We have all experienced the benefits of caffeine. It's that little burst of energy when you need it, or maybe it's turning your workout up a notch. Caffeine rocks! However the best description I've heard of caffeine is that it's like borrowing energy from your future at a high rate of interest. If you find yourself drinking coffee to wake up in the morning, taking a stimulant packed pre workout every time you hit the gym, and then at the end of the night you are taking something to help you sleep, then you are hooked on caffeine. I'm sure you find yourself asking, "Why am I tired all the time?" The answer is adrenal fatigue.
The downside of caffeine is that it wears out your adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands help you deal with stress both physical and mental by secreting necessary regulatory hormones. Caffeine at the gym increases stress on your body, and after a little too much caffeine in the morning you feel the effects on your mood and on your nerves. Adrenal fatigue comes from periods of intense or lengthy physical or emotional stress. The over stimulation of the glands leave them unable to do the job of telling you when to be awake, when to be asleep and helping you deal with stress.
Whether you are in adrenal fatigue, approaching it, or hoping to avoid it, there are a few excellent herbs and sports supplements that can meet you where you are at! My favorite herbs for this are "maca," a cruciferous vegetable grown in the high altitudes of Peru, and "Ashwaganda", an Ayurvedic herb. Maca helps support healthy hormone production of every kind, and increases endurance. Ashwaganda helps support a healthy stress response by suppressing a stress hormone called cortisol that is not so good in high amounts and likes to cause fat to settle in your midsection. Another cortisol suppressing supplement is "Relora'. While these herbs would be helpful at the gym for endurance and recovery, if you are looking for the little kick start your pre workout gave you, you can try Beta Alanine and D-Ribose. These two are a pretty fantastic team and will become your best friends. Beta Alanine is a lactic acid buffer, this means that it will take a lot longer for you to "feel the burn!" and you will be able to work out longer and harder. D-Ribose is a simple sugar that fuels your muscles in the ATP cycle on a cellular level. It is an excellent energizer and it will have you doing things you might not normally be able to accomplish. This is clean energy at its finest! It won't keep you up at night, and after an amazing night's sleep your body has recovery time and you can wake up ready to roll.