While a large cup of coffee may seem like a good idea when you need an extra boost of energy, you could end up feeling even more worn down when the effect of the caffeine wears off.
A natural energy boost from herbal adaptogens—plant-based herbs that help you adapt to stress, feel energized and promote a sense of balance and well-being—may be just the ticket.
Here are two options for herbal energizers with proven research-backed effects.
These small red berries native to Asia are ground into a fine powder and used for a number of medicinal purposes.
In traditional Chinese medicine, this herb has been used to help with body weakness and exhaustion, respiratory issues such as coughing and wheezing, and even with urinary frequency.
A review article cited a number of studies that have shown supplementing with schisandra to have beneficial effects for competitive athletes. In one placebo-controlled study involving basketball players, researchers noted that the endurance of athletes receiving schisandra increased after using the herb for only six days.
Effective doses vary. For best results, follow instructions on the product’s packaging.
The adaptogenic properties of rhodiola rosea (also known as rose root) have been studied in Russia and Scandinavia for more than 35 years.
In a study of 128 patients between the ages of 17 and 55, R. rosea alleviated symptoms of tiredness and fatigue in 64 percent of study subjects.
In a review article examining the effectiveness of R. rosea on physical and mental fatigue, the authors identified three randomized controlled trials that indicated the herb may be effective at improving health in mentally fatigued individuals.
Studies reporting a positive effect of R. rosea on mental fatigue reported a daily dose between 100–576 milligrams.