Fitness fanatics and everyday exercisers alike are increasingly discovering the many benefits of herbal supplements and their impact on holistic health and wellness. I recently asked our fit friends from Team Myology about the challenges that they face as they work to achieve their fitness goals, and our nutrition experts here at Puritan’s Pride came up with a few herbal recommendations. Here’s what we learned.
Let’s face it – flavored pre-workout powders aren’t for everyone—and who wants coffee breath in the gym?
Guarana is a unique climbing plant that’s native to the Amazon region and most closely associated with Brazil. Caffeine found in guarana seeds is identical to caffeine derived from other sources (like coffee and pre-workouts). In fact, each seed of guarana contains about twice the caffeine found in coffee seeds. In South America, Guarana is frequently used in soft drinks, energy shots, and other flavored beverages.
Regardless of your specific fitness goal, if you’re reading this, you’re likely to have metabolism on your mind in one way or another. Those following healthy eating plans can also agree that healthy metabolism is our friend.
Yohimbe, an herbal supplement sourced from the bark of an evergreen tree native to western and central Africa, interacts with alpha-2 receptors in the body, which helps to stimulate both blood flow and metabolism.*
Question: What’s the only bad type of workout?
Answer: The one that didn’t happen.
Mushrooms are all the rage on the nutritional supplement market these days, and with good reason. Maitake, perhaps the most-studied mushroom used in herbalism, is native to Japan and North America, where it grows in clusters at the base of trees – particularly oak trees. A major culinary mushroom in Japan, in the western world Maitake is traditionally used to support healthy immune function.*
With the added stress of intensive exercise programs, is it any wonder that our bodies can experience occasional joint discomfort?
Cat’s Claw is a woody vine found in the tropical jungles of South and Central America – particularly Brazil. Also known as Una de Gato for its distinctive hook-like thorns, Cat’s Claw is an excellent, natural antioxidant for the body that supports joint health.*
Water accounts for about 50-60% of an average person’s body weight. Water intake must balance water loss, and maintaining this balance can be tricky for some.
Uva Ursi is a northern shrub that produces ‘bearberries’ — a favorite snack of bears. The real prize, however, is in the leaves, with uses in herbalism dating back to the 13th century. Uva Ursi is traditionally used to support fluid balance.*
Straying from one’s ‘normal’ eating plan in an effort to slim down or gain muscle has the potential to wreak havoc upon the digestive system.
Cascara Sagrada is derived from a tree in Northern California that American Indians called ‘sacred bark.’ A natural laxative that’s traditionally used to help with occasional constipation, it works with the natural flow of the body to support regularity.*
To achieve meaningful and lasting results, the intensity of any workout must be complimented by an equal or greater amount of focus and attention to detail.
The distinctive two-lobed leaves of the Gingko Biloba, an ancient and unusual tree native to China, help support mental focus, and help maintain healthy circulation as well.* Ginkgo also contains antioxidant properties that allow it to help fight free radicals that may cause damage to cellular structures throughout the body.*
Anyone who spends a significant amount of time drenched in their own sweat it certain to have concerns about the quality and clarity of their skin.
Sea Buckthorn, also known as seaberry, Siberian pineapple, and Alpine sandthorn, is a Eurasian shrub with yellow-orange berries that nutritionally supports skin health.* American beauty bloggers, including our own social media assistant Melissa, have recently begun singing the praises of this buzzworthy beauty product. Sea Buckthorn can be consumed as a supplement in softgel or liquid form, as an oil applied directly to the skin, or as an ingredient in other moisturizing products, like this one.
The liver plays a role in a number of key processes in the body that no exerciser (or otherwise) can do without. Of primary concern to fitness nuts, the liver plays a central role in fat metabolism by breaking down fats and producing energy.
Milk Thistle, derived from a purple flower and used in Greek health practices for over 2,000 years, contains a group of flavonoids collectively called Silymarin which help maintain healthy liver function.* It also possesses antioxidant properties.
Ask any top-tier bodybuilder about the importance of sleep, and you may stumble upon the one and only thing that they all agree on.
Valerian is an excellent choice for those seeking to improve the quality of their rest. A perennial flowering plant with sweet-smelling pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer, valerian works in harmony with the body’s natural cycle to support calm, tranquil rest, and to help with occasional sleeplessness.*