Ashwagandha root is one of the best all natural, testosterone and strength boosting herbs available today.
While relatively new to the West, ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times and was actually said to give man the power and vigor of a horse!
There have been several human supplementation case studies on the herb and it has been scientifically proven to have the following positive effects:
- Decreases Stress
- Improves Sleep
- Increases Testosterone
- Increases Strength
- Increases Endurance and V02 Max
- Improves Cholesterol
- Encourages Fat Loss
I’ll break down each of the above aspects in detail so you can see for yourself if supplementing with ashwagandha is right for you.
Ashwagandha Decreases Stress
Shown to have anti-cancer and neurological benefits, perhaps the most studied and proven aspect of its ability to increase testosterone, come from its assistance in combating stress and anxiety. (1, 2, 3)
Stress causes a wide range of health issues for a man, and can especially wreak havoc on your testosterone. Stress causes cortisol levels to spike and that directly affects your body’s ability to produce testosterone.
The less stress you have in your life, or the more effective you make your body and brain at dealing with stress, the higher your T levels can go.
Ashwagandha Improves Quality of Sleep
An improvement in sleep quality has also been reported by many men who supplement with the herb and high quality sleep plays a huge role in testosterone production, endurance and workout recovery.
In fact, a lack of quality sleep alone could decrease your testosterone levels by as much as 15%. (4)
Reports of improved sleep with supplementation have come from multiple human studies, some of which were not even attempting to measure for it. (7)
Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone?
There has only been 1 human based case study which measured testosterone levels after ashwagandha supplementation I could find to date but the results were great.
In the 8 week study on 57 men between the ages of 18 – 64, testosterone levels increased by an average of 18.7%. (5)
This really is not surprising given the amount of areas Ashwagandha improves which is directly related to T levels such as improved sleep, lower stress and improved cholesterol.
In another study looking to help infertile men, the group treated with ashwagandha saw significant increases in both serum testosterone levels as well as luteinizing hormone (LH) which regulates T production. (6)
Ashwagandha Increases Strength
In that same 8 week study, the men saw their max 1 rep bench press increase by an incredibly 43.2 pounds on average!
An improvement in muscle recovery times and fat loss were also noted. (5)
It needs to be mentioned that these were not highly trained athletes in the study and if you are, don’t expect to see that large of an increase yourself but those results are still incredible either way.
In another human study which measured strength, body fat, cholesterol and sleep, supplementation with ashwagandha showed improvement in all areas including a significant increase in strength. (7)
Ashwagandha Increases Endurance and VO2 Max
V02 Max, is the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise. It has a massive impact on both endurance and power output.
In 8 week study on 40 healthy humans, designed to test “physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance” ashwagandha supplementation of 500 mg per day “increased velocity, power and VO2 max”.
The placebo group saw no significant increases in any of the measured factors. (8)
In another 8 week study on elite Indian cyclists, again receiving 500 mg per day, maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max) and time to exhaustion were both significantly improved. (9)
Ashwagandha Improves Cholesterol
Cholesterol is converted into testosterone in your testicles so as you can imagine, a rockstar cholesterol profile plays a huge role in having maximized testosterone levels.
Ashwagandha has been shown in multiple human case studies to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and improve the overall cholesterol profile. (7, 10, 11)
Ashwagandha Encourages Fat Loss
As already mentioned in some of the human case studies referenced above, an increase in fat loss appears to yet another great benefit of ashwagandha extract.
This is yet another important aspect of increasing your T levels because fat actually locks up your testosterone so it can’t be properly utilized within your body. By lowering your fat levels and improving your Body Mass Index (BMI) you can increase the amount of free testosterone in your body.
If you aren’t convinced by now you need to be supplementing with ashwagandha extract, you probably never will be.
It’s range of overall health benefits are incredible and it’s ability to increase strength, endurance and testosterone is well documented in human studies.
I highly suggest you take around 500 mg of ashwagandha daily.
- A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Evaluation Of The Anxiolytic Efficacy Ff An Ethanolic Extract Of Withania Somnifera. Chittaranjan Andrade, Anitha Aswath, S.K. Chaturvedi, M. Srinivasa, and R. Raguram – Link
- Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, Mills EJ, Bernhardt B, Zhou Q, Seely D. – Link
- A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. – Link
- Sleep loss dramatically lowers testosterone in healthy young men. U.o.C.M. – Link
- Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Wankhede S, Langade D, Joshi K, Sinha SR, Bhattacharyya S. – Link
- Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Islam N, Rajender S, Madhukar D, Shankhwar SN, Ahmad S. – Link
- Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers. Raut AA, Rege NN, Tadvi FM, Solanki PV, Kene KR, Shirolkar SG, Pandey SN, Vaidya RA, Vaidya AB. – Link
- Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults Jaspal Singh Sandhu, Biren Shah, Shweta Shenoy, Suresh Chauhan, G. S. Lavekar, and M. M. Padhi – Link
- Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists Shweta Shenoy, Udesh Chaskar, Jaspal S. Sandhu, and Madan Mohan Paadhi1 – Link
- A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related
Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Biswajit Auddy, PhD; Jayaram Hazra, PhD; Achintya Mitra, MD; Bruce Abedon, PhD; Shibnath Ghosal, PhD – Link
- Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Andallu B, Radhika B. – Link