12 Best Supplements for Anxiety: Buyer’s Guide

The best supplements for anxiety are those that have shown efficacy in clinical research or have a long-standing history of reducing symptoms associated with anxiety. These supplements are often derived from natural sources and are used to promote relaxation, improve sleep, and alleviate stress. When determining the ‘best’ supplements, criteria such as the quality of ingredients, the concentration of active compounds, user testimonials, side-effect profile, and evidence of effectiveness are paramount.

To compare supplements effectively, consider the type of anxiety they target, the dosage required, the speed of onset for relief, and any additional health benefits they may offer. It’s also important to review any potential interactions with medications or health conditions. Ensuring that the supplements come from reputable companies that adhere to good manufacturing practices is another critical factor.

  1. Ashwagandha (Best Overall): An adaptogenic herb that helps to balance the body’s response to stress, ashwagandha has been the subject of numerous studies showing its efficacy in reducing anxiety and stress levels.
  2. Magnesium (Best for Relaxation): Essential for brain function and mood regulation, magnesium supplementation has been linked to a decrease in anxiety symptoms, especially when dietary intake is insufficient.
  3. L-Theanine (Best for Quick Calm): Found naturally in green tea, L-Theanine promotes relaxation without sedation, making it ideal for those who need to manage anxiety while remaining alert and focused.

Each of these supplements brings a unique approach to managing anxiety and has been recognized for their specific benefits, whether for overall anxiety reduction, inducing relaxation, or providing quick calm without drowsiness.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera, is a herbal supplement widely recognized for its adaptogenic properties, which make it particularly beneficial for combating anxiety. The therapeutic benefits of Ashwagandha supplements are primarily attributed to its bioactive compounds, such as withanolides, which have been studied for their efficacy in reducing the physiological and psychological effects of stress and anxiety.

When considering Ashwagandha for anxiety relief, its features include adaptogenic effects that can help regulate the body’s stress response, potentially leading to lower cortisol levels. The benefits of Ashwagandha in the context of anxiety include its potential to alleviate stress, improve patterns of sleep, and support cognitive health, contributing to an overall sense of well-being. Although generally well-tolerated, possible side effects may include drowsiness and digestive upset, underscoring the importance of adhering to recommended dosages.

Usage guidelines typically suggest taking Ashwagandha in capsule or powder form, with a common dose ranging from 300 to 500 mg, up to twice daily. For those seeking to incorporate Ashwagandha into their anxiety management regimen, it’s available from various brands, with KSM-66 and Sensoril being prominent standardized extracts known for their high concentration of withanolides.

In considering Ashwagandha, it’s crucial to be informed about potential interactions with other medications and health conditions. Careful consideration should also be given to its sedative properties, particularly if combined with other sedatives or consumed before operating machinery. The cost of Ashwagandha supplements can vary widely, with prices often reflecting product quality, brand reputation, and the concentration of active ingredients.</p>

2. 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. 

Magnesium 1

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 magnesium supplements 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.

3. 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. 

L theanine

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.

4. 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. 

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.

5. NAC

N-Acetylcysteine, commonly known as NAC, is a derivative of the amino acid L-cysteine and serves as a precursor to glutathione, a potent antioxidant. Its supplementation has been associated with a range of health benefits, including support for mental health conditions such as anxiety. NAC’s mechanism in aiding anxiety is believed to be linked to its influence on neurotransmitters and the regulation of glutamate in the brain, which can affect mood and stress levels.

As a supplement for anxiety, NAC’s features include modulating oxidative stress, improving antioxidant defenses, and possibly regulating neurotransmitter pathways implicated in anxiety. The benefits that NAC may offer for anxiety relief include the potential reduction of anxiety symptoms, lessening of compulsive behaviors, and support for neurological health. Some side effects associated with NAC supplementation can include gastrointestinal discomfort, rash, or headache, particularly when taken in high doses.

NAC usage guidelines suggest a dosage of 600 to 1800 mg per day, divided into several smaller doses, although the exact amount should be tailored to individual needs and health professional advice.

Various brands offer NAC supplements, with some providing pure NAC while others combine it with additional compounds, like selenium and molybdenum, to further support its efficacy. When considering NAC for anxiety, it’s vital to be aware of its interactions with nitroglycerin and activated charcoal, as well as its potential blood-thinning effects.

Cost considerations for NAC supplements are generally moderate, making it an accessible option for those seeking to manage anxiety symptoms. When choosing a NAC supplement, quality and manufacturing standards are key factors to ensure both safety and effectiveness.

6. 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.

7. 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. A multivitamin that offers 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 that 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.

8. 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 supplements have proven effective. 

Vitamin D
Vitamin D

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 Thorne, 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.

9. 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. 

10. 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. 

11. 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. 

12. 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.

What Are Anxiety Supplements?

Anxiety supplements are products that contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other substances designed to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. These supplements aim to target various aspects of the nervous system, promoting relaxation, improving mood, or balancing neurotransmitters. While not a replacement for traditional medical treatments, anxiety supplements are utilized as a complementary approach to managing mild to moderate anxiety symptoms.

Research on anxiety supplements has investigated a range of compounds, including herbal extracts like valerian root and passionflower, amino acids such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and nutrients like magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. Their effectiveness can vary based on the individual’s body chemistry, the nature and severity of the anxiety, and the quality of the supplement. It is crucial for consumers to seek reliable products from reputable sources to ensure safety and efficacy.

Why Take Anxiety Supplements?

Individuals may turn to anxiety supplements due to persistent stress, occasional anxious feelings, or as part of a broader strategy to manage anxiety disorders. The importance of these supplements lies in their potential to support the body’s natural stress response, promote calmness, and assist in improving sleep quality, which can be disrupted by anxiety. In some cases, they are sought after for their perceived fewer side effects compared to prescription medications.

While the reasons for taking anxiety supplements can be personal and varied, it’s important to note that they are not a one-size-fits-all solution and should be considered within the context of an individual’s overall health plan. Professional consultation is recommended to understand the root causes of anxiety and to determine the appropriateness of supplementation as a supportive treatment.

Factors to Consider Before Taking Anxiety Supplements

Before starting any anxiety supplements, it’s vital to consider potential interactions with other medications, underlying health conditions, and the evidence supporting the use of the supplement. Quality and concentration of the active ingredients can vary significantly between products, and not all supplements are subject to strict regulatory oversight. Therefore, individuals should prioritize products that have been independently tested for quality and purity.

Additional considerations include understanding the possible side effects and determining if there are any contraindications based on one’s health profile. Consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial, as they can offer guidance tailored to individual health needs and ensure that supplements are used safely and effectively.

Who Can Take Anxiety Supplements?

General guidelines suggest that anxiety supplements may be appropriate for adults experiencing mild to moderate anxiety symptoms who are looking for non-pharmaceutical options to complement their anxiety management strategies. However, they are not suitable for everyone. Pregnant or nursing individuals, people with severe mental health conditions, or those with complex medical histories should approach the use of anxiety supplements with caution.

It is always best to discuss with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure that it aligns with one’s health goals and to monitor for any adverse effects or interactions with other treatments being used.

What Are the Effects of Anxiety Supplements?

Anxiety supplements can have a calming effect on the nervous system, potentially reducing the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety. Some may work by enhancing the body’s natural relaxation response or by modulating neurotransmitter activity that influences mood and stress levels. The effects can vary widely, with some individuals reporting significant benefits, while others may experience minimal relief.

It is essential to approach these supplements with realistic expectations and to be aware that they can cause side effects, which, although typically mild, can include gastrointestinal upset, drowsiness, or headaches. Continuous monitoring and assessment of the effects are advised, particularly when starting a new supplement.

What Supplement Helps Most With Anxiety?

The most popular supplement used for anxiety is often cited as ashwagandha, a herb with adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps the body resist physical and mental stress. Clinical trials have suggested that ashwagandha may improve resilience to stress and anxiety symptoms. Other notable mentions include magnesium, known for its role in nerve function and mood regulation, and L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea that may promote relaxation without drowsiness.

Given the subjective nature of anxiety and individual responses to supplements, what works for one person may not work for another. It’s recommended to review clinical studies and consult with healthcare providers to determine the most suitable option based on individual needs.

Where to Buy Supplements for Anxiety?

Supplements for anxiety are widely available at health food stores, pharmacies, online retailers, and sometimes in supermarkets. They are typically sold over-the-counter and do not require a prescription. However, it is important to purchase supplements from reputable sources to ensure product quality and authenticity. When shopping online, it’s advised to use well-known websites or direct-to-consumer platforms from

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Athletic Insight Research


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.