3 Great Women's Vitamins For Energy
Juggling work, kids, and health all at once is already extremely draining. But did you know that lack of proper nutrition could be adding to that tired feeling? A well-rounded diet is essential when it comes to providing your body with the energy it needs to power through your day. While all nutrients are important, some may be more helpful than others at boosting your energy levels. In this article, we will explore 3 minerals and vitamins that help with energy for women of all ages: iron, vitamin B12, and magnesium.
Iron is an essential mineral for all human beings, but it is particularly crucial to the health of women. Women may require twice as much daily iron intake as men. The recommended daily intake for the average adult male is 8 mg while the recommended intake for adult females is 18 mg (1). As you might have guessed, this difference is caused mainly by menstruation and occasionally by pregnancy. Those who menstruate can lose up to half a pint of blood each month, which is equivalent to around 125 mg of iron (2). Meeting your daily intake of iron is crucial to avoid developing a deficiency.
Iron deficiency is commonly associated with feelings of fatigue. When your body is iron deficient, it cannot produce adequate amounts of hemoglobin, the substance that allows red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body (3). This can cause tiredness and the feeling of being out of breath.
To avoid iron deficiency, you need to provide your body with a steady supply of iron. You can accomplish this via diet if you pack in plenty of iron-rich foods. Examples of foods that contain high amounts of iron include meat (red meat, pork, poultry), seafood, dark green leafy vegetables, and beans. However, if you are vegan or otherwise unable to eat iron-rich foods often, then you may want to consider iron supplements to increase your daily intake. Taking a multivitamin that contains iron may help to boost your energy levels by counteracting or preventing deficiency.
Many of the B complex vitamins are particularly important to women’s health, as they play an essential role in the growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy. However, several B vitamins are also needed for the metabolic function that occurs within cells. Vitamin B12, for example, is partially responsible for the breaking down of food into glucose, which provides energy to cells throughout your body. Without this important function, you wouldn’t have the fuel to carry out your daily tasks and may experience not only physical fatigue, but mental fatigue as well.
It’s important to note that some groups may be at greater risk for vitamin B12 deficiency than others. Older adults, for example, are generally more likely to be deficient in this essential vitamin. Absorption of vitamin B12 is complex, involving various areas of the body. This process can become less efficient with old age, meaning that even those who frequently eat foods rich in vitamin B12 could still develop a deficiency (4). To counteract this effect, some doctors may suggest that elderly women take a vitamin B12 supplement, ensuring that their body has a ready supply and hopefully adding some extra energy to their days as well.
Much like vitamin B12, magnesium also boosts energy levels by helping your metabolism, assisting cells in the breaking down of foods into glucose. However, magnesium can also be helpful in other ways, specifically by counteracting some known causes of fatigue for many women.
One study found that treatment with magnesium supplements reduced symptoms of the following conditions related to women’s health: PMS, PCOS, mood disorders, and postmenopausal symptoms (5). Nearly all of these conditions are linked to fatigue, with PCOS in particular having fatigue as one of its most common symptoms. In these cases, supplementing with magnesium as part of treatment was effective, thus reducing the feelings of fatigue experienced by patients. Magnesium, then, may be a possible solution for some women facing these problems. Keep in mind, however, that you should always speak with your doctor before taking a new supplement, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition of any kind.
- “Iron Fact Sheet for Consumers.” National Institutes of Health, 5 April 2022, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-Consumer
- O’Brien, Claire. “Why Do Women Need More Iron Than Men?” Active Iron, 4 September 2018, https://www.activeiron.com/blog/why-do-women-need-more-iron-than-men-active-iron.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Iron Deficiency Anemia.” Mayo Clinic, 4 January 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355034.
- Stover, Patrick J. “Vitamin B12 and Older Adults.” Current Opinion on Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 30 November 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5130103.
- Porri, Debora et al. “Effect of Magnesium Supplementation on Women's Health and Well-being.” NFS Journal, June 2021, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364621000079.