AMA #3: Adaptogens, Fasting & Fertility, Bluetooth/EMF Risks, Cognitive Load Limits & More | Huberman Lab

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Key Takeaways

  • Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen that can help buffer stress but don’t take it in the morning! We want cortisol high in the morning to set the tone for the day; try your first dose in the early afternoon and second in the evening
  • Cycle adaptogens through periods of stress and avoid taking for more than 30 days without taking a break


Dr. Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. is a Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine. His lab focuses on neural regeneration, neuroplasticity, and brain states such as stress, focus, fear, and optimal performance.

Get a sneak peek of Andrew Huberman’s third AMA. In this special episode, Huberman answers questions related to popular topics like the relationship between fasting & fertility, Bluetooth & EMF risks, limits to cognitive capacity, and more. Note, this is only a preview. The full episode is only available to premium subscribers.

Host: Andrew Huberman (@hubermanlab)


  • Adaptogens: a compound that is a supplement, food, drug, or behavior that helps you adapt to and buffer stress
  • The three main categories of adaptogens are (1) vitamins or micronutrients contained in food (such as dark leafy greens) that reduce reactive oxygen species and other aspects of cellular stress; (2) supplements – herbs or nutrients that would be difficult or impossible to obtain through diet (particularly ashwagandha, lion’s mane, chaga); (3) behavioral tools like cold shower in the morning, morning sunlight, exercise, 5-10 minutes daily mindfulness meditation, breathwork, yoga nidra, non-sleep deep rest
    • Adaptogens in the form of supplements can be helpful to cycle through stressful periods and manage cortisol
    • 300mg, 2x per day of ashwagandha can buffer cortisol – don’t take prior to exercise or in the morning; don’t take for more than 30 days straight
    • Lion’s mane (dose 1000mg per day)&/or chaga (500mg per day) may reduce anti-inflammatory cytokines that spike when you’re under stress – again, cycle off after 30 days (or less)
  • If you want to try a supplement regimen, try single-dose ingredient supplements to identify what’s working and what’s not
  • There’d very little evidence adaptogens can directly alter neurotransmitters but, can be ultimately impacted through effects on cortisol
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