5 Great Adaptogens For Boosting Energy
Adaptogens all have three things in common: they are non-specific, support equilibrium in the body, and are non-toxic. The best thing about adaptogens is that non-specificity -- that means one adaptogen can be used for a huge number of functions and systems in the body. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t adaptogens that are better at certain functions than others, though!
Because we can all use a little more knowledge on supporting our wellness, PYM wants to focus on the adaptogens for energy that we think are the best at it.
#1) Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola rosea is a flowering herb that blooms mostly in the colder, more high-altitude areas of Asia and Europe. You may also hear it referred to as golden root, arctic root, rose root, or king’s crown.
While it may not have the longest history in the United States, it has been used in Scandinavia and Russia for hundreds of years. Mostly, its main uses in those areas were for improving endurance and fighting fatigue and weakness, especially for people living in those higher altitude communities.
Rhodiola rosea has been studied before, in multiple different situations. One interesting study specifically looked at if the adaptogen can help with stress induced fatigue, specifically on medical professionals who work the night shift. This is interesting because it really does address two of the main targets of rhodiola rosea, stress and fatigue. It did, in fact, show a “statistically significant improvement” in both of those things.
It’s these tension-relieving capabilities that lead us to add it to our Mood Chews. Rhodiola rosea works with the body to manage both physical and mental stress, and it is naturally neuroprotective (meaning it protects the nerves).* That’s what makes it one of the best adaptogens for energy out there!*
Instead of an herb, the next adaptogen on the list is a small, evergreen shrub that can be found in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and India. It’s also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, although not nearly as frequently.
The roots of using ashwagandha as a health supplement go back to early Ayurvedic medicine, and it has continued to be popular since. Ashwagandha is known for being an immune amphoteric, meaning it can react to other chemicals as either an acid or a base.
Where the connection between ashwagandha and energy comes in is directly tied to its ability to help reduce feelings of anxiety and help people sleep better thanks to its stress-relieving effects. While it may not directly give you more energy, your energy level will naturally increase if you’re getting longer, better sleep.
Stress and anxiety has a way of really draining you of all of your energy, so fighting those signs of stress off will make you feel better and have more energy for regular, day to day life.
If you’re familiar with the taste of green tea, you already know more about l-theanine than you think! L-theanine is responsible for that specific, umami flavor, but it is so much more than that, too, which is why we included L-theanine on this list, although it isn’t technically an adaptogen
What L-theanine is able to do is to work together with other adaptogens, as a complementary amino acid, to help reduce feelings of stress and improve mood. It helps to promote increased levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) as well, which can help to calm and relax the nervous system.
While you want more energy so that you can do everything you need to do, you don’t want so much (or the wrong kind) of energy that it turns into feelings of anxiety.
Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure can trick the body into thinking that it needs to turn on its fight, flight, or freeze response, so you want a good balance when using any adaptogen. Everything in the body works together, good or bad, to help trigger the responses that we have both on the outside and on the inside of our bodies.
While it’s not one of the adaptogens for energy, this amino acid really packs a punch.
Maca is possibly one of the most delicious adaptogens on this list, often referred to as having a caramel, malty flavor. Maca (or Peruvian Ginseng) comes from Peru, and is an herb that is mostly used to help increase endurance and stamina. It is also a frequent part of traditional, Peruvian cuisine.
However, it’s the herb’s ability to help with energy levels that is the main reason that maca is so popular with athletes, even though there is not a lot of scientific evidence to back it up yet.
In addition, maca has well-known fertility and libido support, so keep that in mind if you choose to work with this adaptogen for a quick energy boost.
While it may sound strange when stacked up against all the other adaptogens on the list, the mushroom known as cordyceps is one of the best. It’s been said to have the potential to boost the immune system, give people more energy and endurance, and even help with managing healthy blood sugar levels.*
While there aren’t a lot of studies done to scientifically prove that, it has been used for years in traditional Chinese medicine. What is known is that the active chemicals in cordyceps actually work to replenish ATP in the body. If you’re not fresh out of science class, ATP (or adenosine triphosphate) are the body’s energy molecules. When you have more of them, your body is able to have more energy, endurance, and stamina to push through anything.
However, cordyceps may not be the greatest tasting adaptogen, which is why many people choose to take it in capsule form, blended among other ingredients.
While there are hundreds of different adaptogens out there, PYM believes that the adaptogens on this list are five of the best at giving you increased energy.
Adaptogens for energy have amazing potential at helping the body get over all kinds of obstacles, and the scientific research on them is just beginning.
We’re looking forward to seeing what else they can find out, and love that these natural products are so frequently just as powerful as anything else!
Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue--a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty - PubMed (nih.gov)