If you’re a high-performer, you’ve undoubtedly had periods of intense stress. Stress is not evil, but if you’re constantly pushing yourself, then excess stress can lead to poor sleep and subpar recovery.Therefore, finding ways to manage stress is more crucial than ever.
Enter adaptogens, nature's unique class of herbs renowned for their stress-fighting properties.
These plants have been used in traditional medicine systems around the globe for centuries, and their importance has been increasingly recognized in modern medicine as well.
At Kaged, we include adaptogens in several of our products. In addition to helping manage stress, they can reduce mental fatigue, helping you to stay focused and in the zone longer. This is why some people report increased energy from taking adaptogens alone. They don’t give the energetic uplift caffeine gives, but they can support focus.*
In this article, we’ll be discussing how adaptogens work, and how you can use them in your routine, whether it’s in your morning routine or as a part of your work grind.
The Science Behind Adaptogens
To grasp the power of adaptogens, it's essential to understand the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, a complex set of interactions between three key glands in the body: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands.
This axis serves as the body's central stress response system, regulating a wide range of bodily functions including mood, immunity, and energy levels.
When you encounter a stressor, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which then signals the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH travels through the bloodstream to the adrenal glands, prompting them to produce cortisol, the body's primary stress hormone.
While cortisol is essential for survival, chronic elevation can lead to a host of issues, including fatigue, weakened immunity, and stunted recovery.
Adaptogens come into play by interacting with the HPA axis. They can do so in a bidirectional manner, meaning they can both tone down excessive cortisol production and boost it when levels are too low. The result?
A balanced, resilient system better equipped to handle life's ups and downs.
3 of The Top Adaptogens
While the world of adaptogens is vast and varied, there are a few standout herbs that have garnered significant research and attention. Thanks to their extensive research, we include patented forms of these adaptogens in several Kaged supplements.
Let's take a closer look at Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Ginseng.
Originating from the ancient Ayurvedic tradition, Ashwagandha is a root extract shown to help maintain healthy cortisol levels.* Thanks to this stress-fighting property, it can also help increase strength and muscle mass, while reducing body fat.*
In Kaged products, we use KSM-66®, a patented form with a high concentration of the root extracts that give Ashwagandha its benefits.
We use KSM-66® in our superfood drinks, Outlive 100 and Organic Greens Elite. A comprehensive greens drink can be a part of a complete morning routine.
If you’ve used either of our greens drinks and understand the feeling of relaxation coupled with a reduction in mental fatigue, now you know that the KSM-66® is responsible for it.
We also use KSM-66® Ashwagandha in our men’s health products. That’s because, by virtue of fighting stress, Ashwagandha can help increase strength, muscle mass, and even testosterone levels.* You’ll find 600mg in Kaged TEST Elite.
Hailing from the cold, mountainous regions of Europe and Asia, Rhodiola is a resilient plant and one of the most well-researched adaptogens. It has been shown to help manage mental fatigue, allowing you to stay focused and in the zone longer, while helping you manage stress so you can stay calm and relaxed.
It has also been shown to support endurance and overall performance.
Because of its research for performance, we include Rhodiola in our nootropics, Mindset Elite and Mindset Elite + Caffeine.
These nootropics are designed to support your focus and cognition during intense work sessions. In particular, we use a patented form, RhodioLife®. This is the only form of Rhodiola Rosea that’s BSCG-Certified drug-free, so it’s designed for athletes.*
American ginseng has been shown to enhance alertness, working memory, and calmness. This combination of benefits helps you enter what’s known as “flow state.”
Given this, we use American Ginseng in all of our nootropics. In particular, we use a patented form, Cereboost®. It’s an excellent addition to nootropics and products where you need to stay both alert and calm.*
Other Ways to Combat Stress
While the research on adaptogens is incredibly compelling, they should not be your only defense against stress. The base of your routine should be getting high-quality sleep, whole-food nutrition, and a suitable training program.
For routines to combat stress, you can also look into strategies like active recovery, getting morning sunlight, and meditation.
With that said, supplements with adaptogens can be an effective tool in your toolkit. They can help you zone in on your important work, especially as the inevitable stresses of life come.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.