Best Adaptogens and Fungi for Increasing Energy
With increasing pressures of work, family and personal life—and navigating it all during a pandemic—we can feel exhausted at the end of the day, without much motivation for rest and self-care.
There’s no shortage of messages telling us that multiple cups of coffee or other high-caffeine beverages can help us keep our energy up—but they may not be healthy, nor sustainable.
In this blog, we’ll discuss 6 adaptogens that can help you increase your energy levels naturally so that you can prevent burnout and perform at your best.
What’s an adaptogen?
Adaptogens are herbs that assist our bodies to react to or recover from short- and long-term physical or mental stresses. They can help us adapt to life’s challenges, and may have other health benefits. We love using them in our products because they’ve been shown to support memory, focus, energy, and overall cognitive function.
You know we’re already fans of ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, for its potential age-defying benefits. Used for millennia in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha translates to “the smell of the horse.” Aside from its aroma, however, this herb may have been named for its ability to provide strength and stamina not unlike a horse. In studies, ashwagandha root gave participants better attention span and memory recall after eight weeks, boosted sleep quality, alertness, and general feelings of wellness, and improved athletic performance.
If you’re sensitive to nightshade foods like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant, this herb may not be for you, and may also interact with some common medications, so definitely talk to your doctor before incorporating it into your wellness routine.
Also known as waterhyssop, Bacopa monnieri was also used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat memory loss, anxiety, and insomnia. According to researchers, it’s rich in triterpenoid saponins, ingredients that can boost your brainpower and potentially protect against memory loss. In one research review, participants who took 300 mg of extract daily for a minimum of three months reported faster reaction times and clearer mental processing.
You already know that we’re big fans of cordyceps for its ability to help balance our hormones and fight aging. One thing you might not know is that most species of cordyceps are endoparasitoids (a parasite that lives inside another animal) that grow mainly on insects and other arthropod animals. But don’t let that stop you from understanding the potential benefits of this incredible fungus!
In one study, participants who took a cordyceps and mushroom supplement for up to three weeks improved their workout stamina with each additional week. Other studies show cordyceps may decrease inflammation—a leading cause of many health problems—and have anti-cancer properties.
Because of cordyceps’s potential ability to boost energy level and aid in post-exercise recovery, we created Cordyceps Perform.
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca has been used for thousands of years by Peruvians as food, an energy booster, and even to enhance fertility! A complete protein, maca is loaded with more than 20 amino acids and vitamins and minerals like calcium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, potassium, and vitamins B and C, which make it a reliable source of energy.
In one study, eight male cyclists each completed a 40 km cycling time trial before and after 14 days supplementation with both maca extract and placebo, plus a sexual desire inventory during each visit. After the two weeks, those taking the extract had improved their cycling time trial performance and level of sexual desire. Other research suggests that maca could improve overall energy, mood, and athleticism.
Maca’s not only a hormone balancer—it’s got the potential to boost your energy on many levels
“Panax” comes from the Greek word for “all-healing,” and this type of ginseng has been used to treat cognitive conditions, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other ailments. It’s also known as true ginseng or wild ginseng.
Panax ginseng contains nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Its active components, ginsenosides, eleutherosides, and ciwujianosides, are what can provide us with energy-boosting qualities and stamina. Affecting our central nervous, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems, ginsenosides improve our immune function and stress responses.
Panax ginseng interacts with several medications as well as alcohol or caffeine, so exercise caution and consult your doctor before using.
A flowering plant that grows in several continents, rhodiola rosea—also called golden root, rose root, roseroot, Arctic root, or king's crown—is known to prevent burnout and chronic fatigue. In one 12-week study of 118 people who were experiencing burnout, taking 400 mg of Rhodiola rosea daily helped curb exhaustion. Participants also reported feeling more joy.
You may already have some other energizing adaptogens in your pantry to explore, including guarana, gotu kola, peppermint, rosemary, sage, schisandra, and shilajit.
We hope this has been helpful to educate you on what adaptogens are and some of nature’s best energy boosters so that you have the potential to not just survive, but thrive.