- Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition that can affect the quality of life. It can produce overwhelming fatigue that doesn’t go away with sleep.
- Supplements like caffeine, Rhodiola rosea, CoQ10, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and green powder supplements can help fight symptoms of chronic fatigue.
- Besides supplementation, good nutrition, hydration, an active lifestyle, managing stress, and a good night’s sleep also play a role in managing the symptoms.
Once in a while, feeling tired is ok.
But, what happens if you feel tired ALL the time? Feeling tired all the time can make it more challenging to do everyday activities. This can affect your work and social life.
What you are probably experiencing is chronic fatigue.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a long-term condition that affects many body systems. People with chronic fatigue have overwhelming fatigue that doesn’t go away with sleep. This can result in the inability to do everyday functions. (Source)
It’s believed that 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. And, the most shocking fact is that it’s believed that 90% of people have not been diagnosed. (Source)
But how do you know if you have chronic fatigue syndrome? Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms:
- Feeling extremely tired
- Problems focusing
- Issues with memory and cognitive functions
- Muscle pain or joint pain
- Feeling tired after sleeping
- Taking a long time to recover after physical exercise
- Problems with sleep
Getting the right diagnosis will be crucial to help combat this condition. If you feel you might have chronic fatigue, talk with your healthcare provider.
Learning how to handle chronic fatigue plays a vital role in being able to go back to a normal life. Instead of staying in bed all day, you can enjoy spending time with your family or doing those fun activities you missed.
Nutrition plays an important role in handling the condition. After all, I’m sure you’ve heard that you are what we eat.
Adding junk to your body is only going to make you feel worse. But, if you add high-quality foods with a high nutritional value, it will help your body heal and prevent chronic fatigue syndrome.
Besides food, supplements, and lifestyle changes are essential to managing the condition.
In this article, we’ll go over the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, supplements that can give you an energy boost, and other dietary factors to help you fight chronic fatigue syndrome.
Causes Of Chronic Fatigue
Currently, the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are yet unknown. However, some factors and conditions can make it more likely for chronic fatigue syndrome to appear.
Keep in mind that it is possible to have more than one factor. Chronic fatigue syndrome can happen due to one factor or a combination.
Some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after a bacterial or viral infection. One in ten people infected with Epstein-Barr, Ross River, and Coxiella Burnetti can develop symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. (Source)
Another possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is a poor immune system. A high production of cytokines and a low functioning of natural killer cells (those that help fight infection) can put you at risk for this condition.
Reports have also shown people with chronic fatigue syndrome after an injury or surgery.
High states of inflammation, such as those seen in fibromyalgia and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, can also increase the risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome.
There might be medical conditions that affect the ability to convert the food we eat into usable energy. This prevents you from getting the fuel you need to move. Thus, showing signs of fatigue.
A diet high in pro-inflammatory foods can make it more likely to develop chronic fatigue syndrome.
Foods like sugars, alcohol, fried foods, processed vegetable oils, and refined grains can create a high state of inflammation in the body.
So, a poor-quality diet combined with high-stress levels and poor sleep is the perfect combination to potentially develop chronic fatigue syndrome.
Finally, psychological factors can also play a role in developing chronic fatigue syndrome.
Evidence suggests that severe life events and the inability to cope with them can increase the risk of developing the condition. (Source)
Supplements are not mandatory to treat chronic fatigue syndrome. However, depending on your needs, they can be quite useful.
Now, keep in mind that supplements are the tip of the iceberg. You need to make lifestyle changes to see real results.
But, we will expand on the lifestyle changes to help manage chronic fatigue syndrome later in the article.
Types Of Energy Supplements
Three main types of supplements can boost your energy levels:
- Vitamins and Minerals
Stimulants are substances that enhance brain activity. There are different kinds of stimulants. It includes caffeine, nicotine, and amphetamines. However, not all are recommended.
The most common stimulant is caffeine.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant in coffee, tea, and chocolate. It helps stimulate the brain and central nervous system, helping fight fatigue and improving focus.
Adaptogens are roots or herbs that can help decrease stress response. Adaptogens have an effect on the brain to help keep your body in balance during stressful situations.
Popular adaptogens include:
Finally, while vitamins and minerals will not provide energy, they help convert the food you eat into usable energy.
Some essential vitamins and minerals for energy production include:
- Vitamin B12
Criteria For Selecting The Best Energy Supplements
Now, how do you know the best energy supplement for you? There are four main criteria for choosing the best supplement:
- Understand your needs
- Get to know the company
- Read the label
- Check out the reviews
Understand Your Needs
Before you purchase a supplement, make sure you make a thorough analysis of what is going on.
Why do you need an energy supplement?
What are you trying to fix?
How do you want to feel?
Understanding your needs makes it easier to select the best supplement.
For example, if you have problems with stress levels, an adaptogen might be the best solution.
But, if you have a poor diet, first make sure to make the necessary changes, and in this case, a vitamin or mineral supplement (like green powders) might be a better choice.
Get To Know The Company
Once you know what you are looking for, search for the options available on the market.
When you figure out a supplement you might like to try, get to know the company.
Know their values, what they try to do, and what bonuses they offer (like a money-back guarantee or third-party testing).
This will make it easier to determine if the company is worth purchasing from or if others are better.
Read The Label
If you like what the company stands for and offers, thoroughly check the nutrition panel.
This will make it easier to analyze and determine if the supplement is as effective as they claim.
Check Out The Reviews
Finally, if you like the supplement, check what people say about it.
Here, you’ll get an idea if the supplement works, its taste, texture, and any possible side effects that might arise.
Don’t only check the company’s website, but also search on trusted websites like Trust Pilot.
Best Energy Supplements For Chronic Fatigue
Now that you know how to select the best supplements to help boost your energy levels.
Let’s go more in-depth on which supplements you should emphasize.
As mentioned before, caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system.
Caffeine has an interesting effect on the body. It works by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel tired and relaxed. As adenosine levels build up during the day, you start feeling more tired and fatigued.
It also seems that caffeine can increase adrenaline levels, commonly known as the flight or fight hormone. An increase in adrenaline can make you more focused and less tired.
You can get caffeine from different sources: coffee, tea, chocolate, and supplements. (Source)
- Brewed coffee (8 oz): 80-100 mg
- Espresso (2 oz): 60-70 mg
- Green tea (8 oz): 20-30 mg
- Energy drink (8 oz): 70-100 mg
- Caffeine supplements: 100-200 mg
According to Examine.com, the recommended intake for caffeine is 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight. This means a recommended dose can range from 200 to 400 mg of caffeine per day. (Source)
The problem with caffeine is that people have different sensitivities to it. Some people might metabolize caffeine slower. As a result, you might experience energy crashes, fatigue, headaches, and insomnia.
Keep in mind that caffeine slows blood clotting. So, be careful when you are taking it along with anticoagulant drugs. Consult with your doctor before taking any new supplement.
2. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea is a root with powerful adaptogen capacities.
According to research, Rhodiola Rosea can help you handle stress during tough situations. In fact, a study where people consumed 400 mg of Rhodiola for 12 weeks had a decrease in stress and depression symptoms. (Source)
Another study showed the effects of Rhodiola on chronic fatigue syndrome. People given 400 mg of Rhodiola for eight weeks saw improvements only a week after starting their treatment. So, it seems it can positively affect chronic fatigue syndrome. (Source)
The recommended dosage for Rhodiola seems to be 288 mg to 600 mg per serving. (Source)
The best time to take Rhodiola is on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before eating. Avoid taking it before bedtime since it can affect sleep.
To have a better effect on stress reduction, try combining Rhodiola with Ashwagandha. It is another powerful adaptogen that can help reduce stress.
While Rhodiola is a safe supplement, it might produce unwanted side effects like dry mouth or dizziness.
Avoid taking Rhodiola with antidepressant drugs since it can cause rapid heart rate.
Also, Rhodiola might decrease blood sugar levels. So, if you are taking insulin or any other antidiabetic medication, ask your doctor before taking it.
3. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation.
There seem to be several benefits regarding this molecule. It might help improve skin, reduce headaches, and improve heart health.
Apparently, a deficiency of CoQ10 might increase symptoms of chronic fatigue. Therefore, supplementing with CoQ10 might decrease its symptoms. (Source)
However, more research is needed to determine the relationship between CoQ10 and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The recommended dosage for CoQ10 is 90 mg to 200 mg per day. (Source)
For better absorption, take it along with food. CoQ10 is safe and well-tolerated. However, some people might experience dizziness, insomnia, rashes, and irritability.
CoQ10 can interfere with blood thinners. Make sure you consult with your doctor before taking it.
4. Vitamin B12
Vitamins from the B complex help transform the food you eat into energy.
Even though you can increase your vitamin B12 content through foods like fish, poultry, eggs, and meat, the studies seem to be successful with supplements of vitamin B12.
There is no standard dose for vitamin B12 and chronic fatigue syndrome. However, studies have had positive results with injectable doses of 2.5 to 5 mg. (Source)
High doses of vitamin B12 might produce nausea, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting.
It can interact with tetracycline (oral antibiotic). So, stop taking it if the doctor recommends this type of medication.
One of the main symptoms of iron deficiency is fatigue. Chronic iron deficiency might result in chronic fatigue syndrome. (Source)
According to research, taking iron supplements can help reduce iron deficiency which helps reduce the risk of chronic fatigue syndrome.
However, before you consider taking an iron supplement, consult your doctor to have the appropriate bloodwork to diagnose iron deficiency.
The problem with iron supplements is that they might cause stomach problems. They might increase the risk of stomach cramps, heartburn, and bloating.
Just like iron, low magnesium levels can increase the risk of chronic fatigue syndrome.
In a study, people who took a magnesium supplement significantly improved energy levels, mood, and decreased pain. (Source)
While you can get magnesium from certain foods (leafy greens and legumes), the best results seen in studies are through supplementation.
High doses of magnesium can produce stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.
Also, keep in mind that magnesium supplements might interact with certain antibiotics.
7. Green Powder Supplements
Finally, the last supplement that can help boost energy levels and improve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are green powder supplements.
Green powder supplements are a combination of different powdered vegetables. In some cases, they also might contain other superfoods, adaptogens, nootropics, fruits, herbs, and spices.
Now, not all green powder supplements can help fight chronic fatigue. It all depends on each brand’s formula.
So, how can you know the best green powder supplement to help fight chronic fatigue?
The best green powder supplement on the market is Supergreen Tonik.
Supergreen Tonik is a supplement with 38 ingredients to help improve immunity, energy levels, and improve brain function.
What makes this the best option is that the creator, Adam Wright, made this supplement specifically to help decrease HIS symptoms of chronic fatigue.
So, who better to create a supplement to help combat chronic fatigue than someone who has experienced it firsthand?
Its carefully formulated formula contains essential vitamins and minerals to nurture the body.
On top of that, it is divided into three blends:
- Green blend (all organic): spirulina, collard greens, spinach leaf, barley grass powder, chlorella, and horseradish tree leaf.
- Nootropics blend: find ashwagandha, L-theanine, Rhodiola, ginkgo leaf powder, and bacopa herb extract.
- Immune boosting blend: dandelion leaf, garlic bulb, olive leaf extract, and black pepper fruit extract.
To get the best health outcomes, you can combine their green powder formula with their red powder formula. Red Tonik is a red powder formula that contains key ingredients like beetroot powder.
Beetroot powder can help improve post-workout recovery, helping fight fatigue symptoms.
Take a daily dose of Supergreen Tonik and Red Tonik to help manage chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
Other Dietary Strategies To Combat Chronic Fatigue
As mentioned before, supplements are only a small part of managing chronic fatigue syndrome.
Without making lifestyle changes, the supplement might not work.
Focusing on nutrition, water, stress, sleep, and exercise can greatly impact handling chronic fatigue.
Eating A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet will provide all the essential vitamins and minerals to keep the body healthy. Ensure you add enough whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables.
The more variety in the foods you add, the more nutrients you will get.
Make sure to avoid refined grains. Foods like cookies, pastries, desserts, white bread, white pasta, and sugar will create a sudden energy burst, followed by a crash. Alterations in blood glucose levels create an imbalance in energy levels.
So, prefer whole grains (whole wheat bread, legumes, brown rice, and oats), over simple and refined carbs.
More water won’t make chronic fatigue syndrome go away.
However, dehydration can cause more fatigue, worsening chronic fatigue symptoms. Make sure you drink the minimum amount of water based on your body weight per day. Divide your weight (pounds) by half, and you’ll get the total amount of ounces of water.
To make it easier to reach the daily intake, set up alarms, or distribute water into smaller goals. For example, drink 8 oz when you wake up or drink at least half the water before noon.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome might get triggered due to stress. (Source)
While it is very challenging to eliminate stress, especially in today’s society, find different mechanisms to help you cope.
Yoga, meditation, journaling, or walking are all great ways to help you cope with stress.
Getting Adequate Sleep
It can be challenging to sleep when you have chronic fatigue syndrome. And, the worst is, that lack of sleep can worsen the symptoms. So the cycle starts all over again.
Try to get at least 7-8 hours of good-quality sleep.
Create a bedtime routine to train your body when it’s time to start relaxing. Everyone can have a different bedtime routine.
Here are some examples of activities you can do:
- Do a skincare routine
- Take a hot bath
- Drink a cup of tea
- Read a book
- Listen to music or a pleasant podcast
- Dim the lights
- Avoid blue light
- Mist some scented lavender oil on the sheets
- Make the room a lower temperature
Engaging In Regular Exercise
Research shows that exercise therapy might have a positive effect on helping reduce chronic fatigue syndrome. (Source)
Do at least 150 minutes of light to moderate activity every week.
Make sure to pay attention to how exercise makes you feel. If it makes you feel energized, do exercise in the morning. But, if after exercise you feel sleepy, leave it for the evening.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition that can affect the quality of life.
The right supplement can help decrease symptoms and give you an energy boost. Caffeine, Rhodiola, CoQ10, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and green powder supplements can help manage the condition.
Keep in mind that supplements are only a way of managing the condition. You still need to make lifestyle changes like having a balanced diet, exercising, managing stress, and good-quality sleep all play an essential role.
If you are still getting symptoms and don’t know why, book a call with a registered dietitian for a personalized approach on what is the best course of action.
Brenda Peralta is an experienced Registered Dietitian (RDN) and Certified Diabetes Education (CDE). She is a freelance health and nutrition writer based in San Jose, Costa Rica. She has several certifications in sports nutrition, women’s health hormones, and gut health.