6 Energy Supplements That Don’t Really Work + 2 That Actually Do

The market of energy supplements is brimming with products promising you additional energy and stamina. It makes you wonder if they truly work. Here, we’ll try to answer this question, dividing the supplements to those that truly deliver, and those that are just full of hot air.

Caffeinated Water

thumbs-upCaffeine acts an antagonist to adenosine, a neuromodulator that has the ability to slow down your neural activity and make you sleepy. Adenosine acts by binding to specific receptors. Having similar size and shape as adenosine, caffeine has the ability to bind with these receptors without reducing the neural activity. At the same time, caffeine activates neural circuits that make your adrenal gland pump faster, giving you a burst of energy. In addition, caffeine stimulates dopamine production, giving you a sense of pleasure.

According to the scientific research, caffeine can alleviate migraines and tension headaches. It can also help you focus, giving you mental clarity. Because of its ability to prolong physical exhaustion this stimulant is in widespread use among the athletes.

Although a cup of espresso probably won’t result in an overdose, bottled caffeinated water and energy drinks have much higher levels of caffeine and should be consumed cautiously. You should limit the intake to 400 mg daily, or in other words: 4 cups of coffee, or 2 energy shots or 4 bottles of caffeinated water.

Coenzyme Q10

thumbs-sidewaysCoenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant crucial in the production of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecule, which plays a pivotal role in energy transport within the cell. Old age and some diseases as cancer and the Parkinson’s result in drop of natural levels of Q10 in our bodies. CoQ10 can be used for treating heart failure, cancer, muscular dystrophy, gum disease and Parkinsons. Doctors also prescribe it for countering the side effects of certain medicines. One of its other possible applications is – as an energy booster.

Although some people use it to boost their energy levels and speed up recovery, this is yet to be scientifically confirmed. The results of the studies focusing on the effect that CoQ10 and the other antioxidants have on energy levels are inconsistent. However, it won’t hurt to try it.

When taking CoQ10 you should be aware that it can cause hypoglycemia and hypotension.

Bee Pollen

thumbs-downSometimes referred to as ambrosia, bee pollen are compact pellets packed with plant pollens, plant nectar and bee saliva collected by worker honeybees. Bee pollen is the primary source of proteins for the hive. It is also full of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fatty acids and lipids.

According to the science, the energy boosting properties of bee pollen are inconclusive, and mostly rely on the use of bee pollen in folk medicines. The only confirmations of the energy boosting properties of bee pollen come from some minor, not credible studies.

People allergic to bees or having seasonal allergies should be careful when consuming this supplement because it can cause response.


thumbs-downRibose is created from glucose in our bodies. This complex carbohydrate is one of crucial components in the energy packed ATP compound. High intensity workouts tend to deplete ATP very fast, while ribose supplements are marked as a way for speeding up the muscle recovery, alleviating the sense of fatigue after training.

According to the scientific research, ribose is very effective in people with clogged heart arteries, thus improving the blood flow. However, no major studies confirm the energy restoring effect of ribose. The several minor one have not provided support for the claims that ribose has any impact on short-term recovery, nor that it triggers any metabolic response.

You should be aware ribose intake can have side-effects including hypoglycaemia, nausea, headaches and diarrhoea.

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