So, what are adaptogens and nootropics? Where do they fit into the picture? This Wild Foods guide to adaptogens and nootropics was created to help you understand the meaning of these terms and their corresponding differences. Keep reading to learn more!   

Defining Adaptogens

The most basic definition of adaptogens is a type of plant that helps your body cope with stress. They minimize your stress levels by regulating cortisol, which can also mitigate the effects of restlessness and fatigue. 

Adaptogens are herbs and plants that interact with your endocrine and nervous systems by adjusting levels of hormones and neurotransmitters. They can adapt to changes in your body in a specific moment, which allows your body to remain in homeostasis. 

Adaptogens research has found that they can improve mental performance. By reducing your body's reaction to stress, they can allow you to achieve peak concentration. Similarly, adaptogens can diminish the negative effect that extreme temperatures, harsh weather, or loud noises can have on your physical performance. 

Perhaps the main benefit of adaptogens is their ability to increase your body's resistance to stress over time!

Some examples of adaptogens include ashwagandha, rhodiola, curcumin, and reishi mushrooms. Although the term adaptogen may be relatively new, these plants and herbs have been used for centuries in traditional styles of medicine. 

Individuals that face high-stress situations regularly, like athletes, students taking exams, or manual laborers, can supplement with adaptogens to improve performance and reduce the effect of their stressful environments. 

How are Nootropics Different?

Nootropics can be used to enhance cognitive function, but they are a bit different. Many of the same herbs that are considered adaptogens are also nootropics. As a result, nootropics can almost serve as an umbrella term since most adaptogens can be categorized as such. 

The key is that where adaptogens specifically focus on reducing the effects of stress, nootropics include all plants and herbs that can improve cognition and brain health. The mushrooms in this category can help you feel motivated and focused, boost memory and concentration, and also enhance your creativity. 

While you might not necessarily be familiar with the term, you likely use these brain boosters daily. 

For example, the caffeine found in your morning Cup of coffee is a nootropic that can improve physical and mental performance. Here are some other examples: 

  • Creatine:¬†boost the energy supply to your brain cells¬†
  • Siberian Ginseng:¬†reduces adrenal fatigue and improve learning capacity¬†
  • Rhodiola Rosea:¬†enhances your attention span and mental processing capabilities¬†
  • Choline:¬†a nutrient that optimizes brain function

In other words, nootropics are natural, safe substances that can help you improve several aspects of brain function like memory and learning. 

If you are looking for the best adaptogens and nootropics, look no further than Wild Foods!