What Is Ashwagandha Root?
Ashwagandha (scientifically known as Withania Somnifera) is an ancient Ayurvedic herb which has been shown to provide neuroprotection, anti-cancer effects, and enhanced virility.
In traditional culture, it was said to give one the strength and virility of a horse!
An incredibly powerful adaptogen, this incredible herb has a plethora of health benefits including boosting testosterone!
Ashwagandha (KSM-66) Boosts Testosterone
Recent studies have documented amazing increases in testosterone levels.
One 8 week study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition tested 57 healthy men between the ages of 18 – 64.
The men were given 650 mg of KSM-66 every day for 8 weeks. Researchers found a significant 18.7% increase in testosterone, while an increase in muscle recovery and fat loss was observed as well. (1)
In a separate human case study, researchers gave healthy men 650 mg of Ashwagandha KSM-66 every day for 90 days and the men experienced a 17% increase in testosterone levels on average. (2)
Infertile men have also been studied with ashwagandha supplementation and that group saw significant increases in both luteinizing hormone (LH) and serum testosterone levels. (3)
Luteinizing hormone is produced and released in the anterior pituitary gland and actually regulates testosterone production in the testicles so it’s no surprise testosterone levels increased along with LH.
It is also a recommended T booster by Ali at Anabolic Men!
Ashwagandha Increases Strength and Muscle Size
Perhaps most remarkably, men supplementing with Ashwagandha saw their 1 rep max bench press increase on average by a whopping 43.2 pounds.
They also enjoyed a significant increase in muscle size of the arms and chest. (1) It needs to be disclosed that these men were not highly trained athletes and if you are in peak physical condition, you should not expect to see results quite that dramatic.
With that said, the results of the study are absolutely astounding!
In a separate human case study, 18 healthy volunteers (12 males) aged 18 – 30 were given ashwagandha daily for 30 days. These men showed a significant increase in strength and HDL/LDL cholesterol ratios, while also decreasing in body fat. (4)
Ashwagandha Decreases Stress
The biggest and most well documented benefit of Ashwagandha may be its ability to reduce anxiety, cortisol and stress.
It also directly combats symptoms which come along with stress such as fatigue and cognitive impairment. (5,6,7)
Cortisol and stress of are 2 of the biggest killers of your natural testosterone production so you can probably draw a strong conclusion as to why this herb is so powerful for men.
Ashwagandha Promotes Fat Loss
Fat actually stores and locks up testosterone, rendering it useless within your body.
When you lose fat, you can unlock your testosterone to do what it is meant to do, increase your muscle size and strength!
As already mentioned above, multiple case studies on humans have shown Ashwagandha promotes fat loss.
We tend to think of body fat as what we can see when we look in the mirror but the truth is fat can also store around your body organs. This is called visceral fat. Although studies are a bit mixed at this point in time, low testosterone may increase the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme actually drives lipids (fat) into visceral fat cells, swelling them up.
By increasing your testosterone you may be able to shrink the visceral fat cells and create a leaner midsection.
Ashwagandha Boosts Endurance / VO2 Max
When it comes to endurance, V02 Max is king. VO2 max is the highest rate at which you can transport oxygen (via blood) to your muscles during intense exercise.
In a human trial, 40 healthy participants were give 500 mg of ashwagandha each day to test their “physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance”. The study determined that velocity, power and VO2 max were all improved and that ashwagandha supplementation may be useful to improve speed, leg strength and neuromuscular coordination. (8)
Elite cyclists were also given 500 mg per day in another study. Both VO2 Max and time to exhaustion increased significantly. (9)
Ashwagandha Promotes Better Sleep
Ashwagandha is well known as a sleep aid that leaves you feeling well rested instead of drowsy the next morning. (4)
I personally have noticed a huge increase in the quality of my sleep since I started supplementing with it.
That’s significant for me because quality sleep is one of those things that I have struggled with my whole life. I am better able to fall asleep, sleep harder and longer when I am supplementing with Ashwagandha KSM-66.
A lack of quality sleep is also a huge testosterone killer. One study actually showed lack of sleep may lower your testosterone by as much as 15%, so anything you can do to improve your natural sleep cycle, the better off you are going to be. (9)
Ashwagandha Improves Cholesterol HDL/LDL
Your testicles convert cholesterol into testosterone. The better your cholesterol profile is, the better able you are to maximize your testosterone levels.
Multiple human case studies have shown ashwagandha to be extremely effective at lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides (fat in the blood) while increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and improving your overall cholesterol profile. (4, 11, 12)
One study in particular showed a 17% decrease in LDL (bad cholesterol) and decreased triglycerides 11%, on average. (7)
Does Ashwagandha Work?
It’s well-documented in scientific research that ashwagandha can help combat anxiety and stress and improve your cholesterol profile. It has also been proven to increase testosterone, muscle size, strength and decrease body fat.
Ashwagandha is a great herb for both men and women since it may improve sleep and stress levels but especially for men given the potentially dramatic increases in natural testosterone production.
KSM-66 vs Standard Ashwagandha Extract
Some ashwagandha supplements include both the leaves and the root but you only want to take the root as a supplement.
KSM-66 uses only the root and is standardized to 5% withanolides which is one of the most key nutrients within the extract.
Most ashwagandha supplements are not standardized at all so you have no idea what percentage of withanolides you are getting or they max out at 2.5%
KSM-66 is by far and away the most superior form of ashwagandha extract on the market today.
Supplementing with Ashwagandha
I recommend you supplement with 400 – 650 mg of KSM-66 Ashwagandha every day to maximize your testosterone.
Our multi-ingredient testosterone booster Force X7 includes 500 mg of KSM-66 standardized to 5% Withanolides in its formulation!
- Wankhede, S., et al., Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2015. 12: p. 43. – Link
- Ambiye, V. R., Langade, D., Dongre, S., Aptikar, P., Kulkarni, M., & Dongre, A. (2013). Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 1-6. – Link
- Ahmad, Mohammad Kaleem, et al. “Withania Somnifera Improves Semen Quality by Regulating Reproductive Hormone Levels and Oxidative Stress in Seminal Plasma of Infertile Males.” Fertility and Sterility, vol. 94, no. 3, 2010, pp. 989–996. – Link
- Raut, Ashwinikumara, et al. “Exploratory Study to Evaluate Tolerability, Safety, and Activity of Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) in Healthy Volunteers.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, vol. 3, no. 3, 2012, p. 111 – Link
- Andrade, C., et al., A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. Indian J Psychiatry, 2000. 42(3): p. 295-301. – Link
- Cooley, K., et al., Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. PLoS One, 2009. 4(8): p. e6628. – Link
- Chandrasekhar, K., J. Kapoor, and S. Anishetty, 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. Indian J Psychol Med, 2012. 34(3): p. 255-62. – Link
- Sandhu, Jaspalsingh, et al. “Effects of Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia Arjuna (Arjuna) on Physical Performance and Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Healthy Young Adults.” International Journal of Ayurveda Research, vol. 1, no. 3, 2010, p. 144. – Link
- Shenoy, Shweta, et al. “Effects of Eight-Week Supplementation of Ashwagandha on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Elite Indian Cyclists.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, vol. 3, no. 4, 2012, p. 209. – Link
- Leproult, Rachel. “Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men.” Jama, vol. 305, no. 21, Jan. 2011, p. 2173. – 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
- Andallu, B, and B Radhika. “Hypoglycemic, Diuretic and Hypocholesterolemic Effect of Winter Cherry (Withania Somnifera, Dunal) Root.” Indian Journal of Experimental Biology., U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2000. – Link
The views expressed in this blog are personal opinions and they are not intended to be, or replace, medical advice by a healthcare professional. While we have put in an extraordinary amount of time, energy and effort to give you the best information possible, based on the best research we could find, different people may have different views of the research discussed. You should always conduct your own research and seek advice from a healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any of the consumables mentioned.