If you have a delicate nervous system, you will know how exhausting everyday life can be.
Loud noises, strong lights, frantic people, and daily commitments are enough to make you feel depleted before each day has even begun.
To make it worse, the energy supplements you might be taking — such as coffee and energy drinks — tend to make you feel even worse.
Without caffeine, you feel weak and crippled with tiredness, but WITH caffeine you feel jittery, nervous, and shaky.
You don’t know which you prefer: going about your days like a zombie or going about your days like an anxious chihuahua on New Year’s Eve.
Thankfully, for highly sensitive people (HSP) with delicate nervous systems, there are many natural energy boosters out there which can help support you and nourish your body at the same time.
What Are Natural Energy Boosters?
Natural energy boosters are often herbs, flowers, and spices that are sourced directly from nature. In terms of healthiness, natural energy boosters are much better alternatives to energy drinks as they contain no additives, and are full of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Often processed energy drinks cause the human body to experience “caffeine crashes,” whereas natural energy boosters are much more gentle and balanced.
For example, according to a study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences in 2015, energy drinks have been proven to have a number of negative effects on the heart, metabolism, intestines, teeth, brain, including the tendency to enhance anxiety immensely. In some cases, energy drinks even triggered hallucinations, seizures, and violence.
As a highly sensitive person, your threshold for caffeine will likely be much smaller than those with more robust nervous systems. Therefore, you’ll need to take care of yourself when it comes to taking energy supplements.
I learned the hard way as a highly sensitive person. Taking energy drinks such as “Mother” and “V,” as well as regular shots of coffee when I was younger, led to me experiencing prolonged states of anxiety and regular panic attacks.
Thankfully my lack of awareness eventually led to the discovery that my body was different than others, and as such, I needed to treat it with care.
5 Natural Energy Boosters For Highly Sensitive People
Moving away from mainstream energy boosters can be tough. Thankfully, there are many herbs and minerals out there which not only support your energy levels, but also fill your body with vitamins and minerals such as calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, niacin, potassium, and much more.
Here are my top 5 natural energy boosters for people with sensitive nervous systems.
(Please note that the herbs I link to in this article are from a trusted and ethical supplier known as Buddha Teas. These are affiliate links, so we’ll receive a small commission from each purchase at no extra cost to you. Thank you if you decide to purchase any!)
1. Maca Root
Maca can be taken in powder form in your smoothies or breakfast cereal, or it can be taken as a tea.
Maca Root is an adaptogen (a herb that supports your adrenal system) that is native to the Andes in Peru. The indigenous people of the Andes have consumed Maca for thousands of years as it is a natural energy booster.
Benefits: Considered a superfood, Maca Root not only boosts your energy, but it is also used as a fertility enhancer, an aphrodisiac, and a hormone balancer.
What is tastes like: Maca has a delicious malty flavor.
Caffeine Status: Maca is caffeine free.
Vitamins and minerals: Calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E
2. Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate originates from the Brazilian, Paraguayan, and Argentinian highlands where it has long been harvested by locals. The leaves and stems from the Yerba Mate plant are steeped to create a rich central nervous system stimulant.
Benefits: Yerba Mate not only enhances your energy, but it is loaded full of antioxidants, helps you to regain mental clarity, increases physical endurance, supports heart health, and even helps you to lose weight by making you feel fuller for longer.
What it tastes like: Yerba Mate is bitter like coffee, but can be sweetened with other herbs or alternatives to sugar such as coconut flower/agave nectar.
Caffeine Status: Yerba Mate contains caffeine, however, it is said to be one of the best alternatives to coffee because it rarely has any side effects.
Vitamins and minerals: Contains vitamins C, B1, B2, as well as zinc, chromium, potassium, copper, iron and manganese. Also has many essential amino and fatty acids.
Where to buy: You can buy a delicious 100% organic roasted Yerba Mate tea from Buddha Teas here or regular Yerba Mate here.
3. Sencha and Matcha Green Tea
Sencha is an emerald colored green tea that is grown in Japan. In fact, Sencha is the most popular tea in Japan and involves brewing whole tea leaves in hot water.
Benefits: Increases energy, high level of antioxidants, stimulates the mind, lowers blood pressure, regulates blood sugar levels, anti-inflammatory, strengthens teeth, supports weight loss, helps prevent cancer.
What it tastes like: Sencha has a slightly sweet and grassy taste.
Caffeine Status: Sencha contains caffeine.
Vitamins and minerals: Theanine, chlorophyll, fluorine, GABA, potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, folic acid, vitamins C, B2, E.
Where to buy: For a preservative-free, 100% natural and organic Sencha tea, click here.
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is a type of finely grounded tea used in traditional Chinese and Japanese rituals. In Zen Buddhism, Matcha is prepared during ceremony and is used to increase mental alertness.
Benefits: Matcha has been described as a “calming stimulant” due to its fine array of vitamins and minerals. Matcha detoxifies the body, increases energy levels and physical endurance, boosts memory, prevents cancer, reduces premature aging, and maintains heart health due to its high level of antioxidants.
What it tastes like: Matcha has a soft, milky taste.
Caffeine Status: Matcha contains caffeine.
Vitamins and minerals: Catechins (cancer-fighting properties), L-theanine, chlorophyll, polyphenols, theophylline, vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.
Ginkgo Biloba has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In fact, the Ginkgo Biloba tree (also called the Maidenhair tree) is one of the most ancient trees in existence, its origins dating back to 270 million years ago.
Benefits: Ginkgo Biloba naturally enhances your energy and mental concentration by improving blood circulation and lowering oxidative stress in the body. Ginkgo also helps soothe PMS, helps to treat ADHD, heals headaches and migraines, tinnitus, and is used by those with fibromyalgia to soothe the nervous system. Ginkgo is also well known for its ability to reduce anxiety and depression.
What it tastes like: Slightly sweet and slightly bitter. Some describe it as tasting similar to plum, others describe Ginkgo’s taste as nutty.
Caffeine Status: Ginkgo Biloba is caffeine free.
Vitamins and minerals: High levels of flavonoids and terpenoids (antioxidants).
5. Raw Cacao
Don’t confuse cacao with cocoa, which is the refined variety. Cacao is the fermented seed of the cocoa bean. Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans to preserve the nutrients and living enzymes. Cocoa on the other hand, is roasted at high temperatures which kills most of the beneficial nutrients.
Benefits: Raw cacao has a truly stunning array of benefits. Cacao not only increases energy, but it is also a natural antidepressant as it boosts the “happy chemicals” in your brain. Cacao lowers blood pressure, protects the nervous system, lowers insulin resistance, guards your body against toxins, and reduces your risks of cardiovascular disease.
What it tastes like: Like chocolate! Pure cacao is a bit bitter, so you might want to sweeten it with a GI friendly sweetener like coconut nectar/sugar, agave or stevia.
Caffeine Status: Raw cacao contains caffeine. However, those sensitive to caffeine usually don’t have any issues with cacao.
Vitamins and minerals: Cacao not only has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries, but it is also the highest plant-based source of iron out there. Cacao is bursting full of magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, calcium, manganese, and vitamins E, B2, B1, B5, B3 and B9.
Where to buy: Raw organic cacao can be bought from Healthworks on Amazon here.
6. Masala Chai (Bonus)
Masala Chai, or simply Chai, is a tea mixture originating in India. Chai is composed of a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, peppercorn, cardamom and black tea leaves. While Chai is traditionally brewed in milk with added sugar, it can just as easily be taken without milk and sugar — and it’s just as delicious.
Benefits: Increases energy, reduces inflammation, heals the body due to high antioxidant content, improves digestion.
What it tastes like: Chai is (in my opinion) the most delicious natural energy booster out there as it possesses a perfectly balanced exotic sweet and spicy taste.
Caffeine Status: Chai has a small level of caffeine.
Vitamins and minerals: Antioxidants, potassium, calcium, thiamine, magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K.
Where to buy: You can get organic certified Chai tea from Buddha Teas.
Finally, I’d just like to add that these natural energy boosters are the most effective when you get regular exercise, maintain a healthy eating plan, and get good quality sleep. As a sensitive person, it’s best that you take a holistic approach to your health, rather than use stimulants as a crutch. The natural energy boosters I recommend in this article are supposed to complement a balanced lifestyle.
If you would like to recommend any natural energy boosters not recommended in this article, please share below!