9 SUPPLEMENTS TO REDUCE STRESS (ESPECIALLY NOW)
By Stephen Sheehan
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy
Work has been upended. You’re staying indoors. You’re stressed about the consequence of breaking an invisible 6-foot social proximity bubble. Now is a good a time as ever for self-care that helps you relax. Make sure you’re getting quality sleep, exercising and eating a balanced diet. But if you need something more, certain vitamins and supplements for stress can help you keep your cool and feel more resilient. Here are our best picks to get an extra dose of calm.
9 SUPPLEMENTS FOR STRESS RELIEF
This supplement is a building block for major brain chemicals. L-tyrosine is a precursor to some of the most important neurotransmitters in your brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenaline. Take l-tyrosine to improve your focus with tasks that demand mental endurance.
If you drink green tea, you’ve felt the calming effects of l-theanine. This compound is a natural component of tea leaves that encourages relaxation and mental focus. When l-theanine combines with caffeine, it increases your mental recall and reduces mental fatigue. Think of it as just another reason to enjoy a cup of green tea.
If you’re looking for something that gives you that same relaxed feeling as a glass of wine or a cocktail, try kava. A Cochrane review found that kavalactones, the active compounds in kava, significantly reduced anxiety levels without the side effects or risk of addiction that comes with medication. Kava is available as a tea, powder, capsule or tincture.
4. MAGNESIUM CITRATE
Magnesium is a mineral that wins MVP status. It’s involved in everything from synthesizing proteins to regulating blood sugar and controlling neurons. A specific type of magnesium, magnesium citrate, has been found to promote mental and muscle relaxation. It also reduces the muscle cramping that can happen at night. Add a magnesium citrate supplement to your routine to feel more relaxed and sleep better at night, among other benefits.
Rhodiola is an herb that grows at high altitudes or in the northern latitudes. It’s an adaptogen — a natural substance with properties that help the body adapt to stress.
Multiple studies show that rhodiola reduced fatigue after a span of two weeks to 28 days. Some participants also felt an improvement in their overall wellbeing. More research is needed to confirm the results. People who take rhodiola experience very few side effects, making this a low-risk addition to your anti-stress regimen.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb native to north Africa and India. It has reddish orange fruits and roots that have been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. This adaptogen has been shown to help balance the relationship between your hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands, also called the HPA axis. In animal models, it prevents stress-induced vitamin C depletion in the adrenal glands. Learn more about the benefits of vitamin C.
7. HOLY BASIL
Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is another Ayurvedic herb with thousands of years of use behind it — and science is starting to confirm its benefits. Studies have found that holy basil effectively reduced nervousness and correlated stress.
Another study found it provided a 39% improvement in general stress symptoms compared to placebo. Also, participants reported no adverse effects over the six-week study period, making this another low-risk supplement for stress to add to your regimen.
This ancient spice comes from the stamen of the crocus flower and has been added to dishes for thousands of years. Saffron extract has been clinically proven to support your mood. In a trial of 60 people, saffron was shown to have a significant effect on mood versus those given a placebo.
To get it naturally, integrate saffron into your meals. Try this paleo Poached Cod in Tomato Broth recipe. It’s packed with healthy macros and is seasoned to perfection with nutrient-rich herbs, including saffron. Be sure to wear an apron because this reddish spice leaves permanent stains.
Bulletproof Zen Mode contains saffron, plus other calm-inducing ingredients on this list. Keep reading to learn why you want to add this supplement to your daily routine.
9. ZEN MODE
This drug-free mood support supplement quickly elevates you to a new level of calm. With a combo of time-tested and clinically-studied herbal remedies and powerful neuro-nutrients, Zen Mode supports your body’s own built-in stress-busting systems to help reduce stress.
The key ingredients are:
- Magnesium, which plays a crucial role in mood and sleep
- 5-HTP, which supports your levels of mood-lifting neurotransmitter serotonin
- Vitamin B6, which is a crucial cofactor in synthesizing key neurotransmitters including serotonin and GABA
The best part: Zen Mode is back in stock and better than ever with a new and improved capsule. Shop Bulletproof Zen Mode now.
While self-isolating, take care of yourself. Exercise, diet, and sleep will help keep your stress in check, and supplements fill in the gaps to help you find new levels of calm. For more ideas, check out these 19 self-care ideas to stay healthy and feel great.