If we’re looking at athleticism we can break this down into a number of different focuses.
- Increased Energy
- Better Recovery
- Hormonal Support
- Increased Qualities of Athleticism (Strength, Flexibility, etc.)
Your diet is going to come into play on every single one of these. In addition to moving towards a natural diet and away from processed foods you’ll want to figure out what sort of food works best for you. Although everyone thinks in terms of carbs for energy, personally I do well with a higher fat diet than most. You can read more about that here.
You also need an adequate or even optimal supply of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. Something like pine pollen is a good place to start, though all herbs will be supply some of these.
Let’s look at each one of these in turn.
Table of Contents
#1 Increased Energy and Endurance
You need to have enough energy to workout in the first place, and of course you need energy to keep going in your training too. So this is probably the most obvious place to start.
Ant Extract – This is one herb that people tend to feel more so than others. It tends to give usable energy basically right away.
Pine Pollen – probably because of all the micro-nutrients, but possibly also hormonal, many people report greater energy when on pine pollen.
Shilajit – As the “conqueror of mountains”, it helps mitigate fatigue and supports the mitochondria to produce more ATP.
Cordyceps – Improves work output, alleviates fatigue, works on the Lungs, and more.
Eleuthero – Anti-fatigue and adaptogen, this was used by most Russian athletes for many years.
Rhodiola – Anti-fatigue and adaptogen, very similar to eleuthero in its effects.
#2 Better Recovery
While training is important, if you can’t recover from what you do, you won’t get the benefit. In fact, recovery is probably the more important piece of the puzzle when looking at how herbs can help you.
Maral Root – Probably my #1 herb for recovery. Russian research showed increased recovery, including increasing work capacity, muscle mass, stress reduction and more.
He Shou Wu – As a Yin Jing herb, and one of the best of them, he shou wu would also be useful to use for added recovery.
All of the adaptogen class of herbs can help here. They help your body to better adapt. Therefore, if you’re doing any sort of training they can help you adapt to it, and that means your recovery will improve.
#3 Hormonal Support
This could be considered a subset of the above, or possibly a higher order class. That’s because if your hormones are working well you’ll recover better, have better energy, and just plain perform better in your training or sport.
#4 Increased Qualities of Athleticism (Strength, Flexibility, Coordination etc.)
Here it depends on what you’re specifically going for. Let’s break this down further into each one.
Guduchi and Shilajit are both said to increase strength.
Yang Jing herbs like Cistanche and Tongkat Ali, probably due to their hormonal benefits, are also good candidates for this action.
Its hard to say if herbs will directly increase strength like on a deadlift. Instead I more think that they will help you to do the training so that you get stronger.
Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have anything specific to this…yet. We are investigating and experimenting with a few options like Cissus, Eucommia Bark and more.
Various herbal liniments are often rubbed on areas to aid in flexibility. Another one that I’ve heard of that works is Proteolytic Enzymes, which can eat up scar tissue that can hinder your flexibility.
Athleticism isn’t all about the physical. It’s mental too. Coordination can be thought of as the junction of the two. Thus, any of the mental supporting herbs could possibly help here.
Schisandra – As an adaptogen, for me anyway, I feel this one a little more mentally. It aids in concentration and focus.
Does this stuff actually work? Just ask are several sponsored martial arts athlete’s and others that engage in all manners of training.
If you want a bundle of our products to include all of the above you can try this.
- Pine Pollen Megadose – A good dose of pine pollen each day will provide lots of basic micronutrients in addition to the androgenic support
- Spartan Broad Spectrum Adaptogen Formula – Why use just one adaptogen when you can have four? This blend brings you the slightly different benefits of cordyceps, eleuthero, rhodiola and schisandra. This means greater energy, less fatigue, greater recovery and work capacity.
- Hercules Pre-Workout Formula – Get amped up for your workouts with Ant, Cistanche and Maral Root (which will also aid in recovery too).
- Shilajit Resin – Taking shilajit along with anything else potentiates its effects. And as the Destroyer of Weakness it belongs in an athlete pack by itself. Great for energy and endurance.
Sure, we could add more, but I think this combination gives you everything above, and then some, and without going overboard on it either. Feel free to make your own custom combination.