Although I was skeptical at first, after reading about the countless benefits of adaptogens, I decided to give them a try for a month to see if I felt a difference. And now, just a month and a few days in, I can say that I'm never going back.
If you're unfamiliar, adaptogens are plants and herbs that are thought to increase your body's ability to handle stress, by "adapting" to what your body needs. They've been used for hundreds of years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Brenda Powell, MD, co-medical director of the Center For Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute, told Time that adaptogens may train your adrenal glands the same way working out trains your muscles.
Although I was wary, I decided to give two different brands of adaptogens a try. I went with the Joyà Adaptogenic Immunity Bundle ($108, originally $135), which includes cacao, matcha, and turmeric elixirs, as well as adaptogens like ashwagandha and astragalus; and the Whimsy Official Glow Getter Collagen Blend ($49), a beautiful blue elixir that combines foods like maca and blue pea flower with the adaptogen rhodiola. Once I was set, I decided to mix my four new adaptogens into my teas and lattes every day for a month — and I really couldn't believe the benefits.
Why I Chose These Specific Adaptogens
It's important to note that each adaptogen will give you different results, so it's important to read through the components of your chosen blend to make sure you're getting all the benefits you want.
For example, while scientific studies are limited, ashwagandha is considered a "do-it-all" adaptogen that may relieve stress, improve endurance, protect brain function, and reduce inflammation, among other benefits. On the other hand, astragalus may strengthen the immune system, rhodiola is taken to combat physical and mental fatigue, and maca may increase libido, improve mood, balance hormones, and protect your skin. Learning about each adaptogen's benefits can help ensure you're taking something that supports your goals. Of course, it's always wise to consult a doctor before taking anything regularly, especially if you have any medical conditions or take any medications.
I wanted to get the full adaptogen experience, so I alternated between different adaptogens based on my wants and needs each day, and it really worked to get me to my perfect middle ground.
How I Felt While Taking Adaptogens
In the first week of mixing the different adaptogens into my coffee, tea, or smoothies, I saw a noticeable glow and luminosity in my skin. I tend to feel puffy in the mornings, and the adaptogens seemed to help reduce overall inflammation much quicker than I would have expected.
Throughout the month, I continued to either drink my Joyà Cacao Elixir as an adaptogenic hot chocolate at night, make a perfect morning beauty elixir with my Whimsy Official Glow Getter, or use the other adaptogenic mix-ins in countless ways. I soon noticed I was less stressed throughout the day, I had more endurance in my afternoon workouts, I was more focused, and I felt more energetic and agile overall.
My skin is still as glowy as ever, and I'm looking forward to continuing to see the long-term benefits of adaptogens. Mixing these herbs into my diet has become a routine I look forward to, and it helps that these particular products taste amazing, too.
Though I was skeptical at first, I would definitely recommend adaptogens for anyone who's feeling low-energy or particularly stressed. Especially in the fall and winter, adaptogenic blends are perfect for mixing into cozy, warm teas and lattes, and they just may help you feel revitalized.