Furthermore, they have substantial information to back up their old claims to fame. The fun-sounding and difficult-to-spell ashwagandha root is one such adaptogen.
Ashwagandha root, well-known for its testosterone-boosting effects, has become a staple in numerous supplements.
In this post, we'll go over Ashwagandha in depth, explaining what it is, what it's used for, the benefits of taking an ashwagandha supplement, dosage, and negative effects.
Finally, we'll provide a brief analysis of the top ashwagandha supplements on the market, letting you know which ones are worthwhile.
Let's get started if you're ready!
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a tiny shrub-like plant with green-yellow blooms. It is indigenous to India and some regions of North Africa.
While the plant itself is lovely and may have medical effects, the root is what is used in the vast majority of supplements.
It goes by a variety of names, including Indian ginseng, winter cherry, and poison gooseberry.
The root of ashwagandha is light brown, almost tan in hue. In reality, it resembles a slender tuber, similar to a sweet potato or yam.
The root is usually processed into flour or the liquid collected from it. That is why supplements almost usually contain "ashwagandha root powder" or "extract," rather than the entire plant or just the root.
Ashwagandha has long been used medicinally in North Africa, the Middle East, and India.
It is a herb used in Ayurvedic treatment, which is hundreds of years old and treats numerous ailments and diseases with a combination of herbs, special diets, and other natural practices.
Historically, ashwagandha has been used to cure a variety of ailments, including arthritis, constipation, stress, sleeplessness, diabetes, fevers, snake bites, and more.
Nowadays, ashwagandha root is commonly used to boost testosterone and maintain a healthy hormonal balance.
Furthermore, it is still utilized as an adaptogen to treat mental problems (such as stress, anxiety, and depression) by reducing cortisol levels.
What Is the Action of Ashwagandha?
Does Ashwagandha Work?
Ashwagandha helps the body naturally manufacture healthy amounts of various hormones.
It causes a variety of systems to enhance or reduce the natural synthesis of hormones such as testosterone, cortisol, and even inflammatory responses.
Ashwagandha crosses the blood-brain barrier, sending signals throughout your body to produce more or less of the hormones you want to change.
Unlike steroids or certain medications, it does not involve anything exogenous, such as testosterone or dopamine that is synthesized artificially and then injected into your body.
Instead, it stimulates your body's systems to generate these hormones endogenously, allowing your body to get into the habit of doing so on its own.
Is Ashwagandha a Testosterone Booster?
Some research has been conducted to determine whether or not ashwagandha root increases testosterone. Many of these research confirm that ashwagandha administration increases testosterone levels.
This strong herb undoubtedly impacts your hormone levels, therefore it stands to reason that it affects testosterone, especially in males with low testosterone levels.
Not only that, but guys who took ashwagandha had increased antioxidant levels.
This relieves stress in the body, allowing your systems to balance your hormones and improve the quality of your sperm. To summarize, ashwagandha unquestionably aids in the healthy production of testosterone.
Is There a Relationship Between Testosterone and Cortisol?
Testosterone is regarded as the most important anabolic hormone in the human body, serving a variety of physiological roles. In males, testosterone is primarily generated and secreted by the testicular Leydig cells.
According to research, testosterone levels and cortisol levels have a negative association, which means that when cortisol levels rise, testosterone levels fall, and vice versa (in observation). Researchers believe this is because cortisol inhibits the function of the Leydig cells.
The evidence linking Ashwagandha supplementation to testosterone restoration is emerging. Researchers discovered that ashwagandha considerably reduces cortisol levels (by up to 28 percent ). Cortisol reduction may thus explain the association between ashwagandha intake and increased testosterone levels.
Men with Low Testosterone
Low testosterone levels (hypogonadism) in males are linked to a variety of physiological and psychological health problems.
There are several reasons why testosterone levels may be low. While this is not always the case, the factors that lead to hypogonadism are usually distinct in older and younger male populations.
The majority of testosterone levels in older guys are due to physiological changes associated with aging, notably the testes.
Hypogonadism in younger male populations may be due to a congenital issue or an acquired condition. These acquired disorders can result from steroid usage, other drug use, trauma, diabetes, or obesity (to name a few of the more prevalent issues).
Hypogonadism is becoming a more common problem. It has been reported that 12 percent, 19 percent, 28 percent, and 49 percent of men over the age of 50, 60, 70, and 80 meet the criteria for hypogonadism, respectively.
Men with low testosterone may have the following symptoms:
Diagnosis of hypogonadism, paradoxically, can be difficult. It is a sensitive subject, and problems typical in older populations, such as diminished libido or erectile dysfunction, may be difficult to address openly.
These symptoms are not frequently evident in younger populations, and young men instead commonly complain of poor energy, making it difficult to identify on two fronts: avoidance and lack of awareness / lucidity.
However, there are warning symptoms of hypogonadism that can appear at any age.
- Irritation/mood swings
- Fatigue has increased (self-perceived and exercise related)
- Muscle mass loss
- Body fat has increased.
- Breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
- Reduced bone mass
- Loss of hair
- Sexual dysfunction
- Low sperm count / production
- Poor memory or concentration
- A sexless drive
- Blood count is low (anaemia)
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Is Ashwagandha Safe for Women?
Yes. Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen that benefits both men and women. The reason for this is that ashwagandha enhances the body's hormone regulation.
When a man takes it, it affects the Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPGA), which regulates testosterone levels.
In females, however, ashwagandha still reduces stress, allowing your body to create an abundance of healthful hormones.
These hormones are essential for conception, libido, healthy menstruation, and other female-related body activities.
Women can benefit greatly from taking an ashwagandha supplement, even if it does not provide the same testosterone-boosting impact as men.
Stress affects us all; this root can improve brain power, strengthen your immune system, and just help you relax. This is critical regardless of gender.
Of fact, ashwagandha has a plethora of benefits. The following are the primary advantages of supplementing with this root:
It is an old medicinal herb.
Ashwagandha is a member of the Ayurvedic family of ancient Indian medicinal plants. Withania somnifera is the botanical name and another name for it. The plant's name, ashwagandha, translates to "horse smell" in Sanskrit (ashva means "horse" and gandha means "smell") to reflect the smell of its root. While various parts of the plant are employed, root extracts are the most commonly used in supplemental formulation.
Ashwagandha's biologically active chemical components include alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins. These chemicals have a variety of anti-stress and immunomodulatory properties.
Improved blood sugar control
Improved blood sugar management has a wide range of benefits that go far beyond clinical cases. Ashwagandha has been proven in studies to boost insulin secretion and improve insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, it reduces blood sugar levels in both healthy persons and diabetics. For those with Type 2 diabetes, ashwagandha has been shown to be just as beneficial as oral diabetes treatment.
Anticancer properties are possible.
A growing body of evidence from cell culture and animal research suggests that ashwagandha has anti-tumorogenic capabilities. In 1967, it was proved experimentally that the root extract reduced cancer incidence in vivo.
Researchers are only scratching the surface of molecular pathways altered by ashwagandha and its bioactive components to inhibit the carcinogenic process. Not only has ashwagandha and its constituents been proved to have cancer-fighting qualities, but several of them have also been demonstrated to have cancer-preventive properties.
Can lower cortisol levels
This is a significant issue for all humans. Our days are ruled by stress, which saps our productivity, strength, and even desire. Ashwagandha has been shown in animal research to inhibit the stress pathway, and in human studies to treat stress and anxiety disorders. (It also lowers cortisol levels.)
Stress and anxiety may be reduced.
Ashwagandha is perhaps most known for its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety. According to studies, ashwagandha administration dramatically decreases stress symptoms and comorbidities (fatigue, temporary cognitive impairment, etc.), as well as biomarkers like cortisol. Evidence also suggests that anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects are potent for persons suffering from chronic stress and anxiety disorder. It may also help with social anxiety.
Depression symptoms may be reduced.
Anti-depressive effects of ashwagandha supplementation have been discovered, however they are less noticeable than the anti-anxiety effects.
Can improve testosterone and fertility in men
Ashwagandha appears to have a powerful effect on boosting testosterone and improving male fertility. Men suffering from infertility or low fertility who were given ashwagandha reported improvements in sperm quality as well as mild increases in testosterone in the range of 14-40% or 10-22% greater than before the trial. Another study discovered a 15% boost in testosterone in healthy, resistance-training men with no reproductive concerns.
Inflammation may be reduced.
It indicates that ashwagandha, or at least the bioactive chemicals found in it, have anti-inflammatory properties. This has been observed in trials that have assessed its efficacy on inflammatory symptoms (such as chronic pain) linked with arthritis.
Memory and brain function may improve.
Ashwagandha may not only improve but also safeguard brain function and memory. Ashwagandha has been demonstrated in studies to increase neurogenesis, or the formation of new neurons. Learning, memory, pattern separation, and cognitive flexibility have all been linked to neurogenesis.
Is safe for most individuals and generally available; Ashwagandha appears to be relatively safe, with only minimal adverse effects noted in a few rare cases (moderate tiredness and sedation), which could be caused by factors unrelated to supplementation.
Strength and muscular size may be increased.
For men, body composition is quite significant. Fortunately, studies have shown that ashwagandha root supplements can boost muscle strength in as little as 30 days. Not only that, but ashwagandha has been shown to increase muscular size in men.
Promotion of Fat Loss
Ashwagandha enhances both sides of the body composition coin, which complements the first advantage. It not only increases muscle strength and growth, but it also reduces body fat percentage. In one study, participants who took ashwagandha saw a twofold drop in body fat percentage when compared to a placebo group. Furthermore, as is commonly known, adding muscle increases your metabolism, which helps you stay thin.
Attention all endurance athletes! On a treadmill, ashwagandha was tested against a placebo to see if it may improve your VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake) and time to fatigue. Both of these metrics were improved by Ashwagandha, while the placebo group observed no improvement. When paired with additional antioxidants, ashwagandha is a great endurance booster.
Because ashwagandha reduces stress, it stands to reason that it also promotes sleep. People who suffer from insomnia as a result of persistent stress might physically sleep better when they take ashwagandha supplements. You can also get a better night's sleep if you start using fat for fuel (as happens when you take ashwagandha). You promote healthy sleep by improving the body's ability to burn fat.
It has the potential to decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
This root not only reduces inflammation in the body, but it also lowers both types of cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Ashwagandha has been shown to improve the activity of natural killer cells, which aids in disease prevention and treatment. It also lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol, which keeps your heart healthy. Finally, triglycerides are blood fats that, when high, endanger your heart's health. Triglyceride levels are reduced by ashwagandha.
Other potential benefits of ashwagandha supplements include better brain health, anti-cancer qualities, and aid in the treatment of Alzheimer's and arthritis.
However, the key benefits for an athlete are highlighted above. With so many advantages, it's evident that using ashwagandha pills is in your best interest.
Dosage of Ashwagandha
How Much Ashwagandha Should You Take Every Day?
Dosage of Ashwagandha
This is dependent on why you are taking ashwagandha. However, for the most part, you can supplement with a daily dose of 250mg to 500mg.
This should be taken for at least a month. If you want the best benefits, take it for at least two months.
When Is the Best Time to Take It?
Again, this is dependent on how you intend to use ashwagandha.
If you want to utilize ashwagandha for its sleep benefits, take it with a warm glass of milk (normal or substitute) before bed.
However, if you want to improve your body composition (as most Athletic Muscle athletes do), take your ashwagandha supplement with your pre- or post-workout shake/meal.
You should be able to take the entire dose at once during the day. There is no need to divide the dosage.
How Much Time Does It Take To Work?
The majority of study indicates that the 30-day mark is when you will begin to see the majority of the benefits of taking ashwagandha tablets.
You might theoretically see benefits much sooner, but four weeks and beyond will give you a lot of bang for your dollars.
When you first start experimenting with ashwagandha, give it at least a month before making a definitive decision.
Is it safe to take Ashwagandha every day?
Without a doubt! Ashwagandha supplements are available in modest enough quantities that there is no need to cycle on and off. Ashwagandha, like any vitamin or mineral, is safe to consume on a daily basis.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is generally thought to be safe in modest doses. However, no long-term research on the potential negative effects of ashwagandha have been conducted.
But there is one thing we do know: pregnant women should avoid taking ashwagandha since it can cause premature labor.
Another factor to consider is that makers of ashwagandha supplements are not regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As a result, these items are not subject to the same scrutiny as an FDA-approved supplement.
Other Medication Interactions:
Health Advantages of Ashwagandha
There are a few drugs with which ashwagandha interacts. If you are using any of these, avoid ashwagandha or visit your primary care physician before combining ashwagandha supplements with your existing medicine.
The following drugs have a moderate interaction with ashwagandha (be cautious with these combinations):
High blood pressure medications
Medications for sedation (both Benzodiazepines and CNS depressants)
Hormones of the thyroid (this one is minor, but you should still exercise caution)
Again, if you are on any medications, you must see your doctor before using ashwagandha supplements.
Research into Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is one of the few adaptogens and traditional medicines that has been linked to "masculinity" and has been shown to raise testosterone levels in men. Before the science fully verifies "testosterone boosting" claims, supplement industry marketing will tend to run away with them, but where are we with ashwagandha and its capacity to enhance testosterone? Here are several high-quality research studies that support that idea and offer some legitimacy to supplement companies' sometimes-outlandish claims;
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Hormonal and Vitality Effects in Aging, Overweight Males
Increased testosterone levels (14.7 percent )
Overweight men aged 40-70 years old with minor tiredness
57 people participated (28 in intervention group)
16-week study period
The dose tested at 600mg delivered 21 mg of withanolide glycosides.
"The results showed that 8 weeks of supplementation with an ashwagandha extract (Shoden beads, 600 mg daily giving 21-mg withanolide glycoside) was linked with significant improvements in salivary DHEA-S and testosterone, but not cortisol and estradiol, in healthy males aged 40 to 70 years."
An examination of the stress-relieving and pharmacological properties of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract Effect Increase in testosterone (11.4 percent) in males
Male and female adults between the ages of 18 and 65 make up the population.
60 people participated (30 in intervention group with 19 being male)
60-day study period
"This study's findings indicate the good anxiolytic effects of a new ashwagandha extract given for 60 days at a dose of 240 mg daily... The ashwagandha extract was well tolerated, with no notable side effects recorded. In men, supplementation was related with a decrease in cortisol and DHEA-S, as well as a favorable, but nonsignificant, trend of higher testosterone. These findings imply that ashwagandha's anxiolytic effects in stressed adults may be connected with a reduction in HPA axis activity and, in men, increased testosterone production."
A randomized controlled experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of Withania somnifera supplements on muscle strength and recovery.
Increased testosterone levels (15.3 percent )
Population 57 young male volunteers (18-50 years old) with limited resistance training experience Number of participants 57 (29 in intervention group)
8-week study period
"This study verifies earlier results about the adaptogenic characteristics of ashwagandha and suggests it can be a valuable complement to strength training...
There was a substantial increase in testosterone levels in the ashwagandha treatment group compared to the placebo group after eight weeks. The increase in testosterone level with ashwagandha administration was much bigger than the placebo."
Supplements That Can Increase Testosterone Levels
Other substances may also be able to increase testosterone levels. While they may not all be as effective as ashwagandha, they may be a viable alternative if ashwagandha is not available or suited for you for whatever reason.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
- Tribulus Terrestris
- Horny goat weed
- Vitamin D.
- D-Aspartic Acid
Questions and Answers About Ashwagandha and Testosterone
How much testosterone does Ashwagandha boost?
According to research, ashwagandha administration can boost testosterone levels by more than 15% in some populations. In these investigations, the dosage and duration of treatment appear to have a substantial influence.
Is it better to take Ashwagandha as capsules or powder?
This is largely dependent on the source. However, assuming all else is similar in terms of quality, powder may be more cost effective in most circumstances but has a supposedly unpleasant flavor. Capsules may just be more convenient, but they are less cost effective.
Does Ashwagandha have any hormonal effects?
Ashwagandha appears to boost testosterone and DHEA while decreasing cortisol.
Who should avoid ashwagandha?
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, diabetics, those with hypertension or hypotension, those with stomach ulcers, those with auto-immune diseases, those with thyroid issues, and those who may be undergoing surgery are advised not to take ashwagandha or to consult with their respective healthcare practitioner before doing so.
Is it true that Ashwagandha causes hair loss?
No, it may even have a protective impact.
Can Ashwagandha make you gain weight?
No, not directly. Increased gym performance, on the other hand, may result in bigger gains in lean muscle mass, resulting in weight gain. However, weight loss may compensate for this. As a result, you will gain "desirable" weight.
Does Ashwagandha stimulate the appetite?
Again, not directly, although it could be related to increased lean body mass and exercise performance.
Does Ashwagandha cause drowsiness?
Some studies have documented it, but the mechanism is unclear, and the reports are inconsistent. It could have been due to confounding variables.
Finally, ashwagandha is a safe, potent, and helpful Ayurvedic herb that should be part of your everyday regimen.
This global root could supply you with a wealth of benefits.
It works by re-balancing your hormonal systems, raising testosterone, decreasing cortisol, and generally improving your workout experience.
Not only that, but it can also be used by ladies!
You are aware of the dosage, the timing, the adverse effects of different prescriptions, and which items are worth investigating.
Conduct your own research, try a few ashwagandha supplements, and pick one that works for you. When you start reaping the advantages of ashwagandha, you'll wish you'd discovered it sooner!
Here's to a more advanced, improved workout and way of life with ashwagandha!