Have you noticed the word “adaptogen” slipping into your favorite health and wellness blogs? Maybe you heard it mentioned on a podcast? Or perhaps you saw it advertised on the packaging of a new product at your local health food store?
If you’re seeing adaptogens everywhere you go, but have no idea what they are, here’s the 411 from Registered Dietician Trista Best:
“Adaptogens are supplements that contain compounds that improve brain health and function. They range from simple, one-compound formulations to manufactured supplements that include a wide variety of nutrients and compounds to improve mental wellness.”
To put it simply, adaptogens boost your brain so you can “adapt” to stress better, mentally and physically.
Ready to add adaptogens to your wellness routine? Here are the top adaptogens recommended by our favorite wellness experts.
Niyla Carson, Nutritionist, Fast Food Menu Prices
Astragalus is a classic energy tonic that boosts physical endurance by helping the body adapt to external stress.
In fact, it’s one of the most important herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It’s said to strengthen “Qi,” which in TCM, means “life energy” or “vital force.”
Researchers think astragalus has the potential to assist with aging and aging-related diseases, while supporting the immune system by promoting the function of specific immune cells.
Experimental lab studies have shown astragalus to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and immunoregulatory properties, among others.
Sarka Halas, Herbalist, Sarka Botancials
Ready for a quick dose of astragalus? KOR’s Immune+ offers up this stress-relieving herb in a slightly sweet, slightly spicy cold-pressed juice shot. Packed with organic acerola-juice, this little shot goes a big way in boosting your system.
3. Rhodiola root
Rhodiola rosea has deep roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where it’s long been sought after for improving energy and immune health. Studies show rhodiola can help the body deal with the fatigue and exhaustion that often accompany ongoing stressful situations (i.e. long commutes, family illness, life transitions, etc).
Rhodiola helps with cognitive performance, even during higher fatigue levels, and can improve your mood by affecting your serotonin levels. Studies have shown that the use of rhodiola can lower C-reactive protein, a biomarker of inflammation in the body. All in all, rhodiola can be a great fit for individuals who are looking to improve their body’s resilience and reduce common symptoms of ongoing stress or burnout, like fatigue, depressed mood, and trouble focusing.
Note: rhodiola can have a slight stimulatory effect, so taking it earlier in the day is often recommended. It’s important to pay attention to dosage recommendations or talk to your wellness practitioner before adding this adaptogen to your routine. Fact: taking too much rhodiola can be counterproductive and may limit its efficacy. Taking it in capsule form, as a tea, or in a cold-pressed juice shot tends to yield the best results.
I find that rhodiola is a great “starter” adaptogen when someone is just getting started with this class of herbs. Most people do really well with it, and the risk of side effects is minimal!
Dr. Laura DeCesaris, Functional Medicine Consultant and Clinical Nutritionist
Rhodiola root is just a cold-pressed juice shot away with KOR’s Focus Fuel. We created this little shot to give your brain a big boost of energy when you’ve got to power through your day. Enjoy the flavor of organic prickly pear juice while you take your mind to the next level.
4. Reishi mushrooms
Mushrooms have been sought after for centuries for their many health benefits – cognitive function being a major one. Reishi mushrooms specifically have been connected with healthy adrenal gland function. This in particular helps to mitigate the stress response and release of cortisol, a necessary function that can become overactive from time to time.
Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, The Candida Diet
Ready for reishi? KOR’s De-Stress packs this medicinal mushroom into a kiwi-driven juice shot that was developed to beat stress and boost good vibes.
5. Lion’s mane mushroom
Historically, lion’s mane mushroom has been used in Eastern medicine. Studies have shown it assists with memory, focus, immune support, and overall cognitive performance. This is because lion’s mane mushroom produces natural substances (called “erinacines” and “hericenones,” if we want to get science-y), which have been shown to impact memory and overall cognitive performance.
Nilou Shahryari, Founder, Overnight Oats
Lion’s mane mushroom is one of the core ingredients in our brain-boosting Focus Fuel. Sweet and stimulating, this shot is the perfect replacement for your second cup of coffee.
This adaptogen is great for promoting a healthy biological response to stress. It helps maintain healthy cortisol levels, and supports healthy cognitive function and memory. Ashwagandha also promotes a healthy feeling of well-being.
Kent Probst, Blogger, Long Healthy Life Blog
Yes, it’s true, these adaptogens are worth all the noise they’re making in the wellness world. As a quick recap, you can access their benefits from the following KOR shots:
De-Stress: For calming passionflower and stress-relieving reishi mushrooms
Immune+: For energy-boosting astragalus
Focus Fuel: For stimulating rhodiola root and lion’s mane mushroom
Adapt to adaptogens with KOR!