Darin Olien Talks Stress, Lack of Energy, and Adaptogens
Why are we always tired?
“Stress is a big one,” says Darin Olien, Shakeology co-creator and star of the new Netflix docuseries, “Down to Earth with Zac Efron.”
According to Olien, we’re tired all of the time because modern life is so demanding.
We live in an always-on, high stress, do-more culture with too much screen time and not enough down time.
Also, our diets are getting worse.
We’re not eating enough nutrient-dense foods and we’re often dehydrated, so we’re not giving our body the nutritional support it needs.
As a result, many of us feel perpetually drained.
We caught up with Olien, Shakeology’s very own superfood hunter and wellness guru, to talk about the age-old problems of stress and exhaustion, and how we can get back to feeling great.
Stress and Poor Nutrition Can Rob Us of Energy
Daily stressors, he says, are one of the body’s biggest energy drains. We’re also not feeding our body the nutrition it needs, which further compounds the problem.
And for many of us, the knee-jerk reaction is skipping meals and/or stress-eating, and downing copious amounts of caffeine to help us get through the day.
Letting healthy eating habits slip is particularly problematic because of the physical toll that these environmental stressors can take on the body.
Without proper nutrition, it’s harder for the body restore balance, and when the body isn’t functioning properly, energy levels can plummet even further.
Stress Is Not a New Problem
Not that stress is anything new, Olien reminds us. “Humans have always had stress. Hunters had to hunt or be hunted. They hunted for days on end to survive. That’s pretty stressful.”
One of the reasons Olien travels the globe is to explore how traditional cultures utilize indigenous plants to help support energy in the face of a stressful environment and remain strong and healthy.
His passion and lifelong mission is to discover the most nutrient-dense, underutilized superfoods in the world and put them within reach of everyone to help us all improve our health and wellbeing.
How Adaptogens Can Help With Stress
One of Olien’s favorite class of botanicals are adaptogens, which have been used in traditional cultures all over the world to help the body adapt and respond to the effects of stress.
Schisandra, for example, was used by Siberian hunters. It was also used by Soviet soldiers in World War II, and by Russian astronauts and Olympic athletes during the Cold War.
While adaptogens don’t replace proper nutrition, rest or recovery, they’re thought to help the body adapt and respond to emotionally and physically taxing events, so that you can better cope during them and bounce back afterward.
The theory is that over time they help your body’s system remain balanced, so you’re less likely to go into overdrive and then fall into exhaustion.
And when you’re system is able to stay more even-keeled, it can help you feel and perform better.
Check out our video with Olien to learn more about why he loves adaptogens, and what his favorite adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms are for helping the body’s vitality and well-being.