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I try not to play favorites with my supplements, but rhodiola makes that hard.
Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb used to help the body deal with stress.* Technically, that means that it keeps the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary) able to communicate with the adrenal glands (tiny, triangular glands that sit atop your kidneys and crank out your stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline).*
In simplistic terms it keeps your brain and adrenals talking – it’s couples counseling for your stress response.*
We are familiar with the stress of modern life: careers, families, running late, and just in general having too much on our plate, but we forget about the seemingly good stresses like planning a wedding – or hitting it hard at the gym. Never mind ongoing stressors of ups and downs of blood sugar, sensitivities to foods you eat every day and lack of sleep. (Read more on three ways you could be stressing and not even know it here.) Look at your life in total and there’s a lot of everyday stress!
We all differ in our ability to handle life’s stressors – any one of the above could be the thing that puts you to the edge. In a way, rhodiola is the antidote to modern life – and it can help you not get pushed to the edge, particularly when it comes to exercise.
Studies have shown that when taken over the long term, rhodiola may help to minimize the oxidative damage done with exercise.* And research like this study show that even an acute dose before your workout can go a long way towards helping you get a better workout.* Meaning, you train harder, thus can burn more fat. Rhodiola has also been shown to improve overall fatigue (again by working with the brain/adrenal axis) and enhance mood.* And of course, when you can work out harder and more regularly that mood will get boosted even more.
Women, you are much more sensitive to the effects of stress. As many of you know it’s easy to see stress turn into insomnia, a late period, breakouts, horrible PMS and off the chart sugar cravings. More on why women are so sensitive to stress here. Rhodiola is a modern gal’s best friend and I use it extensively in my practice where I work with women dealing with a host of hormonal imbalances. The high-quality vegan formula used to develop Rhodiola at NOW® ensures that no traces of milk, soy or gluten are found in the product, which means no risk of inflammation.
Adrenal adaptogens are often taken with other herbs that enhance their effect, such as eleutherococcus. However, if you’re going to take one herb to help with stress rhodiola is a great choice because it will be beneficial whether your stress response is on high alert (elevated cortisol) or you’re post-stress and feeling burned out (low cortisol). You can see why it’s one of my favorites.
When picking a supplement, finding a standardized product is key to get these benefits. In the case of rhodiola, I can recommend NOW brand because it has high-quality, is natural, and is an affordable product.
|*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.|
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