Ashwagandha root, specifically KSM-66, 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!
KSM-66 Is the Most Potent Ashwagandha Extract
KSM-66 is widely considered the best form of ashwagandha to supplement with as it is standardized to 5% withanolides, the active compound believed to be most responsible for the power of ashwagandha.
KSM-66 also uses only the root and not the leaves. Many ashwagandha extracts are produced with the leaves in addition to the root to cut costs but the leaves do not provide the same level of health promoting benefits.
There have been several human supplementation case studies with Ashwagandha and it has been scientifically proven to have the following positive effects:
- Decreases Stress
- Decrease Cortisol
- 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 KSM-66 is right for you.
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 decreasing cortisol levels while 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.
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)
There have been 3 human based case studies which measured testosterone levels after ashwagandha supplementation and the results in all 3 studies showed an increase in testosterone.
Human Case Study 1
In an 8 week study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports nutrition, 57 men between the ages of 18 – 50 were given 600 mg of KSM-66 Ashwagandha daily for 8 weeks.
At the end of the 8 week study the men saw their testosterone levels increase by an average of 18.7%. (5)
This is not surprising given the amount of areas Ashwagandha improves, which is directly related to boosted testosterone levels such as improved sleep, lower stress, decreased cortisol and an improved cholesterol profile.
Ashwagandha is also one of the primary herbs recommended by Ali over at Anabolic Men in his Testshock Program.
Human Case Study 2
In another study on 46 healthy males between the ages of 22 – 46, 650 mg of KSM-66 Ashwagandha was given to the participants for 90 days.
After the 90 days the men saw and average testosterone increase of 17%. (6)
Human Case Study 3
One last 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 testosterone production. (7)
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. (8)
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 an 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. (9)
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. (10)
Cholesterol is converted into testosterone in your testicles so as you can imagine, a rockstar cholesterol profile plays a huge role in having increased testosterone levels.
Ashwagandha has been shown in multiple human case studies to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and improve the overall cholesterol profile. (8, 11, 12)
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 another important aspect of increasing your testosterone levels too 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 to do what it does best, increase size and strength!
How to Supplement with Ashwagandha
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.
KSM-66 is a potent extract of ashwagandha which is standardized to 5% withanolides and I highly suggest you take around 400 – 650 mg of KSM-66 extract daily.
Force X7 by Alpha Wolf Nutrition is the only multi-ingredient, natural T booster we recommend and features 500 mg of KSM-66 in its formulation.
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- 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
- Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. Vijay R. Ambiye, Deepak Langade, Swati Dongre, Pradnya Aptikar, Madhura Kulkarni, Atul Madhusudan Dongre – 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