Adaptogens can help. It’s right in the name: adaptogens help your body adapt to physical and psychological stress by balancing your stress hormones. They can help you stay calm under pressure, relieve anxiety, and even improve your post-workout recovery.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- The best adaptogen for endurance and stress
- The best adaptogen for anxiety
- The best adaptogen for mental clarity and fatigue
- The best adaptogen for sex drive, fertility, energy, and mood
- The best adaptogen for learning and memory
- Which adaptogen is best
Here are our five favorite adaptogens for naturally lowering stress and increasing energy, stamina, and brain function:
Cordyceps is a type of mushroom-like fungus, and one of the most prized compounds in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the last few years, researchers have confirmed how valuable it is as an adaptogen.
- A double-blind study found that taking cordyceps every day decreased physical fatigue and improved endurance by about 10%.
- Cordyceps also reduces your stress response and decreases inflammation.
We like cordyceps so much that we made Cordyceps Pro, a blend of cordyceps and several of the other adaptogens on this list. It’s great for staying calm under stress or relaxing at the end of a long day. It’s also good for post-workout recovery.
There are a few different kinds of cordyceps, each of which offers unique benefits. Use this article to figure out which type of cordyceps is best for you.
Ashwagandha is Sanskrit for “smell of horse,” and this pungent herb lives up to its name. Smell aside, you should consider taking it, because ashwagandha is a potent stress and anxiety reliever.
- Ashwagandha measurably decreases cortisol (your main stress hormone) and reduces stress by 15-27% in healthy but stressed adults.
- It’s also great for anxiety, according to several studies.
Ashwagandha is great for busy days at work or times when you feel especially anxious or stressed. It’s part of our Cordyceps Pro blend, and it’s also in our Organic Pre-Workout. Don’t worry; our pre-workout smells and tastes amazing.
Ginseng is probably the most well-known adaptogen. It’s been a staple of Chinese medicine for thousands of years. And like the cordyceps you just read about, ginseng is starting to become popular in the West, thanks to recent research that supports its benefits:
- A single dose of ginseng increased people’s attention and improved their cognitive performance during a mentally stressful task.
- Ginseng also lowers blood glucose, which can decrease cravings and help you keep stable energy throughout the day.
- Ginseng even improves sexual function in men.
Maca is an unusual root. It only grows in the harshest parts of the Peruvian Andes, where local cultures have used it for generations as an aphrodisiac.
- Maca significantly improved mood in depressed women.
- Maca also helps balance hormones (including estrogen and cortisol), which can translate to better focus and more energy.
If you want to give maca a try, make sure you get the gelatinized (cooked) version; that’s the way Peruvians have always prepared maca, and most studies use maca in its gelatinized form. Raw maca can cause major stomach upset.
You can also try our Natural Force Raw Tea, which includes a healthy dose of energy- and libido-boosting maca.
Bacopa is a creeping marsh plant that grows on nearly every continent. It’s a popular nootropic (that is, it’s great for improving brain function), and its benefits don’t stop there.
- Bacopa improves both memory acquisition and delayed recall.
- Bacopa also speeds up learning by helping you retain information better.
- Bacopa decreases stress across all areas of the brain.
Bacopa is great for studying or learning new things. It’s also a great way to stay relaxed if you have a big meeting, presentation, or similar stressful event coming up.
The answer depends on what you’re looking for. Adaptogens work beautifully together, so you can mix and match according to your goals.
Looking to decrease stress? Try cordyceps and ashwagandha (or just take Cordyceps Pro).
Want to recover from exercise faster? Combine ginseng and maca. Or get both from Natural Force Raw Tea before you work out. The peach flavor is awesome.
Want a sharper, faster brain? Pair ginseng and bacopa to improve learning and memory.
Whatever you choose, enjoy the benefits. Adaptogens are a powerful way to upgrade your body and mind. Do you have a favorite adaptogen? Let us know in the comments!