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What can a man take for energy?

Men often feel tired or lack energy due to busy schedules, stress, poor sleep, or other lifestyle factors. While rest and reducing stress are important, there are also some supplements and lifestyle changes that can help increase energy levels naturally.

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about increasing energy levels in men:

  • Caffeine – Coffee, tea, and energy drinks can provide a short-term energy boost due to the caffeine content.
  • B Vitamins – B vitamins like B12 and B6 play a key role in energy production and deficiency can lead to fatigue.
  • Rhodiola – An adaptogenic herb that research shows can help increase energy, reduce fatigue, and improve concentration.
  • CoQ10 – This antioxidant supports cellular energy production and has been linked to increased energy in studies.
  • Iron – Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and low energy. Supplements may help if diet is not sufficient.
  • Ginseng – Used in traditional Chinese medicine to fight fatigue and improve energy. Siberian and Korean ginseng are most common.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise, especially cardio, can help reduce fatigue and increase sustainable energy.
  • Sleep – Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night helps the body recharge and prevents fatigue.
  • Reduce alcohol – Drinking alcohol often leads to dehydration and interferes with sleep, leaving you tired the next day.

Causes of Low Energy in Men

There are many potential causes for ongoing fatigue or low energy levels in men. Understanding the root cause can help guide the best solution.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Deficiencies in key nutrients can lead to low energy. Some of the most common include:

  • Iron – Iron carries oxygen in the blood to cells. Low iron causes anemia and fatigue.
  • B Vitamins – B vitamins help convert food to energy. Low levels of B12, B6, and folate may cause tiredness.
  • Vitamin D – This important vitamin supports immune function and mood. Deficiency is common and linked to fatigue.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium supports over 300 enzyme reactions in the body and deficiency is associated with fatigue.

Getting enough of these nutrients from your diet or supplements can help restore energy levels.

Poor Sleep Habits

Not getting enough quality sleep is one of the biggest causes of low energy. Adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Poor sleep habits that can negatively impact energy include:

  • Inconsistent bedtime and wake time
  • Exposure to blue light from screens before bed
  • Consuming caffeine late in the day
  • Alcohol consumption before bed
  • Sleep disorders like sleep apnea or insomnia

Focusing on improving sleep hygiene can provide an important energy boost.

High Stress

Ongoing physical or emotional stress takes a toll on the body over time. The constant flood of stress hormones like cortisol can disrupt sleep, appetite, mood, and more. This leaves you mentally and physically drained. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, social support, and lifestyle changes can improve energy. Some options include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Counseling or therapy
  • Making time for hobbies

Medical Conditions

Sometimes fatigue or lack of energy can be caused by an underlying medical condition. Some examples include:

  • Anemia – Anemia from low iron or other causes reduces oxygen in the blood and causes exhaustion.
  • Thyroid disorders – Both overactive and underactive thyroid can lead to fatigue.
  • Diabetes – Uncontrolled blood sugar with diabetes results in lack of energy.
  • Heart disease – Poor blood flow from heart issues decreases energy.
  • Depression – The emotional drain and loss of motivation with depression saps energy.

It’s important to see a doctor if fatigue is severe or persists for over 2 weeks. Getting proper treatment can help resolve the underlying condition.

Herbal Supplements to Increase Energy

Certain herbal supplements have shown promise in research for combatting fatigue and boosting energy levels:

Supplement Proposed Effects
Panax Ginseng May help fight fatigue and improve energy, cognition, exercise capacity, and libido.
Rhodiola Rosea Shown to reduce fatigue and exhaustion as well as boost energy and concentration.
Ashwagandha Adaptogenic herb that may reduce stress and anxiety while increasing energy levels.
Maca root Traditionally used to enhance energy, stamina, athletic performance, and libido.

These herbal supplements are generally safe when taken as recommended, but it’s wise to discuss with your doctor, especially if you take any medications.

Panax Ginseng

Panax ginseng is one of the most widely studied and popular herbal supplements for energy, stamina, and focus. It is considered an adaptogen, which means it helps the body cope with physical and mental stress.

Research on ginseng shows the following benefits for energy and performance:

  • May boost energy levels, athletic performance, and endurance
  • Shown to reduce fatigue and exhaustion
  • Appears to enhance cognitive function and concentration
  • Potential libido enhancer for men

The energizing and anti-fatigue effects are likely due to ginseng’s interactions with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and ability to reduce cortisol levels.

Panax ginseng appears safe at typical doses of 200-400mg per day for up to 3 months of use. Some people report overstimulation or trouble sleeping if taken too close to bedtime.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb commonly used to fight stress and fatigue. It has traditionally been used in Eastern Europe and Asia for centuries as a natural stimulant. Rhodiola helps the body cope with physical, chemical, and environmental stress.

According to studies on rhodiola, potential benefits include:

  • Reduces feelings of burnout and fatigue
  • Lowers cortisol levels elevated by stress
  • Increases energy and fights exhaustion
  • Enhances concentration, motivation, and cognitive function
  • Improves exercise endurance and performance

These effects are attributed to rhodiola’s ability to regulate cortisol levels and support energy metabolism in the muscles.

Typical dosing of rhodiola is 200-600mg per day, taken first thing in the morning when an energy boost is desired. Some people report Rhodiola causes jitteriness, so discontinue use if this occurs.

Vitamins and Minerals for Energy

Certain vitamins and minerals play critical roles in energy production, red blood cell formation, hormone regulation, and other processes that impact energy levels. Ensuring adequate intake from your diet or supplements can help boost energy.

B Vitamins

B vitamins, especially B12 and B6, are crucial for converting food into cellular energy. Deficiencies in these nutrients are common and linked to fatigue. B vitamins also support adrenal and thyroid hormone production that can affect energy.

The recommended daily intakes for energy-boosting B vitamins are:

  • Vitamin B12: 2.4mcg
  • Vitamin B6: 1.3-1.7mg
  • Folate: 400mcg

Taking a high quality B-complex vitamin with all the B’s can help cover your bases if energy is low. Vegans may especially benefit since B12 is only found naturally in animal foods.


Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Since iron is essential for carrying oxygen in the blood to your tissues, low iron causes fatigue, weakness, and poor exercise capacity.

The recommended daily intake of iron for men aged 19-50 years is 8mg/day. Iron is found in foods like:

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Iron-fortified cereals

Iron supplements may be beneficial if iron levels are very low or deficiency causes anemia.


Magnesium supports over 300 biochemical reactions in the body including energy production, protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.

Low magnesium levels can negatively affect all of these processes and are associated with fatigue, weakness, muscle cramps, and poor exercise tolerance.

Adult men should aim for 400-420mg of magnesium per day from foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, dark leafy greens, milk, yogurt, fish, and bananas.

Magnesium supplements are recommended if experiencing muscle cramps or deficiency symptoms like fatigue.

Coenzyme Q10

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that plays a vital role in cellular energy production. Levels in the body decrease with age which is why CoQ10 supplementation may boost energy as we get older.

Small studies in older adults show CoQ10 supplements of up to 300mg per day can reduce fatigue and increase energy levels. Typical doses range from 100-300mg daily.

CoQ10 is also used by some looking to enhance athletic performance, though the research is mixed. Those on statins may especially benefit since this medication can deplete CoQ10.

Lifestyle Changes for Energy

Certain lifestyle habits and daily routines can drain energy while others help provide a natural increase in sustainable energy levels. Try incorporating some of these tips:

Exercise Regularly But Avoid Overtraining

Regular exercise provides an energy boost and helps fight fatigue. Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate activity like brisk walking or 30 minutes of vigorous activity like running most days.

But be careful not to overdo it with extremely intense or excessive exercise, which can have the opposite effect and leave you drained. Listen to your body and take a rest day when needed.

Follow an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

A diet high in processed foods, sugar, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats promotes inflammation in the body that can leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Anti-inflammatory diets focus on:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins like fish, poultry, beans, nuts
  • Healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Limited sugar, alcohol, processed foods

This nutrient-dense diet provides steady energy throughout the day rather than spikes and crashes from sugary foods.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue. Aim to drink enough non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids daily to produce pale yellow urine. For most people that equates to around six to eight 8-oz glasses of fluid per day.

Reduce Stress

Find healthy ways to manage stress such as exercise, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or talking to a friend or counselor. Unmanaged stress leads to elevated cortisol and fatigue.

Get Plenty of Quality Sleep

Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and adopt good sleep hygiene habits like limiting screen time before bed, avoiding caffeine in the evening, and keeping your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Healthy sleep is essential for fighting fatigue.

When to See a Doctor

Ongoing fatigue that lasts for over two weeks or suddenly worsens should be evaluated by a doctor. It could signal an underlying health condition causing the symptoms.

See your physician if fatigue is accompanied by any of the following:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty concentrating

Your doctor can check for issues like anemia, thyroid disorders, diabetes, heart disease, depression, sleep apnea, infections, autoimmune disorders, and certain cancers that could be causing fatigue.

They may recommend bloodwork, sleep studies, other testing, medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, or refer you to a specialist to help diagnose and treat the root cause.


There are many natural ways for men to combat fatigue and boost energy levels. Start with improving sleep habits, reducing stress, exercising regularly, and eating a nutrient-dense diet. Certain supplements like ginseng, rhodiola, B vitamins, iron, CoQ10, and magnesium may also enhance energy. See a doctor if fatigue becomes severe or persists longer than two weeks to rule out any underlying medical conditions. With some key lifestyle tweaks and targeted supplementation, most men can overcome low energy and exhaustion.