We've had an unusual winter here in typically sunny Boulder, Colorado. Snow, which usually melts within a few days, has been a permanent fixture in yards, parking lots, and driveways since November. It's been cold! I know you're probably thinking: "Quit complaining; it's much worse in ______ fill-in-the-blank!" But I'm feeling the effects: fatigue, crankiness, and the pervasive blahs. Wherever you live—unless you happen to be on a tropical island—late January in the northern hemisphere can be tough on your health. You might be a bit vitamin D deficient and, if you've been through your share of colds or flu, your body's reserves may be nearing the "empty" mark.
Aside from daily exercise and sunshine (exercise outside?), supplements can help give you an energy lift. Here are the top recommendations from Steven Joyal, MD, Vice President of Science and Medical Affairs for Life Extension, providers of scientific information on supplements and alternative therapies. As always, consult your health care provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
For mental energy: Lack of sunlight and other factors can contribute to the “winter blahs,” a lack of mental energy and easy fatigue with cognitive tasks. Helpful supplements include rhodiola (standardized 3 percent rosavins, 250 mg daily), ashwagandha (standardized 8 percent withanolide glycoside conjugates,
125 mg twice daily), and fish oil (500-700 mg of both EPA and DHA twice daily with meals).