7 Natural Supplements And Vitamins For Stress Relief And Mood Support

12 min read
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Apr 2, 2024
7 Natural Supplements And Vitamins For Stress Relief And Mood Support
Everybody has stress in life, but the most prevalent ones are usually those that have to do with relationships, money, jobs, and health.
Both acute and chronic stress can cause weariness, headaches, upset stomachs, anxiousness, irritability, and wrath.
In addition to eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising frequently, there are a number of vitamins and supplements that can help your body cope with stress.
These are the top 7 vitamins and supplements that could aid with stress relief.

A brief review of the top supplements for stress relief

  1. Best with Rhodiola rosea: HUM Nutrition Big Chill
  2. Best with melatonin: Life Extension Melatonin IR/XR
  3. Best with magnesium: Innate Vitality Magnesium Glycinate
  4. Best with ashwagandha: Klaire Labs Ashwagandha Extract
  5. Best with L-theanine: Pure Encapsulations L-Theanine
  6. Best with B-complex vitamins: MegaFood Balanced B Complex
  7. Ideal when combined with vitamin D: Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 1000

How we chose

When it comes to vitamins for stress relief, there's a lot of chatter. We initially took into account the kinds of substances present in order to assist you in determining which products are worth purchasing.
The following standards were used to choose each ingredient that was featured:
  • Research quality: We selected supplements that have been the subject of randomized controlled trials, which are excellent scientific investigations. Compared to other study designs, these are less biased and produce data that is of higher quality and more reliability.
  • Effectiveness: Furthermore, we limited our selection to vitamins and supplements that have been shown to be efficacious in these excellent research. While the data from other kinds of studies can be useful, they are not as trustworthy as the data from randomized controlled trials.
When choosing items, we took into account the following aspects in addition to ingredients:
  • Dose: We selected goods that contained the recommended effective doses from studies.
  • Trustworthiness: We chose goods from companies that have a reputation for creating premium supplements. Third-party tested products were also given priority.

1. Best with Rhodiola rosea: HUM Nutrition Big Chill

Parts of Asia and Russia are the native habitats of the herb rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea).
HUM Nutrition Big Chill
HUM Nutrition Big Chill
It has long been recognized as an adaptogen, a safe, natural herb that strengthens your body's defenses against stress by stimulating the stress response system.(1)
Two powerful active ingredients in rhodiola, rosavin and salidroside, are associated with the herb's adaptogenic qualities.(2)
One week into a modest eight-week trial, which included one hundred participants with symptoms of chronic fatigue, including poor sleep quality and deficits in short-term memory and concentration, it was discovered that taking 400 mg of rhodiola extract daily as a supplement helped with symptoms.(3)
The trial participants experienced a continuous decrease in their symptoms.
Similarly, in a small, excellent study including eighty individuals with mild anxiety, researchers discovered that after two weeks, those taking 400 mg of rhodiola daily showed a significant reduction in tension and anxiety in comparison to those who did not get any treatment.(4)
HUM Nutrition Big Chill is one of the greatest options if you want to try rhodiola.
A professionally researched effective dose of 500 mg of R. rosea extract per serving is present in the supplement. It has also passed third-party testing and has no artificial coloring or sweeteners.
Pros
  • third-party tested
  • non-GMO
  • gluten-free
  • vegan-friendly
  • one-a-day formulation
Cons
  • requires a subscription

2. Best with melatonin: Life Extension Melatonin IR/XR

A hormone found naturally in the body, melatonin controls the circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle.
In order to encourage sleep, hormone levels rise in the evening when it is dark and fall in the morning when it is light.(5)
Melatonin supplements may be beneficial since stress and insomnia have been related in some studies.(6, 7)
One analysis examined the efficacy of melatonin in treating secondary sleep disorders, or those that arise from a comorbid condition like depression or stress, by looking at seven high-quality trials with a total of 205 participants.
In comparison to a placebo, the researchers found that melatonin improved overall sleep duration and shortened the time it took for participants to fall asleep, but had no discernible effect on sleep quality.(8)
Studies using randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of dosages as little as 0.5 mg per night.(9)
Taking melatonin supplements doesn't change your body's natural production of the hormone, despite the fact that it is one. Although melatonin does not establish habits, it is advisable to begin with the lowest amount and increase it if needed.(10, 11)
Life Extension IR/XR Magnesium is an excellent choice if you're experiencing problems falling asleep due to stress and would like to test a melatonin supplement.
1.5 mg of both immediate-release and extended-release melatonin are present in this supplement, which may aid in promoting sleep and helping you stay asleep during the night.
As a reputable corporation, Life Extension produces its supplements with standards higher than those set by the FDA. Additionally, independent testers test the company's raw materials.
Its Melatonin IR/XR supplement is not, however, third-party tested, unlike some other Life Extension products.
Pros
  • produced in a facility with strict quality control guidelines
  • gluten-free
  • non-GMO
  • one-a-day formulation
Cons
  • not vegan- or vegetarian-friendly
  • not third-party tested

3. Best with magnesium: Innate Vitality Magnesium Glycinate

Your body employs magnesium, an essential mineral, in over 300 separate metabolic reactions.
It is involved in many elements of normal body function, including as the manufacture of DNA, the operation of nerves and muscles, and the regulation of blood pressure and sugar levels.(12)
Green leafy vegetables, fish, and nuts and seeds are the main sources of magnesium.
Studies suggest that magnesium may play a role in stress reduction, especially for those whose diets are deficient in the mineral.
An earlier study including 100 participants discovered that those who took a daily 400 mg magnesium supplement for 90 days had higher heart rate variability (HRV) than the control group.(13)
Low HRV has been connected in some studies to stress, depression, and sleep issues.(14, 15)
Another excellent study evaluated the impact of giving 264 individuals with low magnesium levels 300 mg of magnesium and 30 mg of vitamin B6 daily for eight weeks.(16)
Participants in this study who got magnesium alone had similar drops in stress levels as those who received magnesium and vitamin B6, according to the researchers.
On the other hand, those who had "severe" or "extremely severe" stress improved better when they took both magnesium and vitamin B6.(16)
innate vitality Because it includes 500 mg of magnesium glycinate, which may be easier for the body to absorb than other often used supplementary magnesium forms like magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate is an excellent source of magnesium.(17)
The supplement contains no artificial additives and has undergone independent testing.
Pros
  • third-party tested
  • vegetarian-friendly
  • non-GMO
  • gluten, dairy, and soy-free
  • one-a-day formulation
Cons
  • not vegan-friendly

4. Best with ashwagandha: Klaire Labs Ashwagandha Extract

Native to India, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic plant utilized in Indian Ayurveda, one of the oldest medical systems in the world.(18)
Like rhodiola, ashwagandha is supposed to increase your body's ability to withstand both mental and physical stress.
Researchers randomized 60 people with mild stress to either 240 mg of a standardized ashwagandha extract or a placebo daily for 60 days in one trial on the ashwagandha's ability to reduce stress.(19)
Ashwagandha supplementation was substantially linked to higher decreases in stress, anxiety, and sadness when compared to the placebo. Additionally, ashwagandha was associated with a 23% decrease in morning cortisol levels—a stress hormone.(19)
Furthermore, an earlier analysis of five research looking at how ashwagandha affects stress and anxiety found that those who took ashwagandha extract supplements performed better on tests that gauged their levels of exhaustion, tension, and worry.(20)
Each serving of Klaire Labs Ashwagandha Extract contains 300 milligrams of ashwagandha extract and is free of common allergies and artificial chemicals.
Klaire Labs takes great satisfaction in manufacturing superior supplements with scientific backing. Although the items are not third-party evaluated, they are produced in facilities that adhere to CGMP regulations.
Pros
  • made in CGMP-compliant facilities
  • major allergen-free
  • vegetarian-friendly
  • gluten-free
  • one-a-day formulation
Cons
  • not third-party tested
  • not vegan-friendly

5. Best with L-theanine: Pure Encapsulations L-Theanine

The amino acid L-theanine is most frequently found in tea leaves.
Its capacity to encourage relaxation and lessen tension without having sedative effects has drawn the attention of researchers.(21, 22)
When compared to a placebo, a high-quality trial with thirty participants found that taking 200 mg of L-theanine daily resulted in significant improvements in depression symptoms, stress, sleep quality, and cognitive function.(23)
In a another study, 34 participants' cortisol levels were reduced when they drank a beverage containing 200 mg of L-theanine together with other nutrients in response to a demanding multitasking activity.(24)
When taken as a supplement for relaxation, L-theanine is safe and well-tolerated at its effective level of 200–600 mg per day in capsule form.(25, 26)
A serving of two Pure Encapsulations L-Theanine capsules provides 400 mg of L-theanine. It is gluten-free and suitable for vegans.
To maintain quality control, Pure Encapsulations collaborates with a number of outside labs, such as Advanced Laboratories, Silliker, Intertek, and Eurofins.
In case you find supplementation unpleasant, it's important to mention that green tea is an excellent provider of L-theanine.
In comparison to ordinary green tea, consuming at least 300 mL (about 1.5 cups) of low-caffeine green tea dramatically reduced stress markers, according to a small randomized controlled experiment.(27)
Low-caffeine green tea seems to work better than high-caffeine tea since caffeine may reduce the benefits of L-theanine.(27)
Pros
  • third-party tested
  • vegan-friendly
  • certified gluten-free
  • non-GMO
Cons
  • expensive

6. Best with B-complex vitamins: MegaFood Balanced B Complex

All eight B vitamins are typically found in B-complex vitamin supplements.
MegaFood Balanced B Complex
MegaFood Balanced B Complex
These vitamins are crucial for metabolism because they convert food into energy that may be used. The heart and brain require B vitamins as well.(28)
Grains, meats, legumes, eggs, dairy products, and leafy greens are food sources rich in B vitamins.
Interestingly, research indicates that large dosages of B vitamins may reduce blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which may enhance stress-related symptoms like mood and energy levels.(28, 29)
Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked to stress and a higher chance of heart disease, dementia, and colorectal cancer, among other illnesses.(30, 31, 32)
Furthermore, taking a daily B vitamin supplement for at least four weeks may help considerably reduce stress and enhance mood, according to a study of twelve excellent trials.(33)
Similar findings were seen in an earlier study, which suggested that reducing homocysteine levels with B vitamin supplementation as part of a multivitamin and mineral supplement may help with stress and mood.(34)
It's unclear, though, if those with low homocysteine levels currently will be affected in this way.
MegaFood Balanced B Complex is a fantastic alternative to the many excellent B-complex pills available.
For example, folate is found in the form of 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate rather than folic acid, which is easily absorbed by the body. Each serving provides at least 100% of the Daily Value for each of the eight B vitamins.(35)
The supplement can also be taken on an empty stomach and is simple to absorb.
Pros
  • includes all eight B vitamin types in highly absorbable forms.
  • vegan-friendly
  • gluten-free
  • gentle on the stomach
Cons
  • not third-party tested

7. Best with vitamin D: Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 1000

Because it can be produced by the body following sun exposure, vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the "sunshine vitamin." Many people don't receive enough of it in their diets, and it's not naturally present in high levels in many foods.(36)
In addition to helping your body absorb more calcium, vitamin D has been linked to a number of other processes, including immune system stimulation and inflammation reduction.(36)
Additionally, it might lessen tension, particularly in those who are deficient in vitamin D.
In a small, high-quality study involving 86 individuals without vitamin D deficiency, researchers discovered that those who took 1,600 IU of vitamin D daily for approximately 4 months during the winter months did not suffer from the usual decline in vitamin D levels brought on by less sun exposure during these months.(37)
Additionally, they discovered that individuals in the vitamin D group had less stress after a stressful event than those in the placebo-treated control group.(37)
Probiotics and omega-3 supplements have been shown to help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress in women, while taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D every two weeks has been shown to improve anxiety and sleep in women.(38, 39)
Just remember that before taking vitamin D supplements, it's advisable to have your levels evaluated by a medical practitioner. The prevalence of vitamin D toxicity has increased significantly along with the interest in vitamin D supplementation.(40)
One of the greatest vitamin D supplements is Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 1000, which has 1,000 IU of vitamin D3, or calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D.
Nordic Naturals supplements undergo third-party testing, and the results are readily accessible on the company's website by looking for the certificate of analysis (COA) associated with each product.
Pros
  • third-party tested
  • COAs available online
  • easy-to-swallow mini softgels
  • non-GMO
  • free of artificial additives
  • one-a-day formulation
Cons
  • not vegan-friendly

An analysis of the top vitamins for stress relief

Here's a brief comparison of our top choices:
Price range
$$
Best use
general stress,  concentration
Third-party tested
yes
Daily dose
1 capsule
Price range
$
Best use
sleep
Third-party tested
no
Daily dose
1 capsule
Price range
$
Best use
general stress
Third-party tested
yes
Daily dose
1 capsule
Price range
$$
Best use
general stress, mood  
Third-party tested
no
Daily dose
1 capsule
Price range
$$$
Best use
general stress,  concentration  
Third-party tested
yes
Daily dose
2 capsules
Price range
$$
Best use
work stress, fatigue
Third-party tested
no
Daily dose
1 tablet
Price range
$
Best use
general stress
Third-party tested
yes
Daily dose
1 mini softgel

How to select stress-relieving vitamins

The following considerations should be made while looking for supplements to reduce stress:
  • Intended effect: Does stress interfere with your sleep or concentration? Seek a product designed to deal with the particular problems you are facing. For instance, rhodiola and L-theanine are better choices for focus and productivity, while melatonin may aid with sleep.
  • Price: Cost is a crucial factor to take into account. Knowing how much you'll be spending each month on supplements is crucial, particularly if you want to take them for a long time.
  • Quality: It is crucial to choose supplements from reputable manufacturers because the FDA does not regulate them in the same manner as it does drugs. To assure purity and efficacy, it is ideal to opt for goods that have undergone independent testing.
  • Professional help: It is wise to speak with a healthcare provider before using supplements. They can assist you in making product selections, arrange for blood work, and examine your food to determine whether you're lacking in any vital nutrients that could be affecting your stress levels.
  • Drug interactions: If you currently take prescription or over-the-counter medications, it's vital to see a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen because certain chemicals in supplements may interact with those drugs.

The bottom line

Reduced symptoms of stress have been associated with a number of vitamins and other supplements, such as melatonin, vitamin D, ashwagandha, and Rhodiola rosea.
Magnesium, the B-complex vitamins, and L-theanine may also help your body become more resilient to the stresses of everyday living.
Before taking any new supplements, you should always speak with a healthcare provider, especially if you're taking any other medications or are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
If stress is still a problem in your life, think considering discussing potential remedies with a therapist or medical expert.

Frequently asked questions

Which vitamin is best for stress?

Stress may be lessened by vitamin D and B vitamins. certain, however, might only be beneficial for those whose diet is insufficient to meet their demands and who have low levels of certain vitamins.(33, 41, 42)

Which vitamins might you be deficient in if you experience stress or anxiety?

If you are experiencing stress, it's possible that your body is deficient in magnesium, vitamin D, or B vitamins. This isn't always the case, though.
To find out for sure, it's better to get a blood test from a medical practitioner or buy a home micronutrient testing kit to measure these nutrients in your blood.

Does kava help with stress?

The roots of the Piper methysticum plant are used to make the dietary supplement kava. Traditional herbal therapy has long used it to relieve anxiety and tension, and research indicates that it may have some of these advantages.(43)
However, in a small number of cases, kava consumption has been linked to liver damage, according to study.
There isn't enough data on these incidents for researchers to establish safe or effective dosage recommendations. Because of this, we advise against using kava and in favor of alternatives with higher safety profiles.(43)