Mental fatigue is inevitable these days. With all the multitasking we do, there is no escaping feelings of exhaustion, loss of concentration and sleepiness. All this brings about a loss of productivity at all levels. Whether mental fatigue comes from overwork and/or illness, there are things you can do to overcome this issue. Rest when you can, exercise at appropriate times, and change your diet to meet your needs. When these things are not sufficient, you may need to take supplements to keep you on track. Natural remedies for mental fatigue should include B vitamins, minerals, vitamins C, D and E along with amino acids and botanicals. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of supplements available that can help you with mental and physical fatigue.
B Vitamins and Minerals
Deficiencies in B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, cobalt, copper, chromium, manganese, and zinc have been demonstrated to impair memory function. B vitamins and minerals are important for breaking down glucose and making ATP. If you don’t have enough ATP around, you will become fatigued. B vitamins and minerals are needed to make neurotransmitters and propagate nerve impulses. Research demonstrates that when healthy students are orally administered B vitamins and mineral supplements, exam stress levels go down, cognition is improved and they were less tired after taking an exam. When shopping for a mental fatigue supplement, make sure to get something that contains all the B vitamins and minerals.
Carnitine is a modified amino acid that transports fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be converted into ATP. Actually, carnitine regulates many metabolic processes. Since carnitine is involved with fat metabolism, it helps you to lose fat and build lean muscle. That’s why athletes and bodybuilders take it. Carnitine has the ability to ward off mental and physical fatigue.
Although creatine supplementation is common with athletes and bodybuilders, it is now known that creatine is important for brain performance as well. Supplementation of creatine has been demonstrated to increase oxygen consumption in the brain during mathematical tasks. If you can, find a supplement with creatine in it. You’ll get the best of both worlds; brawn and brain.
You may not be familiar with this one. It’s actually a synthetic derivative of thiamine (B1) that has some interesting properties like counterbalancing mental fatigue. Sulbutiamine’s structure allows it to pass the blood-brain-barrier easier than B1. Vitamin B1is involved in a number of reactions but it is important for carbohydrate metabolism to generate ATP.
Gotu kola has been used for centuries as a mild adaptogen so it helps you in times of stress and stave off anxiety. It’s a tonic that helps fight mental fatigue and enhances concentration and focus.
Ginseng is another adaptogen that has the ability to decrease mental fatigue while enhancing focus and concentration. It also has the ability to increase blood flow bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
Rhodiola is another adaptogen that has the ability to fight off mental fatigue. It is believed that Rhodiola has the ability to influence serotonin and dopamine levels when they are low effectively improving mood and inhibiting depression by inhibiting monoamine oxidase. Monoamine oxidase is responsible for breaking down serotonin and dopamine. So, a molecular component of Rhodiola has the ability to turn off monoamine oxidase which allows serotonin (feel good transmitter system) and dopamine (reward/punishment and locomotor system) to stay around longer before they are broken down. Rhodiola is also believed to increase endorphin production. Endorphins are the so called “feel high” transmitters and are released in time of stress and fatigue to help you get through the situation.
Gaurana’s medicinal properties come from its seeds and a number of studies have been done on this botanical. Guarana inhibits the clotting process (thins your blood) which increases blood circulation. It it also an energy tonic and has the ability to increase mental acuity and long-term memory along with physical endurance. This botanical is far more potent than just using caffeine or Ginseng. Guarana actually contains caffeine plus many more stimulating molecules. It is known for its ability to increase energy levels and boosting mental alertness without nervous tension. It helps to relive headaches and migraines. Guarana also carries antibacterial properties specifically against E. coli and Salmonella. It also carries powerful antioxidants that protect your fatty acids from oxidative damage. Guarana has become quite popular as a stimulant and you will find it in energy drinks and protein bars. A recent study demonstrated that young healthy adults that were administered a vitamin/mineral/guarana supplement improved their cognitive performance and reduced their mental fatigue associated with sustained mental effort.