Ayurvedic Medicine is the traditional form of treatment for illness in India. It has been used for thousands of years, promoting balance and stability to one’s life. Everyone has something called a primary Dosha, or body type. These three doshas are indicative to favoritism to a particular element, and provides guidelines for how to best live one’s life. Feel free to take the dosha quiz here. You may be surprised at what you see. How does this pertain to bodybuilding, though? Frequent exercise of any kind results in a variety of potential issues that can rob one of their goals and make them feel burned out. Here are a couple Ayurvedic supplements that could really make an impact for improving one’s wellbeing and fitness goals.
Amalaki is a small round fruit (about ½ to 1” in diameter) obtained from the Emblica officinalis tree, which is native to tropical southeastern Asia, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and the Mascarene Islands. It is one of nature’s richest sources of antioxidants and contains high levels of vitamin C. Amalaki also contains small amounts of calcium, potassium, iron, and B vitamins, as well as many different tannins and pectins. It is used to rebuild and maintain new tissues and increases red blood cell count. It reduces pitta(the inflammatory dosha) without aggravating vata or kapha. It is a one of three herbs used in Triphala, the primary Ayurvedic tonic for maintaining health. Vitamin C has many positive benefits for the athlete since it is anti-inflammatory, stimulates the body to use glutathione, and helps one exercise better. This is an herb that can help prevent fatigue prior to exercise and it’s antioxidant effects remove unwanted oxidants caused from exercise. Ideally, it should be taken 30 minutes before and after exercise.
Schizandra is the berry of a climbing vine native to India, northeast China and parts of Russia. It is also known as the five-flavor fruit since when consumed gives a sweet, salty, bitter, hot and sour taste. This fruit is a fantastic antioxidant supplement for students, athletes, or busy individuals in general. It is a liver detoxifier, improves circulation in the eyes (for improved vision) and most of all, it promotes energy and focus. In fact, top selling pre-workout products such as Jack3d feature schizandra as a main ingredient. Its also a great addition to any good brain supplements since it often gives individuals a non-stimulant energy boost and prevents mental and adrenal fatigue.
Ayurvedic medicine has no real focus on bodybuilding so the concept is relatively novel, but it is worth looking into if one needs a different angle on helping themselves to be healthy, or is looking to try some new supplements. What matters is how one uses the tools given, so stay tuned for part two of Ayurvedic Bodybuilding to see a few more great supplements to promote balance and excellence in one’s life.