We all experience the effects of stress differently and at different times. For example, an important work presentation may be causing you anxiety. You might be worn out from dealing with your in-laws. Or it might be as straightforward as forgetting to get a gallon of milk from the grocery.
Whatever the cause, stress management can be challenging. That is when adaptogens are required, which help you deal with life's stressful situations.
What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens are active substances found in some plants and mushrooms that have the potential to affect how your body responds to anxiety, stress, and fatigue. They support your body's ability to withstand environmental, emotional, and physical stress. They are sold as teas, tinctures, powders, and capsules.
Adaptogens are believed to aid in your body's acclimatization to biological, chemical, or physical stress. They are thought to help your body's systems regain their normal balance, or "homeostasis," and to activate your body's stress-protection response.
For instance, an adaptogen will react by lowering cortisol levels in response to stress (elevated cortisol). An adaptogen for energy will raise your body's cortisol levels if you have low cortisol levels and experience chronic fatigue.
Generally speaking, adaptogens can be classified as either calming/relaxing or stimulating/energizing. Stimulating adaptogens are the best choice for boosting mental or physical energy. Some adaptogens for energy are Lion's mane mushroom, Cordyceps, Reishi, Rhodiola root, Ashwagandha root, Siberian ginseng, and Maca root.
Here we will explore the best adaptogens for energy and how they impact our bodies.
7 Best Adaptogens For Energy
Let's first begin by understanding the adaptogen energy-increasing mechanism. According to research(1), adaptogens may enhance physical endurance, reduce fatigue and improve the brain's performance. The stress-protective properties of adaptogens(2) may contribute to some of these effects.
Adaptogens appear to be able to balance the stress response by controlling the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA)(3) axis and cortisol release, which boosts the body's energy output. This adaptogenic effect is believed to increase energy transfer, allowing the body to utilize its resources more effectively.
The seven best adaptogens for energy are:
1. Lion's Mane Mushroom
One of the best adaptogens to support healthy cognitive performance, increased energy levels, and a sharp mind is Lion's mane mushroom or Hericium erinaceus.
Studies(4) have revealed that Lion's mane extract may assist in decreasing the inflammatory markers interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, which rise in response to stress.
2. Cordyceps Mushroom
Cordyceps is a natural energy enhancer that has been found to boost ATP production(5). ATP is an organic compound that brings energy to the cells. It also can help improve lactic acid metabolism, making exercise and other physical activities easier.
Overall, cordyceps has been shown to support immunity and respiratory health, reduce fatigue, enhance circulation, and increase muscle strength.
3. Reishi Mushroom
Reishi, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, is well known for its adaptogenic qualities. According to research(6), Reishi may enhance sleep quality, affecting energy levels and controlling stress hormones like cortisol.
Additionally, one small study(7) on male athletes found that taking Reishi and Cordyceps together helped improve training conditions in endurance cyclists.
4. Rhodiola Root
The root of Rhodiola rosea may help improve exercise performance(8) by boosting physical stamina. Researchers believe that accomplished by lowering heart rate and perceived exertion levels.
Rhodiola extract demonstrated an anti-fatigue effect in a study(9) with healthy volunteers and a cognitive improvement when participants were exposed to stressful situations.
5. Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, is a powerful adaptogen for energy and vitality. In this 2015 study(10), Ashwagandha has been shown to support physical performance, muscle strength, and cardiorespiratory endurance. From the books of Ayurveda to scientific papers, Ashwagandha has been a great adaptogen to stay energized and fight fatigue.
6. Siberian Ginseng
Siberian ginseng, or Eleuthero, is an essential adaptogen for energy production. It is believed that Siberian ginseng's antioxidants may promote cellular energy production and lessen chronic fatigue.
According to a review(11), Eleuthero can improve mental energy in stressful situations through improved concentration and memory after repeated administration. The "intensified excitation of the CNS" and decreased adrenal activity, which has a significant calming effect, were used to demonstrate this.
7. Maca Root
Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng or Lepidium meyenii, is an ancient plant that has achieved newfound popularity for its ability to increase energy. It is popular among athletes because it has the ability to increase energy(12) and endurance. Additionally, it helps menopausal women feel more energized(13).
In a 2016 study(14) on 175 people living at either low or high altitudes, taking 3 grams of red or black maca daily for 12 weeks increased mood and energy scores.
How Do I Take Adaptogen For Energy?
Since adaptogens are derived from plants, there are numerous ways to consume them, such as:
- Including adaptogens in food or beverages like tea.
- Using a liquid plant extract or tincture.
- Taking capsules of adaptogens.
A warm, relaxing sip of tea is the most beautiful way to take a break and alleviate stress. Some adaptogenic plants and mushrooms can be dried, ground up, and steeped in hot water, similar to how you would steep your preferred tea. Or you can add a scoop of the powdered extract and unwind.
There are numerous several varieties of tea blends with adaptogens as the major ingredient. Always read the tea's label to learn its intended effects, how long to steep it, and how frequently to consume it.
Do adaptogens help with energy?
According to the currently available studies, adaptogens effectively reduce fatigue and exhaustion symptoms and enhance energy levels.
Which adaptogens are stimulating?
Mushrooms like Reishi, Lion's mane, and Cordyceps and herbs like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Maca, and Siberian ginseng are stimulating adaptogens.
Adaptogens are herbs and mushrooms that improve your body's capacity to deal with stress, anxiety, fatigue, and other health-related issues. By controlling both physical and mental stressors, they help your body regain a stable balance.
Some of the best adaptogens for energy are mushrooms such as Lion's mane, Reishi, and Cordyceps, herbs like Siberian ginseng, and the roots of Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, and Maca.
- Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19500070/
- Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/
- A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide, (3)https://cmjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13020-018-0214-9
- Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855563/
- Chapter 5, Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92758/
- A double-blind clinical study of Rokkaku Reishi essence in women, (6)https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jaam/4/1/4_1_28/_article/-char/en
- Improving Training Condition Assessment in Endurance Cyclists: Effects of Ganoderma lucidum and Ophiocordyceps sinensis Dietary Supplementation, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24799948/
- The Effects of an Acute Dose of Rhodiola rosea on Endurance Exercise Performance, (8)https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2013/03000/The_Effects_of_an_Acute_Dose_of_Rhodiola_rosea_on.37.aspx
- Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity, (9)https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/3/1/188
- Efficacy of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera [L.] Dunal) in improving cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy athletic adults, (10)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4687242/
- Evidence-Based Efficacy of Adaptogens in Fatigue, and Molecular Mechanisms Related to their Stress-Protective Activity, (11)http://www.eurekaselect.com/article/14828
- Maca: from traditional food crop to energy and libido stimulant, (12)https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Maca%3A-from-traditional-food-crop-to-energy-and-Balick-Lee/eda1bf440c9bd4180da7fd31ac65801f036a265e?p2df
- Maca: An Andean crop with multi-pharmacological functions, (13)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S096399690700035X
- Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) in Adult Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study, (14)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27548190/