Spring: Supplements for energy and gut health

Have you noticed how tired you have been feeling lately – at least I hope it’s not just me! Somehow the energy seems to be flagging, the bedtime beckons earlier and the spring in the step doesn’t want to materialise. Lots of people I know have been either nursing colds or viruses or complaining of unusual tiredness, forgetting that with springtime and nature awakening, our body needs to be roused from winter slumber and slowly re-energised. Luckily for those of us who aren’t feeling spring-like just yet, some brands have launched supplements for energy that will help you feel more alive.

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In addition to upping my water intake ( yes, I know, everyone recommends it, which means it is good advice !), I have amassed supplements from three brands, two well-known to me, Unbeelievable and Terrnanova, the other, Just for Tummies, relatively new on the market, but making confident strides.

Terranova MagniFood Intense Maca & Reishi Super-shake, 224g, £36.95: this nourishing and phytonutrient-rich drink blend combines rice bran actives, maca root, wheatgrass and beetroot juice, reishi and cordyceps, spirulina, ginger root, five probiotic strains and seven digestive enzymes. Steven Terrass, brand founder, developed this supplement for a wide variety of applications, including support of your daily sport & exercise activities, general boost to energy levels, hormone health, support of the immunity system, oxygenation of blood, sexual health, making it a superfood all-rounder.

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I am a big fan of Terranova Life Drink and have been alternating it with this supershake for a few weeks of trial. Steven recommends combining it with rice, oat or almond milk. ‘There is a lot of earthy sweetness to Maca and Reishi supershake, which is why I prefer it in vegan milks. It tastes a bit like eggnog, especially with the subtle undertone of spice from the freeze-dried ginger’. I tried it with all three and personally prefer it with either home-made almond or cashew milk, which enhances the flavour, as well as the comforting earthy smell.

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I tend to take this shake in the afternoon, around 3pm, when my natural energy seems to be trailing off, yet the days tasks are far from over. It blends well with pear or banana, if you want a bit more of the natural sweetness and on occasion has acted as my lunch shake, with addition of a couple of  table spoons of organic oats.

Unbeelievable Bee Energised ( Energy & Focus ), 20 capsules, £11.99 : this brand has been my saving grace during the cold winter months for several years and I actually start taking their supplement from October till late spring. Sarah Oreccia, brand’s founder, launched this new addition to Bee family just in time for spring, when the body needs a natural energy pick up and when the brain can also feel foggy at times – love and dreaminess seem to be floating lightly in the air. Containing organic bee pollen, rose hips, match green tea, spirulina, ginseng, Vitamins B12 & B6 ( which contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism & psychological function, as well as the reduction in tiredness and fatigue ) this supplement gives you a steady energy release, unlike a shot of expresso that reeves you up but for a fairly short amount of time. Many of us also exit winter feeling more tired and fatigued and spring bird song doesn’t necessarily make us spring off the bed. Taking this for a several weeks seems to be adding energy to my steady pace and upping my focus for slightly longer periods of time when I need it.

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When Sarah kindly sent me a pack to try, I decided to replace my morning glass of warm water with honey and lemon, with a glass of warm water, to help wake up my digestions and one of the Bee energised capsules. I follow it up with a cup of coffee and breakfast twenty or so minutes after and by the time I dash into my morning meetings I seem to hit my natural energetic stride, which lately seems to have been off kilter. This is a supplement to take when you feel less energetic than usual, as it does act as a natural ignition that gives your body a gentle but effective push forward, making you move you with vigour and not frantically or forcefully. You can also add it to your morning juice, shake or afternoon smoothie – just listen to your body and see when it needs so extra energetic pick me up.

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Just for Tummies: You might have read a recent guest post by Linda Booth, the founder of this digestive range of supplements ( as well as soothing and nurturing Tummy Tea ). As a therapist, she has been the effect that poor gut health can have on one’s body, including immunity and energy levels. Over several years she experimented with different strains of probiotics and different types of plant-based enzymes, before finally narrowing down the combinations she deemed perfect.

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The first thing that grabbed my attention when I received the supplements, was not just the original flat-packed envelope, that easily slides through the letter box, so you don’t have to run to the post office, if you aren’t there when postman delivers your mail. Both ‘Live Bacteria‘ and ‘Digestive Enzymes‘ come in smart & practical flat boxes with easy to pop on and off lid, making it a perfect supplement to carry with you ( if you know beforehand that your meal is going to be indulgent, you can have the Digestive Enzyme pack fit discreetly in your bag, so you won’t have to worry about indigestion at night-time – all you have to do is remembered to take them before the meal; the box is also perfect for weekends away or travelling). Another bonus is that Linda’s digestive supplements look less pharmaceutical and appeal to both male and female customers.

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Digestive Enzymes contain Betaine, Amalyse, Papain and Lipase Enzymes, as well as Calcium and you can take one or two tablets daily before food. It works well for people that might need a little bit of help with digesting their food ( but do check with your doctor if you have a medical condition to make sure there aren’t any contraindications ).

This one was tested for me by a friend who is prone to gas and minor digestive issues when she eats too much or heavy meals in winter, as well as large salads and her feedback after taking it for over four weeks was that her stomach felt and looked more relaxed (bloating can make even a flat tummy appear rounder, making us more conscious of the underlying cause). Eating the same food she normally does, my lovely tester felt that this supplement assisted her gut in digesting the food & calming her nerves before going out to parties or meals with friends or colleagues in the evening.

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Live Bacteria contains a guaranteed 4 billion Lactobacilli ( rhamnosus, acidophilus and case ) and Bifidobacterium per capsule. The recommendation is to take one to three capsules daily with water, preferably before eating, so I took my two capsules before breakfast, sometimes just adding them to my morning juice of green papaya and apple, cucumber, honey & cinnamon ( recipe from Sarah Cadji’s book ) – this combination is wonderful for your digestion and I find that starting my morning with it, followed by my indispensable cup of fresh coffee with coconut oil gives me and my gut the perfect start to the day ( I know that a naturopath or acupuncturist will disagree with me, as coffee racks havoc on our adrenals but we all have out own little indulgences ).

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Linda recommends probiotics and enzymes to anyone who feels run-down, prone to colds and any woman prone to regular UTI’s. And if you need assistance with digestion, you might want to try Linda’s  digestive tea that personally I enjoy taking sometimes in the afternoon or an hour or so before bedtime – drinking it and meditating on the day you are about to leave behind benefits both your gut and your mind – meaning it benefits YOU.

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While I am not suggesting you absolutely must or should add those supplements to your daily dietary intake, I can say that each of the above benefitted my overall wellbeing and helped me deal better with energy slumps that accompanies the start of spring, as well as keep colds at bay. As to digestion, it helps to remember that if we treat out gut well, it will treat us well in return – out gut accounts for – 2/3 of our immune system, extracts energy from the food we consume and produces various unique hormones.

Categories: Beauty & well-being, Reviews

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