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Adaptogens And Nootropics: The Key Differences And Benefits
Dec 14, 22
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Adaptogens And Nootropics: The Key Differences And Benefits

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 7 min read
Adaptogens And Nootropics: The Key Differences And Benefits

People pick mushroom supplements for a wide range of causes and objectives. In addition, supplements made from mushrooms have advantages beyond basic nutrition as a functional food.

And even beyond the expected advantages of mushroom supplements, some have particular qualities that are particular to the specific species.

While certain mushrooms are considered adaptogens, some are nootropics. These particular species can offer exceptional health and well-being benefits when consumed frequently. You can choose which mushroom supplements can assist you in achieving your goals by understanding their main points of similarity and distinction.

Nootropics and adaptogens have been around for a very long time. However, you are not alone if you haven't heard of nootropics or are uncertain of how they vary from adaptogens.

An adaptogen, to put it simply, is a plant that aids in the body's ability to adjust to and handle stress. They control the body's cortisol production, preventing stress, weariness, and restlessness.

Meanwhile, nootropics are supposed to improve cognitive function. These powerful mushrooms enhance your memory, creativity, and attention, which help you stay motivated and focused.

Below we will discuss the best adaptogens and nootropics and what makes them stand out. Then, we will also discuss the nootropics adaptogens benefits.

Let’s begin!

What Are Adaptogen Mushrooms?

What Are Adaptogen Mushrooms?

An adaptogen is a plant or herb with many uses to help people achieve physical and mental balance. The human body aspires to balance and maintain homeostasis even when internal or external influences threaten it.

Adaptogens aid your body in preserving that equilibrium while it is under stress from chemical, physical, emotional, and environmental factors. Some of the most famous adaptogen mushrooms are Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus), Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), and Cordyceps. 

Adaptogen Mushroom Benefits

Here are the benefits of each adaptogen mushroom:

1. Lion’s mane

  • Boots the immune system.
  • Protects against stomach ulcers.
  • Alleviates symptoms of depression(1) and anxiety.

2. Reishi

  • Helps maintain a healthy level of the stress chemicals cortisol and adrenaline.
  • Supports the immune system(2).
  • Aids in blood pressure and cholesterol control.
  • Reduces anxiety.

3. Chaga

  • Provides nutrients(3) to promote the health of your skin, hair, and nails.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports the immune system.
  • Maintains levels of energy and endurance.
  • Aids in the synthesis of antioxidants.

4. Cordyceps

  • Can enhance blood oxygenation.
  • Helps with overall endurance(4) and recovery.
  • Can contribute to the alleviation of fatigue.
  • Supports heart function and respiratory health.

Who Should Take Adaptogens?

Adaptogens can be taken to manage long-term stress, work/life balance, and fatigue. It is also beneficial for healthy aging and medication. Students and athletes can benefit the most from adaptogen mushrooms.

What Are Nootropic Mushrooms?

A nootropic is a substance that can benefit the nervous system and brain health. It can support cognitive abilities like memory, focus, creativity, and attention, as well as learning. Additionally, it might promote the health of the nerves.

Nootropics can come in natural and synthetic forms (e.g., Adderall). Both are capable of improving your mental health. However, natural nootropics have been the subject of more extensive research regarding long-term effects and safety.

Some nootropics will already be a regular part of your diet while others you'll likely need to look harder to get.

Some of the nootropic mushrooms are Lion’s mane and Reishi. 

Mushroom Nootropics Benefits

Mushroom Nootropics Benefits

Nootropic mushrooms support memory, focus, creativity, and other cognitive processes. They may ease anxiousness and nervousness, support the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factors and neurotransmitters, improve mood and alleviate stress. Here are the benefits of each nootropic mushroom:

1. Lion’s mane

  • Supports creativity and productivity.
  • Stimulate the growth of brain cells.
  • Helps recover from nervous system injuries quicker.

2. Reishi

  • Promotes more steady, long-lasting focus and concentration.

Who Should Take Nootropics?

Nootropic benefits those looking for healthy aging and professional focus and attention. In addition, gamers and students can benefit from nootropic mushrooms.

Adaptogens And Nootropics, Which Should You Pick?

When frequently taken, some mushroom supplements have adaptogenic effects, while others have nootropic effects. A few types of mushrooms have the potential to be both nootropic and adaptogens. You can choose which species might help you achieve your wellness objectives by contrasting and comparing their advantages.

Choose an adaptogen to support stress reduction, and boost immunity and hormonal balance. It is also excellent for balanced food, longevity, and endurance.

Use a nootropic if you want to give your brain the conditions it needs to function at its highest level.  Nootropics have various effects on the brain, ranging from increasing neurogenesis to enhancing cerebral circulation and neuron activity, which means that neurotransmitters are optimally balanced, and neuronal responses are hastened.

Can You Take Adaptogens and Nootropics Simultaneously?

You can combine herbs, but it's vital to think carefully about the one you want to take and give yourself enough time to see how it affects you. Some herbs, as mentioned above, have both adaptogenic and nootropic effects, making them a viable option for addressing both physical and mental needs.

Begin taking a new herb for two weeks and pay close attention to how it makes you feel. If you start taking everything at once, it may be difficult to distinguish between what is working and what is not for you. See your healthcare professional if you have any questions about discovering the best adaptogens or nootropics.

FAQs Adaptogens And Nootropics

Are There Side Effects To Adaptogens?

Adults often tolerate adaptogens well. However, there are a few reported common adverse effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, dry mouth, uneasy stomach, and headache.

Should You Take Adaptogens In The Morning Or Night?

Although most adaptogens can be consumed at any time, you may wish to utilize the more sleep-friendly ones, like Reishi, in the evening and the invigorating ones, like Cordyceps, during the day.

Do Nootropics Increase Dopamine?

Natural nootropics can raise dopamine levels safely without causing adverse or undesired side effects. Additionally, they can improve the brain's ability to use dopamine.

Key Takeaways

If you wish to manage long-term stress, work/life balance, and exhaustion, you can take an adaptogen, a herb that helps the body respond to and tolerate stress. In addition, nootropics are meant to enhance cognitive function, which aids in maintaining focus and motivation.

Some mushrooms can help with both physical and mental needs since they are both adaptogens and nootropics. Talk to your holistic provider to pick the right one for you.

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  1. Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines, (1) 
  2. Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Ganoderma lucidum “Lingzhi, Reishi, or Mannentake” as Functional Foods: Current Scenario and Future Perspectives, (2) 
  3. Inhibitory and Acceleratory Effects of Inonotus obliquus on Tyrosinase Activity and Melanin Formation in B16 Melanoma Cells, (3) 
  4. Beneficial Effect of Cordyceps militaris on Exercise Performance via Promoting Cellular Energy Production, (4)

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