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Timing Matters: When To Take Rhodiola For Optimal Benefits
Oct 18, 23
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Timing Matters: When To Take Rhodiola For Optimal 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.

  • |
  • 8 min read
Timing Matters: When To Take Rhodiola For Optimal Benefits

Stress is a vital emotional and physical reaction everyone experiences throughout life, whether it's a bad day at work or a set of misplaced keys. However, chronic stress can negatively impact the brain and body, contributing to stress-related conditions such as accelerated aging, cancer, and depression.

Extract from Rhodiola rosea root has been shown to contain over 140 compounds, many of which are naturally occurring phytochemicals (plant chemicals) having antioxidant and stress-resistance properties. But do you know when to take Rhodiola?

And you’re here because you’re confused and googled, "What time of day to take Rhodiola should I take?" So, we’re here to break that down for you. Read on!

Understanding Rhodiola

Understanding Rhodiola

Rhodiola rosea is a perennial flowering plant, often known as an herb, that thrives in cold, mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. Also known as Arctic root or golden root, Rhodiola is a herb with a long history in traditional medicine in Scandinavia, Russia, and other regions of Europe due to its well-known health benefits.

The herb is from the Crassulaceae family and is known for improving physical endurance, memory, attention span, and work efficiency.

Bioactive compounds

The phytochemistry of R. rosea root suggests the presence of six distinct chemical compound groups:

Phenylpropanoids: rosin, rosavin, rosarin.

Flavanoids: rodionin, rodiolin, rodiosin, tricin acetylrodalgin.

Phenylethanol derivatives: salidroside, tyrosol.

Triterpenes: beta-sitosterol, daucosterol.

Monoterpernes: rosaridin, rosiridol.

Phenolic acids: gallic acids, chlorogenic and hydroxycinnamic acids.

These compounds have long been utilized in traditional Asian medicine. Currently, the chemicals can be found in a variety of nutraceutical formulations.

Rosavins(1) have been shown in animal studies to exhibit immunomodulatory effects, anti-cancer activity, radiation protection, protective benefits against drug-induced lung fibrosis, and antidepressant-like effects. Along with rosavin, salidroside(2) or rhodioloside has been studied as one of the possible compounds responsible for this plant's purported anxiolytic and anti-depressive properties.

Role as an adaptogen

Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen, a plant containing chemicals that help the body manage stress. To comprehend how Rhodiola works, you must first understand cortisol, a stress hormone generated by the adrenal glands.

Morning cortisol levels are naturally higher. This is a holdover from prehistoric times when humans awoke with the sunrise and searched for food and shelter. Mornings demand our maximum focus, attentiveness, and alertness, which cortisol release provides.

So, while cortisol has been associated with stress, it is not always bad. The stress is appropriate at the right time of day, and it helps you focus and be productive.

Cortisol levels are meant to drop as the day progresses, and the sun sets, allowing you to relax and recover, but for many individuals these days, this does not occur to the extent that it should.  All-day stress is not beneficial and can strain your adrenal glands.

Adaptogens support cortisol output. They support the adrenal glands, so they do not have to work as hard. When combined with healthy night habits (such as keeping your phone outside your bedroom, turning off the TV, etc.), adaptogens like Rhodiola can reduce the stress on your adrenal system and help you get more out of the morning cortisol rise.

Rhodiola, in particular, is a good choice when people are tired. If you wake up feeling worn out, Rhodiola can help by enhancing the alertness and cognition benefit that cortisol provides.

Rhodiola Benefits And Timing

Rhodiola Benefits And Timing

Rhodiola rosea has several advantages based on traditional use and clinical studies. Those who use Rhodiola frequently tout its benefits in anything from fatigue reduction to anxiety and depression relief. It can also aid with endurance, energy, and athletic performance.

Benefits of Rhodiola

Rhodiola is popular as a dietary supplement due to its numerous health advantages. Here are seven scientifically proven health benefits of Rhodiola rosea.

Helps reduce stress.

Could help decrease symptoms of depression.

May help with fatigue.

Potential anti-cancer properties.

May enhance brain function.

May aid diabetes management.

Could improve exercise performance.

When should I take Rhodiola?

Cortisol levels typically rise over the night and peak within the first hour following morning. The hormone level decreases swiftly in the morning, rises somewhat after a mid-day meal, and then falls slowly throughout the day to a low at night.

You’re now probably wondering: when to take Rhodiola rosea? Since the herb suppresses cortisol, it is best to take it when the hormone is elevated.

In the next section, we explore the best time of day to take Rhodiola rosea.

The Best Times To Take Rhodiola

The Best Times To Take Rhodiola

It is best to incorporate the herb in the early morning or mid-afternoon to enhance energy levels. Rhodiola may offer the following benefits when taken at different times. Below, we explore Rhodiola in the morning or at night.

Morning: Best to kickstart the day with energy and focus.

If you need an energy boost in the morning, use Rhodiola Rosea. Because of its adaptive properties, if you are tired, its stimulating effect will help freshen you up.

Midday: Best to combat afternoon fatigue and stress

Rhodiola can be used throughout the day to help with the afternoon slump. It can also be taken before working out to improve performance.

Evening: Best for unwinding before bed

Rhodiola rosea can help you feel better if you're fatigued and run down. When taken 2-3 hours before bed, its adaptive effects will relax you and help you achieve a good night's sleep.

According to research, Rhodiola rosea(3) extracts may have sedative and hypnotic effects related to serotonin and GABA. However, as the herb increases alertness and arousal, avoid it just before bedtime.

Combining Rhodiola With Other Practices

Combining Rhodiola With Other Practices

We’ve covered when is the best time to take Rhodiola. Now, let’s explore how Rhodiola can be combed with other wellness practices. The herb can complement other stress-relieving lifestyle choices, such as meditation, exercise, and dietary changes.

Almost any type of physical activity can be used to relieve stress.  Physical activity can increase the production of feel-good endorphins and other natural brain chemicals that improve your mood. Eating a nutritious diet is an essential aspect of self-care.

Meditation can provide a sense of quiet, tranquility, and balance, which can benefit your emotional and entire health. Meditation can help us improve our overall well-being. Meditation involves focusing your attention and quieting the thoughts that may be overwhelming your mind and causing stress.

FAQs About When To Take Rhodiola

Can I Take Rhodiola On An Empty Stomach?

It's best to take Rhodiola on an empty stomach. This improves the absorption of the herb.

Can Rhodiola Be Taken Long-Term?

Rhodiola rosea is usually considered safe when used in recommended quantities for short to moderate periods. Multiple studies have found that R. rosea is generally safe for up to 12 weeks.

Is It Safe To Take Rhodiola Daily, Or Should I Cycle It?

Cycling (or taking breaks between normal dosing periods) your Rhodiola intake can help prevent resistance. Because the long-term usage of Rhodiola has not been examined, limit your Rhodiola supplement intake to three months. After that, take at least a week or two off to rest your mind and body before starting again.

Key Takeaways

When to take Rhodiola? In the morning or mid-afternoon, when your cortisol levels are up. However, the adaptogenic property of the herb can also be utilized closer to bedtime. But remember to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any supplements.

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  1. Biosynthesis of a rosavin natural product inEscherichia coli by glycosyltransferase rational design and artificial pathway construction, (1) 
  2. Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. extract on behavioural and physiological alterations induced by chronic mild stress in female rats, (2)
  3. Targets and underlying mechanisms related to the sedative and hypnotic activities of saponins from Rhodiola rosea L. (crassulaceae), (3)

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