Do you struggle daily with lack of energy or chronic fatigue? Many people do, but do not know how to increase energy levels without the help of caffeine and sugar.
Instead of turning to coffee, so-called energy drinks or other stimulants, you might want to try supplementing with adaptogenic herbs to increase your energy levels.
While stimulants like caffeine may give your body a ‘kick’ in the short-term, they also place a heavy strain on your adrenal cortex (an organ which regulates stress) by causing it to work harder than normal to produce more energy.
On the other hand, adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha - also known as Indian ginseng - actually give your adrenal cortex the nutrients it needs to generate steady, long-lasting, stress-resistant energy.
In fact, adaptogenic herbs increase your body's natural resistance to almost every type of stress - which takes a large burden off your adrenal system.
For example, athletic competition involves both physical and mental stress. In such cases, long-term consumption of adaptogenic herbs will help to improve both your training effectiveness and overall performance. Also, they are typically harmless when used over long periods of time with few if any dangerous or unpleasant side effects.
In Ayurvedic medicine ashwagandha is believed to not only increase energy levels, but also boost learning and memory.
For example, in a 1993 clinical study, fifty people complaining of lethargy and fatigue for 2-6 months were given an adaptogenic tonic made up of eleven herbs, including 760 mg of ashwagandha once a day.
After just one month of taking the ashwagandha mixture, the patients reported an average 45% improvement in their moods. Their blood plasma protein levels and hemoglobin - two factors used to measure overall health - also increased significantly.
Yet another study compared the adaptogenic and anabolic (ability to promote growth of lean body mass) effects of Korean ginseng and ashwagandha in mice. Groups of six mice were fed 100 mg/kg water extract of either ginseng, ashwagandha or saline for seven days.
On the eighth day, their endurance levels were tested with a swim test. Their average swim times were measured as 62 minutes for Korean ginseng, 82 minutes for ashwagandha; and 35 minutes for saline.
Clearly, ashwagandha is a superior adaptogenic herb when it comes to increasing energy and performance levels.
If you’re experiencing low energy and chronic fatigue, it can be a result of overexposure to stress. Stress not only takes the joy out of life but can also lead to insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease and other adverse health effects.