Vitamins For Stress Relief
Stress and anxiety are often tied together in a vicious circle. Increased stress brings on more anxiety and vice versa. When cortisol levels rise, mood and health frequently suffer. Lifestyle change and diet can help, but additional support is often needed. Vitamins can increase energy, balance neurotransmitter levels, improve cognitive performance, and regulate mood. B-complex, vitamin E, vitamin C, GABA, and 5-HTP are 5 vitamins commonly used to help with anxiety and stress.
B-complex contains all eight B vitamins. B vitamins are water-soluble and should be consumed daily. B vitamins affect energy levels, cognitive performance, and mood. B-complex vitamins perform best when in combination with anxiety or depression medication.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant. Antioxidants work to reduce the number of free radicals in the body. High levels of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is linked to depression and anxiety disorders. During times of stress and anxiety, the body uses up high amounts of vitamin E. Daily doses can help restore the balance and increase the sense of calm.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another natural antioxidant. Vitamin C works to clear the body of excess cortisol produced during times of stress. Less cortisol in the system often translates to a reduced feeling of stress and anxiety. Vitamin C also prevents blood sugar levels from spiking during stressful situations. If blood sugar spikes, the ability to think clearly becomes harder. Vitamin C is water-soluble and should be consumed daily.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter naturally produced by the body. GABA works to carry messages between brain cells and reduce the activity of neurons throughout the body. Low levels of GABA have shown to increase stress, pain, anxiety, and moodiness. Gaba can be taken as a single dose or split across other supplements.
5-Hydroxytyptophan (5-HTP) is another neurotransmitter naturally produced by the body. The body uses 5-HTP to create serotonin, the happy chemical. Anxiety and serotonin levels go hand in hand. Increased anxiety often leads to increased stress levels. 5-HTP has proven most effective when combined with additional therapies. Consulting a physician before taking this vitamin is recommended.
Before starting vitamins
There are a few things to consider before starting vitamins for anxiety and stress. Supplements of any kind should not serve as a replacement for medication or therapy. Vitamins can help but should be viewed as a bonus and not as the only method of treatment. People of various ages will react differently to each supplement.
The cortisol factor
During difficult times, the human body produces an excess of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the body’s natural fight or flight mechanism. When the body detects something is unsafe, cortisol is produced as a sort of internal adrenaline to get the body to safety. The key to taking vitamins to manage anxiety and stress is to start with a balanced diet. Observing food consumption can show an individual where any nutritional deficits may be.
Vitamins as a management tool
The benefits of vitamins are endless. Vitamins give the immune system a boost, manage moods, and fill nutritional gaps. The body naturally produces some vitamins, and others must be consumed through diet. Managing stress and anxiety is critical to a healthy and happy life. B-complex, E, C, GABA, and 5-HTP are 5 of the top vitamins which can help with anxiety and stress management. For more supplement recommendations, consult a pharmacist or healthcare provider.