Although not for everyone, therapeutic amounts of the correct supplements can be fair stress-targeting additions to a balanced diet and lifestyle in some situations. Unfortunately, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so determining which ones are worth trying can be tricky. Here’s more information about these purported stress relievers, as well as advice from One Medical’s Erica Matluck, ND, NP.
What exactly is it? Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that aids in the regulation of sleep cycles. Because sleep and mood are so closely linked, using melatonin supplements can help you sleep better. Although it is generally safe, it can produce headaches, short-term symptoms of despondency, dizziness, and irritability.
Is it effective? Melatonin appears to be beneficial in promoting good sleep patterns, according to research. In one short study, the supplement helped sleep, behavioral issues, sadness, and anxiety in aged people. Melatonin produced considerable improvements in sleep efficiency in insomniac individuals aged 50 and up in another trial.
“I recommend starting with 3 milligrams (mg) at bedtime.” “If 3 mg isn’t enough, try 6 mg,” Matluck advises. “Usually, melatonin isn’t the right fit if 6 mg isn’t effective. Try the extended-release preparation if you wake up in the middle of the night.”
What exactly is it? Magnesium is an essential mineral that is needed for proper nerve and muscle function. Despite the fact that most people who eat a balanced diet obtain adequate magnesium, a study of data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicated that the majority of Americans consume less than they should. Although the supplement is thought to be safe, side effects may include stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Large doses might occasionally induce irregular pulse and low blood pressure.
Is it effective? Because magnesium is known to promote relaxation, a lack can cause stress to have negative consequences on the body. Furthermore, research indicates that magnesium appears to have a significant role in the hormonal axis and the regulation of the stress response, and some study suggests that it can be a useful aspect of depression treatment.
“I normally recommend 600 mg of magnesium citrate before bed,” explains Matluck. “If taking 600 mg creates loose stools, reduce to 300 mg, which is well tolerated.”
What exactly is it? Valerian is a popular plant for treating insomnia, anxiety, and stress. Although it is considered safe for most individuals, the long-term effects are unknown. Headaches and sluggishness in the morning are common short-term adverse effects, especially at higher doses.
Is it effective? Early study suggests that it may be beneficial in lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of pressure when under stress.
“I normally use valerian in tincture form and prescribe three droppersful before night,” adds Matluck. “Try it during the day as needed for stressful situations if it doesn’t make you too tired.”
What exactly is it? Except for vitamin C, the vitamin B-complex includes all of the known necessary water-soluble vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin, folic acid, and the cobalamins (B12). B vitamins play a crucial role in cell metabolism. Most people who consume a well-balanced diet should get enough B vitamins, although a vegan diet or an immunological illness like lupus might cause B12 deficiency.
Is it effective? According to several studies, B-complex vitamins are associated with enhanced mood.
“I recommend a B-complex with at least 1 mcg B12 and 50 mg B6,” Matluck explains. “B-complex is best taken first thing in the morning because it may provide you more energy.”
What exactly is it? Theanine, an amino acid contained in green tea, is commonly used to treat anxiety and high blood pressure.
Is it effective? There is some evidence that theanine may help those who aren’t anxious feel more at ease. Those with high stress levels, on the other hand, did not experience the same benefit. Another study found that theanine may reduce anxiety and blood pressure elevations in persons with high stress responses.
“Theanine should be taken at 200 to 400 mg on an empty stomach,” explains Matluck. “Most of my patients report that it relieves their anxiety without sedating them.” I recommend theanine two to three times a day, depending on stress levels, if it does not promote sleepiness.”
What is it? Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a naturally occurring amino acid that supports cellular activity, particularly in the brain. Although the supplement form is generally regarded safe for most adults and children, it can induce side effects such as sleeplessness and stomach distress at doses greater than 300 mg.
Does it work? Some study suggests that athletes who take PS during rigorous exercise may suffer less muscular soreness, although the results are mixed. According to one study, a combination of soy-based PS and lecithin may attenuate the body’s response to stress.
“PS is best taken in the evening or before bedtime at 200 mg.” “It lowers cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone,” Matluck explains. “Only very seldom does it induce folks to feel awake and invigorated.” If you are one of the rare people who have this reaction, try it first thing in the morning.”
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GAB)
What exactly is it? Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is a molecule produced in the brain that is commonly used as a supplement to alleviate anxiety, enhance mood, lessen PMS symptoms, and treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms (ADHD).
Is it effective? There is limited evidence to show that GABA supplements taken orally can assist increase calm, immunity, and lower anxiety during times of stress.
“It tends to be soothing without being sedating,” Matluck explains, “so individuals usually do great on GABA during the day.” “In times of stress, I prescribe 500 mg one to three times a day on an empty stomach.”