I admit. I was one of those types of people that cared only about lifting heavy and drinking protein shakes. The thought of doing anything else made no sense to me what so ever. Over the years, you meet people, you read things, you hear stuff and you realize that what you know of the fitness world is barely a drop in an ocean. Trust me when I say what you know about fitness right now, is nothing compared to what’s out there. I was like that. We all were at some point. We’re so focused on supplements and exercising, hitting our macros or so on we overlook the basic needs of our bodies to function and to improve. All of us know how much our daily protein intake should be, but none of us know our daily vitamin and mineral needs are. Same thing goes for our nature! How many of you have ever stopped and thought about herbs? Herbal supplements? Even though we are not aware, herbal supplements are spread throughout the fitness industry. Herbs are one of the oldest supplements. Before there were protein powders, your creatine and your BCAA’s there were herbs. Used to fuel up, heal and treat the ancient warriors, athletes and so. Whether for medicinal purposes or general health purposes nowadays herbs are known around the world. Not so popular in the fitness world though. That should change. I’m going to share with you my personal experiences with herbs or herbal supplements and how they helped me improve my fitness status and my general health.
1. GREEN TEA
If you tell me you’ve never heard of it, you’re lying. Green tea is one of the most popular herbs not just in the fitness industry. It is used to help with metabolism, body functioning, may reduce the chance of cancer, heart diseases and cardiovascular disease, and it is known as a fat-burner. I honestly didn’t buy this. I used to look down on people who drank tea and expected to lose weight. But then time flew by, and I remember I started to try and lose some fat for the summer. And I cut back on my calories and it went pretty well until some point where I was not seeing results and if I cut anymore calories I would basically be eating air and boiled chicken. So I started reading up articles and watching vlogs of bodybuilders and noticed one thing, they all drank green tea! And they weren’t even trying to lose weight. So I decided to give it a go. After two weeks or so I started to see some fat loss but my scale numbers did not move. After a month you could nearly see a six-pack! I also noticed a performance update, meaning I could lift as much as I normally would but while on a diet.
Eleuthero or Siberian ginseng is one of the effective herbs on the planet. It is used for purposes such as reducing stress, improving memory, clear mind and is often used as an energy boost. This might sound funny but I found out this herb from my grandmother. She was an herb fanatic and often used to make teas out of herbs. She told me that eleuthero is often used as a caffeine replacement. So I decided to give it a go.
I started drinking it before workouts. The first week I noticed changes. Not only was I more relaxed throughout the days, worrying less about school (I was in school back then) I used to have more energy and a bigger will to go to the gym. Even after school hours, I used to carry a bottle with tea from home and drink it in class, even after school hours I still had energy and actually go to the gym and have a pretty good workout!
Well known herb, used for increasing strength, stamina, endurance, protecting the body from mental or physical stress and also improving cardiovascular system. A great herb for someone who is struggling with those long walks and easily gets fatigued with cardio based exercises. I used it myself when I was getting ready for my “Ranger” school boot camp selection. I was so used to pumping iron my cardiovascular endurance was left way behind! It helped me get through those baby runs the first few weeks until I could start doing some serious running.
4. TRIBULUS TERRESTERIS
Or what I like to call, the muscle building herb. Tribulus terresteris is an herb used for lowering blood pressure, protecting your heart, improving your immune system and blood circulation, reducing stress and is a natural testosterone booster ergo the muscle building herb. For those of you who don’t know testosterone is the primary male hormone. It’s crucial when it comes down to muscle growth. A few years ago I was experiencing low T symptoms due to too much stressing and getting not enough sleep. I red numerous of articles and medicine experts reviews on how to boost my testosterone levels naturally. Tribulus terresteris was one of them. After maybe two months, this herb along with other natural products (foods, special exercises and so on) helped me return my testosterone levels back to normal. I never looked back since then.
This herb is a resemblance to the green tea. Most often considered as just a flower, not realizing it is one of the most powerful herbs. Used for improving our digestive system, liver and kidney protection, boosting our immune system, lowering blood pressure and preventing diseases. It also is rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene, fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin C and more. Me personally, I like to use different kinds of herbs. So I’ll use the green tea then switch to another herb that has similar functions in the body. I have used Dandelion to improve my digestion system and to help me shred that extra body fat, usually after I come from a vacation. Especially, since you can’t resist those vacation sweet dessert calories.
WARNING: Please consult a medical expert before using them. Do not use more than recommended.