Vitamins for Stress | Our 2021 Guide to the Best Anxiety Supplements

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Stress is something we have all suffered from, and sometimes it can become overwhelming. Stress is more than an emotion though.

It is a hard-wired physical response that affects your whole body. It is part of your primitive fight-or-flight response, and it can be a good thing, motivating you into action.

However, if you experience stress too often or for too long, then it can alter your brain and damage organs and cells throughout your body. Stress is associated with acne, hair loss, headaches, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, sexual dysfunction, gut aliments, and even chronic diseases.

It is important to find ways to manage stress to keep mentally and physically healthy. Vitamins and supplements can help you manage stress, especially when combined with healthy habits such as exercise and sleep.

If you have any medical questions or concerns or feel the stress you feel is becoming unmanageable, speak to your healthcare provider. This article is thoroughly researched, but it is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

What Is Stress?

Your adrenal glands are responsible for releasing stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine. When these hormones travel through your bloodstream, they travel via your blood vessels and heart.

Adrenaline causes your heart rate to spike and even raises your blood pressure. Over time, this can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure).

Cortisol can cause the endothelium (inner lining of blood vessels) to function abnormally. This can lead to cholesterol plaque build-up in your arteries or osteoporosis (a bone disease).

High levels of cortisol also increases your appetite. It does so by telling your body to replenish energy stores with energy-dense food and carbs, causing you to crave comfort foods. Frustratingly, high levels of cortisol also make you more likely to store fat as visceral fat (deep belly fat), increasing your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and insulin resistance.

Together, when levels of these stress hormones get too high, they can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Your stress hormones also affect your body’s immune cells. Initially, they help your body fight invaders and heal after injury, but chronic levels of stress actually hinder immune cells, making you more susceptible to infections and slowing the healing process.

Stress can even be associated with shortened telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that measure a cell’s age.

When your brain senses stress, it also activates your osteoporosis nervous system. This is a network of nerves that your brain communicates with your intestinal nervous system. This brain-gut connection can disrupt your natural rhythmic contractions that help digest food, leading to gastronomical distress and conditions like IBS.

High stress levels can even increase your gut sensitivity to acid and make heartburn more likely, as well as changing your gut bacteria’s function and composition, which can affect your overall health.

Unfortunately, life will always be filled with stressful situations. What matters most is your response to those stressors.

If you can find ways to relax, you can force your body to send signals to your brain that convince it that everything will be ok. This will help you will feel better in the short run and stay healthy in the long run.

Now we have established the importance of cutting back on stress, let’s look at some vitamins and supplements which can help.

The Best Vitamins For Stress

One cause of low mood and fatigue, which can inevitably lead to unnecessary stress, are vitamin deficiencies. If you are eating any restricted diet, or are eating at a calorie deficit, then a vitamin deficiency is more likely.

The best thing you can do is see your healthcare provider and ask for a blood test to check that your vitamin and mineral levels are healthy.

Here are some common vitamin supplements that are associated with reduced stress levels.

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to brain function and mood regulation. A high-quality supplement should contain both Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We recommend the Omega 3 supplement from Performance Lab.

Fish oil supplements often contain heavy metals, have a fishy aftertaste, and damage the environment. Instead, Performance Lab provides clean and sustainable DHA+EPA Omega-3s directly from their source: Algae.

Omega 3

B-Complex Vitamins

A vitamin B complex supplement should contain a range of B-vitamins, including vitamin B1 (riboflavin), B2 (niacin), B3 (pantothenic acid), and B12 (cobalamin). These vitamins directly impact your brain function and energy levels.

If you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, you could be at a higher risk of B vitamin deficiencies. Gut ailments such as IBS can also increase your risk as your body becomes less efficient at absorbing nutrients.

Symptoms include fatigue and poor concentration. If you have any concerns, then speak to a medical professional.

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. It plays a role in over 300 bodily functions, including muscle, nerve, heart function, blood glucose regulation, and bone health. (1)

Having proper levels of magnesium in the body helps brain functions that reduce stress. Although this isn’t fully understood, it’s believed that magnesium affects the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates the adrenal and pituitary glands. (2)

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, which your body converts from sunlight, is essential to healthy energy levels and a positive mindset. (3)

Deficiency is common, especially if you live in a cooler climate or spend most of your time indoors.

Multivitamin

Perhaps the most effective way to ensure you are getting enough nutrients for your body to function optimally, it to take a high-quality daily multivitamin.

Our top choice Multivitamin also comes from Performance Lab, a well-known and trusted manufacturer. They tailor their multivitamins for men and women. Their female oriented supplement: NutriGenesis®Multi for Women and their men’s supplement NutriGenesis® Multi for Men each include 17+ essential daily vitamins and minerals.

NutriGenesis® Multi for Men & Women – Performance Lab®

Using modern technology, Performance Lab has bioengineered its supplements to maximize absorption. They have achieved this by including fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants. Their products are also free from artificial colors, synthetic additives, and preservatives.

They are suitable for vegans and do not contain any soy, fish, egg, peanut, dairy, wheat, or other allergens. They are also non-GMO and non-irradiated.

Herbal Remedies

Many herbal remedies can help our bodies manage our stress response and feel better. These ingredients have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years to help people find stress relief.

Nature has created some incredible compounds that work with our body’s natural processes and can have amazing effects.

Kurapeak

Kurapeak contains a range of well-proven herbal remedies. They work in synergy to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood and cognitive function, increase energy and boost libido.

Kurapeak

Kurapeak is a women’s vitality supplement.

The ingredients in this product have been thoroughly researched and precisely dosed. The ingredients include Turmeric, Saffron, Rhodiola Rosea, Panax Ginseng, L-Theanine, and L-Tyrosine.

Let’s take a deeper look at a few of the ingredients in Kurapeak.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb that has been shown to improve the body’s response to stress. It has been used for hundreds of years to treat anxiety, stress, depression, and fatigue.

In a Physiotherapy Research study, participants were given 200mg of Rhodiola twice a day for four weeks. They experienced improvements in several areas, including levels of stress within 3 days of supplementing. And they’re symptoms continued to improve throughout the four weeks. (4)

L-Theanine

L-theanine is a unique amino acid found in Bay Bolete mushrooms and tea leaves. It has the ability to create a feeling of relaxation without making you feel drowsy. (5)

This relaxation also decreases stress. A systematic review of five randomized controlled trials concluded that theanine reduces feelings of stress and anxiety in participants dealing with challenging life situations. (6)

Tumeric

Curcumin, the active ingredient in Tumeric, can do wonders for people’s mood by boosting serotonin and dopamine levels. (7).

In one study, 60 people suffering from depression were either given Prozac, curcumin, or both. After 6 weeks, those who took either curcumin or Prozac experienced similar improvements, while those who took both saw the greatest results. (8)

Panax Ginseng

Ginseng has been used in Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years! (9) It has an amazing ability to increase energy, sex drive, mental clarity and boost overall mood and well-being. Modern studies have shown its effectiveness in combating stress and fatigue. (10)

Maca

Maca, which is found almost impossibly high up in South America’s mountains, is an ancient medicine used to treat low mood, stress, and anxiety. (11, 12).

Maca is rich in plant compounds called flavonoids, which are thought to be responsible for the psychological benefits (13).

Other Natural Remedies for Stress

Other natural herbs and remedies that are useful in this regard include;

Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a naturally occurring molecule found in organs and tissues that regulate metabolic activities, including the brain, heart, lungs, liver, and muscle. It can also be taken as a supplement to boost levels in the body.

Phosphatidylserine supplements are commonly used to treat age-related mental decline and memory loss.

However, it is also beneficial to stress and works by reducing cortisol levels, especially after intense exercise. (14) In one study, 800 mg was given to men for 1o days, following which, they showed significantly reduced levels of stress after exercise.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years.

And for a good reason, numerous studies have shown that ashwagandha can reduce levels of cortisol. One study performed over 60 days showed that cortisol levels were significantly reduced compared to the placebo group. (15).

Gamma Aminobutyric Acid

GABA is an amino acid that acts as a chemical messenger inside the brain. It inhibits certain brain signals and can create a calming effect.

Centrapeak

Centrapeak is a vitality supplement specifically for men which includes scientifically dosed ingredients designed to reduce stress and anxiety.

Centrapeak includes Panax Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, L-Theanine, Ashawghanda, Vitamin D, and Phosphatidylserine.

Centraapeak

Other Ways to Manage Stress

Supplements can go a long way in helping you feel better. And when you feel better, it becomes easier to foster other good habits like eating healthily and exercising, which could further help you on your journey. This positive feedback loop may take some effort to get going, but it becomes easier with time.

Exercise

There’s a reason why you feel good after working out. Exercise improves the way our bodies handle stress by releasing the feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin. It also gives your body time out from stressors and distracts your mind. (16).

And even a small amount of exercise can have positive effects. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, even 15 minutes of chair-based yoga is shown to reduce stress. (17)

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation, which involves focusing the mind on an object or thought, is an effective method for reducing stress. If you are new to mindfulness practices, try out some guided practices on youtube or mindfulness apps. Yoga with Adriene, who has tutorials on mediation, yoga, and breathing patterns, is a good place to start.

Therapy

Considering what a big impact stress can have on your mental and physical health, it is good to seek professional help when things become hard to manage. Speaking with a mental health professional about the things that are causing you to feel stressed is a great way to begin to feel better. A professional therapist will tell you what type of therapy could help you and give you tips for managing your stress.

Reducing chronic stress is essential for maintaining both mental and physical health. A supplement may not be a stand-alone solution. Speak to your doctor before introducing any new supplement to your diet, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or take any other medications that could interact with new supplements.

References

  1. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Updated March 24, 2020.
  2. Sartori SB, Whittle N, Hetzenauer A, Singewald N. Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: modulation by therapeutic drug treatment. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Jan;62(1):304-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.07.027. Epub 2011 Aug 4. PMID: 21835188; PMCID: PMC3198864.
  3. Eyles DW, Smith S, Kinobe R, Hewison M, McGrath JJ. Distribution of the vitamin D receptor and 1 alpha-hydroxylase in human brain. J Chem Neuroanat. 2005 Jan;29(1):21-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2004.08.006. PMID: 15589699.
  4. Edwards, D., Heufelder, A. and Zimmermann, A. (2012), Therapeutic Effects and Safety of Rhodiola rosea Extract WS® 1375 in Subjects with Life‐stress Symptoms – Results of an Open‐label Study. Phytother. Res., 26: 1220-1225. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.3712
  5. Nobre AC, Rao A, Owen GN. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-8. PMID: 18296328.
  6. J.M. Everett, D. Gunathilake, L. Dufficy, P. Roach, J. Thomas, D. Upton, N. Naumovski, Theanine consumption, stress and anxiety in human clinical trials: A systematic review, Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism, Volume 4, 2016, Pages 41-42, ISSN 2352-3859, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnim.2015.12.308.
  7. Ying Xu, Bao-Shan Ku, Hai-Yan Yao, Yan-Hua Lin, Xing Ma, Yong-He Zhang, Xue-Jun Li, The effects of curcumin on depressive-like behaviors in mice, European Journal of Pharmacology, Volume 518, Issue 1, 2005, Pages 40-46, ISSN 0014-2999, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2005.06.002.
  8. Sanmukhani J, Satodia V, Trivedi J, Patel T, Tiwari D, Panchal B, Goel A, Tripathi CB. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5025. Epub 2013 Jul 6. PMID: 23832433.
  9. Nair R, Sellaturay S, Sriprasad S. The history of ginseng in the management of erectile dysfunction in ancient China (3500-2600 BCE). Indian J Urol. 2012 Jan;28(1):15-20. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.94946. PMID: 22557711; PMCID: PMC3339779.
  10. Lee S, Rhee DK. Effects of ginseng on stress-related depression, anxiety, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. J Ginseng Res. 2017 Oct;41(4):589-594. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2017.01.010. Epub 2017 Jan 24. PMID: 29021708; PMCID: PMC5628357.
  11. Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L. Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181732953. PMID: 18784609.
  12. Stojanovska L, Law C, Lai B, Chung T, Nelson K, Day S, Apostolopoulos V, Haines C. Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. Climacteric. 2015 Feb;18(1):69-78. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2014.929649. Epub 2014 Aug 7. PMID: 24931003.
  13. Stojanovska L, Law C, Lai B, Chung T, Nelson K, Day S, Apostolopoulos V, Haines C. Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. Climacteric. 2015 Feb;18(1):69-78. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2014.929649. Epub 2014 Aug 7. PMID: 24931003.
  14. Monteleone, P., Maj, M., Beinat, L. et al. Blunting by chronic phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 43, 569 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02285106
  15. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022. PMID: 23439798; PMCID: PMC3573577.
  16. BREUS, MICHAEL J.; O’CONNOR, PATRICK J. Exercise-induced anxiolysis: a test of the “time out” hypothesis in high anxious females, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: July 1998 – Volume 30 – Issue 7 – p 1107-1112
  17. Melville GW, Chang D, Colagiuri B, Marshall PW, Cheema BS. Fifteen minutes of chair-based yoga postures or guided meditation performed in the office can elicit a relaxation response. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:501986. doi: 10.1155/2012/501986. Epub 2012 Jan 16. PMID: 22291847; PMCID: PMC3265094.





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