|Adrenal fatigue supplements
Cleanse Joy Editorial Team
Dr. David Minkoff, M.D.
Dr. Edward Group, DC, NP
The adrenal fatigue supplements protocol: Help your body to naturally heal with the best herbs, vitamins, minerals, remedies, diet, and lifestyle options. As in all our protocols, we looked into evidence based natural easy to do steps shown to be both effective and safe without side effects.
3 important things you should know before taking adrenal fatigue Supplements
- The medical term. Adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion are commonly used to describe a medical condition known as HPA axis dysfunction. HPA axis is a hormone-based system that regulates our stress response. It includes the hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenals. So, signs of “adrenal fatigue” such as tiredness, extreme fatigue, low energy, weight gain, and others, may also mean imbalances in the hypothalamic or pituitary glands. Not just the adrenals.
- Adrenal fatigue supplements & remedies. Several key vitamins, minerals and herbs can effectively and safely support the adrenals and HPA axis. These are, however, only one side of the picture. You still need to identify and address the root cause of the adrenal fatigue. For example, high levels of chronic stress, stimulants abuse, poor sleep quality, overtraining and others. In fact, in many cases it is not what you need to take, but what you need to stop doing. So, always look for the cause. Don’t add wood to the fire!
- Listen to your body. Lastly, keep in mind that not everyone responds the same to adrenal fatigue supplements. So, rather than taking everything under the sun, all at the same time, start with the basics. Go low and slow, and see how you feel. We’ll cover the basic supplements below.
Adrenal Fatigue Supplements: The 5 Best Basics
Here are the top “core” adrenal fatigue supplements most people can benefit from. See the notes on their description to see if they are relevant to your situation.
1. Adrenal fatigue supplements: Ginseng Fuzion®
Ideal for: Overall adrenals and HPS Axis support.
Overall: A certified organic blend of five of the most studied adaptogen herbs. Ideal as an overall adrenals and HPA axis support, for consistent energy levels during the day, with a natural balanced effect on stress, mood, brain function, libido, and hormones. In particular, cortisol (the stress hormone) and testosterone in men.
Dr. Group Ginseng Fuzion® uses no stimulants, so it makes a great fit for those who try to reduce their caffeine intake but still support their energy levels, physical and mental performance. It’s a unique combination that can calm stress on one hand, but at the same time boost energy levels and focus.
Ingredients: Certified organic extracts of: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng), Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), Maca (Lepidium meyenii), Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), shilajit.
How to use: Take half a dropperful (1 ml) up to three times daily. Place directly in your mouth, or add to 1 cup of water to make a cold or hot tea.
For added support, you may take one dropperful before/during/after your workouts or stressful situations.
Where to buy: Dr. Group’s website
Did You Know?
2 Facts About Adaptogens Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
Without a doubt, the top adrenal fatigue supplements to consider are the adaptogens. But how exactly do they work?
- Adaptogen herbs have unique medicinal properties that help the body better cope with stress. Simply put, just like their name suggests, they can help your body adapt. You may think about adaptogen herbs use as a natural systemic way that can help to balance many systems in the body that may be out of whack when you have adrenal fatigue.
- Adaptogens have been safely used for centuries all over the world. But, what’s truly remarkable about them, is that many of these herbs have extensive positive research and studies. In other words, they work, and the science was able to confirm that.
2: Adrenal Fatigue Supplements: Tulsi (holy basil)
Ideal for: Overall adrenal and HPA axis support for less active people, or for those who prefer to use one signal adaptogen herb.
Overall: Certified organic extract of ayurvedic medicine’s most precious adaptogen herb. Tulsi has a long history of traditional medicinal use, which many studies were able to validate. Specifically to adrenal fatigue, tulsi can support the entire hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The research data suggests tulsi has the ability to reduce elevated cortisol levels, calm mental stress and balance the damage of physical stress.[2,3]
Ingredients: Certified organic extract of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) from exclusively fresh organic tulsi leaves and flowers.
Note that the extract is specifically optimized for maximum nutrients and active ingredients delivery, without any impurities. There are no pesticides, herbicides or other contaminants you usually find in conventional herbs. As such, this extract is much more potent and pure compared to regular tulsi tea.
How to use: Place 1-2 dropperful directly in your mouth. You can also add to 1 cup of spring water to make a hot or cold tulsi tea.
Where to buy: Dr. Group website
3: Adrenal Fatigue Supplements: Dr. Minkoff Calm
Ideal for: Calm stress and anxiety, restore healthy magnesium levels. May also promote restful sleep when taken before bedtime.
Overall: Perhaps one of the most important minerals to adrenal fatigue, low levels of magnesium are known to impair the body’s ability to cope with stress and maintain homeostasis. Furthermore, studies estimate that 75 percent of Americans do not meet the recommended dietary allowance of magnesium. In particular to adrenal fatigue and stress, according to the medical literature, magnesium often becomes low as a result of stress.
Ingredients: A highly absorbable blend of magnesium carbonate and citric acid. Keep in mind, this is not your typical magnesium supplement. Many types of magnesium supplements have very poor bioavailability and may not be able to effectively balance low magnesium levels, not to mention create a natural calming effect that can also promote good sleep.
How to Use: Start with ¼ scoop with 2-3 oz of hot water. Let is fizz. Then, stir until dissolved. Add warm or cold water and drink. When taken before bedtime, you may notice restful sleep, which is absolutely a must in order for your body to heal and restore the adrenals and HPA axis health.
Where to buy: Dr. Minkoff website
Did you know? Magnesium Supplements & Adrenal Fatigue
Magnesium is by far one of the key nutrients to look for when it comes to adrenal fatigue supplements. In fact, magnesium is the fourth most abundant essential mineral in the body. As such, it plays a key role in over 300 biochemical reactions, all required to maintain homeostasis*.
*Homeostasis is the body’s ability to maintain a stable internal state, despite changes in the outside environment, such as mental of physical stress.
4: Adrenal Fatigue Supplements For Sleep Quality
As you know, sleep is essential to our health. But, if you experience insomnia, have trouble sleeping or staying asleep, it is an absolute must to give your sleep the proper attention. Turns out that the majority of the adrenal glands and HPA axis healing occurs when you sleep. This also includes the body’s ability to detox the stress hormones. Not surprisingly, in many cases, poor sleep quality is a major contributor to adrenal fatigue!
With that said, many people with adrenal fatigue or high levels of stress find they just can’t have a good restful sleep. No matter what they do. If this sounds like you, or if you find you need more sleep support other than Dr. Minkoff Calm, Dr. Minkoff developed Healthy Sleep Ultra. The formula specifically targets the key pathways that can help reset your brain and neurotransmitters to promote deep high quality sleep.
On that note, just like we mention when we discussed the adaptogens, not everyone responds the same to sleep aid supplements. Even natural ones. In fact, some of these sleep aids can make your sleep become worse! So, be very careful with sleep aids, and stick with proven doctor formulated ones. Go low and slow. Dr. Minkoff Healthy Sleep Ultra is a great natural option many have found helpful.
5: Important Vitamins & Minerals Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
Lastly, on the core adrenal fatigue supplements are vitamins and minerals.
Now, it is always best to work with your doctor and test individual deficiencies you may have. Every person biochemistry and nutritional status can be very unique and may require a different approach. For most people, however, when it comes to adrenal fatigue supplements, there are three key vitamins that are often low, and can help:
- Vitamin B complex. Can help reduce symptoms of stress and fatigue. While the research tend to focus on folate, B6 and B12 when it comes to stress and fatigue, a more practical way for most people is to simply take a vitamin B supplement that cover all B vitamins. Also known as B complex.
- Vitamin C. Plays a key role in a healthy stress response, regulates cortisol, and is essential for healthy adrenal glands function.[8,9]
- Vitamin D. Crucial for immune system health which is often compromised with adrenal fatigue. Keep in mind, over 50% of Americans have vitamin D deficiency.
Adrenal Fatigue Diet
Along with the adrenal fatigue supplements, a clean anti-inflammation mediterranean style eating can help your body heal. While there is no one single diet that works best for everyone, You really can’t go wrong with these following guidelines:
- Processed foods. Be very suspicious about packaged foods, processed meats, processed carbs, sugary drinks, and fried foods. These foods contain toxins and chemicals that can stress the body and impair its ability to heal.
- Common inflammatory foods. In particular: soy, dairy, and gluten. Many people have sensitivity to one or more of these, which may cause an immune reaction, inflammation and stress.
- Commercial meat and farm raised fish. These are usually fed with a diet they are not supposed to eat. Fish or cows, for example, are not supposed to eat soy! Not to mention antibiotics, GMOs, hormones and other toxic substances. Guess what, all these pass to the actual product you eat which your body then needs to process and eliminate. Not cool!
- Coffee and other stimulants. Increase cortisol, can interrupt with your sleep and impair healing. Keep in mind, excessive stimulants intake is a common cause of adrenal fatigue. If you are a coffee lover and need help to stop or reduce your intake, see our guide for How to stop drinking coffee.
- Alcohol. May also increase cortisol and have a negative effect on the adrenals and HPA axis. With that said, If you find that drinking one glass of red wine before bedtime helps you to sleep, then you can continue.
- Fresh colorful greens, vegetables and fruits. Due to their high phytonutrients and antioxidants content, you really can’t go wrong with eating more of these. Especially, since most people do not eat enough plants. On that note, to avoid common pesticides in produce that can contribute to stress, aim for organic non-GMO plants. Especially, if you eat the dirty dozens.
- Clean unprocessed proteins. Good sources of animal proteins include: grass fed beef or bison, pasture-raised free-range chickens or turkey. Vegan sources include sprouted legumes, beans and seeds. In particular: pumpkin, hemp, and sunflower seeds.
- Omega 3 foods. Wild caught small fish such as alaskan salmon are excellent sources of the important anti-inflammatory EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids, in addition to their high protein content. Limit all fish to 2-3 times a week to minimize mercury exposure, though.
Vegan omega 3 foods include walnuts, flax, chia and hemp seeds. Note that while these are also high in omega 3, this form of omega 3 (ALA) does not convert well to EPA and DHA. So, vegans and vegetarians may want to consider getting these from algae based supplements.
- Pasture-raised free-range eggs. Forget about eating just the egg whites. Eat the entire egg. The egg yolk is a powerhouse of many vitamins and minerals. Also here, quality matters. So, stay away from commercial eggs, and stick with pasture-raised free-range eggs.
- Healthy essential fats from whole plants. Look for fresh avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and olives.
- Healthy oils. In particular: cold pressed olive oil. Do not heat the oil, though. If you want to use oil for cooking, coconut oil makes a much better choice as it is more stable in high heat. Stay away from other refined oils, as they may increase inflammation.
- Herbs for Energy: Natural Clean Boost without Stimulants
- A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide.[ref]
- Anti-stress Activity of Ocimum sanctum: Possible Effects on Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis.[ref]
- Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.[ref]
- Therapeutic Uses of Magnesium.[ref]
- Magnesium and stress.[ref]
- Magnesium and stress.[ref]
- The Effects of Multivitamin Supplementation on Diurnal Cortisol Secretion and Perceived Stress.[ref]
- Vitamin C: an essential “stress hormone” during sepsis.[ref]
- Vitamin C is an important cofactor for both adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla.[ref]
- Vitamin D deficiency.[ref]
- Effects of Alcohol on the Endocrine System.[ref]
- The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health.[ref]