Ashwagandha for Muscle Gain: Dosage and Benefits
Ashwagandha is a popular herb used in Ayurvedic medicine that has been gaining recognition for its benefits in the world of fitness. While many people consider proteins, carbohydrates, and fats as essential components for muscle growth, Ashwagandha offers a more natural alternative. This article will discuss everything you need to know about Ashwagandha for muscle gain, including its recommended dosage, benefits, and its optimal use to get the best results.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb with origins in India. It's also known as Withania somnifera or Indian ginseng and belongs to the Solanaceae family. It typically grows in dry regions and has yellow flowers and red fruit. Ashwagandha has a wide range of benefits and is traditionally used to treat stress, anxiety, and to increase energy levels.
In addition to its traditional uses, recent studies have shown that ashwagandha may also have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It contains compounds called withanolides, which have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test-tube studies.
Ashwagandha is also believed to have a positive effect on brain function. It may improve memory and cognitive function, as well as reduce symptoms of depression. Some studies have even suggested that ashwagandha may be effective in treating Alzheimer's disease.
The Science Behind Ashwagandha and Muscle Gain
Studies reveal that Ashwagandha contains active compounds known as withanolides that have adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens are substances that help the body adapt to stress and normalise functions. These compounds have been found to boost testosterone levels, which is essential for muscle growth. Additionally, Ashwagandha helps reduce the cortisol levels and inflammation, which limits the body's capacity to build muscles.
Furthermore, Ashwagandha has been shown to increase muscle strength and endurance. A study conducted on healthy men who took Ashwagandha supplements for eight weeks showed a significant increase in muscle strength and size compared to the placebo group. This is because Ashwagandha helps improve the body's oxygen-carrying capacity, allowing muscles to work harder and longer during exercise.
How Does Ashwagandha Help in Building Muscles?
Apart from boosting testosterone levels and reducing cortisol levels, Ashwagandha has other properties that contribute to muscle gain. Ashwagandha enhances muscle recovery after workouts, improves endurance, increases muscle mass, and reduces fat. The herb also improves oxygen consumption, which gets more blood to the muscles, resulting in more strength gains.
Additionally, Ashwagandha has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce muscle damage and soreness after intense workouts. This means that incorporating Ashwagandha into your fitness routine can not only help you build muscle, but also aid in post-workout recovery.
Recommended Dosage of Ashwagandha for Muscle Gain
The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha for muscle gain ranges from 500-1500mg per day. However, the dosage may vary depending on the supplement's concentration and individual needs. It's recommendable to consult a doctor or a fitness expert to guide you on the right dosage and usage. Ashwagandha supplements should be taken in cycles, with breaks in between to avoid building tolerance.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to improve physical and mental health. In addition to its muscle-building benefits, Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve brain function, and boost immunity. It's important to note that while Ashwagandha is generally safe, it may interact with certain medications, so it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking it.
How to Take Ashwagandha for Optimal Results?
Ashwagandha supplements come in various forms, including capsules, powder, and teas. The best way to consume Ashwagandha for the best results is by taking it in the morning with a meal or after a workout. It's essential to take it consistently to allow the active compounds to accumulate in the bloodstream for better results. Additionally, you can boost the efficacy of Ashwagandha by incorporating it into your diet or taking it with other supplements like magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin D.
It's important to note that Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, so it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before adding it to your routine. Additionally, it's recommended to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it to avoid any potential side effects. With proper usage, Ashwagandha can provide numerous benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving brain function, and boosting overall health and wellness.
Precautions to Take While Consuming Ashwagandha
Even though Ashwagandha is safe and generally well-tolerated, it's essential to exercise caution when using it. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with autoimmune diseases, or those on medications should avoid taking it unless under the guidance of a doctor. Additionally, high doses of Ashwagandha may cause digestive complications like nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhoea. It's recommendable to consult a doctor before using Ashwagandha if you have any underlying conditions.
Another precaution to take while consuming Ashwagandha is to avoid using it in combination with other sedatives or medications that cause drowsiness. Ashwagandha has a calming effect and may increase the effects of these medications, leading to excessive drowsiness or even unconsciousness.
Lastly, it's important to note that Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, including immunosuppressants, thyroid hormone, and blood sugar-lowering medications. If you're taking any of these medications, it's crucial to consult with your doctor before using Ashwagandha to avoid any adverse effects.
Other Benefits of Ashwagandha for Overall Health
Apart from boosting muscle growth, Ashwagandha has additional benefits for overall health. It's well-known for its ability to reduce anxiety and stress levels, boost brain function, and reduce inflammation. Additionally, it's a potent antioxidant that helps protect against free radical damage and premature ageing. Incorporating Ashwagandha into your diet can significantly improve your overall wellbeing.
Another benefit of Ashwagandha is its potential to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can help regulate blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion and improving insulin sensitivity. It can also reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can lower the risk of heart disease.
Ashwagandha has also been found to have anti-cancer properties. It contains compounds that can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells. While more research is needed in this area, incorporating Ashwagandha into your diet may have potential benefits in preventing and treating certain types of cancer.
How to Choose the Right Brand of Ashwagandha Supplements?
There are various brands of Ashwagandha supplements in the market, making it difficult to choose the best product. When shopping for Ashwagandha supplements, it's essential to look for brands with a reputation for quality and consistency. Additionally, it's essential to read reviews from other customers to gauge the product's effectiveness. It's recommendable to choose supplements made from organic and high-quality ingredients to ensure safety and efficacy.
In conclusion, Ashwagandha is a natural and effective herb for muscle gain. It's essential to take the correct dosage and use it consistently, coupled with a healthy diet and workout routine. Ashwagandha comes with additional benefits for overall health and wellbeing, making it an excellent addition to anyone's diet. Consult a doctor or a fitness expert before incorporating Ashwagandha supplements into your routine, especially if you have underlying conditions or are on medication.
Another factor to consider when choosing the right brand of Ashwagandha supplements is the form in which it is available. Ashwagandha supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, powders, and liquids. Capsules are the most convenient and easy to use, while powders and liquids offer more flexibility in terms of dosage and mixing with other supplements. It's essential to choose a form that suits your lifestyle and preferences.
Lastly, it's crucial to check the label for any additional ingredients or fillers that may be present in the supplement. Some brands may add unnecessary fillers or additives that may cause adverse effects or reduce the effectiveness of the supplement. It's best to choose a brand that uses minimal additional ingredients and is transparent about the contents of their product.