Supplements with Stress Recovery Super Powers

We might not be aware of it, but stress can wreak havoc on our body. Overtime, stress can throw off the natural balance of many systems in our body. When we are trying to recover from stress, and all the nasty symptoms that come with it, we need to focus on bringing these systems back into balance, so they can start to function more ideally again.


This is where supplements can come in. Although you can bring your body back into balance without the use of supplements, it can help enhance the other strategies you are using. Whether you are prioritizing your sleep, adding in gentle movement or eating a balanced diet, certain supplements that amplify the impact and help you recover quicker and get back to feeling your best sooner.


Learn more about the supplements that are known to help bring your body back into balance and how they do this. This information is not intended to replace medical advice, rather it is meant to be used to have an informed discussion with your own health care provider(s) to determine which options would be beneficial for you.


Digestive Enzymes

One of the systems in our body that is impacted most by stress is our digestive system. Chronic stress turns off our digestive system through the flight or fight response. When this happens our body reduces the amount of digestive enzymes it produces, it lowers the amount of stomach acid it releases and decreases the movement in your intestines. All of this leads to sluggish digestion and poor nutrient absorption. When this happens, it can cause issues like gas, bloating, indigestion or heartburn and can result in nutrient deficiencies which can lead to a myriad of other issues. To counteract this, you can supplement with digestive enzymes. They support your naturally occurring digestive enzymes by breaking down the food in your stomach to ensure you can properly absorb the nutrients and to keep the digestive process flowing. Even if you aren’t experiencing digestive issues, you would likely benefit from digestive enzymes to ensure you are absorbing everything from your diet. You can be eating the healthiest diet possible, but if you aren’t absorbing the nutrients the food has to offer, it is pointless. When using enzymes:

  • Aim for products that include all three types of enzymes, including amylases, lipases and proteases which break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins respectively.

  • Review the instructions around when and how to take them in relation to your meals.

Probiotics

The impact of stress on our digestive system continues as we move down the digestive tract. It can have a huge impact on your microbiome, which is the collection of trillions of teeny, tiny microbes that have made a home in your gastrointestinal tract. These microbes are responsible for digesting food, controlling our appetite, controlling our metabolism, managing our mood and triggering our immune system among other things. Stress can impact the diversity, quantity and balance of all of the microbes in our microbiome. This is where probiotics can come in. They introduce new microbes into your microbiome and bring your microbiome back into balance by increasing the “good” microbes and decreasing the “bad” microbes. Signs that you might benefit from probiotics go beyond the typical digestion issues like bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, and include issues like skin issues (eg. acne, eczema), mood issues (eg. depression, anxiety), fatigue, chronic pain, weight gain or resistance to weight loss, headache, brain fog and food sensitivities. When using probiotics:

  • Aim for products that contain a greater variety of microbes included and the highest amounts of each microbe (often referred to as most colony forming units). When it comes to the gut, diversity is always key.

  • Aim for products that include all three main 3 main categories of probiotics: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium blends; Saccharomyces boulardii (a type of yeast); Soil-Based Blends (usually Bacillus species). You can try each type separately and see which ones work best for you, or use them all combined if it does not cause any issues for you.

Nutritional Supplements

Stress can leave our body absolutely depleted, not only from an energy standpoint, but also nutritionally. Ongoing stress leaves our body deficient in certain nutrients because either stress impacts how our body absorbs the nutrient or our body uses the nutrient at higher rates while under stress. Depending on the nutrient, this can lead to a variety of other symptoms, like fatigue, mood issues, memory and concentration challenges or a weakened immune system to name a few. The nutrients that are commonly low among people who are chronically stressed include:

  • B Vitamins

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Iron

  • Magnesium

  • Zinc

It is ideal if you get a blood test to measure your levels of these various nutrients prior to deciding to supplement, so that you can ensure you are focusing on the nutrients that are most relevant for your recovery. This way you can also test again several months after supplementation to see how your levels are changing over time.


I hope this information gave you some insights about possible supplements to explore. If you want to explore other supplement options, check out the previous blog. While this blog was about supplements for stress recovery, the other blog was about supplements for stress relief. When combined, these approaches can help you resolve your stress-related symptoms and bring more calm into your life.


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