Mental and physical fatigue come hand in hand with the modern lifestyle. This isn’t always a bad thing. Drifting off to sleep when we have sufficiently exhausted ourselves from a productive day is a great feeling, but what happens when we feel fatigued during the day, either mentally or physically? When fatigue does set in and we need a little extra boost, we can turn to our plant allies, especially a class of herbs called adaptogens to help pull us through. Rhodiola is one of the best researched adaptogens that has shown consistently both in the literature and from an anecdotal perspective to help alleviate fatigue.
What is Rhodiola?
Rhodiola is a plant that thrives in extreme environments. Medicinally, the root is used and it has over 140 active constituents that work together to help support the body. Due to the harsh conditions rhodiola grows in, it is a resilient plant and its properties are able to assist humans under tough conditions.
Thanks to modern science, we know how and why rhodiola works. But taking it a back a few years, as a testament to the potency of rhodiola, legend goes that rhodiola was used by the Vikings in Scandinavia to ward off fatigue and increase stamina.
This is largely because Rhodiola has been shown to decrease mental fatigue which subsequently increases mental clarity. It’s also been well documented to boost physical energy. The implications of rhodiola in reducing physical fatigue is seen in the realm of athletics and in those who are having troubles carrying out their day to day tasks. It has been shown to improve mood and well-being and increase clarity, focus and memory.
How does Rhodiola Work?
As an adaptogen, rhodiola works to modulate the stress response. It has a positive effect on mono-amine oxidase A, an enzyme that controls cortisol production, which helps those taking it feel less stressed.
Above this, rhodiola is reported to increase ATP production. ATP is known as the energy currency in the body. The more efficiently we can produce ATP, the more energy we have both physically and mentally. This is one of the main reasons behind rhodiola's ability to alleviate fatigue.
Rhodiola also increases red blood cell count which helps to deliver oxygen to tissues, this is one reason why people feel tend to feel more energized and clearer when taking rhodiola.
There is some evidence that rhodiola can increase the body’s sensitivity to dopamine and serotonin which can help to regulate mood.
In addition, rhodiola preserves antioxidant systems in the body, mainly glutathione. This indirectly helps with its energy restoring qualities, but more so contributes to immune enhancing properties that are also characteristic of this adaptogen.
Given that rhodiola impacts several systems in the body, there’s a good chance that independent of the individual root cause of fatigue, rhodiola can help in some capacity and provide an edge that catalyzes long-term healing.
What to expect taking Rhodiola
Most adaptogens help to calm the body, rhodiola on the other hand is a stimulant. Taking rhodiola increases energy instantly, while deeply nourishing to body. Unlike other stimulants, such as caffeine, rhodiola doesn’t cause jitters or an afternoon crash.
Rhodiola is able to help the body respond to immediate external stressors while allowing the body to adapt to stressors long-term.
Taking rhodiola provides energy and mental clarity. It also, counterintuitively contributes to restful sleeps. While it increases energy, it also brings the body back into homeostasis and reduces physiological markers of stress which translates to improved sleep/wake cycles. Sleeping well also provides a compounding effect on energy levels the next day, making rhodiola a prime candidate for those desiring more energy.
Due to its energizing properties, it’s best to take rhodiola in the morning and afternoon so it doesn’t affect sleep negatively. A general guideline to reap both the energizing and restorative benefits of rhodiola is to avoid taking it after 3pm.
Rhoziva™ is grown on the prairies of Canada. In addition to the harsh climate and superior growing conditions that produce a potent root, Rhoziva™ is unique as it contains other vitamins and minerals that increase the potency and effectiveness of the rhodiola.
Most people see an increase in energy within 1-6 days taking Rhozvia™ which is on average, a couple weeks shorter than standard rhodiola. At Livlong, we are committed to the highest quality and are so happy to offer Rhoziva™, check it out here, samples are available for those interested!
Whether you are looking to up your work game through increasing mental clarity, want to improve athletic performance or simply want a little extra pep in your step as you roll out of bed in the morning, rhodiola might just be your new go to! As always, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions samples are available upon request.
Author: Lisa Kowalyk, CNP, B.Kin