The world of herbal supplements is both extremely broad and incredibly varied. There are numerous herbal compounds that are thought to promote weight loss, improve our ability to build muscle, and even improve our cognition.
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More recently, there has been a host of research looking into specific herbal compounds and their impact on our mental state – with a key focus on their ability to reduce stress and improve general wellbeing.
Which brings us to a unique group of supplements that have only now been making an appearance within the mainstream world of health and fitness.
What are adaptogen supplements?
The word ‘adaptogen’ isn’t one we tend to hear on a frequent basis – although is suspect that this is likely to change in the near future.
You see, adaptogens are a group of herbal supplements that have been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicinal practices. With this, they were said to improve our mental state, increase general health, and optimise overall wellbeing.
Now although this may not sound all that exciting, the effects that these supplements can have on our body is really quite incredible.
On a day to day basis we as humans deal with a huge amount of stress. Whether this comes from physical sources (think injuries, or in the form of intense exercise), mental sources (think study and work related stress), or emotional sources (think arguments with a spouse, or the loss of a loved one), it doesn’t really matter.
This stress causes a subsequent release of the hormone ‘cortisol’ (aptly known as the stress hormone).
In small doses, the secretion of cortisol stimulates the ‘fight or flight’ response, stimulating our sympathetic nervous system and preparing our body for activity. While this may be beneficial in the short term (say, if we need to escape a wild boar...), if prolonged it can lead to a host of health implications.
These include anxiety, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, thyroid dysfunction, poor immune system function, feelings of lethargy, hormonal dysfunction, and unexplained weight gain.
With this in mind, Adaptogen supplements help restore the normal function of the body, reducing cortisol secretion and normalising our physiological processes. This can result in improved hormone levels, a vastly improved mental state, increased cognitive function, and much better health in a more global sense.
As a result, Adaptogens are a fantastic group of supplements that can ensure the body maintains optimal health and function – something that is important for literally anyone.
What to Look for in an Adaptogen Supplement?
As previously mentioned, adaptogens are a type of herbal supplement.
As a result, the best adaptogen supplements are those that are derived entirely from natural herbal ingredients – and not pharmaceutical or synthetic compounds.
Taking this into consideration, there are a number of heavily researched adaptogens that have been shown to impact the body in an extremely positive manner. It is these same compounds that should therefore be key ingredients within any adaptogen supplement:
- Ginseng: is arguably the most well-known herbal adaptogen within the health industry, where it makes frequent appearances in energy drinks. The consumption of ginseng has been shown to improve mental performance and cognitive function, reduce blood pressure and blood sugar, lower the severity of the physiological stress response, all while reducing inflammation within the body’s cells .
- Ashwagandha: is a herb that appears so frequently within traditional Indian medicine it has garnered the nickname ‘Indian Ginseng’. Ashwagandha has been shown to improve immune system function while simultaneously lowering cortisol secretion . This can greatly improve our resistance to disease and illness, while staving off the negative effects associated with stress.
- Holy Basil: is a herb also known as ‘Tunsil’. Its consumption has been shown to improve feelings of alertness and energy, while staving off feelings of fatigue and lethargy. This often comes with an improvement in immune system function, coupled with reduced blood sugar and improved hormone levels .
- Rhodiola: is a type of succulent that has been shown to impact our mental state in an extremely positive manner, demonstrating anti-depressant effects while also improving immune system function .
While there are a number of other compounds that have demonstrated adaptogenic effects, these four key ingredients are arguably the most impressive – as such, a high quality adaptogen supplement should include most (if not all) of these ingredients.
Best Adaptogen Supplement Review
Taking the above into consideration, we have gone and put in the hard yards to identify what we believe to be the three best adaptogen supplements available on the market today.
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One of the most popular Adaptogenic formulas on the market, Adaptotrax offers us with an excellent option. Using high quality ingredients provided in scientifically supported dosages, this particular supplement is an excellent way to stave off fatigue and lethargy, while improving immune system function naturally.
Further containing ingredients that have shown to positively impact exercise performance as well as cognitive and immune system function, this is an excellent option for those individuals who are quite physically active.
Gaia Herbs have created an Adaptogenic formula specifically designed to improve the health of endocrine system and restore normal hormonal function within the body. This is done by reducing cortisone secretion and maintaining optimal immune system function.
This makes it a perfect option for those individuals who suffer in high stress environments on a day to day basis.
Now supplements are well known within the fitness industry, where they have been producing quality products for years upon years. This particular adaptogen is designed to improve energy levels, stave off feelings of lethargy and depression, and reduce cortisone secretion.
In doing so, it has the capacity to improve health while simultaneously making it much easier to manage stressful interactions on a regular basis. A great option for those looking to improve health and manage mental fatigue.
Adaptogen supplements have been taking the fitness industry by storm – and for good reason too.
As they have the capacity to reduce stress and improve health, these are one of the few supplements that can help us significantly on a daily basis.
The three Adaptogen Supplements outlines in this article each offer an excellent option in their own right – all providing a simple and effective way to manage the negative implications of prolonged stress while simultaneously improving physical and mental health.
If you have had ANY experience with Adaptogens in the past, we would love to hear about it, so please drop us a comment and we will get back to you ASAP.
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