Ashwagandha Bodybuilding Benefits
When you think of bodybuilding whey protein and amino acids may be the first thing that comes to mind. However, ashwagandha is one herb popular for its effects on endurance and muscle mass. Read more to learn if there are any ashwagandha bodybuilding benefits.
What is Ashwagandha?
The word “ashwagandha” is Sanskrit for “smell of horse.” This alludes to the herb’s scent as well as its healing properties. It is said to give the strength and energy of a horse [R].
How Does Ashwagandha Work?
How this adaptogen reduces stress is uncertain. Ashwagandha may help suppress an enzyme that triggers stress hormones and free radical production.
NADPH diaphorase is an enzyme in the central nervous system. It produces cortisol and the free radical nitric oxide.
When ashwagandha enters the central nervous system it prevents NADPH from forming. This will suppress cortisol levels that rise when the body undergoes stress. It will also increase compounds that lower stress like serotonin [R, R, R].
Ashwagandha Health Benefits
Ashwagandha Bodybuilding Benefits
Ashwagandha bodybuilding benefits include increased testosterone, endurance, muscle mass, strength, and reduced cortisol.
Increases in cardiovascular endurance were seen among cyclists who took ashwagandha during workouts [R].
One study found increased muscle strength among healthy men given between 750 and 1,250 mg of ashwagandha per day for a month [R].
Strength training combined with 300 mg of ashwagandha taken over two months resulted in greater reductions of body fat when compared with a placebo [R].
High stress and cortisol levels can hinder your performance. Ashwagandha was found to lower cortisol [R].
Dosage for Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha comes in powder or pill form. It is sometimes mixed with water, ghee, or honey [R].
Starting with a lower dose may be the best practice. Following manufacturer dosing instructions on the product is also recommended.
Risks and Contraindications of Ashwagandha
Reviews of this supplement indicate side effects with short-term use. Stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting have been seen with large doses. Effects of long-term use are unknown [R].
Ashwagandha may cause miscarriages and should not be used by pregnant women [R].
Ashwagandha is contraindicated in those with diabetes, blood pressure issues, gastric ulcers, autoimmune, and hormone disorders. If you have any health conditions and/or are on medications you should talk to your doctor before starting ashwagandha [R].
Final Thoughts on Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an herb used for centuries in Avyeuda medicine. It can lower stress and enhance energy. Reduced blood sugar, immune support, and weight management are other health benefits of this supplement. When it comes to working out, there may be some ashwagandha bodybuilding benefits. These include increased testosterone production along with enhanced muscle mass, strength, and endurance. If you want to start transforming your body, ashwagandha may be a great addition to your diet and exercise plans; at least in the short term. Doses for performance have a wide range so it is best to start small. This way you can avoid side effects associated with high doses. Generally, ashwagandha has not caused side effects in healthy individuals. Those with health conditions and or on any medications should be cautious and speak with a healthcare professional before starting this supplement.
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