In this article, we will cover the top 5 minerals and vitamins for energy that you may want to focus on while on a ketogenic diet. Studies show that many people are deficient in these nutrients and that these nutrients play a vital role in your body's energy levels.
When you restrict your food intake, like when on a keto diet, your risk of deficiencies is slightly higher. This can especially be the case when you don't plan your meals right. Plan your weekly meals so that they include a variety of foods rich in vitamins for energy. Taking supplements is another way to keep micronutrient deficiencies at bay.
To make this planning aspect of your keto journey easier, use our keto food list to make a personalized grocery list today. We also suggest enrolling in our free Ketocademy course so you can quickly learn everything about meeting your nutrient needs while on keto.
But for now, take a look at these 5 minerals and vitamins for energy. Included are lists of foods that are highest in minerals and vitamins for energy and tips on the best ways to meet your daily limits.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral and electrolyte in your body. It is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions, including those that regulate energy metabolism . Deficiencies cause a wide range of symptoms of which the most noticeable are fatigue and weakness.
In the first few weeks of a ketogenic diet, you will begin to urinate more frequently. With frequent urination, you will start losing electrolytes like magnesium. This loss of electrolytes is the leading cause of those infamous keto flu symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and muscle cramping.
To restore magnesium and to boost your energy levels, it's a good idea to eat magnesium-rich foods in the first weeks of a ketogenic diet. Good examples of such foods include:
You can also drinking mineral water or even take mineral supplements to replenish magnesium along with other electrolytes and vitamins for energy . Another viable option is to drink bone broth or bouillon cubes. The daily recommended intake for magnesium is pretty high, around 400 mg for men and 300 mg for women . Getting magnesium from a variety of sources will help you meet these daily requirements.
Vitamin D is one of the few fat-soluble vitamins for energy — which is good news for anyone who's on a keto diet. Like all fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin D is found in fatty foods and is also stored in the liver and fat tissue. Still, studies show that over a billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient .
Studies show that vitamin D plays a huge role in energy metabolism . Not surprisingly, research also shows that low levels of vitamin D worsen fatigue . Other notable consequences of low vitamin D levels include frail bones and poor immunity.
You can get vitamin D from a range of fatty and other foods. Good examples include the following:
- Cod liver oil
- Fatty fish
- Fortified yogurt
- Fortified butter
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
Another way to get vitamin D is by spending more time in the sun. Your skin naturally makes vitamin D when exposed to UVB rays, and this is why it is also called "the sunshine vitamin". In fact, sunlight is probably the best source of vitamin D out there considering that not many foods are rich in this essential nutrient.
The reason why we're putting all B vitamins under one category is because these vitamins work in synergy. They're all considered vitamins for energy, playing a vital role in the extraction of energy from macronutrients . Not surprisingly, a lack of any of these B vitamins for energy can deplete your energy levels.
The B complex group of vitamins for energy includes thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7) folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12). You'll get all these vitamins from a range of keto-friendly foods like:
- Beef liver
Studies show that deficiencies in B vitamins for energy often lead to fatigue and weakness . This is especially true with vitamins B1, B6, and B12. Since these vitamins are water-soluble, you will need to get them on a daily basis from your diet as your body is unable to store water-soluble vitamins for energy production.
Vitamin C is another of the many vitamins for energy you need to obtain from food as the body can’t make it on its own. It's main role in the body, however, is that of an antioxidant. Like all antioxidants, vitamin C protects your body, and especially your brain, from the harmful effects of free radicals. Vitamin C also plays a big role in immune system functioning and cell metabolism.
Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for energy for keto dieters because it enables the body to use fat for energy. Studies show that your body uses vitamin C to make carnitine — a substance needed for the body to burn fat for energy . Without enough vitamin C, you can end up feeling tired, sluggish, and your immune system will take a big hit.
Keto-friendly foods that are rich in vitamin C include:
- Brussels sprouts
Keep in mind that the level of vitamin C in food drops when these foods are heated and boiled in water. To minimize this, stir-fry or steam any vitamin-C rich vegetables and eat vitamin-C rich fruits raw. But keep in mind that this doesn't apply to all minerals and vitamins for energy; some are more available in cooked than raw food.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is also a popular cold remedy. The reason for this is the fact that zinc is involved in immune system functioning and wound healing. Like magnesium, zinc is also involved in hundreds of your body’s biochemical reactions which is why it made it to our list of minerals and vitamins for energy..
Zinc helps keep your energy levels high by supporting healthy thyroid functioning. Low zinc levels can lead to an underactive thyroid, a disorder in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Low thyroid hormones can make you feel chronically tired and depressed .
To avoid zinc deficiencies, make sure to eat plenty of zinc-rich foods like the following:
Seafood is the richest source of zinc by far with the other one being nuts. It is also one of the best sources of many other minerals and vitamins for energy like B vitamins and vitamin E. You can also get zinc in supplement form. However, keep in mind that there are daily limits for zinc and that taking too much can be toxic. The recommended and safe level of zinc is 8-11 mg a day .
A well-planned ketogenic diet will not put you at risk of micronutrient deficiencies any more than any other diet. But fact is that the keto diet is restrictive, and this means that meeting your daily needs for certain minerals and vitamins for energy can be a challenge.
To make things a bit easier for you, we've listed the top 5 nutrients most commonly deficient in our diets. These nutrients are also happen to be important for energy production. A deficiency in any one of these vitamins for energy as well as minerals will show on your energy levels so it’s important to get optimal levels if you want to stay functional.
Luckily, you can get all of them from a variety of keto-friendly foods. Many are also safe to take in supplement form. Make sure to do your research before grocery shopping for your keto meals and focus on foods most dense in key minerals and vitamins for energy.