There are a lot of dietary supplement options on the market. With all the options out there, it’s hard to even know where to begin. Many of them harken back to ancient medicinal practices. This is good, but it’s difficult to know what can actually help you out, especially in the gym.
Ashwagandha root is one of these supplements. It sounds mysterious, but it’s actually a common ingredient. It is one of the most important elements of an Indian medicinal practice known as Ayurveda. Its use goes back more than 3,000 years!
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Ashwagandha root – including its benefits, side effects, and proper dosage, as well as where you can buy some today.
What is Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha root is an ancient medicinal herb commonly used throughout history. It’s a common plant that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. People use the root and the berries of the plant for medicinal purposes.
Herbalists often use Ashwagandha root as a general tonic in Ayurveda practice. This is due to its stress-reducing properties. It’s classified as an “adaptogen,” which is just a fancy way of saying stress reducer.
The name in Sanskrit translates to “horse smell” because of the plant’s equine scent. All of the plant is useful, but the most potent form is the root’s extract. This is the part used in most supplements that include Ashwagandha root.
The root goes by a couple of other names, too. Some people call it “Indian ginseng,” or “winter cherry.”
Benefits of Ashwagandha Root
Many people take the supplement daily to help them manage physical and mental stress. Many studies have shown ashwagandha can help lower stress in people with anxiety disorders. The root may also help to lower cortisol levels and help with male infertility. Cortisol is a hormone in the body that causes stress. High stress can often mean high infertility rates.
In another study, men who took regular doses of Ashwagandha root saw a significant increase in testosterone levels. The supplement is also used to help improve their ability to think and focus. Some even find it helpful to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Adaptogens help our bodies respond to stress — say, something like lifting heavyweights. When our body recognizes that stress, our body responds by sending us energy. Pretty quickly, though, our bodies start to get tired and go into rest mode. Adaptogens help lengthen the time that we have that extra energy. This can go a long way for us in the gym!
Ashwagandha root may even help to increase muscle mass. One study found a correlation between Ashwagandha and an increase in lean muscle mass. Some saw saw “significantly greater increases” in muscle strength than those taking a placebo. They noticed an improvement specifically in the bench press and leg extension.
Possible Side Effects of Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha root is safe for the majority of people. Like most herbal supplements, it is dependent on you individually. Many reported no side effects. Others had an upset stomach or nausea when taking large doses, but this was not widely reported.
There are some groups of people who should avoid taking Ashwagandha root. These include women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with auto-immune disorders. The root can sometimes lead to a weakened immune system while taking it regularly.
Also, anyone that has issues with their thyroid or blood sugar levels should be careful. Studies have found some issues with Ashwagandha root and the way it interacts with thyroid medication. As always, consult with your doctor before you start taking it to make sure it’s safe for you.
What should be the dosage of Ashwagandha Root
As with many other herbal supplements, your specific recommended dose can vary. An average dose of 450-600mg once or twice a day is good for most people. This can depend on your specific health concerns, though. It also depends on your purpose for taking the supplement.
Doses as low as 125mg daily have lowered cortisol levels in some individuals. Other studies tested doses as high as 1,250mg daily. This dosage showed similar results to subjects taking 500-600mg daily.
Where to buy Ashwagandha Root
You can find Ashwagandha root in a lot of dietary supplements. If you’re taking it for help in the gym, we recommend using Immortal AF. This daily supplement contains 600mg of Ashwagandha root, as well as a few other ingredients to help you kill your next workout. These include Tribulus Terrestris, Fenugreek, 5a-hydroxlaxogenin (Laxogenin), DHEA, and Arimistane.
All of these put together create a supplement formula that can act as a testosterone booster and stress reducer. It also helps give you the energy you need for the next time you hit the gym. Immortal AF also does not contain caffeine or any other stimulants like many other supplements on the market. This is helpful for a lot of people who want to avoid staying awake all night.