Life is often a whirlwind, whether it’s juggling family duties or meeting tight deadlines. It’s no surprise we turn to coffee for that much-needed morning boost or to power through the afternoon. What if there was a way to elevate these energizing moments, whilst harmonising our physical and mental well-being?
Luckily, there is – and it’s called adaptogenic coffee. This dynamic combination of adaptogens and coffee is skyrocketing in popularity. While ‘adaptogens’ sound like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, they’re actually powerful, all-natural substances derived from plants and mushrooms that help us manage stress in the mind and body. They’re like our own personal cheerleaders, whispering, ‘You’ve got this!’.
Caffeine, on the other hand, is a familiar friend. The UK, on average, drinks around 95 million cups of coffee per day. Caffeine is the reason why our morning brew packs an energetic punch, helping us stay awake, focus on tasks and give us a nudge in the right direction.
Why do adaptogens and caffeine work so well together? What’s so powerful about this synergy? In this blog, we’ll explore how these two seemingly different players harmonise in the right places, potentially offering benefits that go beyond your latte or double espresso.
What are adaptogens?
First things first, let’s cover the basics: what exactly are adaptogens?
Simply put, adaptogens are plants, herbs and mushrooms that help the body and mind adapt to stress. Humans have enjoyed the benefits of these powerful substances for thousands of years, and they’re known to help the body achieve homeostasis so we’re functioning at our best.
Homeostasis refers to the body’s built-in ability to remain in a stable internal environment despite any external changes. Whether it’s body temperature or blood sugar levels, this process targets a variety of physiological systems to ensure the body is working properly.
Adaptogens are known to work with various systems in the body, helping regulate and balance our stress hormones. Whether it’s for sleep, focus, energy or immune support, adaptogens are nature’s best stress-relievers — targeting the systems in desperate need of balance.
Why mix adaptogens with caffeine?
We all know the benefits of caffeine. While the human response to caffeine can vary depending on our caffeine tolerance and sensitivity, it’s believed that low to moderate doses (50-300mg) per day can boost our alertness and attention, giving us a well-needed mental lift for the day ahead.
But what happens when you mix it with adaptogens? For us at London Nootropics, drinking an adaptogenic cup of coffee can take your wellness routine to the next level. It’s like blending it with a touch of ancient wisdom and modern science to help you live, work and play well.
For example, one placebo-controlled, double-blinded study exemplified this. A random selection of participants was chosen to drink a caffeine-containing, adaptogenic natural energy shot, while others drank straight caffeine or a placebo The results suggested that the combination of adaptogens — including Rhodiola rosea which we have in our Flow blend — in the energy shot might influence the neurocognitive effects of caffeine on people’s mood and thinking abilities.
So, what exactly are these neurocognitive effects? How might someone feel when they drink a cup of adaptogenic coffee, compared to consuming caffeine on its own?
1. Adaptogenic coffee doesn’t result in a crash
While caffeine has a bunch of bountiful benefits, one potential drawback is what’s called the “spike and crash” phenomenon. Have you ever drunk a cup of coffee and then felt groggier than before? This is because caffeine is absorbed quickly when consumed on its own.
Caffeine takes around 30-60 minutes to reach peak levels in the blood. Once this drops, most people feel the need to fix themselves another coffee to reach the same peak, increasing our tolerance. But this exacerbates side effects, such as anxiety, making people feel worse.
However, when you mix adaptogens with caffeine, you can expect sustained energy levels. For example, adaptogens such as Cordyceps mushrooms are known for their impressive abilities to support adrenal health and boost ATP, our energy molecule, potentially mitigating the crash associated with caffeine.
When the body experiences prolonged periods of excessive adrenaline, like in a condition called Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, Cordyceps can play a part in restoring the body to a natural state of balance. In fact, research suggests that this potent mushroom can improve physical endurance and boost energy levels, as seen with Chinese female runners at the 1993 National Games!
Our customers often report reducing from 4-5 regular cups of coffee in a day to needing just 1-2 adaptogenic coffees!💪
“I’ve been seeing an improvement in my long-distance swimming endurance since starting this coffee. Tastes good, too!” — Becky S.
2. Adaptogenic coffee reduces a spike in cortisol
It’s no secret that caffeine can cause a spike in the stress hormone cortisol. For people who are more susceptible to stress or more sensitive to caffeine, drinking coffee may lead to side effects such as heart palpitations, restlessness and anxiety — even with the smallest amounts.
This is because caffeine has the ability to increase heart rate and blood pressure, making you jittery and tense. And since coffee is regularly consumed in the workplace to fire up employees’ brains, feeling on edge as you sit still at your desk is pretty counterproductive.
If you frequently experience anxiety, jitters or even insomnia, adaptogens such as Ashwagandha might just be your saviour. Ashwagandha, is an ayurvedic adaptogenic root extract, with a history spanning over 2,500 years. It’s known to bring about a profound state of tranquillity by balancing cortisol levels in the body.
In fact, in a study where a placebo was compared, ashwagandha emerged as a champion in lowering stress levels and enhancing participants’ overall quality of life. Additionally, another study showcased its ability to promote better sleep, which we all know can improve our mental health. After all, sleep is a mandatory part of life that rejuvenates us physiologically, biochemically, and at the cellular and molecular level as well.
“London Nootropics’ coffee tastes so clean, and the additional nootropic ingredients really make a difference. I love the Zen one, it definitely gives me a nice calm focus and clarity of mind.” — Sam T.
3. Adaptogenic coffee helps to enhance focus
While regular coffee is known for its ability to improve focus and concentration, there are adaptogens that may also achieve the same desired effect — without the potential side effects and with long-term benefits. Take Lion’s Mane mushroom, for example, an ancient medicinal mushroom known to have neuroprotective properties.
We add this fungi to our Flow blend, designed for mental clarity and focus, as it can be beneficial to supporting memory, focus and concentration. For example, one notable study conducted under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions found that participants with mild cognitive impairment experienced improved attention and cognitive function.
“I’ve tried all of London Nootropics’ coffee; I’ve bought two boxes of Flow coffee and I feel like they are definitely cleaning my brain fog and helping my memory!” — Alison K.
Where to buy adaptogenic coffee
At London Nootropics, we’re on a mission to help you effortlessly add the highest-quality adaptogen extracts rich in active compounds to your daily diet deliciously and conveniently.
All our blends have around 80-110mg of caffeine, which is like the caffeine in a regular cup of coffee. The key difference is that we’ve added an effective amount of premium adaptogen extracts to these blends to help you perform at your best and find your flow – we list the active compounds of every batch on our website.
Our adaptogenic coffee blends are an instant barista-style powder, and you can conveniently carry them in single-serve sachets — perfect for an adaptogenic boost at work, travelling or whenever you’re on the go – whilst also containing 6% ground coffee for a delicious flavour.
When you need a physical boost, endurance, and immune support, go for Mojo with cordyceps and ginseng. For emotional balance and calmness, choose Zen, combining CBD and Ashwagandha. And if you want to clear brain fog, enhance cognitive performance, and increase productivity, give our Flow blend a try with Lion’s Mane and Rhodiola.
Need some reassurance? Read customer reviews for our adaptogenic coffee blends!
Our vision is to make the highest-quality adaptogens easily accessible, convenient & delicious, helping more people benefit from their balancing properties and find their flow.