How Adaptogens Boost Your Brain Power

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Coffee and mushrooms? Interesting combination…

In episode 95 of the Wellness Way podcast with our host Philly J Lay, we get into the nitty-gritty of how plants can help boost our brain power with none other than Zain Peer and Shez Shaikh, the masterminds behind the incredible London Nootropics.

Their groundbreaking appearance on Dragons’ Den shot them both into the public eye and with that, the transformative potential of adaptogens: a controversial craze in the alternative wellness space.

Zain and Shez decided to go out on a limb during the pandemic and decided to integrate the power of adaptogens with coffee after trying the chemically enhanced and often unhealthy pre-workout mixes most of us drink before the gym, and since haven’t looked back.

But what are adaptogens? In this article, you’ll discover what adaptogens are and how they can help boost your brain power, so tuck in!

Adaptogens and Nootropics

Adaptogens are natural substances, often herbs or mushrooms, that help the body adapt to stress and maintain balance. They work by modulating the body’s stress response system, regulating cortisol levels, and supporting overall well-being. Popular adaptogens include Rhodiola Rosea, Ashwagandha, and Panax Ginseng.

Adaptogens have a rich history rooted in traditional medicine practices from various indigenous cultures around the world. These cultures have long recognized the beneficial properties of certain plants and herbs in promoting resilience to stress and supporting overall health.


The nootropics in London Nootropics coffee blends are substances that enhance cognitive function, including aspects like memory, focus, and mental clarity. They work through various mechanisms, such as increasing neurotransmitter levels, improving cerebral blood flow, and promoting neuroplasticity. Common nootropics include compounds like caffeine, L-theanine, and racetams.

Adaptogens help the body manage stress and maintain balance, which indirectly supports cognitive function by reducing the negative impact of stress on the brain. Nootropics directly enhance cognitive function by improving memory, focus, and mental clarity through various mechanisms of action. Together, adaptogens and nootropics offer a holistic approach to optimising brain health and cognitive performance.

Adaptogens and nootropics are linked through their shared goal of optimizing cognitive function and promoting overall mental well-being. While they work through different mechanisms, they complement each other effectively in supporting brain health.

Here are some examples of adaptogens combined with the most popular nootropic of them all…coffee.

Rhodiola Rosea

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Rhodiola Rosea is native to regions of Siberia, Northern Europe, and the Arctic. It has been used for centuries in traditional Russian and Scandinavian medicine to combat fatigue, enhance endurance, and increase resilience to stress.

London Nootropics’ ‘Flow’ barrista-style coffee blend combines Rhodolia with Lions Mane mushroom to aid ‘short & long-term memory, brain fog & reducing procrastination.’


Ashwagandha is a staple herb in Ayurvedic medicine, which originated in ancient India over 3,000 years ago. It is considered one of the most important adaptogens in Ayurveda, valued for its ability to support energy, vitality, and overall well-being.

Ashwagandha root

London Nootropics’ ‘Zen’ coffee combines the amazing Ashwagandha with L-theanine, which is known for ‘balancing out the heart rate spike from caffeine, leading to a more calm and alert state of mind. It’s also been found that L-theanine with caffeine can help counteract caffeine’s impact on our deep sleep, ensuring we’re well-rested while staying energised throughout our day.’

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian Ginseng

Eleuthero, also called Siberian Ginseng, is native to Siberia, Northeastern Asia, and parts of Japan. It has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine and Russian folk medicine. Eleuthero is prized for its adaptogenic properties, helping to increase stamina, improve mental performance, and boost immune function.

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London Nootropics combines their ‘Mojo’ coffee with…you guessed it: Siberian Ginseng and some gorgeous cordyceps shrooms, ‘designed for physical endurance, strength and vitality. Great for stamina, performance and has immune-boosting properties for when you need to power up’.

Cordyceps are known for supporting energy and stamina; can increase oxygen flow to muscles, aerobic capacity & resistance to fatigue. They’ve also been found to have strong antioxidant and immune-boosting properties.


Stress Management

Adaptogens primarily work by helping the body adapt to stressors and maintaining a balanced stress response system. By reducing the negative effects of stress on the body and brain, adaptogens indirectly support cognitive function. Chronic stress can impair cognitive abilities such as memory, focus, and decision-making, so adaptogens’ ability to mitigate these effects creates a foundation for optimal cognitive performance.


Many adaptogens exhibit neuroprotective properties, safeguarding brain cells from damage caused by oxidative stress, inflammation, and other harmful factors. By protecting neuronal health and promoting neuroplasticity, adaptogens lay the groundwork for improved cognitive function.

Synergistic Effects

When combined with nootropics, adaptogens can enhance their cognitive-enhancing properties. For example, adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea have been shown to increase the bioavailability and effectiveness of certain nootropic compounds.

Additionally, adaptogens can help counteract the potential negative side effects of some stimulating nootropics, such as anxiety or jitteriness.

Overall Well-Being

Both adaptogens and nootropics contribute to overall well-being, which is essential for optimal cognitive function. By supporting factors like mood, energy levels, and sleep quality, they create an environment conducive to peak mental performance.

To Take-Away…

In the realm of natural health, adaptogens are a brilliant way to boost our brain power without relying on all of those chemicals that come in colourful attractive packaging in the supermarket. There are tons of natural ways that we can optimise our cognitive function, without sacrificing our overall well-being to do so!

Don’t forget to use PHILLY20 at checkout to get your delicious adaptogenic coffee blends, and to hear the fascinating discussion between Philly, Shez & Zain, you can do so here, here, or wherever you get your podcasts!