Adaptogens are a group of plants that have been used for thousands of years. They've been shown to help the body cope with stress and increase energy levels by working with your body's natural processes.
Adaptogens aren't just for people who need to stay alert during the day, though; they can also help you get better sleep at night and even promote overall health.
What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens are natural plants that help the body adapt to stress. They help the body fight stress and increase energy while also lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
They are not a drug but rather natural substance that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine (read: not as much testing has been done on them). In fact, many people take adaptogens for their medicinal qualities—and there are plenty of reasons why!
What adaptogens do for you
Adaptogens are natural compounds that help your body fight stress. They're not the same thing as an energy drink or coffee, but they can provide similar benefits. In fact, adaptogens have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to increase energy, improve sleep and mood, boost immunity and digestion and improve athletic performance.
Here's how adaptogens work: they tap into your body's main stress-response system—the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis)—and activate it with a dose of cortisol (the "fight or flight" hormone).
This mechanism helps you deal with acute stressors like intense exercise or a job interview by revving up your nervous system so you can perform at peak levels without feeling exhausted later on.
When the situation is over and done with, your cortisol levels go back down again because there was no real threat after all; it was just something stressful at the moment that caused the release of the hormone from its storage.
The best adaptogens to try
Rhodiola is a great all-around adaptogen, and it's been used by the Russians in their space program. It's also good for your brain—it supports your nervous system and helps you focus, so if you need an energy boost without getting jittery, this one will do the trick.
Astragalus is another wonderful adaptogen that's been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It has antiviral properties and helps to boost both your immune system and lung function.
Ashwagandha is another classic plant adaptogen; it's used as a potent anti-inflammatory agent throughout Asia, as well as is one of Ayurveda's best-known herbs for reducing stress levels (which can help with everything from mood swings to weight gain).
Schisandra berries have long been revered for their ability to increase mental clarity during periods of high stress or intense work—so much so that they're sometimes called "Chinese ginseng." They're also said to improve digestion and circulation—both areas where we could use some extra help!
Adaptogens work with your body's natural processes to increase energy and fight stress
Adaptogens work with your body's natural processes to increase energy and fight stress. They do not act as a substitute for healthy habits but rather support the body's natural ability to adapt to stress by providing the nutrients you need in order to feel better. Adaptogens are not habit-forming, so they won't cause any adverse side effects or withdrawal symptoms when it comes time to stop taking them.
Adaptogens have been used for thousands of years to promote health, longevity and even athletic performance. They can be taken as a supplement or incorporated into your diet by eating certain foods like herbs, spices and teas. We've looked at some of the best adaptogens to take this year, so you can find out if they're right for you!
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