While everybody has specific life stressors, factors related to job pressure, money, health, wealth,and relationships tend to be the most common goal of everyone.
Stress can be acute or chronic and lead to fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, discomfort ,and irritability or anger.
Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and good nutrition are some of the best ways to better equip your body to combat stress, but several vitamins and supplements can also aid in stress combat.
Here are the 6 best vitamins and supplements to help you combat stress.
1. Rhodiola rosea
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea), is an herb that grows in the cold, mountainous regions of Russia and Asia.
It has long been known as an adaptogen, a natural, non-toxic herb that stimulates your body’s stress response system to increase stress resistance (1).
The adaptogenic properties of rhodiola are linked to two of the herb’s potent active ingredients — rosavin and salidroside (2).
An 8-week study in 100 people with chronic fatigue symptoms, such as poor sleep quality and impairments in short-term memory and concentration, found that supplementing with 400 mg of rhodiola extract daily improved symptoms after just 1 week (3).
The symptoms continued to decline throughout the study.
Getting adequate amounts of quality sleep is important for stress relieve.
Achieving adequate quality sleep may not be the easiest if you’re under stress, which in turn could worsen its severity.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates your body’s circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle. Levels of the hormone increase in the evening when it’s dark to promote sleep and decrease in the morning when it’s light to promote wakefulness.
In a review of 19 studies in 1,683 people with primary sleep disorders — those not caused by another condition — melatonin decreased the time it took people to fall asleep, increased total sleep time, and improved overall sleep quality, compared with a placebo (10).
Another review of 7 studies involving 205 people investigated on the effectiveness of melatonin for managing secondary sleep disorders, which are those caused by another condition, such as stress or depression.
The review demonstrated that melatonin decreased the time it took people to fall asleep and increased total sleep time but did not significantly affect sleep quality, compared with a placebo (11).
Though melatonin is a natural hormone supplementing,which does not affect your body’s production of it. Melatonin is also non-habit-forming (12)
Melatonin supplements range in dosage from 0.3–10 mg. It is best to start with the lowest dose possible and work up to a higher dose if necessary (13).
While melatonin supplements can be acquired over the counter in the United States, they require a prescription in many other countries.
Glycine is an amino acid that the body uses to create proteins.
Studies suggest that glycine may increase the body’s resistance to stress and fatigue by encouraging a good night rest through it’s calming effect on the brain and ability to lower your body temperature (14, 15).
A lower body temperature promotes sleep and assist you to stay asleep during the night.
In one study, 15 people who had complaints about the quality of their sleep and took 3 grams of glycine before bed experienced less fatigue and increased alertness the following day, compared with a placebo (16).
These effects occurred despite no difference in the time it took to fall asleep or time slept, compared with a placebo, suggesting glycine improved sleep quality.
In a normal circumstance taking 3 grams of glycine before bedtime improves measures of sleep quality and performs on accurate memory recognition tasks (17).
Minute study found that supplementing with 3 grams of glycine before bed reduced daytime sleepiness and fatigue following 3 days of sleep deprivation (18).
Glycine is tolerated, but taking 9 grams on an empty stomach before bed has been associated with minor stomach upset therefore it is not adviceable to take 9 grams at a spot.in this case taking 3 grams is unlikely to cause any side effects (19).
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic herb in India, where it has been used in Indian Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medicinal systems which also helps in the handling of sleep disorder and fatigue (20).
Similarly to rhodiola, ashwagandha is thought to enhance your body’s resilience to physical and mental stress (21)
In one study on the stress-relieving effects of ashwagandha, researchers randomized 60 individuals with mild stress to receive 240 mg of a standardized ashwagandha extract or a placebo daily for 60 days (22).
Compared with the placebo, supplementing with ashwagandha was strongly concerned with greater reductions in stress, anxiety, and depression. Ashwagandha was also linked to a 23% reduction in morning levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
What’s more, a review of five studies examining the effects of ashwagandha on anxiety and stress observed that those who supplemented with ashwagandha extract scored better on tests measuring levels of stress, anxiety, and fatigue (23).
A study investigating on the safety and efficacy of supplementing with ashwagandha in people with chronic stress noted that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha for 60 days was safe and well tolerated (24).
L-theanine is an amino acid most commonly found in tea leaves.
21 studies views involving nearly 68,000 people found that drinking green tea was associated with emulsifying anxiety and improvements in memory and attention (27).
These effects were attributed to the synergistic effects of the caffeine and l-theanine in the tea, as each ingredient on its own was found to have a lesser impact.
However, studies suggest that l-theanine by itself may still help relieve stress.
One study viewed that supplementing with 200 mg of l-theanine reduce measures of stress, such as heart rate, in response to performing a mentally stressful task (28).
drinking beverages containing 200 mg of l-theanine and another nutrients lower the amount of stress hormone cortisol in response to a stressful task that involved multitasking (29).
For comparison, l-theanine comprises 1–2% of the dry weight of leaves, corresponding to 10–20 mg of l-theanine in a commercially available tea bag (32).
6. B complex vitamins
B complex vitamins usually contain all eight B vitamins.
These vitamins plays a very significant role in metabolism by transforming the nutrient absorbed into usable energy. B vitamins are also essential for the cardio vascular system and brain health (33).
Food sources of B vitamins include grains, meats, legumes, eggs, dairy products, and leafy greens.
In one 12-week study in 60 people with work-related stress, those taking one of two forms of a vitamin B complex supplement experienced less work-related stress symptoms, including depression, anger, and fatigue, compared with those in the placebo group (41).
What’s more, a review of 8 studies involving 1,292 people found that taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement improved several aspects of mood, including stress, anxiety, and energy (42).
Though the supplement contained several other vitamins and minerals, the study’s authors suggested that supplements containing high doses of B vitamins may be more effective at improving aspects of mood.
Another study observed similar results, suggesting that supplementing with B vitamins as part of a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement may improve mood and stress by lowering homocysteine levels (43).
However, it’s unclear whether people who already have low homocysteine levels will experience these same effects.
Vitamin B complex supplements are generally safe when taken within the recommended dosage ranges. However, they may cause harmful side effects like nerve pain when taken in large amounts. Plus, they’re water-soluble, so your body excretes any excess through urine (44).