A New Way to Boost Your Energy Besides Caffeine
By Alpro Pharmacy
April 14, 2021
From the moment we get out of bed through our morning commutes until we are sitting at our desks, many of us remain in a zombie-like state. If your morning coffee ritual is starting to make you feel more sleepy than active, it is time to rethink your relationship with caffeine. It is true that caffeine can give you temporary physical and mental energy, but when the effects wear off, you feel more tired and want even more caffeine. Intriguingly, adaptogenic herbs or adaptogens have natural energy-boosting quality, that will give you that required morning jumpstart without feeling jittery.
What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens are non-toxic herbs, roots and fungi that work to increase or “adapt” the body’s ability to resist stressors and restore the body to its normal physiological function. The medicinal practice of using these herbs can be traced back to 3000 B.C. in ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, before the Russian scientist, Nikolai Lazarev, who first coined the term adaptogen when researching substances that produced a “state of nonspecific resistance” to adverse influences like stress on the performance of soldiers during World War II.
Are these claims just a hype?
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that herbal medicines provide primary healthcare for approximately 3.5 to 4 billion people worldwide, with about 86% of traditional medicine involves the use of plant extracts, which is also known as the modern herbal medicine. Adaptogens are similar to catecholamines, neurotransmitters involved in stress situations. Examples of catecholamines includes adrenaline, epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Adaptogens help the body to adapt and control future severe and moderate stress situations.
How adaptogens work?
Our body releases the hormone cortisol when we experience stress, especially in a long-term basis, which can be potentially dangerous. High amount of cortisol does not only affect the endocrine and immune systems, but it also affects the brain, sex drive and skin elasticity. Research has found that adaptogens work through two master control systems in the body, the HPA (hypothalamic / pituitary / adrenal axis), that controls endocrine function, as well as nervous system and immune function. The other system is sympatho-adrenal system, which is our fight or flight response. Adaptogens also work on a cellular level to prevent cortisol-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial are the powerhouse of our cells and when they are malfunction, this can contribute to conditions such as such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Different adaptogens have their own unique properties, some are stimulating, some calming, some warming or cooling and some drying.
How it works in contrast to caffeine and other stimulants?
Caffeine acts by triggering the release of stress hormones, like norepinephrine and cortisol, which increase alertness and energy in the short term, but with habitual use, stimulants can lead to burnout. Coffee drinkers keep needing to drink more and more yet feel more exhausted than ever (Figure 1). On the other hand, adaptogens do not cause a rise and crash. Rather, adaptogens extend the phase of resistance, so that you can perform better for a longer period of time (Figure 2). Adaptogens also help to make our bodies less sensitive to stress by acting similar to a vaccine, mildly activate the stress system in order to help the body cope with more severe stress during the day. This would prevent over-release of stress hormones and eventual exhaustion.
Synergistic effects of adaptogens
Adaptogens have been causing a buzz in the wellness world and although they are totally safe, they are not one-size-fits-all. Some combinations of adaptogenic plants provide unique effects due to their synergistic interactions in organisms which are not obtainable by any ingredient independently, such as the expression of genes that requires the interaction of several ingredients in combination. The combination of Rhodiola and Cordyceps have been reported to improve endurance training in athletes. Daily stress is a part of life, many lifestyle choices including food, sleep, meditation, yoga, deep breathing can improve stress management. There is science backing up the claims of adaptogens as promising adjunctive therapy for stress. Side effects are rare, but individual’s health status should be understood before recommendation on these botanicals. Powerlife Duragenz contains 3 active ingredients namely Ginseng, Rhodiola and Cordyceps. It provides the alternative that you have been looking for in an easy and convenient form to consume.