We all are battling a common battle. The fight within ourselves to push through the constant stresses, obligations and requirements of our daily lives to make our dreams achievable. Often through my child hood I heard the common dogma inside of a contact sport like football to just “push through” or “it’s just pain, if you don’t mind it don’t matter”, etc. There is some truth that we need to find a way to make it by pushing through the stressor’s. Now these stressors come in many forms; work, relationships, physical activity, anything we ingest (food, alcohol, tobacco) is a stressor. The issue with these stressors is they have an actual physical affect on our bodies, that will effect our mental function and performance.
As we can imagine as these stressors buildup, we will become overloaded and negative outcomes will be inevitable. SO what can we do? An option not available to a small business owner like me, or a working a parent, or most of the members at The Crossfit Squad is reducing the stressors. Although we do encourage proper life balance, I understand the constant pushing towards progress.
One of the answers that can act as a buffer is supplements called adaptogens. Adaptogens are defined as, “a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes” by the Webster Dictionary. I was first recommended to use adaptogens by my Old teammate, Chasity Snowden before the open workout 16.3. Obviously, the workout was about to put a lot of physical, mental and emotional stress on my body. I’ll never forget how calm and rational I felt. Usually open WODs are one of the more blurry, panicky and stressful parts of my year. But during that workout I was able to surpass what I expected to get on that workout. After that the intrigue was there to start understanding how they work.
It is fact that taking these natural supplements which are mostly plants and herbs will do the following:
- Lower cortisol levels in response to stressors
- Neuroprotective (preserves nueral structure)
- Central Nervous System stimulating
- Enhanced attention and focus
Also according to the article , “Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity“, the toxicity of these supplements are completely safe as well. All the information from above was a summary from this article pulled from The National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. If you would like to read further click on the link above.
Supplements that qualify as adaptogens are:
- Ashwagandha: grown in bushes that are native to India
- Eleuthero: – a small woody shrub native to Northeastern Asia
- Holy Basil (Tulsi): Tulsi is native to the Indian subcontinent
- Maca: Maca is native to the Andes mountains.
- Panax Ginseng: – used for much of ancient history for health benefits. This is different from Siberian ginseng, which has different qualities.
- Rhodiola Rosea: a perennial flowering plant that grows in cold regions of the world, including the Artic.
- Schisandra: a woody vine that is native to forests of Northern China and the Russian Far East
- Astragalus – comes from the root of a plant in the pea family. Typically grown in the northern and eastern parts of China, as well as in Mongolia and Korea.
- Licorice – a root native to Southern Europe and parts of Asia
- Moringa – native to the sub-Himalayan areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan
- Gotu kola – native to wetlands in Asia
Please advise a medical professional before using. Some have different affects so please research which each one does before using.
Enjoy and hopefully this piece of information can you better accomplish what you want!