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muscled guy curling dumbbellAshwagandha is considered an adaptogenic herb. There is many supposed benefits associated with its use, including adrenal gland health, cortisol reduction, to relieve anxiety, and to boost energy and immune system function. Adaptogenic herbs also may improve athletic performance as well. A study published in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research shows the effects of ashwagandha on athletic performance over a variety of measures.

Participants were 18-23 years old, and both males and females were included. 10 subjects took 500 mg of a standardized extract of ashwagandha daily for 8 weeks, and 10 subjects took a placebo. With 8 weeks of supplementation with ashwagandha, improvements were seen in power, speed, VO2 max, and mind-muscle co-ordination.

The results seen here are likely due to a variety of effects of ashwagandha, but its adaptogenic properties probably played a major role in its ability to increase speed and strength. Ashwagandha has many beneficial effects that make it worthwhile for athletes to supplement with, and the direct ergogenic benefits shown here make it an even more valuble addition to the supplement plan of any athlete.



Sandhu JS, Shah B, Shenoy S, Chauhan S, Lavekar GS, & Padhi MM. (2010). Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. International Journal of Ayurveda Research. 1(3), 144-9.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cassie is a chemistry major and national level bodybuilder. Questions or comments? Talk to Cassie on the FORUM or on FACEBOOK.

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