When Is the Best Time to Take Ashwagandha? Timing Recommendations
Ashwagandha is well-known for its adaptogenic properties, which can help the body deal with stress and anxiety. It also exhibits anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to improve cognitive function, immune system function and thyroid function.
With the increasing popularity of this herb, many people wonder when is the best time to take ashwagandha for maximum benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of ashwagandha, how it works in the body, and recommend the optimal timing for taking ashwagandha.
The Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicinal herb to treat a variety of ailments. It is best known for its ability to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
Additionally, ashwagandha has been shown to improve brain function, reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce cortisol levels, among other benefits.
Recent studies have also suggested that ashwagandha may have anti-cancer properties. It has been found to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Furthermore, ashwagandha has been shown to improve fertility in both men and women. It can increase sperm count and motility in men, and regulate menstrual cycles and improve ovulation in women.
What Is Ashwagandha and How Does it Work?
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a small shrub that grows in India, Africa and the Middle East.
The roots of this plant contain a number of bioactive compounds, including withanolides (the primary active component), alkaloids and fatty acids. These compounds are responsible for the herb’s many health benefits.
When consumed, ashwagandha interacts with the body’s nervous, endocrine and immune systems, helping to regulate neurotransmitter levels, hormone levels and various immune system functions.
Recent studies have also shown that ashwagandha may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It has been found to reduce inflammation markers in the body and inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tubes and animal studies.
Different Forms of Ashwagandha Supplements
Ashwagandha is most commonly consumed in the form of a dietary supplement. These supplements are available in several forms, including capsules, tablets, powders and liquid extracts.
When choosing a supplement, it’s important to consider the purity, potency and bioavailability of the product. Look for high-quality supplements that have been third-party tested for purity and potency.
Factors That Affect the Absorption of Ashwagandha
There are several factors that can affect the absorption and effectiveness of ashwagandha. Some of these factors include:
- The form of ashwagandha consumed (e.g. capsule, powder, liquid extract)
- The dose and frequency of consumption
- The presence of other foods or supplements in the stomach
- The quality and purity of the supplement
To maximize the effectiveness of ashwagandha, it’s important to choose a high-quality supplement and consume it on an empty stomach.
Additionally, research has shown that taking ashwagandha with a source of fat can also improve absorption. This is because ashwagandha is a fat-soluble herb, meaning it dissolves in fat instead of water. Consuming ashwagandha with a meal that contains healthy fats, such as avocado or nuts, may help increase its absorption and effectiveness.
How to Choose the Right Dosage of Ashwagandha for You
The optimal dosage of ashwagandha can vary depending on a range of factors, including age, weight, gender, and overall health status.
In general, it’s recommended to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it over time until the desired effects are achieved.
Most studies on ashwagandha have used dosages ranging from 300-500 mg per day of standardized extract, taken in two or three divided doses throughout the day.
However, it’s important to note that some individuals may require higher or lower dosages depending on their specific needs. For example, individuals with chronic stress or anxiety may benefit from higher dosages, while those with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications may need to take lower dosages or avoid ashwagandha altogether.
It’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting to take ashwagandha, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications. They can help you determine the appropriate dosage and ensure that ashwagandha is safe for you to take.
Morning vs. Evening: Which Time Is Best for Taking Ashwagandha?
The optimal timing for taking ashwagandha can depend on personal preference and individual needs.
Some people prefer to take it in the morning to help promote energy and focus throughout the day, while others prefer to take it at night to promote relaxation and sound sleep.
Ultimately, the timing of consumption should be based on personal needs and preferences.
It is important to note that the effects of ashwagandha can vary depending on the dosage and form in which it is taken. For example, taking a higher dosage of ashwagandha in the morning may lead to increased energy levels, but taking the same dosage at night may cause difficulty falling asleep.
Additionally, some studies suggest that taking ashwagandha with food can enhance its absorption and effectiveness. Therefore, it may be beneficial to take ashwagandha with a meal or snack, regardless of the time of day.
Can You Take Ashwagandha on an Empty Stomach?
It is generally recommended to take ashwagandha on an empty stomach to enhance absorption and maximize its benefits.
However, some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort when taking ashwagandha on an empty stomach. In this case, it may be helpful to take ashwagandha with meals.
How Long Does it Take for Ashwagandha to Work?
The effects of ashwagandha can vary depending on a range of factors, including dosage, frequency, and the individual’s health status.
Some people may notice a reduction in stress and anxiety within the first few days of taking ashwagandha, while others may take several weeks to experience noticeable effects.
It’s important to be patient and consistent with ashwagandha supplementation to allow time for the herb to build up in the body and produce the desired effects.
In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, ashwagandha has been shown to have other potential health benefits. Studies have suggested that ashwagandha may help improve brain function, reduce inflammation, and even lower cholesterol levels.
However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the extent of ashwagandha’s benefits and potential side effects.
Combining Ashwagandha with Other Supplements or Medications
Ashwagandha supplements may interact with certain medications or supplements. Consult with a healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha if you are taking any medications or supplements.
It is important to note that ashwagandha may also enhance the effects of certain medications, such as sedatives or thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Additionally, combining ashwagandha with other herbs or supplements that have sedative effects, such as valerian root or kava, may increase the risk of drowsiness or dizziness. Always inform your healthcare provider of any supplements or medications you are taking before adding ashwagandha to your regimen.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions When Taking Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people when taken in recommended dosages. However, some people may experience mild side effects, including gastrointestinal upset, headache, or drowsiness.
Additionally, ashwagandha may interact with certain medications or supplements. Consult with a healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking any medications or supplements.
Choosing the optimal timing for taking ashwagandha can be a beneficial addition to your daily wellness routine. To maximize the benefits of ashwagandha, be sure to choose a high-quality supplement, consume it on an empty stomach, and gradually increase the dosage to achieve desired effects. Always consult with a healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking any medications or supplements.
It is important to note that ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, such as sedatives, thyroid hormone, and immunosuppressants. Therefore, it is crucial to inform your healthcare provider of any medications or supplements you are taking before incorporating ashwagandha into your routine.
Additionally, while ashwagandha is generally considered safe, some individuals may experience side effects such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and nausea. If you experience any adverse effects, discontinue use and consult with your healthcare provider.