bleeding ulcer. An iron supplement can mask the symptoms of those conditions without resolving the underlying cause. That’s why you shouldn’t take an iron supplement without first talking to your doctor.


Shilajit is one of the more interesting supplements for energy. It has only recently entered the public consciousness of the world at large, and its potential health benefits haven’t been extensively studied. Most interestingly, we aren’t even completely certain what shilajit is made from or how it’s formed. We do know that it only forms high in mountain ranges such as the Himalayans. It seems to be derived from plants – although we’re not certain of that – and it seeps from the mountain rocks when the sunlight warms it and makes it runny. Shilajit is very, very old, most likely taking many years to form. Shilajit is collected and purified, and in its final form, it is a dark tar that’s easy to roll between your finger and thumb and mixes easily with water. 

Shilajit is an absolute powerhouse of trace minerals and amino acids. Just a few of the minerals that occur naturally in shilajit include zinc, iron, silver, gold, manganese, copper and calcium. If your diet is deficient in any trace minerals, it’s likely that taking shilajit will improve your energy levels at work.


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