Sometimes unplugging, drinking herbal tea and doing yoga aren't enough to relieve stress. As much as we'd like to think that stress is strictly the result of external factors, the truth is that part of the reason you're stressed has to do with problems that you're experiencing internally. When that happens, one of the most common things that people look to is stress supplements.
Supplements of any kind are just that, supplements. They're not meant to replace healthy eating and living habits, but to add-on to what you're already doing and fill in the missing gap. For instance, many bodybuilders and weight lifters take protein supplements to get additional protein because they aren't able to get as much as they need from food alone.
Stress supplements don't "cure" stress. What they can do however, is help alleviate some of the annoying symptoms that come along with stress like a lack of sleep, chronic headaches, anxiety and tension. Stress supplements aren't going to make you magically fall in love with your stressful job, or fix your financial problems. But they can help level your mood out a bit so that the stress of your job or money doesn't control you.
Most stress supplements are made from a combination of different herbs and ingredients that have been shown to help reduce stress. However, there are also A LOT of supplements that simply don't provide results. Like with any supplements, you also have to keep in mind that different people will react differently to each stress supplement. Just because one stress supplement worked for your friend doesn't necessarily mean it'll work for you too.
One of the best parts about stress supplements is that they don't require a prescription. While there are some prescription stress medications available, the average person does not need them. Also, a lot of commonly prescribed medications for stress are filled with chemicals and unnatural ingredients. As a result, they tend to cause a lot of adverse side effects. It's a much better idea to look towards natural stress supplements before considering prescription medication.
First, we'll look at some of the top active ingredients in most stress supplements, then show you some of the best stress supplements that you can buy.
Natural Supplements for Stress
When you're looking for anti stress supplements, we recommend always going the natural route. Most people go to doctors before trying natural options. However, doctors often prescribe chemical based medicine that interferes with the natural function of your body. These pills often come with harmful side effects, and in some cases can become addictive.
That's why we recommend trying natural anxiety supplements or stress tablets first. The difference is these products are made with natural ingredients like B-Vitamins, magnesium and other herbal stress relievers. Remember, what you put inside your body manifests itself externally. The ingredients in these natural stress relief supplements aren't only beneficial for your stress and anxiety. They're good for your overall health.
Top Ingredients For Stress Supplements
Here are some of the most common ingredients you'll find in stress supplements today.
Magnesium is most well known for its calming factors. It's a mineral that's essential for muscle and nerve function. It's found naturally in a lot of healthy foods such as:
- Black beans
- Dark Chocolate
- Whole grains (such as rice and quinoa)
If you eat a well balanced diet, there's a good chance you get enough magnesium. However, a study from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that most Americans don't get enough magnesium. There has also been research to show that magnesium can play a major part in your body's response to stress and help treat depression. Stress supplements can be a great way to add more magnesium into your diet.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in your brain's pineal gland, and helps control your sleep cycles. There have been several studies linking mood and sleep, and you've probably had experiences with being grumpy or "moody" when you haven't had enough sleep. As a result, supplementing with melatonin can help reduce your stress.
One study found that supplementing melatonin induces drowsiness and sleep. Since melatonin is naturally produced by your body, supplementing it isn't necessary for everyone. However, a lot of people like to take melatonin when stress starts to interfere with their sleep. However, if you're constantly depending on melatonin supplements to go to sleep, you should consider consulting a doctor or sleeps specialist because it could be a sign of other problems such as insomnia.
Valerian root is an herb used to help treat anxiety, stress and isnomnia. In addition to that, studies have shown that this herb can also help reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
The preferred method of adding Valerian root into your diet is through tea. There are several different teas available that use Valerian root, and you can check out some of the most popular options on Amazon.com. Since it's all natural, you can use it on a daily basis. Start out with a cup of tea each day and see how you feel. Then adjust to more or less.
The term "Vitamin-B complex" is used to refer to all known water-soluble B vitamins except for vitamin C. That includes:
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Pyridoxine (B6)
- Folic acid
- The cobalamins (B12)
B vitamins play a very important role in the way your body functions. They work individually and collective in every cell to perform a range of tasks like helping your body release the energy it gets from eating carbohydrates, proteins and fats. B vitamins also help prevent anemia, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.
Vitamin B is commonly used in stress supplements because they improve your immune system and preserve your nerve system and mental clarity. Since a lot of the foods rich in vitamin B tend to be animal-based (beef, salmon, tuna, turkey and eggs), many vegans and people with immune disorders don't get an adequate amount, so supplementing with Vitamin B-Complex can be very helpful.
Theanine is an amino acid that's found in green tea. It's commonly used to treat high blood pressure and anxiety. One study found that theanine may lower blood pressure in adults with high-stress response. Another study from the Asia Pacific Journal of Nutrition found that the levels of theanine found in tea can enhace brain activity.
If you're not a tea drinker, then stress supplements will be the only way to incorporate it into your diet because it's not found in any other foods. If you have a history of low/high blood pressure, then consult your doctor before taking supplements with theanine.
Kava, commonly referred to as "kava kava" is a root native to South Pacific islands. It has been used for centuries by islanders for medicine and for ceremonies. It has a calming effect, and produces changes in brain waves similar to the changes seen when taking other calming medicines such as Valium, but without the other non-natural chemicals.
One study showed that kava is effective for treating anxiety. However, it's important to note that kava shouldn't be used long term.
5-HTP is a compound that gets converted into serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that many researchers believe to be responsible for regulating mood and happiness. On top of that, serotonin can also affect your appetite, sleep, body temperature and sexual behavior.
5-HTP is used for the treatment of conditions such as:
Many natural stress supplements that contain 5-HTP source the compound from the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia.
Many of the ingredients listed above can be supplemented by themselves. For instance, there are several Vitamin B-Complex supplements available online and in stores. The benefit of stress supplements is that they combine many of these ingredients along with other natural ingredients that have health benefits. So you get a nice combination of all of them from a single supplement.
Below, you'll find our reviews of the top stress supplements online. If you're struggling with stress and are looking for a natural solution, these supplements may help you. Additionally, read through our site for even more stress management techniques.