What are Adaptogens and Why Do They Matter?

As competitive swimmers, we put our bodies through rigorous training. There's countless hours at the pool, tiring sessions at the gym, along with the necessity of keeping a healthy diet and sleep regimen. And beyond these factors, most of us are dealing with the demands of school, work, family, or a combination of the three.

To combat the stresses of these factors, and cope with the anxiety and fatigue that can sometimes come with this lifestyle, many athletes and swimmers use adaptogens to effectively manage their health. Let's take a look at why they should be a part of your nutrition plan.

 

 

What are adaptogens?

In a nutshell, an Adaptogen helps the body deal with and cope better with stress, whether it be mental stress (like writing a test or staying awake for long periods) or physical stress (like training for a swim practice). It helps the body adapt. Unlike many pharmaceutical drugs, adaptogens are plants that have been around for centuries. There currently are only 4 known true adaptogens. 3 of these herbs are found in our Enduroboost Adaptogens.

  1. Rhodiola Rosea
  2. Eleutherococcus Senticosus
  3. Schizandra Chinesis
  4. Shitake Mushroom

What do they do?

These natural remedies work to keep your adrenal system, which manages your stress hormones, in balance. When your body is dealing with chronic stress, you may develop adrenal fatigue. Stress is intended to be a temporary state for your body, but in modern times, many of us have chronic stress as part of our lifestyles. Over time, your adrenal system becomes overworked and you develop adrenal fatigue. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include extreme fatigue, craving for salty foods, weakened immune system, and irritability.

Adaptogens work with your body's adrenal system to counteract the negative effects of stress. One of the adaptogens that we use in our product is Rhodiola Rosea. This herb helps maintain natural cortisol levels, lowers physical fatigue, and increases the use of oxygen. Another adaptogen that we use is Schizandra Chinensis which studies have shown to provide "increased endurance and mental performance [in subjects] with mild fatigue and weakness"1 in addition to having strong antioxidant properties.

Beyond these specific benefits, adaptogens boost your immune system, help balance your mood, and support your metabolism. Integrating them into your nutrition plan can have lasting positive benefits on your overall health.


How do I use adaptogens?

As an athlete, consuming adaptogens as part of your regular diet will mitigate the effects of chronic stress on your body, which will ultimately keep you in top shape and able to perform at your highest level. Adaptogens should always be used as a supplement to a well-balanced nutrition plan and never as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Use adaptogens to supplement a diet and training plan that has whole food as its main components, including the right proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins

At P2Life, we ensure that our Adaptogens are tested safe and are free from banned substances. Each batch is certified by the Banned Substances Control Group to make sure that we are using high quality manufacturing processes so that our products are safe for athletes and swimmers. When using our Adaptogens, our website includes a dosage guide, and as always, you should consult with your regular physician if you have any health conditions.

For more articles on nutrition for swimmers, subscribe to our P2Life blog today and learn how to be the best athlete you can be!


Sources:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19500070

2. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/adrenal-fatigue-is-it-real

3. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-are-adaptogens/

4. http://www.drfranklipman.com/adaptogens-natures-miracle-anti-stress-and-fatigue-fighters/

June 09, 2016 by Michael Shead
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