The 6 Best Vitamins for Energy After 55
Getting the benefits of vitamins can be challenging, especially for seniors. Learn the best vitamins for energy and how to get in enough.
Are you starting to feel more run-down, tired, and lack the energy or motivation for day-to-day tasks? If so, you could probably benefit from a refresher on what vitamins give you energy and how you can get back to feeling like yourself.
Especially if you’re 55 and older, you’re likely aware of the important role that diet plays in supporting your energy levels. But the reality is that many of us don’t get enough of what we need for optimal energy, which only becomes more prevalent in the senior years.
Tack on a busy lifestyle, inconsistent diet habits, or a medical condition that affects your body’s ability to absorb nutrients effectively, can lead to downright exhaustion. Fortunately, lackluster energy does not have to be your fate. Getting in the best vitamins for energy and building that energy back up is easier than you may think.
While there are certainly several well-established vitamins that can improve energy, there are also some exciting new nutrients to discover. Read on to learn which are the best energy-boosting vitamins for seniors, where to find them, and new modern additions to traditional vitamins for cellular energy.
Here are 6 of the best energy vitamins for seniors to focus on for renewed vitality.
Top 6 vitamins that will give you energy
Vitamin B12 is one of the key vitamins to increase energy over 50. It plays a vital role in energy production by breaking down the food you eat and transforming it into cellular energy. This process doesn’t occur at random, it does this specifically in the mitochondria where you are able to produce the most energy for use.
Vitamin B12 also supports healthy red blood cell production, facilitating oxygen transport throughout the body for energy production.
Those who are 50 and older have a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, as they produce less of the required stomach acids needed to absorb it properly. If you are over 50, you may require more vitamin B12 in your diet or a vitamin B12 supplement to counteract this.
Moreover, B12 is only found naturally in animal foods, and thus vegetarians or vegans are at an increased risk of a deficiency.
The best food sources of vitamin B12 include clams, tuna, sardines, salmon, liver, beef, milk and dairy, eggs, fortified cereals, and nutritional yeasts.
If you’re wondering what is the best energy booster for seniors, iron tops the list. In fact, low iron levels are one of the biggest precipitators of weakness and fatigue. The body needs enough iron to make hemoglobin, the necessary protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout your body.
If your body is lacking oxygen, you’ll likely find yourself frequently winded and ready for a nap.
Iron deficiency in older adults is more common and may result from decreased intake of iron-rich foods, reduced absorption, or health conditions such as kidney disease that can affect the production of iron.
There are many food sources of iron, but animal sources are preferred to plant sources. This is because the “heme” iron from animal sources is more readily absorbed in the body than the “none-heme” iron from plants.
The best food sources of iron include liver, beef, fish, poultry, beans, leafy greens, and fortified cereals. Vitamin C is a good companion for iron, as it can improve its absorption. Specifically combining vitamin-C-containing foods like citrus or tomatoes with foods high in iron may increase absorption.
CoQ10 stands for coenzyme Q10, another one of the top vitamins to increase energy in your body’s cells. It is found naturally throughout the body and primarily lives in the mitochondria, that cellular powerhouse.
The amount of CoQ10 present in the body may decline in older age, with certain medical conditions like heart disease, or in those who take cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins. Low CoQ10 levels may contribute to fatigue, as your body’s cells are not able to produce energy as efficiently.
CoQ10 is found directly in a few food sources such as fish, meat, and nuts.
However, while CoQ10 is in foods, it is not typically present in adequate amounts to provide enough. Because of this, taking a CoQ10 supplement may be a more effective way to improve your energy. It’s best to take CoQ10 with food as it needs fat to be absorbed.
Vitamin D is another one of the best energy-boosting vitamins for seniors. Vitamin D is a common deficiency in all ages, but seniors especially may be at risk due to dietary factors and reduced time outside.
A deficiency in vitamin D has been associated with fatigue and weakness in the muscles and bones. This explains why vitamin D may be one of the best vitamins to increase energy.
This may be partly due to the fact that vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium. When vitamin D levels are low it may reduce physical strength and increase the risk for fractures.
Vitamin D is found naturally in a few foods such as salmon, swordfish, tuna, mushrooms, dairy, fortified cereal, and eggs. However, the majority of our vitamin D actually comes from regular sun exposure rather than from the diet. The challenge is as we get older the ability to absorb vitamin D slowly declines, and daily sun exposure may not always be a regular occurrence.
If you’re lacking in energy, consider getting your vitamin D levels checked. If you can’t get enough in your diet or from sunlight, there are plenty of vitamin D supplements available to help you meet your needs.
Magnesium is one of the best minerals to boost energy. It works alongside more than 300 different enzyme systems in the body and is directly involved in energy production. This is in part because it helps manage blood sugar and supports healthy blood pressure regulation, which helps to stabilize energy levels.
Magnesium is found in several foods, but those over 50 tend to have lower intakes of these foods. Magnesium absorption as we get older. In addition, renal (kidney) excretion of magnesium increases, resulting in lower levels in the body.
To increase magnesium levels, choose plenty of magnesium-rich foods regularly such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. If needed, a magnesium supplement may be added. Speak to your medical doctor before choosing a magnesium supplement, as some forms are more readily absorbed in the body than others.
Zinc is another mineral needed for optimal energy. Even though it is considered a “trace” mineral only needed in small amounts, its presence is necessary for DNA production, proper cell growth and repair, and a strong immune system. All of these body functions are required to feel energized throughout your day.
Zinc is primarily found in animal products like oysters, red meat, and poultry. It is found in lesser amounts in plant-based foods such as beans, chickpeas, and nuts. If you’re a vegetarian or are not regularly eating these foods, it’s important to get your zinc levels checked.
Science unlocks a novel cellular energy booster
While vitamins can certainly boost energy levels naturally, the scientific community has uncovered a novel nutrient with additional energy-boosting properties - Urolithin A (UA). You might recall from biology class that the mitochondria are the “powerhouse” of the cell. It’s true, the vast majority of energy used by the body – 90% of our cellular energy – is produced by the mitochondria.
As we age, our mitochondrial function declines, triggering less than desired energy levels. When mitochondrial function declines, the body has a harder time functioning optimally, leading to not only suboptimal energy but an increased risk of health problems.
Mitochondria play such a critical role in maintaining healthy cellular function that the body has evolved a process to defend them called mitophagy. In mitophagy, damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria are identified and recycled to make way for new, healthy mitochondria.
What’s important to know about Urolithin A is that it directly supports our mitochondrial health by triggering mitophagy, enabling your body to rebuild its energy generators.
Urolithin A may be produced in the body as a byproduct of eating pomegranates, one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits on the planet. But unfortunately, 2 out of 3 people lack the gut bacteria to convert the precursors in pomegranates into Urolithin A. This makes getting the therapeutic dose of Urolithin A from diet a challenge.
Until recently, that was a problem without a sensible solution. However, Urolithin A is now available as a supplement you can add to your diet, unlocking this energy source for those who need it. Taking UA directly with Mitopure also ensures you receive the therapeutic daily dose, which studies show is 500mg, with some receiving elevated benefits at 1000mg.
Optimal energy is produced through a combination of the best vitamins to give you energy, minerals to boost energy, and a proper diet to fuel energy. Diet, while often the preferred solution, is proving to be more complex than one might assume as we better understand the interplay between our individual gut microbiome and the foods we consume. This makes supplementation an important consideration for all, but particularly critical for those 55 and older.
While some energy boosting vitamins are familiar household names, science is constantly moving forward and exciting new nutrients are emerging. As the science supporting these new nutrients grows, these compounds should be considered, in consultation with your medical practitioner.
Mitochondria are key players in maintaining our energy levels, particularly as we age. Novel interventions, like Urolithin A, hold promise because they have been shown to improve mitochondrial health and thus increase cellular energy at the source.
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