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Fitness enthusiasts like us are naturally curious about the impact of Ashwagandha on muscle building and fat loss. We already know it can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, but does that translate to improved fitness outcomes? Stay tuned to learn more!

Cortisol is a hormone with various functions, including stress management, blood sugar regulation, and immune response.

Fitness enthusiasts like us are naturally curious about the impact of Ashwagandha on muscle building and fat loss. We already know it can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, but does that translate to improved fitness outcomes? Stay tuned to learn more!

Cortisol is a hormone with various functions, including stress management, blood sugar regulation, and immune response.

Science behind Ashwagandha

Cortisol is a hormone with various functions, including stress management, blood sugar regulation, and immune response.

What we know for sure is that studies show Ashwagandha might slightly increase testosterone levels and also Ashwagandha can help lower stress hormone cortisol.

The science behind this is complex, and I’m not an expert on it.

Yet. here’s the good news: Science shows Ashwagandha can influence two key hormones: cortisol and testosterone.

Fitness goals VS. Ashwagandha

Thinking Ashwagandha will boost your muscle building because it raises testosterone and lowers cortisol? Hold on a sec.

While Ashwagandha might slightly increase testosterone in some people, a 10-20% bump usually won’t significantly impact muscle growth. Plus, lowering cortisol isn’t always good for workouts since it has other important roles.

So, what’s the real benefit?

Better sleep!

Ashwagandha can help you rest better, and good sleep is a fitness win for both muscle growth and fat loss.

Many of us struggle with inconsistent sleep due to work, stress, and our fast-paced world. While our bodies crave regular sleep, we often don’t prioritize it. As this is a modern problem our body is not fully adopted to this practice.

However, it won’t magically build muscle or melt fat, research suggests it can help you sleep more soundly. This is where experts like Layne Norton and Andrew Huberman’s insights come in.

While I mentioned that Ashwagandha may improve sleep, my understanding is that if you’re already getting a good night’s sleep, the impact on your sleep quality might not be as significant.

How Ashwagandha actually help?

I am very confident that muscle building improvement or fat loss improvement can be achieved using Ashwagandha. However, medical professionals like Layne Norton and Andrew Huberman state that improvement can be due to a combination of multiple reasons: improved sleep, increased testosterone, and reduced cortisol levels. More information will be published in the near future, and I will update you all once that information becomes available to me.

So now you have the basic idea of Ashwagandha, its effects, how they affect, and its effectiveness. Considering all the above-mentioned factors, I would like to share my two cents on Ashwagandha. Personally, I am confident that Ashwagandha can assist in achieving your fitness goals. Based on that, I would like to state that investing in Ashwagandha is unlikely to be a waste of your money.

Usage

Now, I will explain the usage of Ashwagandha.

It is recommended to take 300mg – 600mg 3 times per day. Always take the supplement with at least two whole food meals.

Those engaging in exercise should always remember to take the supplement before the workout. Lowering cortisol levels before exercise isn’t advisable, as the body requires higher cortisol levels to metabolize energy, regulate blood pressure, and absorb the physical stress during the workout. Therefore, it’s important not to suppress cortisol hormone levels during exercise. Instead, take this supplement post-workout with a meal or 2.

Use Ashwagandha in 2-4 week cycles. After completing a cycle, take a break for 2-4 weeks. Then resume the cycle.

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When making a purchase, there are a few things to consider. The most important aspect is to avoid purchasing mixed products. Mixing refers to Ashwagandha combined with other medications in 300g, 400g pack sizes, etc. Avoid buying these, as no one exactly knows the consequences of such products. It doesn’t make sense. What we need in Ashwagandha is the root area of the Ashwagandha tree.

So, while emphasizing this fact, do not buy leaf extract or blends with other herbs. Instead, opt for root extract, specifically KSM-66 high-quality Ashwagandha extract.

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It is recommended to take 300mg – 600mg 3 times per day. Always take the supplement with at least two whole food meals.

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Those engaging in exercise should always remember to take the supplement before the workout. Lowering cortisol levels before exercise isn’t advisable, as the body requires higher cortisol levels to metabolize energy, regulate blood pressure, and absorb the physical stress during the workout. Therefore, it’s important not to suppress cortisol hormone levels during exercise. Instead, take this supplement post-workout with a meal or 2.

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Use Ashwagandha in 2-4 week cycles. After completing a cycle, take a break for 2-4 weeks. Then resume the cycle.

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Use Ashwagandha in 2-4 week cycles. After completing a cycle, take a break for 2-4 weeks. Then resume the cycle.

Tip

The Ashwagandha cycle mentioned above may impact your budget, especially if you are already using other supplements like fish oil or creatine. For a budget-friendly solution, I suggest using Ashwagandha during periods of higher stress, such as starting a new job, moving to a new country, pregnancy, or experiencing a major life change etc.

If you have deep pockets, you can invest in your sleep and use Ashwagandha as long as you want because sleep is also very important for the quality of life. You spend at least ¼ of your life asleep.

Common issues and side effects

Studies have shown that there is no evidence of potential liver damage using Ashwagandha. However, some individuals have reported experiencing a lack of feelings and emotions while using Ashwagandha, although this is not scientifically proven. From my personal experience, I found that I could focus more on my life tasks and felt fewer life burdens. I suggest that these changes may be due to reduced stress levels. Therefore, I can confidently say that there are no side effects of using Ashwagandha.

Cortisol buffering in the long term!

Actually, there is a question mark on this subject. Potentially, cortisol buffering during a longer period of time can hamper other functions of cortisol hormones, such as energy utilization, blood pressure management, blood sugar levels, and immune levels. As you already know, managing stress is not the only function of cortisol. That’s why I suggested using Ashwagandha on a cyclical basis. Also, as I have already mentioned, do not use Ashwagandha pre-workout. It can negatively impact your workout and eventually be a side effect as well.

Ashwagandha is a useful supplement but be strategic in how you use it based on your needs.

Disclaimer

Please seek a medical professional’s opinion before taking this supplement. I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. All content is based on my self-learning.

Supplements can affect individuals differently. If you have any other medical conditions or if you are pregnant, it is better to seek medical advice. This information is presented for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.

Sources

Source 1: Stress

Source 2: Performance

Source 3: Testosterone Boosting effect

Source 4: Sleep

Source 5