These Are the Best Vitamins for Energy, Hair, Weight Loss, and More

Weight Loss

Vitamins are necessary for life. The best vitamins for energy are necessary to live our best life. Our bodies are comprised of thirteen necessary vitamins.[1] We need them all for normal cell function, growth, and development. So, when we lack certain ones in our daily diet, our bodies don’t operate as effectively as they should.

Do we notice? Of course we do. We lack energy, our metabolism slows, we lose sleep, we can’t focus, our nails and hair are weak, and our skin is dull or inflamed. We may feel anxious, depressed, or simply exhausted.

Because our bodies rely entirely on vitamins and nutrients, how do we know if we’re getting enough from the food we eat? Should you be taking vitamin supplements? If so, what are the best ones to take?

Well, we have the answers and are here to help. We’ve found the best vitamins to help you boost energy, lose weight, and reduce anxiety and depression. You’ll also find out which are best for your hair, skin, and nails.

What Are the Best Vitamins for Energy?

Fatigue is a fancy word for stress, overwork, lack of sleep, and improper diet. It’s fatigue that causes lack of energy. In our daily lives, we really notice when we don’t have the energy to do the things we want to do. The problem is really noticeable when those days stretch into weeks, months, or even years.

When we aren’t getting sufficient vitamins from our food, it could be because we aren’t eating as healthfully or as balanced as we should. According to research, studies show that vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause fatigue.[2] Fatigue is explained as ongoing feelings of exhaustion, or as being more fatigued than normal from your regular physical activity.

So, what can we do to increase our energy and vitality? Is there a way to change our diets? Luckily, there are certain vitamins you can include in your diet to ensure you are not deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Let’s take a look at the list below for some of the best vitamins for energy.

Iron

iron-rich foods such as liver, seeds, eggs, and seafood on a wooden table

Iron is one of the best vitamins for energy. Research shows that many people restrict their diets to lose weight, but in doing so, they reduce their intake of whole vitamin or mineral groups.[3] The effects of those deficiencies usually go unnoticed for a period of time. One of the most apparent vitamin deficiencies that cause a lack of energy is iron. When you lack iron, you lack energy and feel fatigued. If left unchecked for extended periods, an iron deficiency can cause complications such as anemia.

Iron keeps our blood cells full of oxygen and improves blood flow to the heart and brain. Good health and clear thinking are automatically a bonus when you have an iron-rich diet. Red meat and dark leafy greens are some of the most iron-rich foods you can find. Iron can also be found in legumes, tofu, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate.

The choices are plentiful and it is ideal to include iron-rich foods in your diet. However, if you have certain dietary restrictions, you can also get your daily iron intake with iron supplements.

  • Recommended dosage: 150 – 200mg per day
  • Best time to take: At night. It is best taken in two doses – one at night before bed with a snack, and the other dose at lunchtime.

Vitamin B12

B12 spelt out in pink pills next to an open supplement bottle

Vitamin B12 is another one of the best vitamins for energy. A diet that restricts carbohydrates to help you lose weight often restricts vitamin B12, and it is an essential vitamin necessary for healthy energy levels.

B-complex is made up of all of the B vitamins, which function together to improve our health and energy. Specifically, vitamin B12 is the best vitamin for energy. It is best ingested in a B-complex supplement containing all of the other B vitamins that help our bodies absorb the B12 that we need for energy.

The list of foods that are high in the B vitamins is basic: meat, fish, animal products, whole grain cereals, and nuts. Yet, science recommends taking vitamin B-complex supplements because as we age, our bodies do not readily absorb vitamin B-complex from the foods we eat.[4]

Researchers recommend that we look for a vitamin B-complex supplement that provides more than the recommended daily allowance from food.[5] Over-the-counter forms range from 500 mcg (micrograms) to 5,000 mcg, and come in a variety of forms:

  • Sublingual
  • Nasal spray
  • Liquid
  • Tablets

The liquid and sublingual forms are considered the best natural supplements for energy because they enter directly into the bloodstream under the tongue and are absorbed immediately. Thus, they do not enter the body through the digestion process, which is a bonus for those who suffer from acid reflux or have had gastric bypass surgery.[6] Your doctor can also offer higher doses of the best vitamin for energy in an injection form.

  • Recommended dosage: 1,000 – 3,000mcg per day
  • Best time to take: First thing in the morning with breakfast. It is always best taken with food.

Try These 4 Best Vitamins for Weight Loss

Before we jump into the list of the best vitamins for weight loss, let’s look at what causes weight gain. According to science, our bodies burn the food that we eat as energy. If we eat more food than we use for energy, we store that energy as fat and gain weight. Generally speaking, weight gain is often caused by a slow metabolism. According to one medical study, several factors influence our metabolic rate:

  • Age: our metabolism slows by 0.3% each year after age 30
  • Nutrition: eating the right types of food helps increase our metabolic rate
  • Physical activity: a very active person has a faster metabolism
  • Body size: metabolic rate increases with our mass and height[7]

The best vitamins for energy help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism. Here are four vitamins that can help regulate your metabolism to burn fat naturally.

1. Vitamin B12

natural vitamin supplements in a wooden spoon above a glass of water

As we’ve already discovered, Vitamin B12 is one of the best vitamins for energy. It is also the best vitamin for weight loss because it helps us to process fat, proteins, and carbohydrates—also known as energy.[8] Vitamin B12 ensures that we use up this energy instead of storing it as fat.

Basically, the best vitamins for energy help keep your metabolism functioning properly. When your metabolism works, it helps you lose weight.

You can get it from a wide variety of basic foods, such as meat, seafood, whole grains, and nuts. Science advises getting your vitamin B12 from supplemental sources to ensure proper absorption. The best methods are oral consumption, especially sublingual.

  • Recommended dosage: 1,000 mcg – 3,000 mcg per day
  • Best time to take: Vitamin B provides a burst of energy, so it is best to take it at the start of your day. Because it is potent, it should be taken with food to avoid stomach upset.

2. Vitamin D

natural vitamin supplement capsules spilling out of a brown bottle

Vitamin D is known for providing us with strong bones and teeth. But did you know it also has the power to help you lose weight?

Several studies have shown the result of vitamin D deficiencies across the board is obesity.[9] A study completed on 400 overweight and obese people found that they were all deficient in vitamin D.[10] Vitamin D supplements helped the control group to lose more inches around their waistlines. Vitamin D has also been shown to help reduce the risk of weight gain in post-menopausal women.[11]

Where and how do you get vitamin D? One way is through sun exposure. 15 minutes per day of direct, uninhibited UVB rays from the sun provides you with the vitamin D that your body needs.[12] However, sun exposure on bare skin is dangerous, especially with prolonged exposure. Another way to get it is by eating fish, fish oils, or foods like egg yolks and mushrooms.[13] However, it is impossible to consume the amount of food necessary to meet your vitamin D requirement.

So, the best way to get your daily dose is actually from natural supplements!

  • Recommended Dosage: 5,000 IU per day
  • Best time to take: Vitamin D is best taken in the morning, along with your breakfast.

Tip: Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, you should take it with a fatty food (like avocados or yoghurt) to help your body absorb it.

3. Calcium

white calcium supplement tablets on a silver spoon

In a 2013 study, researchers sought to determine whether a calcium/D3 combination really enables greater weight loss.[14] The results were that the group lost more fat mass, which resulted in weight loss.[15]

The study also shows that dietary calcium boosts metabolism. And, getting your metabolism revved up helps to burn fat and lose weight.

Thus, consider your daily intake of calcium-rich foods, like dairy products, beans, seeds, and almonds. For a more convenient alternative to eating lots of food, try calcium supplements. If you are lactose-intolerant or vegan, look for calcium citrate that can be taken without food, or calcium carbonate which must be taken with food.

  • Recommended dosage: 1,000 mg – 1,200 mg per day
  • Best time to take: Calcium is best taken twice daily in two 500-600mg doses with food.[16] Absorption is best when taken in the morning and evening. Vitamin D supplements, yogurt, or milk can help aid in its absorption.

Tip: Be careful not to take calcium and iron at the same time because they reduce each other’s effectiveness. Also avoid taking calcium with caffeine or highly salted foods as these decrease the body’s ability to absorb calcium.[17]

4. Iron

red iron supplement tablets on a white background

Iron deficiency is notable for the lack of energy you feel. As one of the best vitamins for energy, iron can also boost your metabolism to help you burn energy. Thus, iron supplements are also among the best vitamins for weight loss.

Iron is best taken in a supplement form, in two separate doses per day to ensure that we absorb the most iron available.[18] It is best to avoid certain foods that can inhibit its absorption such as caffeine, calcium, milk, and antacids.[19]

Iron supplements will take anywhere from one week to one month to notice increased energy, so stick with it to get the most out of the best vitamin for energy and weight loss.

  • Recommended dosage: 60 mg – 120 mg per day
  • Best time to take: The best time to take iron is in two doses, several hours apart. Iron is best taken at night, so the other dose should be taken at lunch.

Tip: Take iron supplements with vitamin C to aid absorption.

What Are the Best Hair and Nail Vitamins?

Not only are there best vitamins for energy, but there are also vitamins that help us in other areas as well. Hair and nail vitamins are very popular for people who want to grow their hair longer, thicker, or more voluminous. However, no studies actually verify whether these vitamin complexes actually help us grow more beautiful hair or nails.

The market on this is wildly varied, from bottles selling multivitamins and minerals marketed to lengthen hair and strengthen nails, to biotin supplements to help you recover from hair loss. Meanwhile, some people swear by prenatal vitamins to increase their hair and nail growth.

However, there are two specific ingredients in many well-known products that are marketed to help grow your hair and nails – vitamin E and biotin. Let’s take a closer look at each of these ingredients.

Vitamin E

foods rich in vitamin e such as nuts and seeds on a white background

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that keeps our skin glowing. But does it do the same thing for our hair?

According to the research, it does not help our hair, but it does help our scalp.[20] Namely, it supports a healthy scalp and reduces oxidative stress on the scalp that causes cells in the hair follicles to break down. In other words, it helps our skin, including the skin under our hair.

Its benefits are more easily obtained from whole foods rather than vitamin supplements because supplements use a synthetic form of the vitamin.[21] You need to take twice as many supplements to get the same benefit from vitamin E in its natural form. So, start adding vitamin E-rich foods to your diet.

Fortunately, it is present in a wide variety of foods, including leafy greens, nuts and seeds and even vegetable oil.[22] In addition to supplementing your diet with vitamin E for healthy skin and scalp, it can also be topically applied to receive its remarkable benefits. One study showed 4 weeks of topical application of vitamin E improved wound healing, reduced inflammation, and hydrated skin.[23]

  • Recommended dosage: 15mg per day (approx. 1-2 serving sizes of nuts, seeds, or their oils).
  • Best time to take: Vitamin E is fat-soluble so it is best taken with food. Fatty foods such as avocados, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts or yogurt will help absorption.

Biotin

table filled with biotin-rich foods such as avocado, eggs, nuts, liver, broccoli

Biotin is a necessary water-soluble B-vitamin created by our bodies for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Deficiencies in biotin can affect healthy hair and nail growth in individuals.

Research findings are overwhelmingly positive for biotin’s effectiveness to help hair grow.[24] However, there is one major caveat: biotin’s effectiveness is notable only for people with actual hair growth issues or medical conditions. No sustainable evidence supports the use of biotin to help hair growth in healthy individuals.

If you have problems with hair growth, lack of manageability, alopecia, shedding, or biotin deficiency, biotin is the best natural supplement for hair growth. Biotin has been shown to improve inherited enzyme deficiency and brittle nail syndrome related hair and nail growth within 6 months of taking regular supplements.[25] It also offered a total resolution of the issues within 8 months.

Natural foods that are high in biotin include beef liver, whole cooked eggs, and canned pink salmon.[26] You can also consider a biotin supplement to help promote hair and nail growth.

  • Recommended dosage: 30 mcg – 100 mcg per day
  • Best time to take: Biotin is a B-vitamin that is best taken first thing in the morning. B vitamins are one of the best vitamins for energy and provide a burst of get-up-and-go.

The Best Vitamins for Anxiety and Depression

Depression affects more than 16 million Americans or 6.7% of the adult population.[27] Anxiety affects 40 million Americans, or 18% of the adult population.[28] What’s more is that many people have a combination of both conditions.

According to the research, three vitamin B deficiencies are most often linked to anxiety and depression: B6, B9, and B12.[29] These vitamins all help to regulate mood, which is highly dependent on tryptophan metabolism and serotonin production.[30] But because we cannot store vitamin B in our system, we have to supplement our bodies every day with a sufficient amount of it.

Thus, the best vitamin supplement to combat anxiety and depression is a B-complex supplement with the minimum recommended doses listed below.

Vitamin B12

a bunch of pink pill supplements on a white table with a close-up on just one of them

Research shows that B12 deficiency is a common thread among studies of depressed people. One study noted that a baseline therapy that included B12 was predictive of a successful outcome.[31]

  • Recommended dosage: 1000 mcg – 2000 mcg per day[32]
  • Best time to take: In the morning, sublingually.

Tip: One way to ensure you are getting the most from the best vitamins for anxiety and depression is to take both a B-complex supplement and a sublingual B12 supplement.[33]

Vitamin B6

vitamin b6-rich foods such as salmon, apricots, chicken, avocado, banana, and spinach laid out on a table

A deficiency in vitamin B6 can disrupt neurotransmitters and its deficiency in our bodies disrupts the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. What this means is that, basically, our brains convert the food that we eat into general satisfaction with life, and vitamin B6 does this. So, its deficiency leaves us feeling unsatisfied, anxious or depressed.

Vitamin B6 has many different names: pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate.[34] So when shopping for a B-complex vitamin, ensure that B6 is included, as it may be listed under one of these other names.

  • Recommended dosage: 1.3g is the RDA for adults, but to help with mood or mental health, a doctor’s dose of 300 mg – 1000 mg per day is suggested.[35]
  • Best time to take: In the morning. B6 vitamins can be taken in an oral tablet or liquid drops.

Vitamin B9

dark wooden table with vitamin b9-rich foods set on it

Vitamin B9 (also known as folic acid) works with vitamins B12 and B6 to control blood levels of our amino acids.[36] Interestingly, vitamin B9 regulates the blood level of one amino acid, in particular, homocysteine. There are several important studies on the increased levels of homocysteine being linked to depression.[37]

A vitamin B9 deficiency is typical in depressed people. When given vitamin B9 along with antidepressants, the subjects recovered better than those who did not receive vitamin B9 supplementation.[38]

  • Recommended dosage: 400 mcg per day
  • Best times to take: One dose each morning.

These three B-vitamins, in particular, are very important to mood stabilization and mental health. Balancing these B-vitamins together may help to regulate some of the effects of depressive disorders. In particular, you should take them in conjunction with your prescribed medical treatment from your doctor.

In all, a balanced and beneficial B-complex supplement can alleviate anxiety and depression. But it should be ingested at a potency recommended by your doctor. Consult your doctor before you begin your supplement regimen.

Tips for Choosing the Best Vitamins for Energy and Health

a woman pouring supplement pills out of a bottle and onto her palm

Here are some simple tips for you to remember when choosing the best vitamin supplements:

  1. Look for GMP stamp. All vitamins should have quality guarantees. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certifies vitamins, so look for its stamp on the label. This will provide some assurances as to the manufacturing, testing and nutritional potency of the vitamins. If there is no certification stamp on the label, then look for another brand that has it.
  2. Read the label. Be sure to check the label and list of ingredients for any additives, like sweeteners or allergens, that may be undesirable in your vitamins.
  3. Look for dark bottles. Liquid vitamins should come in a dark bottle so the light will not oxidate the vitamins and render them less potent. Follow the instructions on the label to store your liquid vitamins properly to ensure that they remain potent and fresh.
  4. Choose a supplement with a lower dose. Taking 6 capsules of one single supplement per day is unbearable, especially if you are on a more targeted regimen. Make sure that your doses are simple, either 1 or 2 pills or doses of each supplement per day.
  5. Cost. Expensive does not always mean that it is better. Do your research and gauge overall customer satisfaction for a particular brand or vitamin.
  6. Check the date on the bottle. Make sure your vitamins are not expired or that they won’t expire before you finish the bottle. If they do expire before you finish them, take them to your pharmacist and ask them to dispose of your vitamins for you.
  7. Ask your doctor. Before you start taking any vitamins at all, talk with your doctor to make sure they don’t have an effect on your medical regimen or overall health.

Homemade Energy Drink Recipe

One simple and enjoyable way to increase your intake of the best vitamins for energy, weight loss, anxiety and depression, and hair and nail growth is to consume an energy drink every day. Many doctors advise avoiding caffeine. So instead, consider getting your vitamin intake in the form of this homemade energy drink.

So, take note, that the recipe does not contain any caffeine. Many studies and news stories express the horror stories of the adverse and dangerous effects of store-bought energy drinks and energy shots due to their caffeine content.

Our recipe contains only vitamins, with no caffeine. So, drink up and enjoy the effects of a balanced metabolism, and the benefits of the best vitamins for energy and health.

Vitamin Energy Drink Shot

close up of a glass of orange drink with a slice of orange and mint leaf on the top

Prep Time: 2-3 minutes  |  Serves: 1 shot
Equipment: A small glass, possibly a blender

Ingredients

  • Vitamin B-Complex liquid (1 dose)
  • Vitamin B12 liquid (1 dose – 1,000-3,000 mcg)
  • Folic Acid (1 dose—1.3 mg)
  • Ginseng (1 dose—250 mg)
  • Liquid water enhancers concentrate for flavor (there are many to choose from, even those that taste like jelly beans or your favorite iced tea, so take your pick).

Directions

  1. Mix all the liquid ingredients above together in a small cup.
  2. Down it in one shot! You can also add it into your morning tea or juice if you don’t fancy drinking it straight up.

Customize it

Why not add this energy shot into your morning smoothie? Throw in a little spinach or dark chocolate (for iron), yogurt or milk (for vitamin D and calcium), and pumpkin seeds or mango (for vitamin E) to reap all the benefits of the best vitamins for energy and health.

The Best Vitamins for Energy, Hair, Weight Loss, and More

Conclusion

Whether you are simply looking for shinier hair, or you are looking for the best vitamins for energy, you have tons of options. In all, considering that the best vitamin supplements are so readily available, finding one that suits your lifestyle and needs should be simple.

References

  • [1] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002399.htm
  • [2] https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/energy/3-top-nutritional-deficiencies-as-fatigue-causes/
  • [3] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5829852/
  • [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/
  • [5]NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/
  • [6] https://www.b12-vitamin.com/dosage/
  • [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897177/
  • [8] Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322644.php
  • [9] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322644.php
  • [10] https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/new-study-suggests-vitamin-d-supplementation-helps-weight-loss-in-obese-and-overweight-people/
  • [11] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4807700/
  • [12] https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/
  • [13] https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/
  • [14] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3599592/
  • [15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4010554/
  • [16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24622804
  • [17] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21462112
  • [18] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14568-oral-iron-supplementation
  • [19] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14568-oral-iron-supplementation
  • [20] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819075/
  • [21] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/
  • [22] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/
  • [23] Oregon State University. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-E
  • [24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/
  • [25] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/
  • [26] National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/
  • [27] https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
  • [28] https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
  • [29] University Health News. https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/stress-anxiety/natural-remedies-for-panic-attacks-backed-by-medical-science/
  • [30] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572855/
  • [31] https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-b12/
  • [32] National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/#h6
  • [33] https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/stress-anxiety/natural-remedies-for-panic-attacks-backed-by-medical-science/
  • [34] https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/stress-anxiety/natural-remedies-for-panic-attacks-backed-by-medical-science/
  • [35] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3046018/
  • [36] https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/stress-anxiety/natural-remedies-for-panic-attacks-backed-by-medical-science/
  • [37] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671130
  • [38] https://examine.com/supplements/folic-acid/

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