Adaptogen Drinks to Sip On for More Energy and Less Stress
At this point, you've probably heard about the adaptogen supplements hype. But in case you're behind on the trend, here's a short and sweet recap: Adaptogens are specific herbs and plants that are said to help the body offset the effects of stressful conditions, and more specifically, can potentially act as sleep aids, reduce inflammation, curb fatigue, prevent cell damage, and more, according to an article published in the journal Chinese Medicine.
You can score adaptogens in pill and gummy form, but if you're not be too thrilled about adding another supplement to your morning regimen, adaptogen drinks are here to help. You can score pre-packaged, canned adaptogen drinks that make getting your fill stress-free, as well as powders you can add to your favorite bevvies while on the go.
And if you'd rather concoct your ~health elixir~ from scratch, you've got options, thanks to Katie Dunlop, the lady boss and trainer behind Love Sweat Fitness. Dunlop fell down the adaptogen rabbit hole after looking for a way to regulate her hormone levels through her diet. (She lives and deals with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's disease.) Dunlop quickly found out that the herbs and mushrooms have a slew of purported wellness perks, including fighting inflammation, lowering stress, increasing endurance, and improving attention. That's why she concocted three adaptogen drink recipes, featured below, to change the way you hydrate throughout the day.(See: What Are Adaptogens and Can They Help Power Up Your Workouts?)
To get in on the action, try these canned adaptogen drinks, adaptogen powders, and Dunlop's recipes below, which are each crafted with the time of day you'd be drinking them in mind. (Thirsty for more? Stock your fridge with these canned, non-alcoholic drinks.)
Homemade Adaptogen Drinks
Morning: Good Morning Glow-Up
Of Dunlop's go-to drinks, her morning coffee is the most important, she says. The caffeine makes her less tired, obvi. But she also adds ginseng, an adaptogen with potential energy-boosting effects, along with coconut collagen creamer. "Having those proteins and healthy fats in there is a great way for me to get fuel in my body first thing in the morning without having to have a big heavy meal," says Dunlop. (Related: The Best Collagen Powders for Women, According to a Nutritionist)
- 1 cup coffee, brewed
- 1 teaspoon ginseng powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 scoops coconut collagen creamer (or 1 scoop plain collagen peptides with 1/4 cup coconut milk)
Afternoon: Anti-Stress Shot
When your stress levels are high, everything can take a hit — your digestion, your heart, your mental health. To reduce stress when afternoon rolls around, Dunlop relies on ashwagandha, an adaptogen that protects the body against the effects of stress. Since exercise can raise cortisol levels (the stress hormone), this adaptogen drink is also a good choice for afternoon workout recovery.
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha powder
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 cup water to dilute (optional)
Night: Power-Down Potion
Chamomile is a popular bedtime tea choice, since it's been linked with improved sleep quality and lowered stress. To up the soothing factor, Dunlop adds reishi, an adaptogenic mushroom which is said to lower stress. She also stirs in some pearl powder, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve skin and has recently been linked to powerful antioxidant activity. Lowered stress and antioxidants both protect skin from aging effects, so consider this combo a beauty sleep aid. (Don't like chamomile? Use moon milk to help you fall asleep.)
- 2 chamomile tea bags brewed with 2 cups hot water
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon pearl powder
- 1 teaspoon reishi powder
Canned Adaptogen Drinks for Easy Sipping
Whether you need to feel pumped up, mellow, or focused, Free Rain has an adaptogenic drink for you. Each of the 25-calorie, caffeine-free sparkling waters features sustainably sourced adaptogens and thirst-quenching fruit juices. In the cherry-flavored Energy version, you'll score Siberian ginseng, an adaptogen commonly used to boost athletic performance and improve memory and thinking skills. In the blood orange-flavored Focus variety, your body will get ashwagandha, which research has shown to improve memory, boost energy levels, and reduce inflammation. And in the blackberry-flavored Calm option, you'll get a dose of passionflower, which is commonly used to ease anxiety and sleep problems.
A female-founded company, Droplet offers three 35-calorie, sparkling adaptogen drinks that are designed to help you feel cool, calm, and collected. The Pretty Balanced version boasts ashwagandha, which research has also shown could help curb stress levels, and is flavored with white peach pureé and tart lemon juice. When you're in need of a pick-me-up, sip on the passionfruit-flavored Pretty Happy variety, which contains rhodiola — an adaptogen used to increase energy and stamina — as well as cacao, which research has shown can help boost your mood. And to help reset your body and mind, crack open a can of gingery Pretty Bright, which contains reishi, an ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicine for promoting health, longevity, and immune system support. (Craving a healthy spin on soda? Try these low-sugar alternatives.)
If carbonation isn't your jam, opt for Elements' adaptogen drinks that tastes like tea and are completely free of bubbles. Before you head to the gym, sip on the Vitality flavor, which features ginseng (said to improve physical stamina) and rhodiola (traditionally used to increase stamina, energy, and strength). To power through your afternoon slump, crack open a Focus, which is infused with schisandra, an adaptogen said to increase vitality and improve mental health. Before a big meeting, drink a can of Calm, which uses anxiety-quelling holy basil. And when you're ready to hit the hay, try a can of Sleep, which contains ashwagandha to quiet the mind. (Related: Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements?)
Combine your favorite coffee drink with adaptogens and functional mushrooms, and you get Taika. The company blends stress-relieving ashwagandha, energizing cordyceps, and immunity-strengthening reishi into canned oat milk and macadamia lattes, as well as canned black coffee. These adaptogen drinks also contain less caffeine than your usual cup of Joe, so you'll be less likely to feel the jitters later on. (And, yes, that's their company phone number right on the front.)
Adaptogen Drink Powders to Keep in Your Pantry
To add a health boost to your morning cup of java, sprinkle in a packet of ReNude's Chagaccino. The adaptogen drink powder is formulated with wild foraged chaga — a mushroom said to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor properties. Plus, it also contains mood-boosting cacao and Ceylon cinnamon, an anti-inflammatory ingredient said to reduce blood sugar levels and boost cognitive function. And you don't need to worry about it tasting like dirt: The adaptogen powder is lightly sweetened with the sugar alcohol erythritol.
Four Sigmatic Instant Adaptogen Coffee
If you're looking to make your morning routine even simpler, ditch your 10-cup coffee maker for Four Sigmatic's Instant Adaptogen Coffee instead. The adaptogen drink powder contains instant coffee (made from organic, Arabica coffee beans), stress-relieving ashwagandha, stamina-boosting Siberian ginseng, calming holy basil, and anti-inflammatory chaga mushrooms. Since a serving only has 50 milligrams of caffeine — half the amount found in a standard cup of coffee — you don't need to worry about crashing an hour later.
Goldmine Adaptogen Powder
After a seriously busy weekend, calm, nourish, and revitalize your body by adding Goldmine's Adaptogen Powder to your self-care routine. The powder features a blend of soothing ashwagandha, energizing cordyceps, and anti-inflammatory chaga, as well as reishi and astragalus — two adaptogens said to strengthen the immune system. Just add a teaspoon to your coffee, juice, tea, smoothie, or water up to three times a day to get the adaptogen drink powder's perks.
Moon Juice Cosmic Cocoa
On those cold, dead-of-winter evenings, swap your standard cup of Swiss Miss for Moon Juice's powerful hot chocolate mix. The powder contains cacao to lift your spirits, ashwagandha to curb stress, reishi to boost the immune system, and shatavari, which is said to increase longevity and have anti-aging effects. To warm up your body *and* get these perks, pour two tablespoons of the adaptogen drink powder into eight ounces of hot water or warm milk, then blend for a super frothy beverage. (Related: Hot Chocolate Bombs Are Blowing Up the Internet — Here's How to Make Them)