The entire organism consumes more fuel under stressful situations. This increased energy generation produces more cell-damaging free radicals and causes the body to become more acidic (lactic and pyruvic acid buildup).
What are the characteristics of adaptogens?
Officially, adaptogens are substances with three characteristics.
- Adaptogens do not cause toxicity. It is possible to take adaptogens for a longer time safely.
- An adaptogen causes a nonspecific biological response that improves the body’s ability to resist chemical, biological, and physical stress.
- Adaptogens have a normalizing effect. Adaptogens can help balance the system in any direction stressors may cause imbalances.
All adaptogens share these characteristics, but each plant has its unique properties.
Adaptogenic efficacy is not dependent on chemical groups in plants. Although active ingredients of adaptogens can vary greatly, they all aid the body to function more efficiently under stress. Before, let’s check how stress work.
Understanding Stress – Oversimplified
- The immediate stress response: In this response, the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) are activated instantly. This allows the body to quickly respond to a threat with a “fight or flight” response. Healthy adrenal glands are essential in dealing with and adapting to a changing world.
- The adaptive stress response: This response is characterized by the body and brain adapting to secondary signals that were set off right away by the stressor. The adaptive stress response is mostly controlled by brain structures like the hippocampus and the amygdala, which also control some brain systems that change the immediate stress response. Adaptation and habituation can change how the body responds to stress. But you may partly feel these processes consciously, and most of what patients say about them may be feeling like fear, anxiety, depression, and affective parts of self-esteem.
- The evaluative stress response is how a person responds (immediately or over time) to a short-term or long-term stressor. This response is made up of cognitive processes. Cognitive processes include memories, associations, making decisions, etc., mostly involving structures and pathways in the (neo-)cortex.
The problem is chronic stress affects superoxide dismutase activity, which leads to stress-related illness, metabolic change to store fats, and an increase in a person’s appetite for sugars and refined carbohydrates.
Adaptogens are beneficial in the following ways:
- They boost the cell’s ability to produce and utilize glucose efficiently by activating the enzyme glucokinase, which makes glucose-6-phosphate accessible for glycogen formation.
- They aid in developing cellular energy and the capacity for protein synthesis (anabolic impact), resulting in greater energy use of carbohydrates and fats and the development of lean muscle mass rather than fat storage.
- They promote anabolic metabolism, especially during and after stressful situations, and counteract the catabolic effects as we age. They also improve the utilization of glucose, fat, and protein.
- They boost glucose and insulin signaling, sensitivity, utilization, disposal, and mitochondrial energy transfer. They also improve fatty-acid utilization (using fat as a source of energy) while decreasing fatty-acid oxidation (the waste byproduct of fat breakdown) and inhibiting LDL cholesterol oxidation.
Chronic stress leads to many problems, including poor fat metabolism and an increased demand for sugar. Lowering your stress levels will help to quiet your inner Labrador and improve your ability to metabolize fat. And, given that your mitochondria feel and respond to your stress, lowering your stress allows your body to use energy more efficiently.
Weight-loss Adaptogenic Herbs
Chronic stress relates to abdominal weight gain, fatigue, insulin, and blood sugar abnormalities.
Adaptogenic formulations are the cornerstone of a weight-loss program due to their general benefits, including enhancing and regulating the HPA axis (the neuroendocrine system) and improving the body’s usage of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.
Do you know obese people have an altered HPA axis?
Adaptogens and herbs targeting thermogenesis help maintain a healthy weight. Here
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea): assists in fat burning by activating lipolytic (fat metabolism) mechanisms and promoting adipose tissue lipid release. In diabetic mice, Rhodiola extract has a significant hypoglycemic/insulinotropic action.
- Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) regulates cortisol and DHEA synthesis and protects against stress-induced weight gain. Cortisol has a role in fat distribution and deposition, notably in the abdomen.
- Asparagus is high in glutathione, an enzyme the body uses for detoxification. Toxins stored in fat are released when fat is destroyed; therefore, promoting detoxification is critical for avoiding toxin overload. Asparagus also includes inulin, a carbohydrate that helps maintain blood sugar constant and encourages good bacteria in the large intestine. Asparagus is a powerful kidney tonic and detoxifier that protects the liver from toxins.
- Green tea extract (Camellia sinensis): has shown clinically positive benefits on weight loss many times. Several studies have indicated that it improves fat metabolism and increases total body metabolism (the thermogenic process). The caffeine concentration is often linked to its thermogenic impact. However, it has been shown that green tea extract induces brown adipose tissue thermogenesis to a far larger level than its caffeine content alone. Green tea’s main components, catechins, caffeine, and theanine, are thought to work synergistically to stimulate fat reduction.
Related: Adaptogen Made Simple: What You Need to Know
How Adaptogens Enhance Sport Performance
Adaptogens promote athlete health by improving energy transfer and efficiency—making better use of oxygen, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins at the cellular level.
Adaptogens such as Eleutherococcus senticosus, Schisandra Chinensis, and Rhodiola Rosea can boost mental and physical stress tolerance, strength, and endurance, reduce oxidative damage, and improve life span by 10 to 20%.
The Russian research indicated that taking herbs such as eleuthero, rhaponticum, Rhodiola, and Schisandra had good results, including:
- Resynthesis of ATP and creatine phosphate
- According to early research, less severe increases in lactic acid and pyruvate levels in the blood
- Glycogen level in the brain, liver, and muscles has increased.
- Improved mitochondrial structural integrity preservation
- Enhanced oxidative enzyme system performance Muscles with activated protein and RNA
Other Things Help Your Weight Loss
Keto Diet: Some scientists now believe ketones are a fourth fuel source for the body—one that can increase focus and energy and has countless health benefits, especially weight loss
Intermittent Fasting: Thousands of research studies have proven that calorie restriction can lengthen life and delay illness in various animals.
Avoid Sodas: Long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners may induce metabolic changes and malfunction in the body. Though artificial sweeteners do not contain calories, their sweet taste makes the brain believe it is receiving sugar, triggering the cephalic phase insulin response.
Related: The Three Brain Boosting Beverages To Help You Stay Focused
The Gut/Brain Connection: Tens of billions of bacteria live in our gut microbiome. It has a maximum weight of 4.4 pounds (2 kg). 12 To put that into context, it weighs more than the typical human brain, which weighs 3 pounds (1.36 kilograms). Many scientists now refer to it as our “second brain,” New studies reveal that communication between the gut and the brain is bidirectional and substantially influences our mood and energy levels.
According to research, the gut microbiome is essential in modulating chronic illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
The More Vegetables, the Better: The more veggies you consume, the healthier you will be. As with fruits, pick bright or strongly colored kinds over lighter equivalents (for example, dark leaf lettuces instead of icebergs). These examples of vegetables of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, turnips, and watercress. —all cabbage family members—contain a range of sulfur-rich chemicals, including indoles and sulfones. They have potent antitumor properties
More omega-3 and less omega-6: Both are essential fatty acids necessary for optimal health, but you must balance them to safeguard your joints, pancreas, heart, skin, and mood stability. We eat too much omega-6, often found in maize and vegetable oils. Excessive consumption can cause the body to retain water and elevate blood pressure, leading to blood clots and increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The moderate use of coffee, tea (green and black), wine (unless you have liver stress or cancer, in which case you should avoid it), and dark, raw chocolate sweetened with a wholefood sweetener can help prevent chronic illness, relieve stress, and promote lifespan.
According to 2006 research, frequent cocoa consumption is connected with healthy blood pressure, a 50% decrease in the chance of dying from a heart attack, and a complete reduction in all-cause mortality.
Stress and metabolism are highly interconnected. In extremely stressful situations, metabolism is badly affected, the immune system collapses, and many more problems appear.
Adaptogens reduce the destructive effects of stress and put the metabolism in balance. As a result, it ensures a more balanced functioning of hormones such as the thyroid.
In addition to adaptogens, you should also try techniques such as meditation, tai chi, qigong, breathing exercises, and wim hof, which are important in stress management.
Optimize Your Life, Body, and Soul – INNERFUEL