Feeling tired during this time of year is not unusual. Following a busy end of a year and the start of a new one, it can be a struggle to fall back into a routine and normal sleep patterns. Exercise, making changes to your sleep environment, cutting out caffeine and drinking more water are some simple lifestyle changes recommended by the NHS to help. But making sure you get enough vitamin B5 could also help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Vitamin B5 is also known as pantothenic acid and is just one of many B vitamins.
As well as reducing tiredness and fatigue, the vitamin has also been found to help maintain healthy mental performance, the production of steroid hormones, processing vitamin D, and helping produce some neurotransmitters, according to Holland & Barrett.
It explains: “The name ‘pantothenic’ comes from the Greek word ‘pant’ that means ‘everywhere’, as B5 is found in such a wide range of foods.”
Animal based sources include:
- Dairy products
Plant-based sources include:
- Wholegrain cereals
Vitamin B5 can be destroyed during the cooking process so try to opt for fresh produce and steam or grill meals.
If you like vitamin B5 in your diet it is available in supplement form.
The high street health store said: “One 2014 Canadian-led study found that when people with high levels of LDL cholesterol were given 300mg of vitamin B5 every day over 16 weeks, their levels of this ‘bad’ cholesterol dropped significantly.”
But it advises: “You do not need to take a vitamin B5 supplements if you are eating a balanced diet including plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, protein and wholegrain foods.”
David Wiener, training and nutrition specialist for leading fitness app Freeletics, recommends iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B12 to beat tiredness.
Iron is an essential mineral that helps oxygen circulate around the body. It is also necessary for the body’s cells to function and develop properly, explained David.
He explained: “Iron deficiency is the primary cause of anaemia, which can impair cognitive abilities, decrease immunity, and negatively impact performance.
“Meat and seafood are excellent sources of dietary iron. If you are vegetarian, then nuts, beans, lentils, spinach are also packed full of iron. Supplements too can help, but can have side effects, so make sure to consult with your doctor before supplementing with iron.”
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 metabolic processes within the body, including energy metabolism, and it’s the first nutrient you should try to increase if you suffer from tiredness, fatigue or any type of anxiety, according to David.
He said: “Magnesium has also been proven to help reduce stress, irritability, mental confusion and even depression, as it helps with neuron activation and the synthesis of neurotransmitters (for example, serotonin).”
A deficiency in zinc could cause low energy levels as zinc is an essential mineral which is vital for many of the body’s natural processes, said David.
He added: “It helps support the immune system, as well as regulate enzymes and hormones, and. Fixing this deficiency can have positive effects on your energy levels and boost your mood.”
Every cell in the body requires vitamin B12 for energy metabolism, and unfortunately the body cannot create it on its own which means we can only get it through our diets or supplementation.
David advised: “Red meat, mussels and dairy are all good sources of vitamin B12, but daily supplementation should help to leave you feeling more energised.”
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