College Students: Top 5 Nutrients for Energy, Stress, and Focus
Poor dietary habits are sure to cost more than just the “Freshman 15”. Eating a healthy diet is important for young adults to maintain optimal mental status and stay ahead of stress. Research supports that consuming a healthy diet leads to academic success in all age groups. The CDC reports a healthy diet is supportive of lower drop-out rates and improved standardized test scores, academic grades, GPAs and cognitive performance (e.g. alertness, attention, memory, processing, problem solving).
Unfortunately, it can be especially challenging for this age group to get the adequate nutrition they need. National dietary guidelines for adults 19 to 30 years old recommend 3 to 4 servings of fruit per day and 4 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. A study in college students at Oregon State University showed that surveyed students were consuming that as an average per week, rather than every day. Nutrient intake was especially low in female college students. Plus, alcohol, stress, and caffeine deplete essential nutrients.
Nutritional supplementation becomes essential in college to help students get the key nutrition they need to support energy, immunity, and mental performance throughout the semester. Help your students fill in the gaps and optimize their performance with these top supplements for students and young adults.
B Vitamins – The 8 different B vitamins are essential nutrients that must be obtained from our diet every day. If we don’t get enough, every aspect of our health will be affected. Symptoms associated with B vitamin deficiency are varied, but may include: fatigue, dry skin, chapped lips, acne, digestive difficulties, PMS, depression, rashes, bad breath, headaches, memory trouble, wear-and-tear feelings, brain fog, sleep trouble, and poor stress tolerance.
Unfortunately, college students are particularly at risk for B vitamin deficiencies because stress, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, digestive problems, and birth control pills all deplete B vitamins. B vitamins are quickly used up by the body, so they must be obtained daily through a healthy diet and a high quality multiple vitamin.
But, don’t just go out and buy any multiple vitamin, as many of the cheap multivitamins contain forms of b vitamins that your body can’t easily absorb or use. Wellness Resources Daily Energy Multiple Vitamin is perfect for young adults and provides plenty of highly absorbable coenzyme B vitamins to support stress tolerance, mood, and energy, plus more essential vitamins and minerals that might be missing in the diet.*
Omega-3 Fish Oil – DHA is the preferred omega-3 essential fatty acid for the structure of healthy brain cells. Research clearly shows that the higher the level of omega-3 oils like DHA, the better the brain works. Decades of research have connected higher DHA intake with significantly better focus, memory, cognitive function, and abstract thinking, even larger brains. It has also been shown to reduce brain inflammation, support a positive mood, and reduce symptoms of ADHD.
The college student diet frequently lacks omega-3 rich foods like tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, flax and chia seeds. Instead, it often contains and abundance of conventional, mass-produced chicken, hamburgers, processed meats, and vegetable oils. Eating more fatty fish is one way to get brain-nourishing DHA, but it is often contaminated with mercury today. Wellness Resources Daily DHA is an excellent choice for mercury-free fish oil high in DHA for brain cell health.*
Phosphatidylserine – Phosphatidylserine (PS) is one of the best supplements for students to take for focus and memory. Along with DHA, it is an important building block for healthy and functional brain cells. Supplemental PS has been shown to help brain cells work better, improve focus, short-term memory, mood, coordination, concentration, and learning. Many students love taking it prior to tests, as it can boost retention of information by playing a role in creating new memories (synaptic plasticity).
Phosphatidylserine can also help improve stress tolerance by nourishing a main stress pathway called the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenals) axis. With so many demands during the day, cortisol (our main stress hormone) can rise too much during the day and set the stage for weight gain, feeling run-down, or illness. Supplemental PhosphatidylSerine can reduce cortisol levels and enhance relaxation and restful sleep at night.*
Antioxidants – The combination of stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet in college lower the natural defense systems of the body. The immune system requires antioxidants for normal and healthy function. Since many students face this reality, dorms are often nicknamed “the petri-dish”. Getting a variety of antioxidants is the foundation of natural immune support.
We need many different antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. Students who aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables in their diet should add Daily Protector to their daily supplement routine. It is an antioxidant supplement that provides a variety of high potency fruit and vegetable extracts and cofactor nutrients to support the immune system daily and help prevent getting sick.
Whey Protein – Most students are pressed for time as they rush out the door for class in the morning. This inevitably means they have little time for breakfast. This is a big mistake! Studies show breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially to students. If they do not get the day started properly, they are more likely to eat poorly throughout the day, have difficulty focusing, get run down, and get sick more easily.
Whey protein makes an excellent morning protein option because it helps turn on the brain’s light switches for a better day. Researchers found that whey protein reduced production of free radicals within the engines of brain cells (mitochondria) by 25 to 35 percent, making it an excellent choice for brain energy. Daily Protein Plus provides the highest quality whey protein and fiber with no additives, sweeteners, or artificial flavors. Add 1-2 scoops to milk or water and just shake it up in a cup. Or blend it with your favorite fruit for a quick and filling breakfast smoothie on-the-go.
Students who don’t get adequate nutrition can start to feel exhausted and worn out. Oftentimes, too much stress and lack of sleep can lead to poor memory recall, trouble focusing, and declining academics. High quality supplementation can help to fill in nutritional gaps and boost stores of vital nutrition. Give your students a boost this semester.