The difference between rhodiola vs ashwagandha lies in their effects. Rhodiola appears to reduce fatigue and improve exercise performance. Ashwagandha appears to reduce cortisol levels and boost testosterone as a result. Both supplements should be studied further to draw better conclusions about their effects.
What Is Rhodiola?
Rhodiola Rosea is an herb grown throughout Central Asia, North America, and Europe. It is most commonly used medicinally in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. It is traditionally used to help with memory, reducing stress, and strength. But, what does the current research say about rhodiola?
Rhodiola is most commonly used as a nootropic to help with memory, and mental acuity. Several studies have shown that rhodiola has modest to moderate effects in reducing fatigue and improving mental function.
In terms of rhodiola’s effects on exercise performance, there is some promising research available. It has been used to help with physical performance, to improve recovery. One study showed that rhodiola supplementation reduced both lactate levels and skeletal muscle damage after exercise. Another study demonstrated that acute rhodiola supplementation increased exercise capacity by decreasing heart rate response to exercise and reducing perceived effort.
With this being said, most of the studies mentioned above were performed in the former USSR, which was known to produce disproportionately positive test results in clinical trials. While current research is positive, much more needs to be done to draw definitive results.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an herb grown throughout Asia and Africa. It is traditionally used to reduce stress, and boost testosterone. But, does current research support these uses?
Ashwagandha is likely best suited for stress-reducing purposes. In a study conducted on adults with chronic stress, ashwagandha was shown to subjectively improve symptoms, as well as substantially reducing cortisol levels.
It’s these cortisol-reducing properties that are likely the reason behind ashwagandha’s testosterone-boosting properties as well. Studies have shown that ashwagandha is beneficial in boosting testosterone concentrations, which in turn may aid in athletic performance. This is shown by one study in which ashwagandha supplementation increased strength, and muscular size when compared to a placebo group.
Overall, while further research is needed to fully understand ashwagandha and its potential uses, current studies suggest it is beneficial for reducing stress, and potentially increasing exercise performance through boosted testosterone.
Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha
Both of these supplements are very affordable. Using Thorne’s Rhodiola as an example, you can get this supplement for around $0.27/serving; using Transparent Labs’ Ashwagandha, this supplement comes in at around $0.33/serving. While they come at comparable prices, rhodiola is slightly cheaper between these 2 examples.
2. Stress Reduction
Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress levels by reducing cortisol levels in the body. While rhodiola has been shown to reduce fatigue, there is little other evidence to support its use for stress reduction.
3. Nootropic Effects
Ashwagandha is effective at reducing stress, and the mental clarity associated with this may be seen as a nootropic effect. Rhodiola is more of a traditional nootropic, being thought to help with mental clarity and memory. However, much of the research done on rhodiola is somewhat unreliable, so further research is needed to substantiate these claims.
4. Exercise Performance
Both of these supplements have been shown to increase exercise performance in some metrics. Because much of the research on rhodiola has been conducted in somewhat unreliable studies, it’s difficult to say if these results are genuine without further research. Ashwagandha has been shown to boost testosterone, and has produced these results in more reliable studies.
Both ashwagandha and rhodiola are widely considered to be safe for human consumption. However, if you are concerned or have any pre-existing medical issues, consult with a doctor before use.
Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha: Summary
Rhodiola and ashwagandha both appear to be beneficial herbal supplements that should be used for different purposes. Rhodiola is a nootropic supplement that helps with cognitive function and may also have benefits for exercise performance. Ashwagandha is useful for reducing stress levels as well as moderately boosting testosterone as a result. It should be noted that while more conclusive research has been done on ashwagandha, both supplements should be studied further.
Pros/Cons of Rhodiola
May improve memory and mental acuity
Could be beneficial for reducing fatigue
May improve exercise performance on several metrics
Safe for human consumption and affordable
Could be better:
Much of the research done on rhodiola is somewhat unreliable
Pros/Cons of Ashwagandha
Reduces cortisol levels, thus reducing stress
Moderately increases testosterone levels naturally
Completely safe, and very cheap
Could be better:
Further research is needed to fully substantiate claims surrounding ashwagandha
Increases in test levels may not increase performance significantly
Rhodiola vs Ashwagandha: When to Use Each?
Although these 2 herbal supplements are similar, they will have slightly different use cases. Rhodiola should be used for purposes of improving mental clarity, or for reducing fatigue. It may also be useful for generally improving exercise performance. Keep in mind, however, that these results are from somewhat unreliable sources.
Ashwagandha should be taken for reducing stress levels, and the testosterone-boosting effects associated with this. This in turn may modestly improve exercise performance metrics.
Follow the instructions on supplement packages for dosage guidelines for either of these supplements. While they should both be completely safe, consult with your doctor if you have any pre-existing health conditions, or if you’re concerned about any associated risks.
Best Rhodiola - Thorne Rhodiola
If you’re looking for a high-quality Rhodiola supplement, consider trying Thorne’s product.
Each package comes with 60 capsules containing 100mg of Rhodiola each. Aside from the capsule ingredients, this supplement contains 100% rhodiola with no extra ingredients.
Reviews suggest that this supplement is effective in providing a boost of clean energy, as well as increasing mental clarity. As mentioned above, this is also a very affordable supplement at only ~$0.27 per serving. So, if you’re interested in trying rhodiola, it won’t set you back too much money!
Best Ashwagandha - Transparent Labs Ashwagandha
If you’re more interested in ashwagandha, Transparent Labs offers a great supplement as well.
You’ll also be getting 60 servings per package, with each capsule containing 600mg of ashwagandha. This is an effective daily dose based on current research. Like all Transparent Labs products, you can expect no additional unnecessary ingredients whatsoever.
Reviews suggest that this product is beneficial in reducing stress levels and improving sleep. This product comes at a similar price to Thorne’s rhodiola. It will only cost you around $0.33 per serving, making it a great budget choice.
Can You Take Rhodiola and Ashwagandha Together?
Is Rhodiola Similar to Ashwagandha?
Is There Something Stronger Than Ashwagandha?
Should You Take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola for Weight Loss?
Ashwagandha and rhodiola are 2 beneficial herbal supplements that serve slightly different purposes. If you’re looking for a nootropic that may also boost exercise performance, you may be interested in rhodiola. However, if you’re looking for a natural stress reliever that may in turn boost testosterone, check out ashwagandha.
Have you tried either of these supplements before? What was your experience like? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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