2022’s Hot New Ingredients to Add to your Fitness Routine
Using nutritional supplements can have you reach your goals faster by providing dense, optimally formulated nutrients. If you are ready to expand your world of supplemental support, we want to tell you about mushrooms (medicinal, not magic!), nootropics, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Here is the rundown on these emerging products.
Nootropic is a general term referring to a broad class of natural or synthetic compounds that positively impact brain health and function. They are a neuroprotective or neuro-enhancing supplement used to prevent cognitive decline as you age and increase concentration and mental stamina as you strive to keep up with the demands of a busy workplace. Nootropics can include supplements that improve cognitive function, like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, D, and B12.
Now that you understand what nootropics are, let’s get into some specific supplements.
Surprisingly, many cultures like Vikings, Chinese, and Europeans have used mushrooms as medicine for thousands of years. Mushroom supplements typically come in powder or tincture form, and there are many different varieties with various benefits.
Reishi mushroom functions as an adaptogenic, helping the body cope with stress and boosting the immune system. It also supports a healthy sleep cycle because of its calming effect and decreases inflammation.
Lion’s Mane gets its name from its soft, almost fluffy-looking appearance. This fungus is a nootropic because it improves mental clarity, memory, focus and protects against neurodegenerative diseases. It can also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression and supports a healthy gut microbiome.
Chaga is a reasonably popular mushroom; the fungus is a dark brown rust colour that grows primarily on birch trees in colder climates. Chaga is known for its longevity effects due to its high antioxidant content, protection against oxidative stress, and ability to slow the cellular aging process. It also decreases inflammation, boosts immunity, and may help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.
Cordyceps is a mushroom supplement for energy. It stabilizes stress and energy levels and boosts cellular energy by increasing the availability of oxygen in the body. It may also enhance athletic performance by increasing endurance, stamina, adrenal function, and as a bonus, a healthy libido. There are cordyceps coffee powders you can enjoy post-workout to help increase muscle recovery.
Turkey tail gets its name from looking like a broad, fanned-out turkey’s tail with different coloured stripes. This mushroom is known for its powerful immune support. It contains prebiotic compounds for a balance of healthy gut bacteria and antioxidants for cellular protection.
If you consume mushroom supplements, make sure they are sustainably produced, collected, and manufactured in a quality control environment with Health Canada approval.
Terpenes are naturally occurring plant compounds present in almost all plants and give plants their scents. They are the primary constituent of essential oils; for example, linalool is the terpene in lavender, providing sedative, anxiety-reducing and pain-relieving benefits.
Examples of terpenes include:
- Humulene is found in ginseng and is known for its energizing effects.
- Beta-pinene is found in coniferous trees and can have an antidepressant effect – can you smell that thick evergreen forest now?
Depending on the scent, it can help you sleep, boost your energy, relax, or when applied as a topical ointment, like peppermint, it can temporarily reduce pain from muscle soreness.
Ok, we are about to hit you with some knowledge about cannabinoids, and we’re going to start by explaining a system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS maintains homeostasis or optimal balance in the body by sending messages between the brain and the body, controlling how they react to stimuli. The endocannabinoid system regulates appetite, pain-sensation, mood, memory, sleep, pleasure, cognition, and more.
When something is out of balance, the body produces endocannabinoids which bind to cannabinoid receptor sites acting as a message translator system to bring the body back into balance.
The ECS can be stimulated naturally by eating endocannabinoid-enhancing foods such as hemp, flax, chia seeds, walnuts, chocolate, herbs such as cinnamon, cloves, and lemon balm, and turmeric.
The THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) component of cannabis binds to the cannabinoid receptor sites creating a feeling of bliss and calm. THC overwhelms the endocannabinoid system creating an amplified effect of what occurs naturally in the body. Cannabinoid supplements such as cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD) can also stimulate the ECS. Other cannabinoids like CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene), and CBN (cannabinol) are emerging because, compared to THC and CBD, they have fewer regulatory requirements.
As with all new things, it can seem overwhelming at first. So, if you’re ready to dive into a new world of supplements, start with one item here that piques your interest. Try an afternoon cup of cordyceps coffee or use lavender essential oil to help you relax after an intense workout. Open your mind to a hot new ingredient.
Visit us in store, have a chat with one of our experts! We can also be reached on Facebook and Instagram. Now it’s your turn to tell us, how do you keep your exercise routine going? Be sure to tag us! We are #ReflexNation.