The world of nutrition seems like it has a new secret booster or health fad every week, but Ginseng has been validated for ages. Ginseng extract has been used for healing purposes for centuries, and many are still unaware of the significant benefits it brings. This little extract is derived from the ginseng root and has benefits that are great for fueling your body properly and helping with preventative wellness.
Specifically, ATAQ Fuel uses ginseng extract in some of our products including some booster shots and energy bars for a quick mid-race snack or a fast recovery with great-tasting nutrition.
Ginseng was originally used as an herbal medicine in ancient China. There are written records about its properties dating back to about 100 A.D. Traditional Chinese medical literature is an important resource for understanding the usage of ginseng because all proponents of ginseng refer to its long history of using it as a health product.
What is Ginseng?
Ginseng is an adaptogen, a type of non-toxic plant that helps your body adapt to and deal with stress. Ginseng extract is known to be one of the most popular adaptogens in the health community. It has shown to stimulate properties that help counteract harmful effects of stress on the body, including damage to the neurological, endocrine and immune systems. Particularly, ginseng extract is commonly celebrated for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Both American ginseng and Asian ginseng are shown to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation and even treat diabetes! Ginseng can be classified as white ginseng (WG) or red ginseng (RG), according to the conditions it is processed.
It is important to know that there are three key requirements for a plant, such as ginseng, to qualify as an adaptogen:
- It’s non-toxic, safe for long-term use, and is non-habit forming.
- It produces a response in your body, helping a variety of bodily systems defend against physical, chemical and biological stressors.
- It brings balance to your body and helps to relax body functions.
Popular Types Of Ginseng
Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng)
Asian ginseng is also commonly referred to as Korean ginseng, it is considered a “true” ginseng because it contains ginsenosides which are the active constituents of this root. This type of ginseng has a warming and stimulating effect. The benefits of this type are shown to increase physical endurance and reduce fatigue to improve the body’s coping mechanisms for stress.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
American ginseng has a different chemical makeup from Asian ginseng but still considered true ginseng. This type of ginseng is considered a cooler and less stimulating extract than the Asian ginseng. This ginseng as a dietary supplement is most suitable for young and middle-aged people and encouraged for long-term use. American ginseng is commonly known to balance blood pressure, blood sugar and boosts the immune system.
Do not confuse ginseng extract with Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and Indian ginseng (Withania somnifera) because, despite the name, they do not contain the ginsenosides that American and Asian ginseng contain. Siberian ginseng does not contain ginsenoside, but instead is rich in eleutherosides which provide adaptogenic effects such as improving mental and physical performance in stressful situations. Indian ginseng, also known as Ashwaganda, contains different properties as the ginseng root but is known to help increase one’s resistance to stress and used traditionally as a healing tonic.
Why Consuming Ginseng Matters
The benefits of ginseng extract come from the consumption of high-quality ginseng extract. The primary active component that makes ginseng so valuable is called Ginsenoside. Below are a few reasons to make sure you fit ginseng into your diet.
- Stress relief and relaxation: Ginseng acts as a natural metabolic regulator that helps your body adapt and cope with stress, keeping you relaxed after a hard workout.
- Heightened concentration: It helps keep a relaxed state of mind and clear cognitive functions.
What makes this special extract give you an energy boost? Ginsenosides! They are the natural pesticides that protect the ginseng plant from pests, and also from the stresses of our daily life. This is because when we take ginseng it acts on the brain to normalize the function of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, which can be disrupted by stress. Once we balance ourselves back out, our adrenal glands will produce just the right amount of cortisol to keep us alert and focused, rather than sluggish and irritable. This is because ginseng can help regulate the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. When we are stressed, our adrenal glands may produce too much cortisol (which can leave us unable to relax and sleep) or too little cortisol (which can leave us tired and lacking in energy). Taking ginseng in your regular diet or for recovery can relieve symptoms of fatigue in everyone.
Ginseng boosts immunity by stimulating white blood cell activity, research suggests a daily dose could help reduce the symptoms of the common cold.
Power Up Your Brain
Ginseng can boost mood and mental performance. A study was conducted for people who ingest ginseng on a regular basis and found that ginseng users experienced better results on mental arithmetic tests. This is likely because ginseng has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help cognitive function.
Have a happy heart! Ginseng is known to lower blood pressure, protect against heart failure and help maintain healthy cholesterol by enhancing circulation and regulating blood lipids (fats).
Should You Take Ginseng Every Day?
If you choose to take a ginseng supplement, daily doses of one to two grams of raw ginseng root or 200 to 400 milligrams of the extract are suggested. It is best to start with lower doses and increase over time. Consume the extract before meals to increase absorption and get the full benefits.
Who Should Not Take Ginseng?
There have been some reports of allergic reactions to ginseng. Because ginseng may affect blood sugar levels, people taking medications for diabetes should not use ginseng without talking to their doctor first. However, ginseng added to drinks or food products in the right amount is safe for everyday consumption.
Overall, ginseng has great benefits for individuals who want to improve their health.
Fueling yourself properly is crucial for anyone, especially those who have an active lifestyle. ATAQ Fuel is based on natural sports nutrition, simple and effective products to replenish your body. To try ginseng today check out the booster shots or raw energy bars.