By: Tanya Flink
There’s no denying the energizing powers of espresso, but most of us can’t rely on an afternoon latte to get us through the day without messing with our sleep schedule. Caffeine can also send us into a jittery, unfocused spiral of unconcentrated energy—which is almost as bad for our productivity as our pre-coffee lethargic state. For sustained, focused energy throughout the day, there are a few essential herbs that are key. When blended into our morning smoothie or sprinkled into a soothing cup of cocoa, these natural energizers keep us alert and focused. At Mab & Stoke, we customize and design your herb experience for you based on your needs. For those who crave more energy, these herbs (which you’ll find in many of our personalized blends) can help you enjoy a new state of heightened energy, letting you tackle your most demanding days.
1. Adaptogenic Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is one of the essential herbs of the Indian Ayurvedic practice of medicine and healing. As a revered adaptogen, it can help restore balance in your body—offering different effects depending on what your body needs. Ashwagandha is relied upon to mellow you out and build stamina, which means you won’t put yourself at risk for those one-too-many-shots-of-espresso jitters. Over time, you can expect to feel fresh, alive, and equipped to handle stressors without stressing out.
How to use it: For stress resilience and go-all-day energy, get your daily dose of this do-it-all adaptogen in your Mab Tab, or mix ashwagandha powder into your morning smoothie. Remember that for optimal results with any adaptogen, daily use is key.
2. Mood-Boosting Maca
Not to be confused with matcha, maca is a root that smells like butterscotch. You’ll typically find it ground into powder form and infused into foods such as chocolate, nut butters, and smoothies. Herbal healers rely on maca for a number of ailments—from depression to menstrual issues—but an otherwise healthy person can also benefit from its energy-giving properties. Bonus: maca has also been seen to revive sexual desire in men (turns out this superfood can do so much more than stave off the lull at work).
How to use it: Swirl a spoonful of maca powder into your habitual bowl of oats to rev up your mornings or make chocolatey maca truffles for a mid-afternoon productivity boost.
3. Focus-Enhancing Asian Ginseng
Yes, there are different types of ginseng. The Asian variety is derived from a root and crushed into a powder—due to the taste, you definitely would not want to gnaw on this raw. Chinese medicine practitioners have been using the multi-purpose benefits of Asian ginseng to improve physical stamina and concentration. You know when you’re physically present but your mind is gone? Ginseng can help you be present in all definitions of the word.
How to use it: Ancient practitioners served ginseng in a tonic form, which has translated into the modern-day energy drink. In addition to the incredible benefits you’ll get from your customized Mab Tab, look for natural herb energy-boosting beverages, or seek out herbal ginseng teas.
4. Go-All-Day Green Tea
Don’t mistake green tea for being caffeine-free. While it contains less caffeine than black teas, it can still keep you awake. Unlike coffee, green tea delivers a steady stream of stamina to keep you alert but calm. It’s also packed with antioxidants and amino acids, including L-theanine, which may improve concentration. For the person who loves to have a warm cup of something to sip on all day, green tea can provide that simple comfort without leaving you bouncing off the walls.
How to use it: Aside from the benefits you’ll get from your Mab Tab, you might want to brew yourself two to three cups of green tea a day and try to drink it straight, if you can. Just don’t add your tea bag to boiling water, as it will burn the tea leaves and give off a bitter taste. If you think you don’t like green tea, it’s likely the tea just wasn’t prepared right. Give it another shot by using warm-to-hot water for your next tea infusion.
5. Superfood Chaga and Cordyceps
While we wouldn’t recommend sautéeing these shrooms for a veggie stir-fry, we highly advise enjoying them via tonic or vegan hot chocolate form. Known for their energy-stimulating properties and superfood status, both chaga and cordyceps mushrooms pack in a medley of micronutrients—from B vitamins to zinc, iron, and magnesium—and are often used by athletes for a pre-workout fix. They also contain a plethora of antioxidants to strengthen your immunity—and when we feel healthy, it’s a lot easier to keep our energy up.
How to use it: Swap your go-to brew for a bag of mushroom coffee. Available in both grounds and single-serving packets, mushroom coffees and elixirs contain a combination of chaga and cordyceps to deliver a get-up-and-go boost to last you all day (and night) long. And be sure to get your customized Mab Tab today.
Tanya Flink is a writer, runner, and content manager living in Orange County, CA.