When you didn’t get the restful night’s sleep that you hoped for (again), or you’re staring down the barrel of your 3 PM slump (again), your first thought might be your ritual cup of coffee to get you through. But what if there was a better way to boost your energy without the jitters? Well, there might be. Adaptogens seem to be the latest buzzword in health and wellness. And while they are usually touted for their ability to reduce stress, there are plenty of energy-boosting adaptogenic herbs that may be great replacements for your coffee.
Adaptogens are a group of herbs that support your body’s natural ability to deal with stress. Moreover, the term Adaptogen refers to their unique ability to adapt their function to your body’s specific needs. Although new to western medicine, adaptogens have been used for centuries in eastern cultures and Ayurvedic medicine.
Supplements are always an easy way to add something new to your diet. Adaptogenic herbs in supplement form are widely available in health food stores.
However, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you might try adaptogens in powdered form, also available in health food stores. Perhaps the most popular way to use these powders is by drinking them as a tea. However, if you don’t find them especially palatable, you could try blending them into milk, soups, and smoothies.
Maca’s ability to boost energy levels comes from its high nutrient density. While more research is needed to determine how maca works to boost energy, studies have shown that maca can improve endurance.
Holy basil is another adaptogenic herb that has been known to help your body cope with stress and improve endurance. This powerful adaptogen can help improve focus and give you a much-needed energy boost to get over your afternoon slump. However, unlike coffee, it does so without the same physical dependence. Moreover, it can enhance memory and cognition.
It may be worth noting that there are different types of ginseng, American ginseng, and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). When it comes to using ginseng for boosting energy, the difference may lie in which type of ginseng you use. American ginseng, specifically, is not only a good stimulant, but it also helps to improve your body’s resistance to stress. Additionally, research has shown that both American ginseng and Asian ginseng are favorable treatments for enhanced concentration and fatigue.
Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian winter cherry” or “Indian ginseng,” has been used medicinally for centuries. In fact, its use dates back at least 3,000 years. Often used by celebrities, ashwagandha is one of the most popular adaptogenic herbs on the market today. In addition to its ability to reduce inflammation, ashwagandha has also been shown to keep cortisol levels under control. Moreover, research has shown that ashwagandha can act as a stimulant and increase stamina.
Rhodiola’s power lies in the root of the plant, and it can help boost energy and fighting fatigue. Rhodiola was first used in Russia in 1969 to fight fatigue. Today Rhodiola is still a popular adaptogen for improving strength and stamina and enhancing physical and mental performance. Research has also shown that Rhodiola can strengthen your body’s stress response to physical, biological, and chemical stresses.
While Schisandra is a plant, it’s adaptogenic properties lie in its vibrant red berry. Schisandra berries can improve resistance to stress, increase energy, and enhance performance.
Adaptogens definitely offer many benefits, but it’s important not to solely rely on them for good health and stress management. If you’re curious about incorporating them into your diet, consult with your physician and experiment with a blend that works for you!
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