6 Best Supplements for the Most Productive Day Ever, Say Dietitians
Do you ever feel like there should be more hours in the day to finish everything on your to-do list? Or maybe it's not more time you need, but more motivation to actually accomplish the tasks you have in front of you. A select few have figured out how to crack the productivity code on a daily basis. But for the rest of us, it may feel like our motivation is as rare as a lunar eclipse. If you've been searching for more motivation to be productive lately, giving your body helpful nutrients may be able to help. In fact, there are some common productivity supplements that people turn to when they need to kick it into full gear.
Taking a supplement can be beneficial for many aspects of your health, but it should never be the only thing you rely on. Additionally, they should never replace the nutrients you naturally get through a balanced diet. However, sometimes there are key vitamins and nutrients we are low in or don't get enough of through what we eat, which is where supplements come into play. And if you're specifically looking for productivity supplements, there a few routes you can take. For one, a vitamin that can help boost your energy levels is going to be great for helping you be more productive. Along with energy boosting, you can also choose supplements that will improve your cognitive health, boost memory and focus, and relieve distracting stress.
To learn more about the best supplements for having a productive day, we talked with a couple of expert dietitians to get their suggestions. Read on for their choices, and for more tips on taking supplements, make sure to check out the 9 Best Costco Supplements To Take Every Day.
"Since many people are eating fewer animal products and more plants, they may not be consuming enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs," says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility. This is because vitamin B12 is naturally abundant in many animal-based food and drinks like dairy milk, eggs, cheese, fish, and meat.
B12 is an important vitamin because it helps our body form more red blood cells and has been found to help with heart health. In addition, it can also help provide us with necessary energy for having a productive day.
"This nutrient, among other roles, supports energy levels, especially for people who eat less animal-based products," says Manaker. "Adding a vitamin B12 supplement to their routine may offer some benefit." And, if you're someone who's not getting enough of this vitamin in your diet, you may experience fatigue and mood swings—two common side effects of B12 deficiency that can ruin your productivity plans for the day.
Green tea extract
Green tea is naturally full of antioxidants and has been known to help people's health by boosting fat oxidation, reducing the risk of certain cancers, and slowing brain aging. Plus, on top of all of these benefits, green tea can boost productivity by providing caffeine and a special compound that can help your cognition. But if you're not a fan of the taste, you can buy a green tea extract in pill form, which still gives you the same benefits.
"Green tea extract contains caffeine, which is known to give people a boost throughout the day," says Manaker. "And, EGCG— a compound found in green tea—has been shown to support brain health."
If you're looking for a powerhouse of a productivity supplement, Gingko biloba is a safe bet.
"Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement with active ingredients like flavonoids and terpenoids, which are believed to help improve blood flow to the brain and protect it from oxidative stress," says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements. "This is why this supplement is commonly used to improve cognitive function, including focus and attention."
"It may also help support working memory, which, when functioning at its peak, can help people have a more productive day," says Manaker. Best adds that, "Ginkgo biloba can help to increase the availability of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which are important for regulating mood, attention, and focus as well."
Sometimes, we need a boost from a productivity supplement that can help us focus and stay on track. We may have all the energy we need, but without the focus, procrastination can take over. According to Manaker, taking an L-theanine supplement may be able to help.
"L-theanine is an amino acid that, when combined with caffeine, can help people experience heightened focus," she says. One study on young adults published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that L-theanine taken with about 40 milligrams of caffeine, which is equal to around half a cup of coffee, helped participants have better focus during certain tasks.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Another easy and fairly affordable supplement you can take for productivity is called CoQ10.
"Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is involved in the production of energy in the mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cells, and it helps to convert the energy from the food we eat into a form that the body can use," says Best.
"Some studies have suggested that CoQ10 supplements may help to increase energy levels, particularly in people with CoQ10 deficiency or in those taking statin medications, which are meant for lowering cholesterol," says Best. "While CoQ10 is generally considered safe, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements, especially if you are on medication or have any medical conditions."
Manaker suggests taking Ashwagandha if your stress is getting in the way of completing your daily tasks. Thi is an herb that can be taken as a pill or in powder form, and some research studies have shown that it can be used to relieve stress.
One report from the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine concluded that high concentrations of this herb can help an individual's resistance to stress and improve overall quality of life. A small study published in Medicine found that ashwagandha may be able to reduce stress by interacting with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis—a part of the body that contributes a role in cortisol and stress levels.
"For some, feeling overly stressed can cause them to lose focus, so having a solution may help people be more productive by maintaining their chill," says Manaker.