5 Powerful Ashwagandha Benefits

Stress, whether chemical, physical, or biological can leave you feeling exhausted, speed up the aging process, and send your hormones into a frenzy. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could ease your mind and give your body a biological boost? You can. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, and studies show that adaptogens can help you combat long term physical and mental stress, ease depression, and improve sleep. Let’s talk more about what Ashwagandha is, and the powerful benefits it has, to get you back to feeling more like you again.

What Is Ashwagandha 

Ashwagandha is a powerful and potent adaptogen, native to India, the Middle East, and North Africa. The ashwagandha plant is small and short with velvety leaves and bell flowers that contain small fruit, similar in appearance to a cherry tomato.  Ashwagandha has been cultivated for thousands of years as an ayurvedic medicine for a variety of traditional uses and benefits, most notably anxiety, energy, inflammation, and overall health and wellness. Traditionally prepared as a Rayasana; an herbal tonic for whole body rejuvenation, now you can find Ashwagandha in nearly every health food store supplement aisle.

What Are The Benefits Of Ashwagandha 

1. Reduces Stress And Anxiety

Improving symptoms of anxiety and stress are the most well-known benefits of Ashwagandha. Stress is created by external physical or mental overload. This can create anxiousness, mental fogginess, fatigue, and interrupt hormonal homeostasis. Workplace stress has risen nearly 20% in the past three decades with 2 out of every 3 adults (67%) reporting mild to severe levels of stress according to the APA [R].

In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial, 64 subjects were administered 300mg of full spectrum ashwagandha root for 60 days to evaluate the efficacy of Ashwagandha in reducing stress and anxiety. The treatment group exhibited a significant reduction in scores on all stress-assessment scales compared to placebo, improving stress levels and overall quality of life [R].

2. Improves Sleep

Another well-known benefit of ashwagandha is its sleep inducing effects. Research shows that ashwagandha may even be powerful enough as a proposed alternative to recommended present treatments for insomnia. Constant exposure to blue light, work deadlines, and stress can keep us up at night, disrupting sleep schedules and patterns, leading to adverse effects and sub-optimal productivity.

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, evaluated the pharmacological effects of ashwagandha on sleep. 80 healthy participants were assessed on sleep parameters, such as sleep efficiency, sleep duration, wakefulness, and sleep onset. 

In both healthy and insomnia groups, ashwagandha produced a significant improvement in all studied sleep parameters, proving to help sleep quality and manage insomnia [R].

RELATED ARTICLE How to Get Better Quality Sleep In 6 Easy Steps

3. Naturally Increases Testosterone Levels

Natural testosterone levels decline as you age. Low testosterone levels in men and women can cause significant adverse effects such as irritability, fatigue, loss of muscle mass, and tank your sex drive. Evidence suggests that ashwagandha may have a significant impact on naturally increasing testosterone levels

A study published in the American Journal Of Men’s Health, enrolled 50 healthy male participants in a 16-week double blind, randomized controlled trial, to investigate the effects of ashwagandha, testosterone, cortisol, and vitality markers. The results showed an 18% increase in DHEA levels as well as a 15% increase in testosterone levels compared to placebo [R]. Therefore supplementing with 300-600mg of ashwagandha per day, can result in elevated testosterone levels, improving overall vitality.

RELATED ARTICLE Do Testosterone Boosters Work

4. Improves Cognitive Function 

Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers. GABA is considered an inhibitory transmitter because it blocks certain brain signals and decreases activity in your nervous system, helping calm anxiety, stress, and fear. Ashwagandha has been shown to have GABA-mimetic effects and neuroprotective phytochemicals [R].

A review investigating the effects of ashwagandha and it benefits on brain health, revealed that recent studies do suggest extensive potential benefits on various brain disorders such as  Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Schizophrenia, Huntington's disease, dyslexia, depression, autism, addiction, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorders [R]. Through a collection of phytoconstituents called sitoindosides ashwagandha established evidence suggests ashwagandha could be a potential pharmaceutical candidate.

5. Improves Athletic Performance

Several studies have shown that ashwagandha may benefit exercise performance indicators such as muscle strength, muscle growth, and cardiorespiratory performance.

A study published in the Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition, concluded that 600mg of ashwagandha showed significant improvements in muscle mass and strength, and exercise recovery in conjunction with a resistance training program after 8 weeks [R].

Ashwagandha has also been shown to improve cardiorespiratory endurance in athletes. A study conducted with 40 cyclists evaluated the effects of 500mg of ashwagandha administered twice per day for 8 weeks on endurance and exercise capacity. Results showed a substantial increase in VO2 and time to exhaustion, improving endurance [R]. Study results were also replicated with hockey players with the same supplement protocol, dosage, and duration, resulting in improved energy levels, VO2 and muscular endurance [R]. 

Ashwagandha Dosage: How Much Should You Take 

Clinical evidence suggests that to elicit ashwagandha benefits and reproduce study outcomes ashwagandha dosage for anxiety, stress, improved testosterone levels, and cardiorespiratory endurance ranges from 300-600mg taken daily for a minimum of 60 days.

Ashwagandha Side Effects

One common characteristic amongst adaptogens is that they are safe and do not cause harm to the body. Possible side effects however do include headache, sleepiness, and upset stomach. Research also suggests that ashwagandha may result in lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and increase thyroid hormone levels. It’s advised that prior to taking any new supplement, to consult your healthcare provider or physician.

What Is Ashwagandha: Takeaway

The evidence is clear, ashwagandha is proven to be a powerful adatogen, that is loaded with health benefits, reducing stress, improving athletic performance, optimizing brain function, sleep, and improving testosterone levels. The hype around ashwagandha is legit, and there's enough evidence based evidence to suggest that adding it into your daily routine, could be a very solid move. 


Ready To Add Some Ashwagandha To Your Nutrition Routine?  

Concentrated from 750mg of Ashwagandha root Swolverine’s Ashwagandha Gummies are a non-GMO, vegan formula with added Vitamin D and Zinc to reduce stress and improve the overall quality of life. Stress, whether chemical, physical, or biological can leave you feeling exhausted, speed up the aging process, and send your hormones into a frenzy. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could ease your mind and give your body a biological boost? Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, and studies show that adaptogens can help you combat long-term physical and mental stress, ease depression, and improve sleep. Keep calm and de-stress with Swolverine’s Ashwagandha Supplement Gummies.

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References

Chandrasekhar, K et al. “A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults.” Indian journal of psychological medicine vol. 34,3 (2012): 255-62. doi:10.4103/0253-7176.106022 

Langade D, Thakare V, Kanchi S, Kelgane S. Clinical evaluation of the pharmacological impact of ashwagandha root extract on sleep in healthy volunteers and insomnia patients: A double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jan 10;264:113276. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113276. Epub 2020 Aug 17. PMID: 32818573.

Lopresti, Adrian L et al. “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males.” American journal of men's health vol. 13,2 (2019): 1557988319835985. doi:10.1177/1557988319835985

Singh, Narendra et al. “An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda.” African journal of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines : AJTCAM vol. 8,5 Suppl (2011): 208-13. doi:10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9

Zahiruddin S, Basist P, Parveen A, Parveen R, Khan W, Gaurav, Ahmad S. Ashwagandha in brain disorders: A review of recent developments. J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Jul 15;257:112876. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.112876. Epub 2020 Apr 16. PMID: 32305638.

Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K. et al. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 12, 43 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9

Kelgane S B, Salve J, Sampara P, et al. (February 23, 2020) Efficacy and Tolerability of Ashwagandha Root Extract in the Elderly for Improvement of General Well-being and Sleep: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study. Cureus 12(2): e7083. doi:10.7759/cureus.7083

Shenoy, Shweta et al. “Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine vol. 3,4 (2012): 209-14. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.104444

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