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My TOP 3 nutrients for fatigue

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

Fatigue is one of the most commonly experienced symptoms. It can interfere

with your day-to-day life dramatically and drain you, both physically and

mentally. 


We all know that feeling too well, when you have great intentions to go out,

see friends/family or have a productive day planned. But instead, you find

yourself half asleep drooling on couch pillows… No? Just me?

While finding the individual cause of your fatigue is crucial in resolving it, there

are some amazing nutrients that can help bring our tired bodies back to life.





Coenzyme Q 10


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) was a game changer when it came to my physical

fatigue and exercise. After consistent supplementation for a period, paired

with good nutrition, I felt like the energiser bunny in my training and runs.

So, what is it? CoQ10 is an essential component in our energy creating

systems within the body. Adequate CoQ10 is required for our mitochondria to

do its job. That job being, creating ATP (ATP= energy) which is essential for

every cell in our body [1]. The mitochondria is the ‘Power House’ of our cells

and when dysfunctional, it can be a crucial culprit in the causation of fatigue

[2].


Therefore, when we are feeling fatigued, it makes sense that we look to the

systems within our body that create energy. As such, supplementing CoQ10

can not only help improve energy but also sustain energy [3].

A wonderful study showed the supplementation of CoQ10 in chronic fatigue

(150 mg/d for 12 weeks) resulted in significant reductions of their presenting

fatigue symptoms, improvements in cognitive function, sleep and depressive

symptoms [4].


Deficiencies of CoQ10 can be due to pharmaceutical drug use, genetic failure,

ageing, disease and more.


B Vitamins


B vitamins are like your hype squad. When you’re feeling down and fatigued,

they rally around you and pick you up, putting that ‘pep’ back in your step. I

didn’t think it was possible to love a collection of vitamins until, the over

worked and under slept student Ali had the pleasure of taking her first vitamin

B complex.


B vitamins are micronutrients or, as I like to call them micro-heroes. And

they’re vital for our energy production. Each B vitamin is required in various

steps and systems within the body to help the production of energy [5].

Furthermore, they’re required for neurotransmitter production and therefore an

essential part of a healthy functioning nervous system [6].

These incredible nutrients not only increase energy production but do so while

supporting a healthy stress response during times of fatigue.

But there’s a lot of factors that can deplete our B’s. As they are water soluble

vitamins, anything that is diuretic (increases loss of water) [7] such as;

alcohol, pharmaceutical medications, coffee [8] can reduce levels. As well as

the tannins in coffee and tea, these can interfere with some of the B’s

absorption. So, taking your B vitamins 2 hours away is generally

recommended [9].


Magnesium


You know that friend that is good at everything? You know the one that can try

anything once and annoyingly be the best? Well, that is magnesium.

It has so many uses and benefits for the body. In fact, it’s required in over 300

metabolic reactions in the body [10] (insert gasp).

Magnesium is essential for energy production, with approximately 90% of

magnesium within the cell being associated with ATP and energy production

[11]. Magnesium supplementation helps our bodies to combat fatigue and

exhaustion when dietary intake is lacking.  Muscle weakness can also be

attributed to magnesium deficiency and can be made worse by excessive

exercise [12], especially when you are already fatigued and undernourished.

Alas, magnesium deficiency is common, with an Australian survey finding

about 40% of all Australian adults consume inadequate levels of magnesium

daily [13].


Things that decrease our magnesium levels include alcohol, caffeine, some

pharmaceutical medications, stress, exercise/excess sweating,

diarrhoea/vomiting, and heavy menstruation to name a few [14].

As with all medicine and supplementation, it’s so important to work with a

health professional. While fatigue is common there are still some red flags that

your practitioner will need to rule out, especially severe or persistent fatigue. 

I know Dr Google can be tempting. But when it comes to our health, let’s

leave it to the professionals.



References 

[1] Olek S, Ventura HO. Coenzyme Q10 and utility in heart failure: just another

supplement? Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2016 Aug;13(4):190-5. doi:

10.1007/s11897-016-0296-6.


[2] Filler K, Lyon D, Bennett J, McCain N, Elswick R, Lukkahatai N, et al.

Association of mitochondrial dysfunction and fatigue: a review of the literature.

BBA Clin. 2014 Jun;1:1:12-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2014.04.001.


[3] Yang YK, Wang LP, Chen L, Yao XP, Yang KQ, Gao LG, et al. Coenzyme

Q10 treatment of cardiovascular disorders of ageing including heart failure,

hypertension and endothelial dysfunction. Clin Chim Acta. 2015 Oct;450:83-

89.doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2015.08.002.


[4] Fukuda S, Nojima J, Kajimoto O, Yamaguti K, Nakatomi Y, Kuratsune H, et

al. Ubiquinol-1- supplementation improves autonomic nervous function and

cognitive function in chronic fatigue syndrome. Biofactors. 2016 Jul

8;42(4):431-40. doi: 10.1002/biof.1293


[5] Tardy, A., Pouteau, E., Márquez, D., Yilmaz, C., & Scholey, A. (2020).

Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review

of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients, 12.

DOI:10.3390/nu1201022


[6] Calderón-Ospina, CA, Nava-Mesa, MO. B Vitamins in the nervous system:

Current knowledge of the biochemical modes of action and synergies of

thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2020; 26: 5–


[7] Paolo M. Suter, M.D., M.S., Wilhelm Vetter, M.D., Diuretics and Vitamin B,:

Are Diuretics a Risk Factor for Thiamin Malnutrition?, Nutrition Reviews,

Volume 58, Issue 10, October 2000, Pages 319–323, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2000.tb01827.x


[8] Arve Ulvik, Stein Emil Vollset, Geir Hoff, Per Magne Ueland, Coffee

Consumption and Circulating B-Vitamins in Healthy Middle-Aged Men and

Women, Clinical Chemistry, Volume 54, Issue 9, 1 September 2008, Pages

1489–1496, https://doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2008.103465

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