For The Dudes: 10 Herbs To Boost Energy, Improve Stamina and Increase Your Gains In The Gym
When you think about changing your diet in order to build muscle, burn fat, increase endurance and improve stamina, taking herbs might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Although the general public is not very well educated on the use of herbal remedies, herbs have been used medicinally for thousands of years and are a staple in holistic medicine – and can absolutely be a major contributor to overall strength and well-being.
So why should herbs matter to YOU? Have you ever wished for…
- less fatigue?
- more energy?
- more pump at the gym?
- more muscle?
- less fat?
- more stamina?
- more endurance?
- overall better health and vitality?
The truth is, there are BILLIONS of plants of this planet and somehow the universe has gifted us with hundreds of plants specifically that can help our bodies achieve optimal health and wellness.
FACT: 60% of the 150 most prescribed drugs in the United States contain at least one plant compound or a synthesized botanical chemical.
FACT: Nothing ages a person more quickly than stress. Did you know that our brain cells actually die when exposed to high amounts of cortisol (the stress hormone)? Adaptogens are plants (herbs) that have the ability to help our bodies cope with stress and they do this simply by adapting where needed in the body to create balance.
#1 Red Maca
Maca root enhances endocrine function. The endocrine system includes all of the glands in the body and the hormones they secrete. These hormones control things like fertility, digestion, brain and nervous system physiology and energy levels.
Maca root is also an adaptogen that helps the body cope with internal and external stress. It increases the body’s ability to defend against physical and mental weakening.
Because maca root helps to increase energy and stamina, it has proved a good alternative to anabolic steroids.
Red maca is specifically good for prostate protection and bone support.
#2 Black Maca
Black maca has been shown to increases sperm count in men, as well as sperm mobility. It is also one of the strongest versions of maca to protect against stress. Black maca may also help with fatigue and adrenal stress.
Maca root has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory. Some people have also found it to be a natural antidepressant.
Black maca is a particularly good anabolic (helps you build muscle). It has a lot of bio-available protein and other vitamins and minerals that are specific to natural muscle growth. Many natural body-builders swear by maca as an important part of their workout blend.
Both black and red maca contain unique nutrients called macaenes and macamides that help to support healthy function in the bedroom.
>>> Click here to see my Saturday Strategy about Maca and some other superfoods!
#3 Horny Goat Weed
Horny goat weed…need I say more? As the name implies this herb is most commonly used to keep your endurance and arousal going strong!
A lab study in 2008 found that a compound in Horney Goat Weed blocks an enzyme that normally restricts blood flow to male body parts. It is believed that this herb may work better and have less side effects for helping those with erectile dysfunction than current pharmaceuticals.
Horny Goat Weed has also been used in traditional chinese medicine to help with pain and fatigue.
A study published in the “Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine” shows that Ashwagandha can cause a highly significant reduction in stress, anxiety and serum cortisol levels. In fact, it was able to reduce cortisol up to 27.9%!
Ashwagandha also helps to stimulate neurogenesis – the birth of new cells! An essential ingredient for your brain to make new brain cells is BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor. In layman’s terms, BDNF is fertilizer for neurons.
Ashwagandha, along with the spice curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric), are some of the FEW known natural substances that help our brain increase levels of BDNF! This means they are some of the only substances on the planet that help our brain create new brain cells. Cool, right?
Ashwagandha is known as India’s most potent hot plant. It is used equally by both men and women to increase endurance and performance in the bedroom. Some doctors in India, when referring to its effects on love-making, claim it to be ‘the best of the best’. A big part of this probably has to do with the herb’s stress-reducing abilities. Stress and anxiety have both been linked to infertility issues.
>>> I made sure to put Ashwagandha in my Organifi Green Juice powder. Try it here!
#5 Rhodiola Rosea
In Russia, Rhodiola is still commonly used as a tonic for fatigue, poor attention span, decreased memory and is even given to workers to encourage productivity. It is thought by Sweden and other Scandinavian countries to boost general strength and vitality.
In 2002, a review about Rhodiola was written in the journal of the American Botanical Council. They reported that several studies in both humans and animals have shown that this herb helps prevent stress, fatigue, and the damaging effects of oxygen deprivation. Amazing that nature would grow a plant in high altitudes that can help with lack of oxygen!
Rhodiola also has potential to enhance immune system function and work faster than conventional drugs as an antidepressant. Rhodiola also has less interference with other drugs than the more well known St. John’s Wort.
A study done by the University of Rome reported that Rhodiola is able to reduce skeletal muscle damage after exhaustive exercise. They say Rhodiola is an adaptogen that is especially good at managing stress during and after exercise.
Catuaba is a strong brazilian aphrodisiac. In fact they have a saying that says: until a father is 60, the son is his; after that, the son belongs to catuaba. Drinking catuaba tea has been known to trigger erotic dreams and is also great for increasing overall performance and arousal. It is one of the most popular aphrodisiac plants and you may see it in the ingredients of many male enhancement formulas.
Catuaba is also used in herbal remedies to help with impotence and prostatitis. Some research suggests that it may strengthen erections by widening blood vessels, which allows more blood flow to the genitals.
#7 Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba has a truck load of properties including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidepressant, antioxidant, antitussive and astringent. It is most commonly used for blood flow disorders, allergies and cognitive function.
Ginkgo Biloba helps get better blood flow to all parts of the body, especially the brain. Good circulation helps to prevent hair loss and also erectile dysfunctions, which can both be caused by poor blood flow.
This herb may also be useful for improving oxygen use in the body and increasing overall energy. Its antioxidant content also helps to protect the body against free radicals.
#8 Coleus Forskohlii Root
Coleus Forskohlii has a 3000 year history in Ayurvedic medicine and is a particularly useful tonic for a healthy heart and lungs. It is becoming increasingly popular for aiding the cardiovascular system and helping with weight loss. The active ingredient, forskolin in this herb increases supplies of an enzyme called lipase that allows stored fat to be burned for fuel.
A study in Obesity Researched said that men who took 250 milligrams of Coleus forskohlii root extract dropped an average of 4% body fat over a 12 week period and also experienced increased testosterone levels.
This herb may also be useful as an antihistamine in helping with asthma.
#9 Griffonia Simplifica Seed Extract
5-HTP (Griffonia Simplifica Seed) has been used for half a century to treat insomnia. Why is it so effective? 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the chemical that must be converted in the body in order to boost serotonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy.
This herb may also help those with anxiety and depression and is known to promote feelings of relaxation, well-being, confidence and tranquility. There are some reports that suggest Griffonia Extract as helping those with ADHD by raising levels of the serotonin neurotransmitter.
Griffonia extract is also a good supplement for weight management as it acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
#10 Guarana Seed Extract
This is another herb that grows in the Amazon and is well-used in Brazil and surrounding countries. Guarana seed extract is used for energy, pain relief, to overcome heat exhaustion and to battle premature aging. Guarana seed contains caffeine as well as the active ingredient, theophylline. Both give you an energy boost.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness showed that theophylline increased time-to-exhaustion rates for men who were pedalling vigorously on a bike.
This herb helps with heat exhaustion because of its effect on body temperature. It seems to naturally lower the body’s internal temperature while also supporting the body’s exchange of electrolytes.
Guarana Seed is also used to help to cardiovascular system and strengthen the heart. It is also believed to cleanse one’s blood and prevent blood clots.
Learning about the many benefits of herbs can be overwhelming. Remember, lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. As with any shift in diet or lifestyle, it is good to try one or two new things at a time and see if they work for you. If you are interested in using herbs on a more regular basis, pick a few you like a give them a shot.
Consult with your primary care physician before taking herbal supplements, especially if you are currently taking any prescription medications. Some herbs have been known to make other medications less or more effective, so caution is necessary when combining the two.
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
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