In this age of technology where people have access to any answer at their fingertips, literally, you’d think people would be more relaxed than ever, unfortunately this isn’t always the case and a relaxation stack is sometimes the answer. Think about it for a second – before the age of Google, how many books would you have had to read, or people would you have had to ask before finding an answer about supplements to help you relax? Yet, with information as readily available as it is, we’re stressed like never before [1]. It impairs our day to day lives, including our ability to think at our best [2], and our inability to relax causes more stress, which compounds the affects, leading to more stress, and, well, you get that it’s a vicious cycle. Fortunately, the ultimate relaxation stack combines some powerful ingredients: Ashwagandha extract, Theanine supplement, and Rhodiola supplement, each of which has been proven repeatedly in studies to reduce both the symptoms of stress and their impacts on the body. Together, the synergistic effect of these compounds is the perfect mix of relaxation and stress relief that you need in today’s world.


Ashwagandha extract is a popular Ayurvedic treatment used for a wide variety of ailments. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which are compounds that prevent the stress response in the body. Thus it is clear why Ashwagandha is popular with those looking to unwind and is why its included in many relaxation stacks. Studies have proven Ashwagandha extract to be effective at reducing anxiety associated with chronic stress, and to be much more beneficial when it comes to social anxiety than other anxiolytics [3]. Ashwagandha extract’s anxiety relieving effects are likely due to a GABAergic mechanism, acting through GABAA receptors to cause sedative effects, which is another reason it makes for a very effective calming agent. Some great benefits in addition to the anxiolytic effects of this adaptogen are increases in motivation among participants, and in other studies Ashwagandha extract has been shown to decrease fatigue [3] as well as increase feelings of wellness [4].


L-theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green tea (it’s a nonprotein amino) and the recipient of many, many hours of research – most centered around theanine’s ability to reduce stress.L theanine is a strong contender when it comes to relaxation stacks and is used often to complete the other components. In one study looking into just that, two mice were placed into housing separated by a partition. As with most living beings, the mice were fine when they had an equal share of everything; however, once the researchers removed the partition, they created a hostile and stressful environment. They then studied the changes in their adrenal glands as markers for stress response, noting significant adrenal enlargement and increased glucocorticoid secretion as a result. The secretion of glucocorticoids is a classic endocrine response to stress. Then they had the mice ingest theanine and discovered a greatly reduced stress response, indicating that a theanine supplement can help out in relieving psychosocial stress [5] – a type of stress experienced when there is a perceived threat in your life, real or imagined, and you feel you don’t have the resources to handle it. If this situation sounded like every bad room-mate/coworker situation you’ve ever known, that’s exactly what psychosocial stress is. Along with the reduction in stress response to social factors, theanine supplement staved off symptoms of mood disorders [5], and it makes sense since it has been shown to increase neurotransmitters in the brain related to relaxation, such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, without increasing sleepiness [6]. Theanine supplementation also has the ability to promote the release of alpha waves in the brain [7] – brainwaves (between 8-12 Hz) associated with a state of wakeful relaxation and concentration. If it isn’t clear why that aspect of a quality theanine supplement can have a huge impact on your life, consider for a second that another way of entering alpha mind is meditation. That takes time and practice (and dedication) to achieve. Theanine takes about thirty minutes while you go about your day. I’d say it has meditation beat when it comes to convenience. Have you ever tried to actively center yourself while working or running errands? That’s how you end up walking into poles. Of course, adding a theanine supplement to your meditation can help you achieve levels recently thought unattainable, so, by all means, use both.


The third compound in this stack is Rhodiola, a supplement traditionally used as an anti-fatigue agent and as an adaptogen compound. Like Ashwagandha extract, it is a cocktail of several compounds, and they each have a lot to offer, but stress management is where Rhodiola supplements really seems to shine, by upregulating Neuropeptide Y [8]. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a brain molecule which helps to restore calm after stressful events, and people that produce low levels of NPY are more responsive to negative stimuli [9]. Remember, also like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola is an adaptogen, and that means it makes the body adapt. The stimulation of NPY not only makes you feel calm and relaxed, but also increases your ability to handle stress [10]. Today’s competitive and stressful environment has many people on edge looking for a solution to their anxiety. If you are a busy professional, a stressed out student, or just looking for a way to relax, then this ultimate relaxation stack is indispensible.



Author Bio Google+ Kevin Dungee is a writer and personal trainer. Addicted to fitness and wellness since he learned to box at five, he’s always on the lookout for new methods and supplements to take his physical and mental limits to new levels. He enjoys reading, Dr Who, trying to lift ridiculously heavy things, and spending time with his girlfriend and their two extra-small dogs. Kevin writes for Nootropic Nexus. You can find out more about nootropics by checking out their blog.