top of page

Andrew Huberman: Adaptogens and Cognitive Load

Release Date: 01/13/2023

Podcast Duration: 32:01

3 Key Takeaways

  1. 300mg of Ashwagandha twice daily can dramatically reduce cortisol (stress hormone)

  2. 1,000mg of both Lions Mane and Chaga can improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation

  3. Conquer stressful tasks early in the day:

  4. Exercise

  5. Work calls

  6. Chores & Errands


  1. A compound that is a plant, drug or behavior that helps you adapt to and buffer stress

  2. Nutrition

  3. Vitamins or micronutrients that one could easily find in food

  4. Water soluble or fat soluble

  5. Antioxidants

  6. A compound that reduces free radicals ( disease causing agents)

  7. Reactive O2 (free radicals) species are bad for cells because they hinder mitochondria (energy production for cells)

  8. Cruciferous vegetables

  9. Dark leafy greens (don't overcook)

  10. Supplement

  11. Ashwagandha

  12. 300mg twice a day leads to enormous reduction in cortisol

  13. Dose sometime in early afternoon or evening

  14. Don’t take ashwagandha prior to exercise

  15. This is because part of the adaptation response is triggered by increases of cortisol during exercise

  16. Only take in periods of moderate to extreme stress (trouble sleeping, life circumstances, etc.) Every 30 days, take 2-4 weeks off

  17. You don't want to chronically buffer or reduce cortisol

  18. Lions Mane and Chaga

  19. Improves memory and creativity

  20. 1,000mg of Lion’s Mane and/or 500mg-1,500mg of Chaga per day reduces inflammatory cytokines that are known to circulate in high abundance when under stress

  21. Behaviors

  22. Restrict cortisol later in the day

  23. Viewing sunlight can lower cortisol levels

  24. Reduce stress

  25. 5-10 minutes of mindful meditation

  26. Breathwork

  27. Double inhale, followed by full exhale and repeat for 5 minutes

  28. Box breathing

  29. Yoga nidra

  30. NSDR-Non sleep deep rest

  31. Physiological sigh (1-3)

  32. Hot Bath

  33. Listen to music

Adaptogens and Neurotransmitters (Chemical messengers in the brain)

  1. Adaptogens can reduce cortisol itself by adjusting levels in the afternoon and evening

  2. Indirect effects on dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.

  3. Ideal Diurnal (species that are awake in the day and sleep at night) schedule

  4. Higher levels of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine early in the day

  5. High levels of cortisol early in the day

  6. Sunlight

  7. Exercise

  8. Caffeine

  9. Hydration

  10. Movement

  11. Cold water exposure

  12. 1 min cold shower or ice bath

bottom of page