Ashwagandha may be the ultimate herbal supplement for men. Also known as withania somnifera, Indian ginseng, or winter cherry – Ashwagandha is highlighted as a powerful herb in both modern and ancient Ayurvedic medicine. It is a member of the adaptogen herb family along with rhodiola, ginseng, and maca.
Adaptogen herbs are known for their ability to regulate metabolic functions while the body is under physical or mental stress. Ashwagandha is commonly used to promote stress relief, brain health, and adrenal health.
This herb also packs a powerful punch for men’s health. According to the Global Healing Center Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years to promote male vitality, hormone balance, and to counteract the effects of andropause (male menopause).
Benefits of Ashwagandha Supplementation in Men
- Naturally increase free and total testosterone in men
- Reduce anxiety and stress levels
- Reverse/slow hair loss and graying
- Promotes prostate health
- Improves erectile response (decreases premature ejaculation)
- Increase sexual arousal and sexual performance
- Increase physical strength, stamina, and muscle size
- Shorten recovery time after workouts
- Reduce the stress hormone “cortisol”
- Improve cognition and memory
- Increases semen volume and sperm concentration in men with fertility issues
- Improve feelings of happiness
A recent study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine focused on ashwagandha’s effect on testosterone levels, strength, and muscle mass in men.
The double-blind controlled study divided men between 18 and 50 years of age into two groups. One group was given 300 milligrams of Ashwagandha twice a day for eight weeks; the other group was given a starch placebo. Measurements of muscle strength, muscle size, body composition, serum testosterone levels and serum creatine kinase levels (an indicator of muscle recovery) were taken before and after the group participated in an eight-week strength training program.
The results showed that Ashwagandha supplementation significantly increases serum testosterone levels, muscle mass, strength, and recovery without the harmful side effects of testosterone boosting drugs.
Men who took Ashwagandha increased their one-rep max an average of 46 kg (bench press) and 14.5 kg (leg-extension) compared to 26.4 kg and 9.8 kg in the placebo group.
Men who took Ashwagandha increased their muscle size by an average of 8.6 cm2 (arms) and 3.3 cm2 (chest) compared to 5.3 cm2 and 1.4 cm2 in the placebo group.
Men who took Ashwagandha had a greater average increase in testosterone and creatine kinase levels than the placebo group – 96.2 ng/dL compared to 18.0 ng/dL (testosterone) and 1462.6 U/L compared to 1307.5 U/L (creatine kinase).
The men who took Ashwagandha also had a greater decrease in body fat percentage than the placebo group averaging 3.5 percent compared to 1.5 percent in the placebo group.
Supplementation can range from 300-500 mg per day up to 6,000 mg per day divided into three 2,000 mg doses. Incremental increases are commonly used to work up to higher doses. Consult a holistic health practitioner, herbalist, or use manufacturer recommendations to find an effective dosage.
View the human effect matrix for Ashwagandha to read more on benefits of the herb.
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