Top 5 Nutrients to Lower Stress, Boost Energy & Improve Sleep

We know all how draining work, study and home life can be. Especially if you are putting in long hours, adding in physical exercise and have kids to chase after. Even if you don’t have children, you can find yourself burning the candle at both ends with late nights, restless sleep and long stressful days.

Problems associated with Stress:

This environment can become very toxic and can add body fat, slow lean muscle development, reduce sex drive (libido), prevent quality sleep, lower energy, increase irritability, reduce patience and empathy, increase the number of poor decisions made, reduce reaction times, increase fatigue and set the scene for future chronic diseases like type II diabetes.

The above conditions may be caused by the chronic overproduction of stress hormones. These stress hormones are aptly named because they are secreted in response to stresses placed on your body, which could be physical, emotional, psychological, or environmental stress. These hormones include cortisol (glucocorticoid), glucagon, and catecholamines (such as adrenaline).

Arguably, most issues arise from the chronic production of the stress hormone cortisol, which is the primary glucocorticoid hormone in humans that is essential for our survival. However, like with any other hormones, when your body produces too much (or too little) cortisol, a multitude of issues can arise.

Who is at Greatest Risk of Chronic Cortisol Production:

  • Shift workers
  • Office workers
  • Child carers (inc. mum & dad)
  • Type A personalities (always striving for perfection or to be the best)
  • Students
  • Keto dieters (low-carb or calorie deficit)
  • Caffeine drinkers (2-3+ cups of coffee or energy drinks a day)

Five Nutrients to Lower Cortisol, Boost Energy & Improve Sleep:

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used in traditional (Ayurveda) and modern medicine due to research-backed benefits, especially anti-anxiolytic (stress-reducing) and neuroprotective benefits. Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it helps you tolerate and “adapt” to both physical and mental stress. This makes it incredibly valuable in a modern stressful environment.

Ashwagandha is abundant with therapeutic compounds, particularly alkaloids, and steroidal lactones (such as withanolides). Research demonstrates that supplementing with ashwagandha can decrease cortisol levels by as much as 32% and reduce feelings of anxiety significantly. 

Even better, ashwagandha has been shown to increase testosterone levels in healthy males by as much as 400% when compared to placebo treatments. Women shouldn’t be concerned about this as adaptogens (like Ashwagandha) are great at helping regulate optimal hormonal response. This means Ashwagandha will balance your hormones to what is normal for you. Testosterone is important for men and women to increases energy, vitality, libido, and motivation.

How Much:

Most research suggests that 300 mg daily of high concentration (10:1 extract) ashwagandha root extract provides significant benefits. Therefore, ADRENAL SWITCH™ with a dose of (10:1) 335 mg of highly standardised ashwagandha providing 4.5% withanolides, is likely to be a very effective dose.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral for humans, being a cofactor in over 300 known metabolic reactions. Co-factors are essential for proteins to work properly as they assist enzymes, hormones, and other peptides to carry out their functions. In fact, magnesium helps with the transfer of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) for energy in every cell of the body. So, if you don’t have enough magnesium you will never have the high levels of energy you desire.

Sadly, the decreasing quality of whole foods and emphasis on processed foods has led to many people becoming magnesium deficient (over 75% of sedentary and closer to 95% of active individuals). Magnesium deficiency is not something to be taken lightly, as it can lead to muscle weakness, insulin resistance, cramps, malaise, constipation, twitching, headaches, poor sleep quality and irritability. 

Research suggests that lack of magnesium increases feelings of anxiety and makes people more prone to stress. Thankfully, supplementing with magnesium has been shown to rapidly reverse the negative ramifications of hypomagnesemia (low magnesium).

How Much:

Magnesium comes in a variety of supplemental forms and is especially well-absorbed when bound to citric acid (as magnesium citrate). This is the form you will find in ADRENAL SWITCH™ at an elemental dose of 300mg. The recommended minimum daily dose of Magnesium is 320mg – 420mg depending on age and gender. Note: Some magnesium supplements include inferior forms of magnesium, like magnesium oxide, which is less than 3% bioavailable (meaning very little of it gets used in your body).

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin not made by the human body. You must get it from fruits and vegetables in your diet. Chances are if you don’t eat 5-8 serves of fruits and vegetables, you’re lacking vitamin C.

How Much:

Research has shown that as little as 250 mg of vitamin C per day (one serve of ADRENAL SWITCH™) can significantly reduce cortisol levels, especially in active individuals. Not only that, but studies also demonstrate that people who consume adequate vitamin C are at less risk of infection, meaning you won’t miss as many work or study days due to illness.

4. L-Theanine

L-Theanine is an amino acid found naturally in green tea leaves that works synergistically with caffeine by attenuating (take the edge off) and extending its stimulatory effects. If you’re like most business professionals and students, chances are you start your day with a cup of coffee. As such, L-theanine is exactly what you need to maximise your productivity and mitigate the jittery feelings from caffeine.

L-Theanine also works to increase your alpha brainwave activity, which creates a calm and collected cognitive state. For this reason, you will notice that L-theanine keeps you alert yet relaxed and able to make better decisions and think clearer.

L-Theanine has also been shown to improve short term to long term memory recall. This may be because it helps you reach a deeper state of sleep (delta) for longer. In deep sleep, your body restores memories better and repairs your body’s cells physically due to increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH) release.

How Much:

If you’re putting in those long hours, L-theanine is a no-brainer (particularly if you work in a high-stress environment). When combined with caffeine, best results will be achieved with 200 – 500mg like that found in THERMAL SWITCH™ & POWER SWITCH™. If using before bed for deep sleep,100mg as found in ADRENAL SWITCH™ seems to be the most effective dose.

5. Glycine

Glycine is an amino acid used by your body to create proteins for the growth and maintenance of gut, skin, hair, nails, joints and other tissue. It is also used for making important hormones and enzymes. It’s found largely in collagen and gelatine, so can often be lacking in a vegetarian or vegan diet.

 

This amino acid has a calming effect on your central nervous system (CNS) and brain. Research in people with sleep issues has shown that taking glycine before bed decreases how long it takes to fall asleep, enhances sleep quality, lessens daytime sleepiness, and improves cognition.

 

 How Much:

An effective dose of Glycine is between 1000 – 3000mg. Glycine has also been shown to downregulate Atrogin-1 (a muscle breakdown pathway) and enhance the benefit of L-Leucine by boosting mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) muscle-building activity. Therefore, Glycine may help you build more muscle while you sleep.

Stress and poor sleep are not only linked, they are cyclical. Meaning poor sleep causes stress and stress causes poor sleep. It can be a hard cycle to break. However, the 5 nutrients listed above would be the best place to start.

If you want to be leaner, have more energy, happier mood, less anxiety, less inflammation, improved cognition and greater results at work, in your workout and in life, managing stress and supporting healthy sleep may be the fastest most effective place to start.

One supplement stands out above all else for its ability to provide clinically dosed levels of these beneficial nutrients is ADRENAL SWITCH™. It’s no surprise it is one of Australia’s most awarded supplements. Time and time again this product gets 5-star reviews because it tastes great and you will feel the benefits straight away.

 Time to support your adrenal function, lower your stress and improve your sleep with the power of ADRENAL SWITCH™.

Reference List:

[1] Chen, L. X., He, H., & Qiu, F. (2011). Natural withanolides: an overview. Natural Product Reports, 28(4), 705-740.

2 Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012;34:255–62.

3 Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 43.

4 Sartori, S. B., Whittle, N., Hetzenauer, A., & Singewald, N. (2012). Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: modulation by therapeutic drug treatment. Neuropharmacology, 62(1), 304-312.

5 Itoh, K., Kawasaki, T., & Nakamura, M. (1997). The effects of high oral magnesium supplementation on blood pressure, serum lipids and related variables in apparently healthy Japanese subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 78(5), 737-750.

6 Peters, E. M., Anderson, R., Nieman, D. C., Fickl, H., & Jogessar, V. (2001). Vitamin C supplementation attenuates the increases in circulating cortisol, adrenaline and anti-inflammatory polypeptides following ultramarathon running. International journal of sports medicine, 22(07), 537-543.

7 Nieman, D. C., Peters, E. M., Henson, D. A., Nevines, E. I., & Thompson, M. M. (2000). Influence of vitamin C supplementation on cytokine changes following an ultramarathon. Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, 20(11), 1029-1035.

8 Juneja, L. R., Chu, D. C., Okubo, T., Nagato, Y., & Yokogoshi, H. (1999). L-theanine—a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 10(6), 199-204.

9 Kobayashi, K., Nagato, Y., Aoi, N., Juneja, L. R., Kim, M., Yamamoto, T., & Sugimoto, S. (1998). Effects of L-theanine on the release of alpha-brain waves in human volunteers. Nippon Nogeikagaku Kaishi, 72(2), 153-157.

10 Nobuhiro Kawai, Noriaki Sakai, Masashi Okuro, Sachie Karakawa, Yosuke Tsuneyoshi, Noriko Kawasaki, Tomoko Takeda, Makoto Bannai, Seiji Nishino  (2014). The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine Are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40(6): 1405-16.doi: 10.1038

11 Wataru Yamadera, Kentaro Inagawa, Shintaro Chiba, Makoto Bannai, Michio Takahashi, Kazuhiko Nakayama (2016). Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes. Sleep & Biological Rhythms: (5), 126–131

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