Life is demanding. If you feel overworked, overscheduled, or just plain overwhelmed, you’re in good company. Americans pride themselves on being busy. They work tirelessly and skimp on sleep to manage their careers, provide for their children, and care for their aging parents. They turn to unhealthy energy drinks and sugary treats to give them the boost they need to tackle household duties and stay up late to squeeze in any semblance of a balanced social life. The energy bar is high these days. It’s hard to keep up.
Unfortunately, being overbooked and overtired can leave you feeling like you never have enough energy to complete your ever-growing “to do” list. And—news flash—the constant stress and fatigue that result from this kind of busy lifestyle can be extremely detrimental to your health. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your system, making you more susceptible to everything from the common cold to cancer.
The thing is, your daily demands aren’t going anywhere. So how can you keep up without burning out? How can you continue to manage a busy schedule without sacrificing your most important asset? (That would be your health, in case you need reminding.)
The answer is quite simple: you adapt. Nature has the nutrients you need to safely increase your energy and manage stress so that you can stay focused, feel invigorated, and adjust to whatever life throws your way. So next time you feel like you’re running on empty, ditch the sugary, chemical-laden energy elixirs and try some of these healthy alternatives instead.
Adapt with Adaptogens
Your jam-packed schedule has you operating in survival mode. You feel lousy. You’re not thriving, and you’re certainly not enjoying life in the way you wish you could. Instead, your mind and body ping-pong between adrenaline spikes and blood sugar crashes. What you need is a steady stream of energy to get you through the day. You need something to help you feel balanced and revitalized, rather than exhausted and strung out.
Enter adaptogens. These healing botanicals restore the body’s natural ability to fight stress without taxing your immune system. For the typical stressed-out American, adaptogens are the perfect solution for helping manage stress and fatigue because they have the amazing ability to be both energizing and calming at the same time. They provide you with exactly what you need when you need it. Need energy? Adaptogens will give you energy. Looking for a way to calm down? Adaptogens will help you relax. The two most effective, highly-powerful adaptogens are ashwagandha and rhodiola.
Build Stress Resistance with Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha addresses both the mind and body. Its healing powers target fatigue, exhaustion, stress, and even depression—all of which are highly prevalent in society today. How can ashwagandha do so much? It contains powerful natural compounds that increase the body’s resistance to stress by supporting the adrenal glands. The adrenals produce many of the hormones that keep you physically and mentally healthy.
Clinical studies have proven ashwagandha’s ability to reduce cortisol levels while also increasing antioxidant activity. That means that when your body falls into “fight or flight” mode, ashwagandha will make you feel calmer and your body will experience less oxidative damage. This is a major plus for your overall health. When you get stressed out, and your adrenals become chronically overtaxed, you can experience weight gain, sluggishness, insomnia, and a variety of mood issues. Ashwagandha’s ability to lower cortisol levels reduces anxiety and minimizes all the unhealthy symptoms that go along with it.
Keep Calm with Rhodiola
Another exceptional adaptogenic herb, rhodiola is proven to help you adapt and thrive during times of emotional, physical, and environmental stress. Rhodiola is known for being emotionally calming and mentally stimulating, which can allow you to stay cool, calm, and collected in high-pressure situations.
Rhodiola also helps you to think more clearly and supports the areas of the brain responsible for analyzing and planning, while also enhancing mood and decreasing worry. It does this by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Clinical research on rhodiola has focused on people trying to accomplish multiple tasks in a short amount of time. (You can relate, can’t you?) In one study of 60 college students, the group taking rhodiola scored higher on their final exams, felt less mentally fatigued, and reported an overall improved feeling of well-being.
Energize with Ginseng
Perhaps the most widely known adaptogen is ginseng, used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its natural energy-boosting abilities. People use this herb to improve their athletic performance and enhance strength and stamina. Ginseng is also known for helping the body deal with physical and emotional stress.
In a study from Mexico City, 625 patients were given a multivitamin to take daily for 12 weeks. Group A was given a multivitamin with added ginseng, while Group B took a multivitamin only. At the end of the 12-week study, participants in Group A reported greater improvements in their quality of life measures, which included things like energy levels, sleep quality, sex life, personal satisfaction, and overall well-being. Group B reported no significant improvement in any of these areas.
All Day Energy
Sometimes your morning coffee and sheer willpower are enough to get you through whatever challenges your day throws at you. But when your schedule demands more than you feel like you can give, try these safe, natural options for the energy edge you need to keep going all day, every day.