Adaptogens in coffee are the newest trend in the world of coffee. For many of us, coffee is just as much a part of our day as the train on the commute, the trip to the sandwich shop for lunch, or the kids/dog/partner/neighbors trying to disturb you if you’re currently trying to WFH.
These days, third-wave coffee means it goes beyond waking us up and making us alert, however; the hum of the machine, the smell of the coffee as it starts to pour, and ten minutes out of your day to drink it are a ritual many people now take for granted, whether you make it at home or support your local cafes.
But there is no denying that while coffee is delicious, it is the caffeine that can cause issues. A heavy slump when it has worn off, a faster heart rate, and a slightly jittery feeling if you drink too much can all be uncomfortable, but going without coffee is a no-no.
Well, more and more wellness brands are incorporating ‘nootropics’ into their products. So, what if we told you that you could naturally balance your mood and activity levels with the help of adaptogens in coffee?
The Rise Of Adaptogen Coffee
Adaptogens are 2020’s emerging health and wellness trend, and London Nootropics have ensured that everybody can now make the most of them through their morning brew.
They are a start-up brand based in London, combining the power of adaptogens with barista-style coffee. The blends still include caffeine of course, but these additions help you to balance your body and mind.
A lot of their customers are people who are sensitive to caffeine and need to limit themselves but still need that physical and cognitive boost in some form. They can still enjoy the coffee experience and positives of the brew but without side effects.
In fact, adding adaptogens to coffee is a pretty genius move: 95 million cups of coffee per day are consumed here in the UK, so it is a popular beverage, and therefore one of the most accessible ways to make the most of these new immunity boosters.
It is thought that over 60% are these are from home, too, which will likely be even higher now all of our working habits have changed. So, the fact that these sachets are all instant is ideal for home use and baristas-in-training.
Since co-founders Zain Peer and Shez Shaikh launched the brand in January 2020, it has been London Nootropics aim to make functional plants, mushrooms and other natural substances easily accessible, convenient and delicious, allowing more people to benefit from their cognitive enhancing properties in their daily lives.
Adaptogens have actually been used in Ayurvedic and Asian medicine for thousands of years, but from 2015 to 2020, adaptogens have seen a 300% Google search boost as interest in their benefits soars!
Each of London Nootropics’ coffee blends is focused on one area to help your mind and body to balance and find your flow. GRIND is for mental clarity and concentration; ZEN is to help you feel calm and focused and MOJO is to help give you a natural boost before exercise or when feeling fatigued. So, there is a blend for every need – just like with original coffee.
Wait…What Exactly Are Adaptogens?
At this point, you will either be rejoicing at the possibility of feeling a bit more level after your brew, or you will still feel a little bit reserved.
After all, not everybody is convinced about just how much herbs and other natural substances can help us out health-wise.
Nootropics are brain-boosters, known to enhance cognitive performance and improve brain health. Many have adaptogenic properties, helping your mind and body adapt to physical, mental and emotional stressors and find balance.
These are all things which we have seen are incredibly important throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
London Nootropics say: “Adaptogens help to combat both mental and physical stressors in your body in different ways. They can support your adrenal glands and also allow your body’s cells to access more energy and use oxygen more efficiently. They are a natural way to support your health and help your body adapt and find balance – ideal for anyone with a fast-paced modern lifestyle.”
Their Nutritional Expert Amanda Callenberg says that adaptogens sustain energy both mentally and physically, and work to your body’s individual needs – hence the ‘adapt’ prefix. The way you benefit from a blend may not be the same way your friend does, but you will get what you need.
Adaptogens are loved by Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston and Meghan Markle, and several studies have all come to the conclusion that they’re effective.
Do They Work?
We can’t encourage you to go out there and try this new coffee trend without saying whether we’d actually happily replace our morning brew with it ourselves.
We love coffee, but we know it can cause issues for thousands of people across the world, even if you know to limit yourself. This is why London Nootropics caught our eye – a coffee which can give you mental clarity, physical endurance or a feeling of zen without the negatives sounds like a dream.
London Nootropics Reviewed
Upon opening the sachets, we were struck by the smell of what reminded us of ordering a mocha in a coffee shop; that scent of hot chocolate with the slightly less sweet tint.
It is really easy to make, coming as instant powder, so you don’t need any fancy equipment or brewing machines. To taste, there is a hint of coffee there but it is slightly more grainy too, like a malt drink. The aftertaste is of coffee, however.
While it says on the packet to just add 300ml of hot water, Lauren from the London Nootropics team advised us that her favourite was Mojo and she added some frothed milk, so we also tried this, and can confirm that as milky coffee drinkers, it went down a treat.
We tried them on a Monday pre-lunch slump, a notorious day and time for the coffee machine to be working in overdrive in the Daily office. When we saw that you should stick to maximum 2 sachets per day some of us were a little wary, but we needn’t have been.
Even as the caffeine-obsessive humans we are, a single sachet saw us right through until the end of the working day. We definitely all felt more awake and productive, in different ways. The Grind and Zen drinkers were able to concentrate easier and focus on work, and I (as someone who feels the physical effects of tiredness as well as the mental) felt a lot more energised post-drink and right up until the end of the day, without the physical effects wearing off before work was done.
Adaptogens You Need To Know About
London Nootropics use various adaptogens in their coffees, but some of the standouts for all occasions include:
- Lions Mane– an ancient medicinal mushroom that’s known to help support memory, focus and concentration
- Ashwagandha– a powerful adaptogen used by Ayurvedic practitioners and shown to alleviate anxiety, improve memory and help the body adapt to stress
- CBD– a common addition to all walks of life, it works with your endocannabinoid system and is known for helping you feel alert, calm and focused by alleviating stress, inflammation and anxiety
- Cordyceps– Cordyceps mushrooms are known to help support energy and stamina, whilst also having antioxidant and immune-boosting properties. They can increase oxygen flow to muscles, aerobic capacity and resistance to fatigue
- Rhodiola– known for its effects on stress levels and brain functioning, this powerful adaptogen can reduce mental fatigue and brain fog whilst improving overall cognitive health
Tulsi Basil, Nettle Leaf, Licorice and even good old Turmeric (which has seen its own rise in popularity) are also adaptogens, in case all of the above seem a bit fancy and out-of-this-world.
Adaptogens come in various forms, whether they are oral or powdered, but if you’re a regular coffee drinker, this is by far the easiest way to consume them.
Dan is a former competition barista and has been honing his knowledge of coffee for over two decades.
He has worked in coffee farms in Peru, as well as roasters in Australia. He now trains new baristas and hosts cupping experiences in Austin.