Adaptogens: A Key Part of Sports Nutrition

No matter what sport you play or what level you compete at, sports nutrition is an important part of your performance. The timing of your meals around training days, competition days, and rest days becomes a key part of how well you can perform.

Every athlete is looking for the magic formula that will give them a “competitive edge” and help them perform at their best and most efficiently. Finding a balance between fueling for training and keeping a healthy weight, putting physical stress on the body during training and giving it enough time to recover is the key to reaching that peak performance.

In recent years, there has been a lot of attention paid to both physical and mental stress and the bad things it can do to the body, making it less effective. The good news is that there are natural remedies to reverse the effects of stress on the body, and adaptogens in Australia are a key part of sports nutrition recovery.

What Is Adaptogens

Adaptogens help the body deal with physical, biological, and even chemical stressors and resist them. Ayurvedic and Chinese healing practices have used these non-toxic plants for hundreds of years. Today, they are having something of a renaissance. Adaptogens first caught the attention of scientists during World War II when they were looking for supplements that could help pilots fly better, faster, and for longer periods. Schisandra Chinensis, a stimulant, has been studied a lot and found to give people more energy and help them see better at night, which is great for pilots.

Examples Of Adaptogens Are:

  • Siberian Ginseng
  • Schisandra
  • Arctic Origin
  • Ashwagandha

How Do Adaptogens Stimulate?

Adaptogens work like medicinal mushrooms at the molecular level to change how our bodies react to stress. This makes the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands work well together.

Any stress can cause the body to go through three stages: 

Alarm mode –

The fight or flight response starts when we first notice that something is stressful. 

Resistance phase –

If the stress keeps happening, the body stays active at a higher metabolic rate to keep up with the stress. The body can’t keep up at this level forever, and its resources will run out.

The phase of being tired –

Long-term exposure to a stressor will use up the body’s natural resources and cause wear and tear that could weaken the immune system and make it harder for the body to do its job.

For an athlete, the very first stress could come from adding more weights to their workouts, which would make them work harder.

The body will respond by pumping out adrenaline, which helps us focus better and makes our muscles work better. As our body fights against stressors, adrenaline and other hormones make us feel more alert. Then, when we get tired enough, we reach the last stage, which is exhaustion.

Multiple Bodily Effects Can Be Attributed To Adaptogens

  • Boosted energy and physical performance
  • The immune system gets a boost
  • Improved sleep
  • Less time needed to recover from exercise
  • Better ability to focus
  • A better ability to do things well

What Are The Best Herbs That Help You Adapt?

Each adaptogen works like a mushroom extract differently, so the best one for you depends on your problem.

Adaptogens To Help Athletes Do Better:

  • Asian ginseng
  • Basil holy
  • Tulsi
  • Ashwagandha

Additives That Can Help You Sleep:

  • Siberian ginseng
  • Rhodiola
  • Schisandra
  • Ashwagandha

Adaptogens Are a Way to Give Your Immune System a Boost:

  • Ginseng
  • Reishi
  • Maca Root

Every adaptogen has a lot of variations, and each person may react differently, so it’s better to start cautiously and study your reactions to find the optimum formula for you.