Panax Ginseng is the most widely used form of the root herb that has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Wellness practices. Considered an “adaptogen,” ginseng normalizes the body’s biological activities and boosts resistance to various stressors, both physical and emotional. Ginseng is a tonic for physical energy, and is also known to sharpen cognitive performance and bust brain fog.
- One study was designed to determine the effect of ginseng treatment on multiple-choice reaction time during exercise. Fifteen subjects were placed into two groups in a double-blind manner with one group taking ginseng each day for six weeks and the other receiving a daily placebo. Ginseng was found to shorten reaction time at rest and during exercise. In conclusion, the study indicated that ginseng extract improves psychomotor performance during exercise.
This tiny purple berry is an important food crop among tribes of South America’s Amazon rainforest. Its delicious blueberry-chocolate flavor has made it a popular component of a variety of dishes and beverages. Acai is known for its off-the-charts antioxidant activity and dense nutritional profile, including fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. A power-packed berry, acai is considered to be a rich source of energy in food, drink and supplement form.
Ginkgo Biloba is considered a living fossil tree – it has existed on the earth for 200 million years, with individual trees documented living up to 3,000 years! Today, ginkgo leaf is most famous for energizing the mind. It promotes peak circulation to the brain, fights oxidative stress in the brain, and boosts production of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for sharp memory and fast mental function.
- In one study, 20 subjects received gingko extract or placebo. Cognitive performance was assessed using a computer test immediately prior to dosing and at specific time intervals thereafter. Compared to placebo, ginkgo administration produced a number of significant changes in performance measures. Researchers concluded that ginkgo biloba is capable of producing sustained improvement in attention span for healthy young subjects.
Green Tea Extract: Sure, it’s got some caffeine, but green tea’s energizing qualities also come from its potent antioxidants, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). As early as the 10th Century, Buddhist monks used the tea to boost both physical vitality and spiritual energy. Numerous studies have investigated green tea extract for its connections to increasing energy expenditure; some studies have found that the brewed beverage appears to supply a quick energy surge followed by sustained endurance.
- One study investigated the effects of green tea extract on 24-hour energy expenditure in humans. Subjects were randomly assigned green tea extract, caffeine or placebo. Treatment with green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in energy expenditure, promoting thermogenic (metabolism boosting) effects beyond that explained solely by its caffeine content.
Dulloo AG, et al. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5.
Kola Nut: This caffeine-rich nut, which was in the original Coca-Cola formula, is used traditionally among African tribes for its stimulating properties. It is strongly associated with feelings of enhanced alertness and revitalized physical energy. In some, the Kola nut even brings feeling of energized euphoria. Its link with higher body temperature appears to suggest the nut has metabolism-boosting effects, as well.
Royal Jelly: One of the most fascinating substances on earth, royal jelly is loaded with life enhancing nutrition that is used as the sole food source of queen bees – which live forty times as long and grow forty times the size of worker bees. They also lay 1,500 eggs each day, producing up to 1,000,000 bees over their lifetime! Royal Jelly fuels all these activities with over 100 different bioactive compounds, including proteins, RNA, DNA, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and a special compound called 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) that is found nowhere else in nature.
- “I take a little Royal Jelly and Voom! My energy levels are perfect.” – Bruce Lee
Little, J. Bruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human Body. Tuttle Publishing, 1998. p 169.
B Vitamins (B12 & Niacin): B Vitamins are known as energy vitamins because they help to convert fats, proteins and carbohydrates in food into energy. With additional roles in supporting healthy nervous system function, cell metabolism, circulatory wellness and more, the B vitamins are vital to overall health – yet the United States CDC reports that up to 15% of all Americans may be deficient, underscoring the importance of supplementation.