Adaptogens are products of plant, animal, and synthetic origin that increase the body's adaptive abilities. Adaptogens are known to mankind since ancient times. Many of them are already of little use, due to proven inefficiency or for other reasons (for example, the horns of animals). The most popular and effective today are adaptogens of plant origin, which are widely used in sports for their beneficial properties. Adaptogens are produced in the form of tincture, extract, less frequently in tablets, and are available at any of the pharmacies.
Fig. 1 - Pharmacy adaptogens in the form of tinctures and extracts.
Effect of adaptogens on the body
Each plant adaptogen has a unique set of biologically active substances that determine its beneficial properties. However, there are many common properties characteristic of plant adaptogens:
- Restorative and tonic effect. Associated with the activation of various body systems (nervous, immune, endocrine, cardiovascular).
- Adaptive action. Adaptogens increase the body's adaptation to adverse conditions, such as changing climatic conditions (heat, cold, temperature changes), changing time zones, hunger, thirst, lack of oxygen (hypoxia), increased mental and physical activity, stress.
- Psycho-emotional action. Adaptogens can have a stimulating and calming effect on the central nervous system (CNS). Used in stress and obsessive states, nervous excitement, strong experiences.
Effect of adaptogens on the central nervous system
The main advantage and versatility of adaptogens is the ability to regulate the state of the central nervous system (CNS). Adaptogens affect the central nervous system in two ways:
- Increased activity of the central nervous system. Achieved by medium or high dosage of adaptogen. Used to improve mental and physical performance, tone. At moderate doses, a moderate stimulating effect is recommended, recommended as a daily intake. Accepting high doses may cause overexcitement, irritability, loss of sleep, therefore it is recommended to refrain from such an administration or to use it only in extreme cases.
- Reduced activity of the central nervous system. Achieved by taking small doses of adaptogens.
How do adaptogens increase testosterone?
Despite the fact that the effectiveness of adaptogens has been proven by more than one study, the intake of herbal preparations cannot guarantee an increase in the level of sex hormones . However, there is evidence of the tonic effect of plant adaptogens on the endocrine (hormonal) system, contributing to the improvement of the synthesis of sex hormones. The following adaptogens have the potential ability to increase testosterone synthesis in the male body.
Since plant adaptogens have a similar biological effect, the description of a specific adaptogen is reduced only to its distinctive features.
The rich history of the successful use of ginseng in the medicine of the Far East has contributed to the spread of the "root of life" throughout the world. Ginseng is popular for its tonic effect on all body systems (not the strongest among adaptogens). To consolidate the tonic effect, you need a long-term use of the drug, but within the duration of the course. With a single use of ginseng, an improvement in performance, a surge of strength and a decrease in fatigue are observed. Ginseng has the ability to improve appetite, which can be used by athletes during the period of gaining muscle mass. The most effective use of ginseng in autumn and winter - in spring and summer, the effectiveness of the "root of life" decreases.
Eleutherococcus is very similar in its properties to ginseng, but unlike the “root of life” it does not lose its effectiveness all year round. Therefore, it makes no sense to use drugs in conjunction - it is better to alternate their use and, as a result, to focus on which one is more suitable for your body. Eleutherococcus, to a greater extent than ginseng, reduces the recovery period of the parameters of the cardiovascular system during exercise, so it can be used during high-intensity physical activity.
Leuzea safflower (maral root)
The main advantage of Leuzea over other adaptogens is its anabolic activity. A substance such as ecdysterone, contained in the roots of the left-hand root, helps to improve the biosynthesis of proteins. For this property ecdysterone was isolated in a separate nutritional supplement. Ecdysterone has a steroid structure, but it does not possess hormone-like properties. It is recommended to use ecdysterone with an additional intake of protein (see "When to eat protein" ).
Levzey is considered to be the most valuable for athletes, because it improves the blood supply to the muscles, thereby improving performance and the strength of their reduction. It is noted that with the regular use of maralia, the root increases the power of the contraction of the heart muscle, which can be useful to people with an increased heart rate.
According to its biological effects on the body, Aralia is similar to ginseng. A distinctive feature of this adaptogen is a strong glucose-lowering effect. Therefore, it is most often used for the treatment of diabetes. Due to the sugar-lowering action, Aralia can significantly increase the appetite, which will be useful for those who are in training mode aimed at gaining muscle mass. Aralia is superior to many adaptogens in the general tonic effect.
Radiola pink (golden root)
Radiola pink with long-term use (as part of the course) can improve muscle strength and performance. Improves the cardiovascular system: normalizes blood pressure (mainly increases pressure in hypotonic patients) and heart rate. The positive effect of radiols on the function of the sex glands is noted, it can be recommended for violations of spermatogenesis, impotence, delayed puberty. In terms of its tonic and firming effect, the golden root is one of the strongest among adaptogens.
Chinese schisandra, to a greater extent than other adaptogens, enhances the processes of excitation of the central nervous system. Therefore, the greatest benefit from its use will be in the period of maximum physical (sports) or mental (exam period) activity. Lemongrass improves the digestion and assimilation of food, so it is perfect as an additive with enhanced nutrition of athletes. Of the positive aspects of Schisandra Chinese it should also be noted the improvement in visual acuity.
Zamaniha flowers are similar both externally and in composition with ginseng. Therefore, according to its biological effect, the devil is close to ginseng.
Dosage and use of adaptogens
Since plant adaptogens have a different form of release (tincture, extract, tablets) and different amounts of the active substance, it makes sense to be guided by the current information obtained from the instructions for the preparation.
Selection of the dosage of the drug is individual for each, since the body's response to the drug can vary widely. It is necessary to begin to apply the adaptogen with the minimum recommended dose once in the morning or in the morning. Track your body's response to the dose taken. If the tonic effect is achieved, continue to increase the dosage by one drop until you reach the optimal stimulatory effect of the drug without any side effects.
If while taking the drug there are symptoms of overdose in the form of insomnia or increased nervous excitability, it is necessary to gradually reduce the dosage until the undesirable side effects disappear.
General recommendations on the use of adaptogens:
- Alcoholic tinctures of adaptogens should be taken in the morning to avoid sleep disturbances.
- Adaptogens should be applied in courses, taking breaks in the intake.
- Do not exceed the dosage and duration of administration indicated in the instructions for the drug.
- Since each of the plant stimulants has characteristic properties only for it, it makes sense to alternate the use of different adaptogens.
- For the manifestation of the useful properties of adaptogen takes time. Usually the duration of the course specified in the instructions for the preparation is sufficient for the manifestation of the useful properties of the adaptogen.
- The dosage is chosen individually, guided by the instructions for the drug and its own health.
- increased individual sensitivity to the components of the drug;
- high blood pressure;
- cardiovascular diseases;
- chronic liver disease;
- sleep disorders;
- acute infectious diseases.
Side Effects of Adaptogens
Adaptogens are well tolerated and do not have a toxic effect even when taking large doses. However, taking adaptogens may cause some side effects:
- sleep disturbance;
- allergic reactions;
- high blood pressure;