Natural Energizers: A Better Boost
These safe and natural supplements don't deplete our reserves. Instead they help us to:
- Sustain our energy.
- Raise our spirits.
- Optimize our performance.
- Overcome our cravings to addictive stimulants.
Adaptogens: Support Your Adrenals
Since the adrenal glands are the foundation of natural energy and stimulation, we will start by looking at your level of adrenal health. Check your score on the Stress questionnaire on. If your score is above 40, chances are your adrenal glands are depleted. Use the recommendations in the following section to help to restore their function. Remember, if you are stressed out, don't use stimulants, which can cause further burnout.
While Western medicine tends to ignore adrenal function unless it is either extremely low or high, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has subtle ways of diagnosing and treating adrenal overuse and burnout. It relies on the principles of balancing the opposites in the mind, body, and spirit. The goal is to restore the natural flow of energy using specific herbs called adaptogens. These herbs help the body adapt to a range of stresses, such as heat, cold, exertion, trauma, sleep deprivation, toxic exposure, radiation, infection, and psychological stress. They have few, if any, side effects, are effective for treating a wide variety of illnesses, and help return the body to homeostasis its natural balance. By supporting and rebuilding the system in this way, adaptogens promote feelings of increased energy and well-being, with no tolerance, downregulation, or addiction.
Several groups of products help restore and enhance energy. These are the "adaptogenic" herbs, amino acids, and vitamins.
Adaptogenic herbs include ginseng (Siberian, Asian, or American), ashwaganda, licorice, reishi mushroom, and rhodiola. The stimulating amino acids include phenylalanine and tyrosine, while vitamins include pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and vitamin C, needed to make adrenaline and cortisol. Finally, three other substances green tea, coenzyme NADH, and coenzyme Q10 are also excellent additions to your anti-exhaustion arsenal.
Taking these substances won't give you the kind of instant jolt you'd expect from a cup of coffee or a cigarette, or the intensity of cocaine or amphetamines, but they deliver a consistent and more sustainable level of energy, alertness, and well-being. Once you feel this good, your desire for stimulants will fall away.
The more stressful your lifestyle, the more nutrients you need. To complete your program, add the energizing and de-stressing exercises covered in Part Three.
From NATURAL HIGHS: Supplements, Nutrition, and Mind/Body Techniques to Help You Feel Good by Hyla Cass and Patrick Holford. Copyright © Hyla Cass, M.D., and Patrick Holford. Used by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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