There’s alot going on in the world right now and let’s face it, there always is! You might be feeling stressed, run-down, overworked, and generally exhausted. Unfortunately, this is a pretty normal state of being for many busy adults. Livewell Labs is hoping to improve your everyday life with ZenWell, but will it really work? We’re going to take a look at what this product is supposed to do for you and if it really has the science behind it to deliver results. Keep reading to find out what’s in ZenWell, what customers think about it and whether it will work for you.
Who are Livewell Labs?
Livewell Labs is a health and wellness supplement company located in Burbank, California. From their website, we can see that their goals are to improve and elevate their customer’s health through high-quality, natural products. Their current range of products encompasses cognitive, digestive, joint, immune, and heart health – ranging from powder form, capsules, and even liquid drops.
They do have an “About” page on their official website, but it’s hard to track down any other information about this company online so we’re unsure of their history and any experts/doctors they may have working with them to formulate their products. When manufacturing health and wellness products, transparency is key, so it may be a little off-putting to customers if they don’t really know who their supplements are being made by.
How ZenWell works
Through a combination of ashwagandha root extract and L-theanine amino acid, which we will discuss in detail below, ZenWell aims to give you these benefits:
- Reduce stress
- Provide adrenal support
- Increase sleep quality
- Improve brain health
- Boost energy
It claims to do this without any “jittery” sensations and Livewell Labs says it can even help to negate some of the similarly less desirable effects of coffee, giving you an alert yet relaxed state of being. Improving learning ability, concentration, immune function, and reducing mood swings are just some of the specific benefits this product is said to provide. We’re going to take a look at the science behind the ingredients now and see exactly how they might deliver these intended results.
Ashwagandha – 600mg
Ashwagandha is a shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It produces berries which, along with the roots of the shrub, have been used in Ayurvedic medicine which started in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda means “The Science of Life” and is considered to be one of the oldest healing sciences that we have access to today. The Ayurvedic practice recognizes that each individual’s health is unique to them and seeks to balance their mental, physical and emotional state to prevent and treat illness and disease.
Ashwagandha (withania somnifera) is a very important herb in the Ayurvedic practice due to its ability to manage different types of stress in the human body, this is called an adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that adapt their function to best suit the needs of the body, whether this be physical, chemical, or biological. Specifically, ashwagandha has been shown to have positive effects on the neurological system, immune system, energy-production system, endocrine system, and the reproductive system.
Along with being an adaptogen, it’s also got anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidepressant, antibacterial, and neuroprotective properties, making it a herb that works across a wide range of health issues. For ZenWell, the properties most highly valued are the ones that combat stress and increase alertness/cognitive function. Whilst there haven’t been many studies completed on humans so far, those that have been conducted yielded very promising results.
In a study where 5 human trials were completed, each trial showed results that were indicative of ashwagandha performing more beneficially than the placebo groups, even when up against psychotherapy. In one of these tests, stress levels were reduced by almost a full 40%! However, there was a high risk of bias in the studies (as seen with many studies on this herb), so more testing needs to be conducted before we can determine if this herb is a better treatment for stress than others. Similarly, many medical tests completed on ashwagandha have involved animals which doesn’t allow for conclusions to be definitively drawn around its positive effects on humans.
These are a few of the benefits ashwagandha is said to have:
- Mood stabiliser in those with anxiety and depression, does this by normalising cortisol (stress hormone) levels to support adrenals which produce the body’s hormones. May indirectly improve thyroid function when adrenal glands are supported.
- Good alternative to pharmacological drugs as the user shouldn’t experience drowsiness, increased appetite, insomnia, and loss of libido that are commonly associated with anti-anxiety drugs.
- Blocks pain signals from being sent through the body and also has anti-inflammatory effects so may be effective on sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Neuroprotective properties can slow, stop, and reverse the effects of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and Huntingtons. Antioxidant effects can protect brain cells from excess damage that can lead to cognitive issues in both the short and long term.
- Supports the immune system by fighting inflammation and encouraging the production of immune cells to fight off pathogens.
- Some animal studies have shown the herb is able to kill and inhibit cancer cells, this needs to be researched further to be confirmed if it would be effective on humans.
500-600 mg of ashwagandha daily is thought to be the optimum amount to confer health benefits, so ZenWell have included a spot-on amount in their daily serving. Now that you know what ashwagandha is and how it works in the body, you can probably see that this is an effective and powerful ingredient that should help to regulate mood, fight depression and anxiety, improve cognitive function, and protect your brain health. This ingredient gets our tick of approval, let’s take a look at the other ingredients ZenWell has to offer.
Alphawave L-Theanine – 200 mg
L-theanine is an amino acid (building blocks of proteins) that’s found mostly in green tea leaves, but also found in black tea and some mushrooms. It isn’t produced naturally by the human body and therefore isn’t essential, but it has been said to affect certain chemicals in the brain that influence mood, sleep, and stress. Similar to ashwagandha, there is a lack of human trials for this compound that makes it difficult to draw conclusions about its effectiveness – but we’re going to take a look at the available evidence anyway.
A study published in 2012 showed that those who ingested L-theanine (100mg) and caffeine were able to exhibit a longer attention span that helped them make less errors in a continuous 2 hour test than those who were in the placebo group. This suggests that L-theanine has a positive effect on helping the brain maintain focus for extended periods of time.
As explained in another medical study published in 2016, L-theanine has the ability to actually alter your brain waves by increasing their intensity without causing drowsiness – effectively boosting your brain power. The same study also suggests that improved sleep quality and a reduction in resting heart rate are just a couple of the calming properties it possesses.
L-theanine is actually used in conjunction with many stimulants to “take the edge off” whilst still allowing the user to experience the intended benefits of said stimulant. One common example is caffeine, which may be why Livewell Labs says you can still drink coffee whilst taking ZenWell. Overall, L-theanine is a great ingredient to pair with ashwagandha as it’s going to enhance and add to the brain-boosting properties it provides whilst maintaining calmness and a healthy sleep schedule.
AlphaWave® is the specific type of L-theanine included in ZenWell and is supported by one human study conducted in New Zealand that found it was able to reduce anxiety, tension, fatigue, and heart rate.
Organic Black Pepper Extract – 20mg
Black pepper has also been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years as it’s high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s generally included in supplements to enhance absorption rates of the main ingredients, it does this through its active component, piperine.
Piperine basically blocks signals in the liver that tell the body to remove certain molecules through urination. This is usually a really helpful process that prevents a build-up of drugs and supplements in the system but can also make it difficult for supplements to stick around long enough for their benefits to be felt. The inclusion of black pepper extract in ZenWell will help boost the amount of time its ingredients hang out in the body improving the health of the consumer.
Other ingredients and allergen info
Livewell Labs has only included a couple of other ingredients in ZenWell, which is a great sign that you’ve got a high-quality product on your hands. Cheaper and lower quality options may include more fillers. Regardless, let’s take a look at the other ingredients:
- Long grain rice flour – This is a harmless filler that actually helps to lengthen product shelf life, so it will maintain freshness and potency of the ingredients until they reach you.
- Vegetable cellulose – This is generally made from the trunks of pine and spruce trees. It’s vegetarian, has no known health risks, is 100% natural and non-toxic. This is only included in the product because it’s the casing used for the capsules.
ZenWell is also soy-free, gluten-free, preservative-free, and non-GMO. However, it does contain lactose so it’s not vegan-friendly.
Pricing and returns
If you’re taking ZenWell as recommended twice daily with food and water, then a bottle of this product will last you around a month. As supplements of this nature go, ZenWell is at the higher end of the pricing range but it is possible to get discounts if you buy in bulk directly from the company. Here’s the breakdown:
- 1 bottle for $19 (32 cents a capsule)
- 3 bottles for $17.50 each (29 cents a capsule)
- 6 bottles for $16 each (27 cents a capsule)
As for refunds, Livewell Labs actually offers a huge 365 day period from the time of purchase for you to try this product and love it, or return it to get your money back. To initiate a refund you’ll have to give them a call (which is a bit of a nuisance), you’ll also be liable for the return shipping costs and a 15% processing charge that’s deducted from your refund amount. Additionally, refunds are limited to a maximum of 2 bottles, whether they’re opened, partially used, or empty. Refunds on unopened bottles are unlimited, though, as far as we can tell. So, refunds are possible, they’re just a little tricky.
What customers are saying…
On Amazon, this product has over 200 customer reviews with an average 4.5 out of 5 stars rating, which is a great indication that customers are getting the results they expected. Most of these reviews are from those who have had their purchases verified, so you can trust that they should be from genuine customers. Here’s a few of the main themes of the reviews:
- Great for more consistent and even moods
- Helps with panic and anxiety attacks/disorders of all different severities
- Boosts energy and focus, especially helpful in the workplace
- Remember to take 1 capsule twice daily, taking 2 capsules at once may have an intense effect
- Some users have found that they experienced nausea and cramps, one user mentioned that opening the capsules and only consuming a third of the powder worked better
There are reviews on ZenWell’s official product page on the LiveWell Labs website but we haven’t taken these into account as we are wanting to remain as unbiased as possible.
Summary of ZenWell
Overall, this product has some excellent natural ingredients that seem to have been chosen to work cohesively together, complimenting and enhancing each other’s effects. Customers are happy with the results of this product, despite it being on the more expensive end of the spectrum. With minimal fillers and a heap of science backing the ingredients, this may be a supplement to really consider if you’re looking for cognitive, stress, sleep, and mood improvement.
Writer, Product Tester.
Adele is a budding content writer with a passion for all things health and fitness related. In her time off Adele enjoys reading, travelling and exploring Sydney’s culinary delights.
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