Stress Vitamins: Do They Work?

Stress Vitamins: Do They Work?

Companies are selling products to de-stress us, and while the contents may seem solid, getting personal results can be a bit unpredictable.

Beer and comfort food: many of us reach for something to eat or drink to calm our nerves when we’re feeling stressed out.

It doesn’t always help the situation in the long run (in the case of alcohol, chips or drugs), but nonetheless, a small glass of wine or a favorite pint is something many people grab for at the end of a tense day.

So what about taking stress vitamins? Can they relax you in the same way?

Daily Stress

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In the past few weeks, I’ve been hit with general daily stresses like trying to get to bed on time and having enough groceries in the fridge. My schedule’s been tight, and family obligations along with fun activities have added up to a bit of unforeseen stress. There simply isn’t time for it all. I know, sounds familiar. First world problems.

Related: Feeling Stressed? These Images Will Put You at Ease Says Science

So, in an effort to be proactive, I bought some “support vitamins” for help. I took them for about three days with the hope of feeling relief by finding a clearer mental focus, and calm.

The Results

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Unfortunately, I have to admit that I didn’t really feel any change at all. I took Stress Support Day vitamins by Jamieson, (the bottle recommends that you take 1 capsule daily to “temporarily reduce stress”), and it was all a bit of a let down.

Why didn’t it work? It could be that my body type doesn’t work well with the contents of the product or that I didn’t take the vitamins for a long enough to feel any real effect. It’s true, I only lasted for three days. After that, I simply got my stuff done and had a couple of good nights’ sleep and my stress went away on its own.

Related: These Are the 10 Most Stressed States in America

But something tells me that had I taken the vitamins for a month, the results may have been the same.

So, what’s in these little pills, anyways?  In an effort to uncover the facts, I decided to do some research on their content.

Chemistry

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The bottle I bought says the vitamins contain 200 mg L-Theanine, 25 mg GABA, 5 mg glycine, and 5 mg of lemon balm.

Theanine is said to promote alpha wave production in your brain, and is something found in green tea. Taking it, experts say, can make you feel more calm and focused.

GABA is an amino acid that reduces “neuronal excitability”. It’s said to be involved in the synthesis of melatonin- the chemical in your body that tells you it’s time to sleep- and is similar to glycine.

For its part, lemon balm is also a sleep aid, and is used in essential oils and aromatherapy to create a soothing environment.

So, I’ll admit: I’m not a chemist. Maybe this combo does work for some people. The thing is, at least to the common peasant stressed out in the supplement aisle at the store, this product may sound a bit more like something that soothes you and makes you go to sleep. Maybe it does wonders for some people though, so I really can’t knock it entirely.

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What does it for me?

For the moment, I’m turning to a long walk around the block or a swim at the local pool for my daily dose of stress vitamins. Unless I have nightmares of being mugged in suburbia or drowning, that seems to have more of an effect.

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