10 Best Supplements for Anxiety: Buyer’s Guide

10 Best Supplements for Anxiety: Buyer’s Guide

People suffering from anxiety often turn to supplements to help combat their mood imbalances. A large body of evidence suggests certain supplements can help regulate brain function in the areas that affect mood. According to research, the three best supplements for anxiety are magnesium, lavender, and vitamin D.

Here’s a quick look at the ten best supplements for anxiety. Before taking one, talk to your doctor to confirm they won’t interact with your current medications.  

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral in the human body. It affects many processes, including brain functions that regulate moods, such as anxiety and depression. 

When your body feels stress, your brain produces magnesium. Insufficient magnesium levels can lead to increased anxiety, which is why many people choose to take a magnesium supplement. 

A magnesium supplement is an efficient way to ensure you get enough magnesium in your diet. However, monitoring your magnesium intake can be time-consuming, so a supplement will ease that concern. 

However, magnesium isn’t without its side effects. Too much magnesium can cause nausea, cramping, and gastrointestinal (GI) distress. To avoid adverse effects, the average adult should get approximately 300 mg to 400 mg of magnesium daily. Food, medications, and supplements are all adequate to acquire your recommended intake. 

Natural Vitality, Vitafusion, and Magtein offer magnesium supplements if you want to give one a try. Many options are available for less than $10.

In addition to supplements, you can find magnesium in many foods. To increase your magnesium levels naturally, consider incorporating some of the following into your diet.

  1. Fortified grains
  2. Starches
  3. Bananas 
  4. Nuts
  5. Spinach 
  6. Chia or pumpkin seeds
  7. Meats 

You’ll also find magnesium in antacids, laxatives, and other GI medications. If you take any of these medications regularly, take care when adding a magnesium supplement to your regimen. 

2. Lavender

Lavender is an essential oil derived from the lavender plant. The herb has many beneficial effects, including antibacterial, analgesic, and antidepressant properties. It’s also useful as a sleep aid. 

Studies show that lavender’s effects on anxiety appear to be legitimate. However, too much can lead to stomach upset or nausea. A proper dose consists of 80 mg to 160 mg or 25% to 46% concentration.

The lavender essential oil has a few delivery methods. Aromatherapy or oral methods are the most efficient, although topical massage is an option. A few popular brands that offer lavender essential oil are Silexan, DoTERRA, and Sky Organics offer lavender essential oil brands.

A key thing to know about using lavender to treat anxiety is the lavender’s source. Lavender plants are consumable but don’t offer the oil concentration you need for proper supplementation. That’s why it’s important to use essential oil as your lavender source.

You should also be aware that oils vary in strength and composition. In addition, many essential oils have multiple ingredients. Choose one with a high concentration of lavender to ensure you get the full benefit.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another naturally occurring compound in your body. It’s necessary for bone, brain, and immune health. In addition, studies show that it has a direct impact on improving mood in people suffering from anxiety. When choosing vitamins for anxiety, vitamin D has proven effective. 

If your vitamin D levels are low, you could have difficulty regulating your moods. The impact on anxiety is likely due to Vitamin D’s effect on serotonin production. Older adults and those in colder climates typically suffer the most, which is why supplements can be so beneficial.

The most common way humans receive vitamin D is by absorbing sunlight. You can also get it from fortified foods, including dairy, cereal, and fatty fish. Side effects of too much vitamin D include nausea and GI distress. However, in most cases, your body will flush out the excess. 

You can find vitamin D in multivitamins, on its own, or in foods. The average adult should aim for 600 international units (IU) per day. When choosing a supplement, ensure it doesn’t exceed that amount. Popular vitamin D brands include Nature Made, Life Extension, and NOW Foods. 

It’s important to know that vitamin D does more than help regulate your anxiety. It also prevents your bones from becoming soft, regulates brain function, and plays a critical role in immune health. 

Before taking a supplement, talk to your doctor if you’re taking any of the following medications.

  1. Anticonvulsants
  2. Cholesterol medication
  3. Psoriasis treatments
  4. Heart medications
  5. Blood pressure medications
  6. Weight loss drugs
  7. Steroids
  8. Laxatives

There is a wide variation in the cost of vitamin D supplements. You should be able to find one for $10 to $20. You can also consider incorporating more vitamin D into your diet through dairy or fortified foods. 

4. Chamomile

Often used as a soothing ingredient in tea, chamomile has shown positive effects on anxiety, depression, and sleep troubles. It has very few side effects and is well-tolerated by most people suffering from anxiety.

Although short-term chamomile use can be beneficial in treating anxiety, it has a few adverse effects. For example, you might react to chamomile if you’re allergic to ragweed, marigolds, daisies, or chrysanthemums. In addition, it doesn’t react well with blood thinners. 

Chamomile tea has been a common remedy for certain ailments for thousands of years. The most common way it’s taken is through tea. However, you can also choose extracts, tinctures, creams, and pills. Popular brands include Nature’s Way, Pure Original, and Earthborn. Supplements usually cost less than $10, while you can find teas for less than $5.

Although chamomile might be effective at treating anxiety, there are a few precautions. In addition to the allergies mentioned above, there are two main things to be aware of. First, those who take drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, such as ibuprofen, should minimize chamomile use. Likewise, pregnant women should avoid it because it can act as a uterine stimulant if used excessively. 

5. Valerian Root

Valerian root is a common dietary supplement and tea additive often used to induce sleep or ease anxiety. It can also help soothe headaches, stress, and nerves. Most research indicates that valerian root alters certain brain chemicals and causes a relaxing effect. 

The FDA considers valerian “generally recognized as safe.” However, valerian root can make you tired in higher doses. Other side effects include dizziness, headaches, and GI troubles. 

The recommended dosage of valerian root is 120 mg to 200 mg three times a day. Valerian comes in pill or capsule form, but tea is the most common method of ingestion. Some popular brands selling valerian root supplements are NOW Foods, Sundown Naturals, and Qualia. Valerian root pills can be slightly more costly than other supplements. However, most are less than $20. You can also purchase teas for $4 to $5.

The main thing to remember when taking valerian root is that it’s a common sleep remedy. Consuming it can cause significant drowsiness, so take care when using it. It’s best to start with lower dosages and slowly increase until you find one that suits you. 

Also, pregnant women or women who are nursing should avoid valerian root, along with children under three. There isn’t enough evidence to confirm whether the herb can negatively impact a fetus or small child. So, it’s best to use a different method to treat anxiety to be safe. 

6. L-theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid similar to glutamate, which occurs naturally in the human body. You can find L-theanine in tablets, pills, mushrooms, and tea. There’s evidence that L-theanine can help balance your mood by relieving anxiety and stress. 

In addition to treating anxiety, L-theanine is a common treatment for stress and poor focus. There’s also evidence that it can help boost your immune system, prevent the flu, and increase the benefits of certain chemotherapy drugs.

L-theanine doesn’t have any severe side effects. Although you might experience nausea or irritability if you take too much, it doesn’t have any side effects that could be debilitating or life-threatening. 

Dosages of L-theanine range from 50 mg to 200 mg, so you might have to experiment with a few different dosages to find what suits you. You’ll most likely feel calming effects within about thirty minutes after consuming the supplement. Some brands to consider are NOW Foods, Puritan’s Pride, or Nature’s Bounty. Supplements generally cost between $10 to $20.

L-theanine is effective at treating anxiety, stress, and poor focus. However, be aware that calming effects could last eight to ten hours. Keep that in mind if you consume your L-theanine by drinking tea to avoid taking too much.

7. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is an ancient herb that’s been used for centuries to relieve anxiety and stress. Other uses include reducing insomnia, relieving GI discomfort, and improving appetite. Lemon balm is often combined with other anxiety-relieving herbs for added effect. 

Lemon balm supplements consist of extracts taken from the lemon balm plant. You can also purchase lemon balm dried, in capsules, as teas, or in oil form. Nature Made, New Chapter, and Nootropics are well-known brands offering lemon balm supplements. Costs vary depending on how you consume your supplement, but you should expect to pay approximately $20. 

Although lemon balm has no known side effects, many herbs can negatively interact with certain medications or supplements. So be sure to research and talk to your doctor about whether lemon balm will interact with anything currently in your regimen.

A dosage of 600 mg of lemon balm extract is enough to help improve your mood and ease your anxiety. It’ll also have a significant calming effect. If you take sedatives, thyroid, or HIV medications, talk to your doctor before consuming lemon balm.

One of the most common ways to take lemon balm is in combination with valerian root. Combined, the two can help relieve anxiety and help you sleep better. However, valerian root can make you sleepy. If you want to avoid drowsiness, choose lemon balm without valerian. 

8. Vitamin B Complex

The B vitamins are in a broad group of vitamins found in foods. They’re also some of the best vitamins for anxiety. 

Most people get a proper daily intake through their diet. However, since B vitamins play a role in regulating neurotransmitters, people suffering from anxiety might look to vitamin B complex supplements as a solution. 

B complex vitamins consist of the following eight vitamins.

  1. B1—thiamine
  2. B2—riboflavin
  3. B3—niacin
  4. B5—pantothenic acid
  5. B6—pyridoxine
  6. B7—biotin
  7. B9—folate
  8. B12—cobalamin

Of the B vitamins, insufficient amounts of B12, B6, and B9 can put a person at an increased risk for depression or anxiety. This type of nutrient deficiency can be treated with supplements or dietary changes. 

B vitamins have been shown to help anxiety patients who are already on a prescribed regimen. When taken in conjunction with an existing medication, B vitamins might be able to treat a patient’s condition more thoroughly. 

Like most vitamins, excess B vitamins will flush out of your body through urine. However, if you take far more than the recommended dose, you risk vomiting, blood sugar spikes, skin lesions, and liver damage. 

The average person gets enough B vitamins in their regular diet. However, some individuals might benefit from a supplement if they have a vitamin deficiency. Pregnant women, seniors, vegetarians, and celiac sufferers are a few groups who should consider a supplement. 

Dosages for B vitamins vary. If you want to take one type of B vitamin, speak with your doctor about the proper dosage. You should be able to get all of the B vitamins in a multivitamin supplement. Olly, Nature Made, and Life Extension are multivitamin brands that offer B complex vitamins. Typical costs range from $10 to $25.

9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Many fats significantly affect brain health, including Omega-3 fatty acids. But unfortunately, the human body can’t produce Omega-3s. So, to get this essential acid, people turn to dietary changes or supplements. 

The three types of omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA are common dietary supplements found naturally in seafood.

A frequent side effect of omega-3 supplements is nausea. However, excess omega-3 fatty acids can have a blood-thinning effect. If you’re on blood thinners, talk to your doctor before taking an omega-3 supplement. 

Fish oil supplements are the most common way to get your proper dosage of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, these supplements can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression due to their effect on brain chemistry. 

Most people won’t need more than 2,000 mg of omega-3s per day. Nature Made, My Protein, and Now Foods offer omega-3 fatty acid supplements. 

An important thing to remember about omega-3 supplements is that many have an unpleasant taste once swallowed. Like garlic pills, as the capsule breaks down in your stomach, you might notice a strong taste or odor. This side effect is normal but could lead to nausea or vomiting. 

10. Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements

A multivitamin or mineral supplement might be best for people with a nutrient deficiency or who want to treat multiple ailments. For example, many vitamins for anxiety are found in combination supplements, giving you more benefits than taking them alone.

Multivitamins that offer the best minerals and vitamins that help with anxiety should include the following. 

  1. B complex vitamins 
  2. Vitamin C 
  3. Calcium
  4. Magnesium 
  5. Zinc 

Most multivitamins won’t have any ill effects, making them a good supplement for anxiety. However, taking large amounts of vitamins can lead to GI problems, including digestive pain, nausea, or cramps. 

Dosages for multivitamins will vary, as will the number of vitamins and minerals in them. Never take more than the recommended dosage, and always confirm the ingredients won’t interact with other medications. Centrum, Rainbow Light, and Olly all offer comprehensive multivitamin and mineral supplements you can purchase for $10-$20. 

What Are Anxiety Supplements?

Anxiety supplements are vitamin or mineral supplements people take to help treat anxiety. Supplements are different from medications in that they’re available without a prescription. Many people suffering from anxiety take supplements in addition to or instead of regular medication.

Why Take Anxiety Supplements?

People take anxiety supplements to increase their daily vitamin or mineral intake. Supplements are also easy to get without a prescription and tend to have fewer side effects.  

What Are the Factors To Consider Before Taking Anxiety Supplements?

The main thing to consider before taking anxiety supplements is that they’re not FDA regulated. Any supplement you take has been independently studied but not given official approval to treat what it claims. 

Another factor is potential interactions with medications. Although it’s unlikely, some supplements can negatively interact with other treatments you might be taking. 

Who Can Take Anxiety Supplements?

Only people that suffer from anxiety should take supplements to treat anxiety. Individuals who don’t suffer from anxiety could end up with an abundance of vitamins and minerals they don’t need. In most cases, you’ll excrete the unused vitamins in urine. Others can cause ill effects.

What Are the Effects of Anxiety Supplements?

The effects of anxiety supplements are typically decreased stress and relief from depression and anxiety. However, these effects vary based on the supplement you choose. 

What Supplement Helps Most With Anxiety?

Omega-3 fatty acids, B complex vitamins, and lavender oil are all well-studied supplements to treat anxiety.  

Where To Buy Supplements for Anxiety?

You can buy anxiety supplements online or in stores. Vitamin stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies all sell them. In addition, any store that sells medications will likely sell supplements for anxiety. 

Are Supplements for Anxiety Expensive?

No, anxiety supplements generally are not expensive. In most cases, you can get a supplement for less than $25. Certain supplements, such as magnesium, are easy to find for less than $10.

Do Supplements for Anxiety Work?

Yes, supplements for anxiety work. Despite certain adverse anxiety supplements’ effects, much research highlights their efficacy. However, some supplements are more well-researched than others. So, when choosing a supplement, consider looking into these anxiety supplements effects and choosing one with more research to back it up.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.