But Seriously, What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are the new antioxidants. By that we mean that they’re very trendy and showing up in everything from salad dressings to smoothies. This new wellness buzzword is generating a ton of hype, and interest in adaptogens are at an all-time high. But seriously, what are adaptogens? And why should you care?
What are Adaptogens?
Time Magazine said it best when they described adaptogens very simply as “Non-toxic plants that are marketed as helping the body resist stressors whether physical, chemical, or biological.” If this definition sounds vague that’s because it is! The fact is, there are so many types of adaptogens and what adaptogens do is so varied that it’s hard to get more specific when defining adaptogens at a high level. To get a better understanding of adaptogens, let’s look instead at specific adaptogen examples.
Examples of Adaptogens
Panax Ginseng- The root of this plant has been a staple of eastern medicine for hundreds of years. Recently it’s gained worldwide popularity for its association with improved memory and cognitive function.
Turmeric- If you’ve had curry, you’ve tried turmeric, but this spice is so much more than just a flavoring agent. The turmeric plant root is used to make supplements and is popularly taken for inflammation. It’s also a key ingredient in our immune system supporting botanical blend found in Nuun Immunity.
Ashwagandha- An important herb in Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is linked to a variety of benefits, mostly related to the way the body processes stress. It has also been said to increase energy levels and has become a popular coffee additive.
Goji Berry- These little red berries are rich in vitamins and fiber and fans of this “super fruit” say they help with sleep, stress, and athletic performance.
If you’re looking for a little scientific support for adaptogenic benefits you’ll have to get specific in your search. Because of the wide variety and diverse applications of adaptogens, studies which generalize their effects don’t really exist. However, when you start looking into the benefits of specific adaptogens you’ll find lots of exciting information from a variety of academic sources. Turmeric, for example, has been shown in one animal study to improve memory and reduce stress reactions in mice. A study on goji berries showed increased antioxidant levels in a test group of seniors. If you’re curious about a specific adaptogen always be sure to do the research into what claims are backed by science.
How to Add Adaptogens To Your Routine
Adding adaptogens to your diet is, in theory, easy. Just grab some and start munching! However, even the biggest adaptogen advocates admit that on their own most adaptogens taste pretty gross. An easy way to add adaptogens to your routine without having to fuss with masking the flavors in complex preparations is to try Nuun Immunity or Nuun Instant! Nuun Instant contains Panax Ginseng which we added because of its association with greater mental dexterity. Nuun Immunity contains the anti-inflammatory turmeric. You can read more about the specific benefits of turmeric here.