Ashwagandha is known for its numerous health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, boosting athletic performance, and enhancing overall well-being.
However, even though ashwagandha, also known as withania somnifera , has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries many people are unsure about when to take ashwagandha to reap its full benefits. In this article, we will delve into the various factors to consider to arrive at the best time to take ashwagandha.
So, when to take Ashwagandha to maximize its benefits? When thinking of when to take ashwagandha consider your goal and preference. As with other supplements, ashwagandha can be taken at any time, it could be in the morning or evening but its effect most likely won’t be seen immediately, it's better to take the recommended dosage for about 6 to 12 weeks.
What is ashwagandha and its benefits
Commonly referred to as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry, Ashwagandha is a small shrub that is native to India and North Africa. It belongs to the Solanaceae family and is scientifically known as Withania somnifera. This ancient herb has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its numerous health benefits. It has rejuvenating and adaptogenic properties and will be out of place not to mention that this supplement can carry out its numerous benefits because it contains a key bioactive compound called withanolides.
The roots and berries of the ashwagandha plant are primarily used for medicinal purposes. The root is dried and ground into a fine powder, which is then packaged as capsules, tablets, and tinctures. The berries, on the other hand, are often used to make herbal teas and tonics.
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, which means it helps the body adapt to stress and promotes overall balance and well-being. It works by regulating the body's stress response system, probably including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. By modulating the HPA axis, ashwagandha can help reduce the production of stress hormones like cortisol, thus promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. In the session we will talk about the benefits of ashwagandha briefly, In the later part of this article we will talk about its benefits in detail.
One of the key benefits of ashwagandha is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that ashwagandha supplementation can significantly lower perceived stress levels and improve overall well-being. It does this by reducing cortisol levels and possibly enhancing the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps calm the brain and promote relaxation.
From daunting tasks to several meetings and countless schedules all creating emotional stress and anxiety which could finally lead to insomnia, ashwagandha has also been found to have an effect in improving sleep quality. Therefore, taking ashwagandha before bed or any other time helps individuals achieve a more restful and rejuvenating sleep after a hectic day.
A scientific analysis emphasizes another benefits of ashwagandha like ability to improve strength and energy during physical performance, help to improve recovery and supports cardiorespiratory fitness.
Additionally, ashwagandha has immune-strengthening effects. It assists in modulating the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells and enhancing an increase in antibodies and antibody-forming cells. This immune-boosting property makes ashwagandha a valuable herb for supporting overall immune health.
Overall, Its wide range of therapeutic properties has made it a popular choice among individuals seeking natural alternatives for improving their health and well-being. Whether you are looking to reduce stress, improve sleep quality, boost energy levels, or strengthen your immune system, ashwagandha may be a valuable addition to your wellness routine.
To summarize, the best evidence based benefits of ashwagandha supplementation will be:
- Reduction of stress and anxiety
- Improvements in sleep (quality, duration, latency)
- Testosterone boosting
- And results of cumulative effects of all of the above.
So if you’re a competitive athlete, parent who loves to train or both (hats off!) you know how stress and sleep can influence your performance.
Can you take ashwagandha at night?
Sleep is one of the ways our body undergoes the restoration process, it enhances mental resilience and it's also a time when our brain removes wastes. However large numbers of people encounter difficulties in getting quality sleep which could be due to various reasons. For these sets of individuals taking a recommended dose of ashwagandha is one of the ways to possibly improve the quality of sleep at night.
So yeah If it fits you and does not upset your stomach, you can consider taking ashwagandha at night, but keep in mind that timing of supplementation most likely does not matter - it is more about cumulative effect.
Can you take ashwagandha in the morning?
It will be a good idea to take ashwagandha in the morning so long it fits into your goals and preference and you are not taken more than the recommended dosage.
However, it is worth noting that taking ashwagandha on an empty stomach can cause discomfort in some individuals so try taking it between or with meals. To be sure whether can you take ashwagandha in the morning you can try it out maybe at bed time or on a free day so you can be sure if it will make you drowsy or not.
So when is it best to take ashwagandha…?
In studies where the benefits of ashwagandha were being verified, it was consumed at various times of the day, including every morning, every afternoon or evening, every evening, or twice daily—in the morning and before bed. From this we can deduce that timing is not subject to any rigorous guidelines. Just take the supplement at any time that works best for you.
In addition to the best time to take ashwagandha, dosage is another factor to consider, the commonest administration method is to take 600 mg divided into two portions, taking one in the morning with a meal and one in the evening for about 6 to 12 weeks as the effect of ashwagandha doesn't kicks in immediately
If taking it on an empty stomach in the morning makes you feel discomfort in your gastrointestinal tract you are advised to take it after or with a meal. In the case you feel drowsy after its consumption you shouldn't engage in activities like driving or operating a machine.
So if you are wondering - do I take ashwagandha in the morning or night? Remember that there's no one-size-fits-all answer, it depends greatly on your preferences. It can be taken either at bed time, in the morning, both or any other time that is most convenient for you.
However most likely you will need to take the recommended dosage for about 6 to 12 weeks for its effect to be felt. Lastly, you can consult a healthcare professional who can help you determine the optimal timing and dosage for your unique needs. As you embark on your journey toward better health and well-being, ashwagandha stands as a natural ally, ready to support you on multiple fronts.
1. Ashwagandha for sleep
Considering when to take ashwagandha for sleep? It is best to take this supplement at your preference for a few weeks to experience quality sleep as it does not have an acute effect. It helps you relax your mind through the modulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and reduction in the production of cortisol, a known stress hormone, so while you might feel some short-term improvements, most of the benefits will probably be seen after a few weeks.
A Study shows that taking ≥600 mg/day
Ashwagandha for ≥8 weeks can help to combat insomnia.
If you take an ashwagandha supplement with a high concentration of withanolides it is possible that you might just take fewer amounts of ashwagandha for a lesser number of days to reap its overall benefit on non-restorative sleep. This was present in a study where 120 mg of standardized ashwagandha extract in Shoden® form is taken once daily for six weeks. 72% of the participants experienced improvement in sleep.
2. For reducing anxiety
Ashwagandha is known for its potential to reduce anxiety and stress. Consider taking it during times of high stress or when you're feeling anxious to help calm your nerves and promote a sense of well-being
Starting with 300mg of ashwagandha is effective in reducing general stress and anxiety in the body. However, in the case of anxiety, a maximum dose of not more than 600 mg/day is recommended for about 8 weeks.
3. For athletic performance, strength, and power
Taking ashwagandha along with other supplements can help improve strength, power, and endurance. Its adaptogenic properties might aid in better recovery after intense training sessions and improve your sleep at night leading to an overall improvement in your athletic performance.
If you are healthy, 600 mg/day of ashwagandha might help you increase your strength and power.It also seems to be safe for 12 weeks and effective to boost your muscle size as well as serum testosterone - which will be beneficial for your athletic performance
Now it’s important to talk and set realistic expectations in terms of benefits of Ashwagandha supplementation in terms of Performance and Body composition. Ashwagandha ability to improve strength and muscle growth will likely be the BYPRODUCT of 3 effects, we mentioned before, combined:
- stress management and cortisol reduction (chronically elevated cortisol can even suppress testosterone production and muscle growth)
- sleep improvements
- testosterone levels improvements,
not because it somehow magically makes humans stronger (unfortunately 🙂) So don’t expect fireworks and some kind of magic pill that will suddenly enhance your performance.
It only highlights how important stress management and proper sleep is for athletes.
4. For Testosterone
People wonder when is the best time to take ashwagandha for testosterone concentration which is another benefit of this supplement.
Scientific study shows that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of ashwagandha and decrease in cortisol level is associated with testosterone concentration.
However, there were differences in the standardization and extraction processes and different dosages were administered to this participant. From this research there is no clear dosage recommendation of ashwagandha for testosterone, so care should be taken and you should stay with the recommended dose 300-600 mg/day for 8-12 weeks. Lastly, if you have hormone sensitive prostate cancer stay clear of ashwagandha.
5. For weight loss
If you are looking for something that will help you with weight loss, know that ashwagandha will indirectly affect weight loss in several ways, although it's not a miracle remedy for weight loss on its own and the effect will be minimal at best - calorie balance is what matters in terms of weight loss/gain.
Now, many things can (some more, some less) influence calorie balance… High stress and elevated cortisol is often associated with weight issues. As we already know, ashwagandha helps to reduce stress by lowering the level of cortisol in the body. This is one of the indirect ways in which it can influence weight management.
There is a connection between proper sleep regimen and body management problems. Some people when tired are often having poor food choices, resulting in excessive calorie intake. This one as well might affect your participation in physical exercise which will make you gain more weight. In order to regulate weight, a proper sleep is important, this is where ashwagandha comes in, it has been shown to improve sleep duration and quality, and that as well can indirectly help in weight management. Lack of proper sleep can lead to not only excessive calorie intake but also lower calorie expenditure - resulting in positive caloric balance and weight gain.
However, when thinking of the best time to take ashwagandha for weight loss, remember that there's no right or wrong nor a best time, just take the recommended dosage at your convenience. Lastly, It's essential to note that ashwagandha alone is unlikely to lead to significant weight loss. Weight management requires a combination of a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and a healthy lifestyle.
Can I take ashwagandha everyday
There is no harm in taking ashwagandha everyday provided you are consuming the recommended dosage. In some of the studies that validate the importance of ashwagandha, the participant takes it twice daily for about 8 to 12 weeks without any side effects. After that time we advise to take adequate time off before taking it again.
Additionally, ashwagandha can be taken at any time of the day provided that it fits into your goal and preference. If you experience any side effects from taking ashwagandha, it's best to stop taking it and consult a doctor.
If you wish for a supplement that makes you sleep better, feel less stressed after a daunting task, let your body get over fatigue, use and improve your strength power and athletic performance take a look at KSM-66 Ashwagandha by Transparent Labs.
In one capsule, you will get 600mg which is clinically demonstrated to be effective for sleep improvement. Plus, every capsule contains 5% withanolides, that is, it contains 30 mg withanolide per serving which is enough to reap the benefit of ashwagandha completely.
A single serving costs ~ $0.33 which is pocket-friendly and far less when compared to the benefits you get. KSM 66 is gluten-free and non-GMO, it contains zero artificial sweeteners, coloring, and no artificial preservatives. Plus, Transparent Labs is a reputable and trusted company.
When buying supplements, safety is the most important factor to consider. This is another area where KSM 66 stands out. It is a third-party test granting it an Informed Choice certification so your mind can rest that you are consuming a supplement that's greatly safe without any risk associated with dietary supplements.
Is ashwagandha for morning or night?
How should I take ashwagandha for best results?
After considering your preference. It's recommended that you take 600 mg of ashwagandha per day, preferably divided into two portions, one in the morning with a meal and one in the evening. In the case you feel drowsy, it is advised to take ashwagandha at bedtime. As demonstrated in most researches you should take ashwagandha for 12 weeks after which you can take a break for a few weeks, then restart.
Is ashwagandha to be taken before or after a meal?
Ashwagandha is a versatile herb with a rich history in Ayurvedic medicine, offering a wide array of benefits that cater to individual preferences and goals. Whether you're seeking stress reduction, improved sleep, maybe some testosterone boosting effects, you may consider trying/including ashwagandha into your nutrition plan. The decision of when to take ashwagandha is totally up to you as timing actually does not really matter.
Now you have learned that the best time to take ashwagandha to maximize its benefits is based on your preference and consuming the appropriate dosage. We will appreciate it if you share your thoughts in the comments section. Your valuable input matters as it will foster a healthy engagement.
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- "Does ashwagandha affect specific mental health conditions?", Examine, https://examine.com/supplements/ashwagandha/faq/4J4OOoQ-does-ashwagandha-affect-specific-mental-health-conditions/
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- Kae Ling Cheah, "Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep", NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8462692/
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