10 Best Ashwagandha Supplements in 2024

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko (Certified Sports Nutritionist, MSc)

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski (M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology, Sports Nutritionist)

In order to choose the best ashwagandha supplement, it is necessary to take into account some key nuances. The specific type of supplement, dosage, level of training that may dictate the dosage required, as well as safety in the context of not having excessive levels of heavy metals in a particular product. Read to the end so you don't miss important details when choosing the best ashwagandha supplements!

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the KSM-66 Ashwagandha by Transparent Labs.


Transparent Labs presents KSM 66, a top-tier ashwagandha extract that boasts a robust serving of withanolides, exceptional value, and the coveted Informed Choice certification, all underlined by the brand's reputable standing, making it a prime selection for those prioritizing high-quality dietary supplements.

Our team, consisting of certified nutritionists and professional athletes, has reviewed 34 products for this article, and only 9 made it to this list. We’ve spent 6 weeks testing most of them, and we have based our evaluations on 4 key factors. In addition to this, we’ve also examined hundreds of online reviews. Our list is updated all the time, so feel free to share your experiences in the comments section!

Best Ashwagandha Supplements

Top 10 Best Ashwagandha Supplements Reviewed

  1. KSM-66 Ashwagandha by Transparent Labs – Best Overall
  2. NOW Foods Ashwagandha – Budget Pick
  3. Nature's Way Ashwagandha – The Best Balanced Product
  4. KSM-66 by Huge Supplements – The Highest Concentration of Withanolides
  5. Triumph Men's by Legion – Best Multivitamin Based Option for Men
  6. GNC Ashwagandha Extract – ConsumerLab’s Top Pick
  7. Nature Made Ashwagandha
  8. Solaray Ashwagandha
  9. Ashwagandha by Organic India – Best Organic
  10. Solgar Ashwagandha Root Extract

ProductTotalWithanolides per ServingLabel TransparencyServings per PackagePrice/
Quality
Transparent Labs39.510109.510
NOW Foods38.599.51010
Nature's Way38.59.5109.59.5
Huge Supplements381081010
Legion3710108.58.5
GNC Extract36.58.51099
Nature Made36.591098.5
Solaray35.58.59.598.5
Organic India358.59.58.58.5
Isopure34.58.59.588.5

DISCLAIMER

Throughout the article, I will focus on the concentration of withanolides, because when choosing this supplement, you can only pay attention to the total amount of ashwagandha (in mg). However, the fact is that in order to obtain the desired effects, we are interested in the concentration of the key bioactive substance in ashwagandha - withanolides. Their dose should be at least 6 mg. Keep that in mind.

Transparent Labs Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 600 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 30 mg
  • Servings per Container: 60
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.33
  • Company Founded (year): 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafþór Björnsson, Paul Sklar, P A U L I N A

The first place in the ranking is taken by KSM 66 ashwagandha extract from Transparent Labs. One capsule contains 600 mg of ashwagandha extract with at least 5% of the active component - withanolides. That is, for 1 capsule you will get 30 mg of active substances, which is important to consider if you really want to get the effects you expect.

By the way, 600 mg of KSM 66 demonstrated a clinically beneficial effect in improving sleep. Therefore, this product from Transparent Labs may just be one of the best candidates for improving sleep.

Overall, this product is the undisputed leader because it contains a high concentration of withanolides per serving, has great value for money, and is certified by Informed Choice! Also note that Transparent Labs is a brand with a great reputation.

If you are not familiar with Informed Choice, it is a certification program from a globally recognized third party. Products with this certification undergo monthly blind sampling for impurities and banned substances in the product. Thus, by choosing products with Informed Choice or similar certification, you minimize the possible risks associated with dietary supplements.

39.5Expert Score

Transparent Labs presents KSM 66 ashwagandha extract, delivering a substantial withanolide content that holds promise for promoting better sleep quality and holistic health support.

Withanolides per Serving:
10
Label Transparency:
10
Servings per Package:
9.5
Price/Quality:
10

Positives:

  • High concentration of withanolides per capsule

  • Informed Choice certified

  • Great value for money

Could be better:

  • Only 60 servings per package

2. NOW Foods Ashwagandha – Budget Pick

NOW Foods Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 450 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 11 mg
  • Servings per Container: 180
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.08
  • Company Founded (year): 1968
  • Recommended by Athletes: Josh Kerr, Bruno Fratus

In second place is a product that deserves to be in all the best ashwagandha reviews - NOW Foods Extract Ashwagandha. The NOW Foods brand needs no introduction as it has been producing quality nutritional supplements since 1968 and has an extensive line of Informed Sport certified products. This certification program is even more rigorous than Informed Choice. Unfortunately, this particular product did not go through such certification, but this does not mean that it is of poor quality.

Among the strongest advantages of this product is a large package for 180 servings, as well as a good concentration of bioactive substances per capsule. The cost per serving is only $0.08. Considering that for $0.08 you get 11 mg of bioactive substance, this is the product with one of the best value for money in this ranking.

NOW Foods Ashwagandha instagram

On the other hand, you will find quite a lot of complaints from users about stomach upset. However, it is worth considering that stomach upset is one of the possible side effects of ashwagandha, so this complaint is not unique to ashwagandha only from NOW Foods.

Do not rush to draw conclusions about the quality of the product due to the presence of side effects from the gastrointestinal tract. It will not be superfluous to first do a little research - what kind of supplement it is and what side effects it can cause. You will learn about this a little later if you read to the end.

38.5Expert Score

NOW Foods Extract Ashwagandha secures second place with budget-friendly pricing, substantial bioactive content, and an established brand reputation, despite lacking Informed Sport certification and potential for stomach discomfort.

Withanolides per Serving:
9
Label Transparency:
9.5
Servings per Package:
10
Price/Quality:
10

Positives:

  • Great value for money

  • 180 servings per package

  • Well-known brand

Could be better:

  • Many complaints from users about stomach upset (although this is just one of the possible side effects of ashwagandha in general)

3. Nature's Way Ashwagandha – The Best Balanced Product

Nature's Way Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 500 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 17.5 mg
  • Servings per Container: 60
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.36
  • Company Founded (year): 1969
  • Recommended by: Calyn Robinow, Rachel McClusky

The third position went to ashwagandha pills from Nature's Way. This product has a fairly high concentration of withanolides per capsule and an affordable cost per serving.

It is worth noting the approval of ConsumerLab, which, among others, checks the compliance of the indicated concentration of the bioactive substance with the actual concentration. That way, you can be sure you're paying for what you're buying. In general, this is a very balanced product in terms of the ratio of the cost per serving to the concentration of withanolides.

Nature's Way Ashwagandha instagram

However, compared to the leader of this rating, for almost the same cost per serving, you will get a much lower concentration of bioactive substances. Otherwise, this product could have taken a higher position.

38.5Expert Score

Nature's Way Ashwagandha pills claim the third spot with potent withanolide levels, budget-friendly pricing, and ConsumerLab approval, slightly trailing the leader's bioactive concentration for a similar cost.

Withanolides per Serving:
9.5
Label Transparency:
10
Servings per Package:
9.5
Price/Quality:
9.5

Positives:

  • High concentration of active substance per capsule

  • Approved by ConsumerLab

Could be better:

  • Relatively low concentration of withanolides compared to the leader

4. KSM-66 by Huge Supplements – The Highest Concentration of Withanolides

KSM-66 by Huge Supplements

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 1000 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 50 mg
  • Servings per Container: 60
  • Serving Size: 2 Capsules
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.5
  • Company Founded (year): 2019
  • Recommended by: Stefania Totol, Nyle Nayga

This is one of the strongest ashwagandha in this rating from the HUGE brand. One capsule contains about 25 mg of the active substance, and the serving recommended by the manufacturer is 2 capsules at a time, which will give a total of 50 mg of withanolides. However, keep in mind that more is not always better! In the case of ashwagandha, high doses can cause not only stomach upset (mentioned above), but also liver and other problems.

Despite the fact that this is one of the most studied and best form of ashwagandha (KSM-66), the manufacturer does not indicate the concentration of the active substance, so we have to calculate based on the known concentration of the active substance in KSM-66. I would like all brands to indicate not only the amount of ashwagandha per serving, but also more specifically highlight the dosage of the bioactive substance.

There is also a bit of confusion about the "Vegetarian Friendly" label on the back of the bottle. The fact is that the capsule contains gelatin, which is a product of animal origin. If you are a vegetarian who only eats eggs and dairy products, the presence of gelatin in these KSM 66 ashwagandha may be completely unacceptable to you. However, more explanations need to be made here, because gelatin can also be produced from fish, which would not be a problem for pescatarians who eat fish and seafood.

38Expert Score

HUGE Ashwagandha stands out for its potent KSM-66 variant, offering significant active substance per capsule, although caution is advised on dosage, and its "Vegetarian Friendly" label needs clarification regarding gelatin content.

Withanolides per Serving:
10
Label Transparency:
8
Servings per Package:
10
Price/Quality:
10

Positives:

  • Highest concentration of withanolides per serving (based on the known percentage in KSM-66) in this ranking

  • A very good ratio of the price to the amount of active substance per serving

Could be better:

  • The concentration of the active substance is not specified

  • Confusion about gelatin capsules and "vegetarian-friendliness"

5. Triumph Men's by Legion – Best Multivitamin Based Option for Men

Triumph Men's by Legion

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 500mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 25mg
  • Servings per Container: 30
  • Serving Size: 8 Capsules
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.67
  • Company Founded (year): 2014
  • Recommended by: Gage Clark, Grant Tinsley, Machaela Brabham

Next on our list is Legion’s Triumph Multivitamin, which is one of the only multivitamins out there to contain a solid dose of Ashwagandha. Along with 21 vitamins and minerals, Triumph contains 500mg of Ashwagandha root extract. It’s standardized to 5% Withanolides, meaning you’ll be getting 25mg per serving. Legion delivers a high dose of Ashwagandha here, which you may not expect given all the other ingredients.

Triumph Men's by Legion instagram

Photo by @legion

It should also be noted that this supplement is not vegan-friendly, as it contains milk. Also, the high serving size of 8 capsules may be difficult to consume for some. With that being said, Legion is a trustworthy brand, and this product is tested for purity, so you can be sure you’re getting a high-quality product.

Of course, the main drawback here is the price. Triumph is nearly 5 times as expensive as the Transparent Labs product! While this is a very complete multivitamin, the high price is tough to justify.

37Expert Score

Legion's Triumph Multivitamin offers a potent dose of Ashwagandha along with essential vitamins and minerals, but its non-vegan composition, larger capsules, and higher cost might not suit everyone.

Withanolides per Serving:
10
Label Transparency:
10
Servings per Package:
8.5
Price/Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • Only multivitamin based supplement on our list

  • One of the most complete sports multivitamins available

  • Lab-tested for purity

Could be better:

  • Most expensive product on our list by far

  • Not vegan-friendly

6. GNC Ashwagandha Extract – ConsumerLab’s Top Pick

GNC Ashwagandha Extract

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 470 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 7 mg
  • Servings per Container: 100
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.25
  • Company Founded (year): 1935
  • Recommended by: Jon Burkey, Chris Abascal

GNC Ashwagandha Extract should definitely find its place in the list of the best Ashwagandha brands. Despite the relatively low concentration of active substances per serving, this is still a great product, which also won the title of Top Pick on ConsumerLab. This is a very nice bonus to add to a product from a brand with a long history and great reputation.

Nature's Way Ashwagandha instagram

Photo by @marcbuckner

However, compared to the products that ranked higher, this supplement contains a much lower concentration of bioactives per serving. Including the cost per serving, the total number of points was reduced.

36.5Expert Score

GNC Ashwagandha Extract, recognized as a ConsumerLab Top Pick, earns its place among the best brands despite a lower concentration of active substances per serving, offering a quality product from a reputable brand with a long history.

Withanolides per Serving:
8.5
Label Transparency:
10
Servings per Package:
9
Price/Quality:
9

Positives:

  • Top Pick on ConsumerLab

  • Reputable brand

Could be better:

  • Lower concentration of withanolides per serving

  • Not the best value for money

Nature Made Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 125 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 12.5 mg
  • Servings per Container: 60
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.38
  • Company Founded (year): 1971
  • Recommended by: Tiffany Ashley Williams, Victor Arroyo III

The sixth place in the rating of best ashwagandha supplements is taken by Nature Made. You may have noticed the much lower amount of ashwagandha per capsule, which is 125 mg. However, this is not a disadvantage, as this product uses ashwagandha with a more concentrated content of withanolides in the form of Sensoril® (10% withanolides), while KSM-66 has 5%.

From one capsule you will get 12.5 mg of bioactive substance at a price of $0.38. In general, this is a very good product from a well-known brand that manufactures many of its supplements according to USP standards and has the USP Verified Mark on many of its products. This means that the supplement contains the specified amount of a specific component and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.

However, as in the case of the previous product, the overall sixth place is related to the ratio of the amount of withanolides and the price per serving.

36.5Expert Score

Nature Made offers a concentrated 10% withanolides content per capsule through Sensoril® extract, showcasing a reputable brand adhering to USP standards for ingredient verification and product quality.

Withanolides per Serving:
9
Label Transparency:
10
Servings per Package:
9
Price/Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • Well-known brand

  • Contains a moderate amount of withanolides per capsule

Could be better:

  • Not the best value for money

Solaray Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 470 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 7 mg
  • Servings per Container: 60
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.33
  • Company Founded (year): 1973
  • Recommended by: Crosby Tailor, Ashley DeLeon

All of the following ashwagandha brands are approved by ConsumerLab. This means that the concentration of the active substance declared on the package has been confirmed by testing.

Solaray Ashwagandha contains 7 mg of active substance per serving in a package of 60 capsules. An analysis by ConsumerLab showed that the actual amount of the active substance is 8.9 mg, so choosing this product you get even a little more than what you paid for. However, this still does not negate the fact that it is not the best product in terms of price per serving and concentration of withanolides.

35.5Expert Score

ConsumerLab-approved Solaray Ashwagandha provides confirmed active substance concentrations, slightly exceeding labeled content, making it a reasonable choice considering price and concentration.

Withanolides per Serving:
8.5
Label Transparency:
9.5
Servings per Package:
9
Price/Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • Approved by ConsumerLab

  • A slightly higher concentration of active substances than indicated on the package

Could be better:

  • Suboptimal ratio of the price to the concentration of withanolides per serving

9. Ashwagandha by Organic India – Best Organic

Ashwagandha by Organic India

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 800 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 6 mg
  • Servings per Container: 90
  • Serving Size: 2 Capsules
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.34
  • Company Founded (year): 1997
  • Recommended by: parullchaudhry, Rakhi Sharma

If you're a fan of organic supplements, check out this Ashwagandha by Organic India. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not indicate the percentage of withanolides, but only the total amount of ashwagandha. However, according to ConsumerLab estimates, a serving contains approximately 6 mg of bioactive substances. This product has also been tested for heavy metals and been approved by ConsumerLab.

Ashwagandha by Organic India instagram
34.5Expert Score

Organic India's Ashwagandha is a choice for organic supplement enthusiasts, though it lacks specific withanolides percentage information and contains an estimated bioactive content per serving, alongside ConsumerLab's heavy metals testing approval.

Withanolides per Serving:
8.5
Label Transparency:
9.5
Servings per Package:
8
Price/Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • USDA organic

  • Did not exceed limits for heavy metals (tested by ConsumerLab)

Could be better:

  • The amount of bioactive substances per serving is not specified on the Supplement Facts

  • Lower concentration of withanolides per serving (based on the estimate of ConsumerLab)

Solgar Ashwagandha Root Extract

  • Ashwagandha per Serving (mg): 300 mg
  • Withanolides per Serving (mg): 4.5 mg
  • Servings per Container: 60
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.23
  • Company Founded (year): 1947
  • Recommended by: Cleopatra Lee, Yury Tsedenov

Solgar Ashwagandha Root Extract contains the lowest concentration of withanolides per serving in this review. The package states a dosage of 4.5 mg of withanolides per capsule from the root extract, however this supplement also contains an additional source of ashwagandha from root powder. Therefore, the actual amount of withanolides is higher and, according to ConsumerLab estimates, is 4.8 mg per capsule. In any case, in terms of the concentration of the active substance per serving, this product loses to all competitors on this list.

Solgar Ashwagandha Root Extract instagram

Photo by @solgar

However, this is a product from a well-known brand, which has also been tested for the safe level of heavy metals and received an "Approved" mark from ConsumerLab. So we couldn't help but include it in this ashwagandha reviews. You'll see in a bit why I emphasize testing for safe levels of heavy metals in this type of supplement.

34.5Expert Score

Solgar Ashwagandha Root Extract, from a reputable brand, is ConsumerLab-approved after undergoing heavy metals testing, despite having a relatively low withanolides concentration per serving.

Withanolides per Serving:
8.5
Label Transparency:
9.5
Servings per Package:
8
Price/Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • Tested for the permitted content of heavy metals

  • Approved by ConsumerLab

Could be better:

  • Lowest concentration of withanolides per serving in this ranking

  • Not the best ratio of the cost per serving to the amount of withanolides

Experts Who Contributed To This Article

WBCL autor Sergii Putsov

Orthopedic Clinical Specialist

Dina Al-Rubaye

Professional Nutritionist and Certified Coach

What Is Ashwagandha?

This is an evergreen shrub and one of the most popular plants that came from the Indian alternative medical system - Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng, Withania somnifera or as Indian winter cherry.

This plant is considered an adaptogen, that is, a substance that may help us adapt to stressful situations and mitigate the effects of stress, which can harm our health and body. Since ancient times, this plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a means to strengthen the nervous system. However, Ashwagandha is not only considered an adaptogen. Among its proposed benefits are cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antibacterial and other effects.

Ernesto Mendez shared his thoughts:

"Ashwagandha is a traditional herb with adaptogenic properties and versatile applications in modern wellness. It can be used for stress management, enhanced vitality, improved cognitive function, immune support, athletic performance, hormonal balance, sleep quality, and adaptability to chronic health conditions. It may also assist in aging while benefiting both men's and women's health."

The leaves, stem, and root of Ashwagandha contain several bioactive compounds, but the key substance that is primarily responsible for Indian ginseng benefits is the withanolides. It is for this reason that we constantly emphasized their concentration in the supplements included in this review.

However, despite the large body of scientific literature reporting potential ashwagandha's effectiveness for many conditions and ergogenic effects in athletes, adaptogens in general are not well studied. Many experts are still very skeptical about this type of supplement, especially if you generalize adaptogens as a whole group. Although, for the sake of fairness, it is worth noting that ashwagandha looks like one of the most promising adaptogens. In any case, given the above, it is too early to draw any far-reaching conclusions about this type of supplement.

Athlete Taking Ashwagandha Capsules

What Are the Types of Ashwagandha?

Most frequent commercial products used in studies are KSM-66®, Shoden® and Sensoril®. However, not all manufacturers specify which type they use in their supplements, although knowing the percentage of withanolides for each commercial product can at least give you a rough estimate of the absolute concentration per serving.

Some manufacturers do not list neither the types of ashwagandha they use, nor the amount of withanolides per serving. In this case, it is better to choose alternative products, the label of which indicates either the type of ashwagandha or the amount of withanolides per serving. Otherwise it will be very difficult to predict the necessary dosage to obtain the expected effects.

Our expert Dina Al-Rubaye warned you that:

"Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herbal supplement, offers stress relief, cognitive support, and increased vitality, but individual responses vary, so consult a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your routine."

Also, by using a supplement with a non-standardized concentration of withanolides, you are more at risk of exceeding the safe dosage, which in turn can cause unpredictable side effects.

athlete workout in gym

What Benefits Can Ashwagandha Give to Athletes?

There is some evidence to consider Withania somnifera as a potentially ergogenic agent that athletes can use to obtain their specific benefits. According to systematic review and meta-analysis, taking ashwagandha in a dosage of 120-1250 mg per day demonstrated positive effects on strength, power and general athletic performance.

This meta-analysis included trials in which the concentration of withanolides was known (including KSM‑66® and Sensoril®), as well as trials in which supplementation with only the total concentration of ashwagandha (in milligrams), without detailed information on the withanolides content. In any case, the authors of this review indicate the general range of ashwagandha that has shown effects.

✅ Athletic Performance, Strength and Power

A positive effect was demonstrated regarding muscle strength of upper and lower limbs, handgrip, power and other variables. In experiments that demonstrated effects specific to strength, power, and overall athletic performance, the general range of ashwagandha intake was 500-1250 mg.

For healthy untrained people with no training experience, as well as for those who train infrequently and not very intensively, strength / power-related variables may improve with a dosage of 240-600 mg of ashwagandha per day (even ≤300 mg once a day may be sufficient).

For those undergoing strenuous resistance or endurance training, as well as for athletes, a higher dosage may be needed. Taking ashwagandha twice per day at a dosage of 300-500 mg - in the morning and before going to bed - seems to be safe and effective.

Athlete Showing Nutrition Capsules

✅ Ashwagandha for Muscle Growth

In this randomized controlled trial, taking 300 mg of ashwagandha 2 times a day demonstrated significantly better changes in muscle size in the arms and chest compared to the placebo group. Therefore, in combination with strength training ashwagandha supplement for muscle growth can potentially give some additive muscle-building effect. However, additional experiments are needed to confirm these effects.

✅ Ashwagandha for Weight Loss

In the trial cited above, the experimental group that consumed two KSM-66 ashwagandha pills at a dosage of 300 mg, also reduced their body fat percentage by almost 3.5%, while the control group (placebo) - by 1.5%. The duration of the experiment was 8 weeks.

However, it is worth considering that body fat percentage was calculated with the bioimpedance method, which is not sufficiently accurate, since the measurement results can be strongly influenced by the state of hydration. And although the authors of the study standardized the measurement conditions to avoid a significant influence of the state of hydration, I would still advise against getting too excited.

Remember, that the most effective weight loss tool is a combination of a sustained energy deficit, adequate protein, and a flexible meal plan.

✅ Cardiorespiratory Fitness

The results of the above-mentioned systematic review and meta-analysis also suggest positive effects of Ashwagandha supplementation on cardiorespiratory fitness and more specifically - on VO2max, which is considered the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness and gold-standard measurement of endurance.

In the experiments that demonstrated an improvement in the VOmax2, dosages of 330-1000 mg of ashwagandha were used.

man cable machine training

✅ Fatigue, Recovery and Sleep

Ashwagandha showed positive effects on muscle fatigue, muscle damage and soreness. Therefore, in conditions of high volume training, especially high-intensity training, Indian ginseng can contribute to faster recovery and less pronounced muscle soreness.

Ashwagandha also showed a small effect in improving overall sleep. A more pronounced effect was seen in people with insomnia who took 600 mg or more of ashwagandha per day for 8 or more weeks.

Although in this randomized controlled trial, 120 mg in the form of Shoden® was also sufficient to produce an effect in people with non-restorative sleep, which once again emphasizes the importance of withanolides concentration. Among participants in the experimental group, 72% reported improved sleep quality.

✅ Ashwagandha Supplement for Anxiety

The use of this supplement has shown a significant reduction in the anxiety scale. This anti-anxiety effect is associated with a decrease in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, as well as the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and other effects of Indian ginseng.

Regarding the dosage, a decrease in anxiety was observed starting with 300 mg of ashwagandha.

✅ Ashwagandha for Testosterone

In this systematic review, Withania somnifera was one of two herbal supplements that demonstrated the most consistent increases in testosterone concentrations in men. Among the possible mechanisms that explain this effect are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and a decrease in hormone cortisol, which is inversely correlated with testosterone concentrations.

However, the experiments used different dosages of ashwagandha (240-675 mg per day). Standardization and extraction processes also differed, so we do not have clear recommendations regarding the dosage and type of ashwagandha for testosterone. In women, the effects of increasing testosterone levels from taking Indian ginseng were not observed.

However, despite the possible increase in testosterone, this does not guarantee major changes in the context of the development of muscle mass.

By the way, men with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer should avoid ashwagandha, because increasing testosterone production accelerates the progression of the disease.

parallettes workout

How to Find Best Ashwagandha Supplement?

To be honest, to understand whether you really need this supplement, whether you have no contraindications, and what type and dosage to choose for your specific task, it is best to consult a doctor. However, below I will outline a few key factors to consider when choosing the decent product.

1. Active Components (Withanolides) Per Serving

Consider not only the total dosage of ashwagandha, but also the concentration of bioactive substances. For this reason, it is better to choose from products that indicate the specific amount of withanolides per serving. Let me remind you that to obtain the expected effects, the dosage of withanolides should be at least 6 mg.

In addition to the importance of the concentration of bioactive substances, there is also the problem of inconsistency between the declared concentration of withanolides and the actual concentration in a specific product. In other words, manufacturers may indicate the concentration of bioactive substances (in milligrams), but when tested, it turns out that the actual concentration is much lower than the declared one.

When ConsumerLab reviewed 8 ashwagandha supplements in 2014, only 2 passed the test, demonstrating a quality problem with Withania somnifera products. In the updated review from 2022, out of 16 products 12 received the "Approved" mark. The rest of the products, including some popular ones you may see in the best ashwagandha reviews, have been labeled as "Unspecified" or "Not Approved" due to insufficient or very low concentrations of withanolides.

ashwagandha smoothie review

2. Testing for Heavy Metals

Many consumers mistakenly think that because herbal supplements are a natural product, they surely cannot harm. However, some herbal supplements contain high levels of heavy metals, including cadmium, lead and other. I don't think I should explain the consequences of their entry into our body.

For this reason, it is best to prefer supplements that have been tested by a globally recognized third party for heavy metal levels. Pay attention to products that have NSF International, Informed Choice or Informed Sport, Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) or USP marks. Such products are tested for contaminants and minimize potential risks.

You can also use the ConsumerLab resource, which tests some products for the level of heavy metals, as well as for compliance of the stated amount of the key component of the supplement with the actual amount.

3. Brand Reputation

I also recommend that when considering herbal supplements, you do a little research on brands that have been on the market for a long time and have a good reputation. A good sign is that a particular brand has a large number of products that have been tested by an independent third party. For example, the leader of this rating certifies many of its products through Informed Choice, including ashwagandha.

On the other hand, although ashwagandha from the Nature Made brand does not have a third-party label, a large part of their products are certified by the USP Pharmacopoeia. This raises the level of trust even in those products that have not been tested, because this brand generally adheres to high safety standards for its products.

roman chair training

Contraindications and Possible Side Effects

Indian ginseng is one of those supplements that interacts with some medications and has contraindications. People with autoimmune disorders or thyroid conditions, those who take anti-anxiety, sedative and other medications should be especially careful. In addition, Indian ginseng should be avoided during pregnancy and should not be used while breastfeeding. Also, keep in mind that this supplement can cause drowsiness, vomiting, stomach upset and diarrhea in some people, and in rare cases, the liver can be affected.

According to the National Center For Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Withania somnifera may be safe when taken for up to three months.

Is Ashwagandha Right for You

In general, due to the different types of this supplement and the different concentrations of withanolides, the best solution would be to consult a doctor who can give specific recommendations regarding the type and dosage. Without using the recommendations of a professional, you can use either an insufficient concentration of bioactive substances to obtain effects, or vice versa - too high a dosage. Also, by self-prescribing and using ashwagandha, you can ignore possible contraindications and have a much greater risk of encountering negative side reactions.

Is Ashwagandha Right for You

When and How to Take Ashwagandha?

In different studies, this supplement was taken at different times of the day: every morning; in the afternoon or evening; in the evening; or twice daily: in the morning and at bedtime. Therefore, there are no strict recommendations regarding timing.

The most common administration protocol is 600 mg, divided into two doses: one in the morning with breakfast and one in the evening. You need to take the capsule with a glass of water.

Be aware of possible side effects to minimize the risk of nausea, upset stomach, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Also consider possible drowsiness, especially if you are driving. Therefore, taking into account your goals and tolerance, you may need to adjust the timing of intake accordingly. For example, if you feel drowsy every time after taking Indian ginseng, you can only take this supplement at bedtime. Another example is if you take ashwagandha on an empty stomach and it always causes gastrointestinal problems, try taking it after a meal or snack.

However, if very severe symptoms appear, it is better to consult a doctor immediately. It is very likely that you will have to completely abandon this supplement. After all, there are many other ways to deal with stress.

rope jumping

FAQ

Which Ashwagandha Is the Best?

In fact, many products from different brands can fall into the "Best" category. Keep in mind that commercial ashwagandha such as KSM-66®, Shoden®, and Sensoril® are most often used in experiments. Because these types are standardized (meaning you can see or calculate the concentration of withanolides per serving), many brands use these commercial types in their supplements. In order to choose the best product, use the doctor's recommendations. This review can be your guide to understanding the important nuances.

Which Brand Is Real Ashwagandha?

There are many brands that offer high-quality Indian ginseng with third-party testing. These are the products selected for this rating, including one of the most studied and best ashwagandha ksm-66. Many products from this review have been tested by ConsumerLab and received approval for the presence of the declared concentration of withanolides.

Does KSM-66 Boost Testosterone?

Maybe. In a systematic review that demonstrated the efficacy of Indian ginseng for testosterone-enhancing effects, participants in experimental groups took different types of Indian ginseng, including ashwagandha KSM-66®. However, once again, this does not mean that the increase in testosterone associated with this supplement will lead to a significant increase in muscle mass.

Nutrition Pills Review

Is 3000mg of Ashwagandha Safe?

Based on trials, taking a dose as high as 3000mg of Ashwagandha is likely unnecessary. While this is not an unreasonable dose of the whole root, taking 3000mg of an Ashwagandha extract would likely lead to side effects including an upset stomach, vomiting, or even serious health issues. The strongest product on our list has 1000mg of Ashwagandha per serving, which should be more than enough for most people.

Is It Ok to Take Ashwagandha Every Day?

Ashwagandha appears to be well-tolerated for daily use by the majority of people. With that being said, we recommend consulting with a doctor before use to make sure it’s safe for you. If you experience any major side effects with the use of Ashwagandha, stop taking it immediately. Keep in mind that the longest studies on Ashwagandha were done for around 12-16 weeks and for this reason (safety reasons) we don’t recommend taking it longer than that without taking adequate break.

Conclusion

Among all supplements with adaptogenic properties, Withania somnifera looks like one of the most promising. However, its mechanisms of action are incompletely understood, so it is too early to draw far-reaching conclusions. Moreover, due to the wide range of possible effects (gaining muscle mass and increasing strength, improving sleep, anti-anxiety effect, etc.), various standardization methods for withanolides and other reasons, it is difficult to give generalized recommendations regarding dosage and timing.

Given all the complexities, the best solution will be to consult a doctor who will take into account the possible risks and be able to give specific recommendations on the dosage and timing of taking ashwagandha. This article is for informational purposes only.

DISCLAIMER

Given all the complexities, the best solution will be to consult a doctor who will take into account the possible risks and be able to give specific recommendations on the dosage and timing of taking ashwagandha. This article is for informational purposes only.

As for the best ashwagandha powder, we suggest KSM-66 from the reputable brand Transparent Labs as one of the best products on the market. This product contains a high concentration of withanolides per serving, is certified by Informed Choice and has a very affordable price per serving.

Have you ever used this supplement and for what purposes? Share your impressions in the comments!

Also read:

References:

1. Denise Millstine "Can ashwagandha supplements really provide stress relief?" Mayo Clinic Press June 14, 2023 https://mcpress.mayoclinic.org/mental-health/ashwagandha-supplements/

2. Kae Ling Cheah "Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis" PLoS One. 2021 Sep 24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc /articles/PMC8462692/

3. "Ashwagandha" National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. March 2023 https://www.nccih.nih.gov/ health/ashwagandha

4. "Ashwagandha" National Library of Medicine https://medlineplus.gov/ druginfo/natural/953.html December 06, 2023

5. Rampurna P. Gullapalli, Carolyn L. Mazzitelli "Gelatin and Non-Gelatin Capsule Dosage Forms" Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. May 13, 2017 https://www.sciencedirect.com/ science/article/abs/pii/ S0022354917300783

6. Tod Cooperman "Ashwagandha Supplements Review" ConsumerLab.com June 16, 2018 https://www.consumerlab.com /reviews/ashwagandha-supplements/ashwagandha/

7. Paulina Mikulska, Marta Malinowska, Miłosz Ignacyk "Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)—Current Research on the Health-Promoting Activities: A Narrative Review" National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 2023 Mar 24 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc /articles/PMC10147008/

8. Jonathan Jarry M.Sc "The Problems with Adaptogens" Office for Science and Society Jonathan 9 Jun 2022 https://www.mcgill.ca/oss /article/covid-19-critical-thinking/problems-adaptogens

9. Diego A. Bonilla, Yurany Moreno, Camila Gho "Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Physical Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis" National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 2021 Feb 11 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc /articles/PMC8006238/

10. Diego A. Bonilla, Yurany Moreno, Camila Gho "Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Physical Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis" National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Feb 11, 2021 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc /articles/PMC4658772/

11. Sachin Wankhede, Deepak Langade, Kedar Joshi "Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial" National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 2015 Nov 25 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc /articles/PMC4658772/

12. "VO2 Max Testing" UVA School of Medicine https://med.virginia.edu/exercise-physiology-core-laboratory/fitness-assessment-for-community-members/vo2-max-testing/

13. "Exercise Testing" Johns Hopkins Medicine https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org /heart_vascular_institute /cardiology/cardiac-rehabilitation/exercise-testing.html

14. Kae Ling Cheah, Mohd Noor Norhayati, Lili Husniati Yaacob "Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis" National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Sep 24, 2021  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov /34559859/

15. Abhijit Deshpande, Nushafreen Irani, Ratna Balkrishnan "A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep quality in healthy adults" National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Aug 2020 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov /32540634/

16. "Does ashwagandha affect specific mental health conditions?" Examine https://examine.com/supplements /ashwagandha/faq/ 4J4OOoQ-does-ashwagandha-affect-specific-mental-health-conditions/

17. Stephen J Smith, Adrian L Lopresti "Examining the Effects of Herbs on Testosterone Concentrations in Men: A Systematic Review" National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. May 2021  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc /articles/PMC8166567/

18. Kamal Patel "Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone?" Examine June 7, 2022 https://examine.com/articles/does-ashwagandha-increase-testosterone/

19. Lu Luo1, Bo Wang, Jingwen Jiang "Heavy Metal Contaminations in Herbal Medicines: Determination, Comprehensive Risk Assessments, and Solutions" Frontiers in Pharmacology Volume 11 - 2020 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles /10.3389/fphar.2020.595335/full

20. Tod Cooperman "Which dietary supplements and health foods contain high levels of lead?" ConsumerLab.com. May 02, 2022 https://www.consumerlab.com/ answers/supplements-and-foods-that-may-be-contaminated-with-lead/lead-contamination-supplements/

21. Daryl Nault, Katie Jantz "Ashwagandha" Examine November 2, 2023 https://examine.com/supplements /ashwagandha/ 

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
Transparent Labs Ashwagandha

  • Author
  • Reviewer
Oleksandr Maksymenko

Sports Nutritionist, MSc

Experience: 7 years

Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist, certified by FPA (Fitness Professional Association). Oleksandr adheres to the principles of evidence-based dietetics and instills in his clients a healthy relationship with food - without strict prohibitions on favorite foods and regular disruptions. His main task – not only get a result for you, but also maintain it for many years, enjoying tasty and delicious food.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

Jacek Szymanowski

M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology,
Sports Nutritionist

Experience: 20 years

With my 30 years fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, I bring a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a master's of science degree in biotechnology, I stay at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that my coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

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