The benefits of Ashwagandha. Is it legit?

Ashwagandha is a shrub that grows in India, the Middle East and Africa. It has been used in ayurveda for 6000 years but has only recently been popularized in the western market. It was used mainly in the form of infusions, but nowadays, the supplement is available in the form of capsules and gummies. The benefits of Ashwagandha have been talked about on social media for years now.

Some bold claims are attached to its use, but how true are they?

Other articles include a lot of scientific terms that most people do not understand or frankly do not care about, so I’ll keep it simple and short. Some of the numerous benefits have been outlined below.

[Disclaimer: Consult a medical professional before taking ashwagandha or any other supplement. Do not take if you’re pregnant or use other medication.]

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1. May help boost testosterone and fertility.

Participants who took ashwagandha noticed a 15% greater increase in testosterone than those who took the placebo. They also noticed an increase in a hormone that is heavily involved in the production of testosterone.

Ashwagandha can also be used in cases of infertility as it increased sperm count.

(My personal experience: After doing blood work, I noticed that my testosterone had increased after taking it for 8 weeks.)

2. May improve sleep.

Participants who took the supplement for a 12 week period noticed drastically better sleep quality and this effect was even more pronounced for those who suffered from insomnia.

(My personal experience: the amount of sleep I get has increased by a lot and I get more deep sleep.)

3. May reduce stress.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that has been shown to reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone). This may also help your testosterone levels as high cortisol levels have a negative effect on your hormones.

(My personal experience: Before taking ashwagandha, I felt like my head was constantly being overloaded, however, after using it for a couple of weeks, that sensation went away.)

4. May help recovery for training.

The improved sleep, higher testosterone levels and better stress control will all help when recovering from an intense training session. This will translate to better muscle and strength gain.

(My personal experience: I’ve noticed that I can increase the frequency of my training sessions without feeling tired.)

5. May help heart and lung health.

Ashwagandha has been shown to increase VO2 max. Without going into too much detail, it’s the maximum amount of oxygen a person can use. It’s clear why improving that aspect will help you in both exercise and your daily life.

6. How to use?

The way most people use the supplement is by taking 2 doses of 300mg per day. However, if you’re just starting out, it would be wise to begin with only one dose of 300mg per day.

The half life of Ashwagandha is around 7 hours, so it would be best to take a dose in the morning and one dose in the late afternoon.

Use Ashwagandha for two months then cycle off for 3 weeks.

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