Ashwagandha’s impact on stress, sleep, and athletic performance

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Ashwagandha’s impact on stress, sleep, and athletic performance

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Ashwagandha’s impact on stress, sleep, and athletic performance

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Ashwagandha is a tiny, unassuming shrub indigenous to India and Northern Africa. Ashwagandha means "horse smell" in Sanskrit, referring to its distinct odor and ability to boost strength. It has long been employed in Ayurvedic medicine and has made its mark in modern supplements. 

Ashwagandha seems to be everywhere lately and for good reason. Read below for some of its amazing benefits. 

Helps reduce anxiety and stress
The capacity of ashwagandha to relieve stress is likely its most well-known benefit. It is classed as an adaptogen, which is a chemical that aids the body in dealing with stress.

Ashwagandha appears to aid in the modulation of stress mediators such as cortisol, heat shock proteins, and stress-induced c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (1). Cortisol is a hormone that the adrenal glands produce in response to stress. It can help you handle stress better in modest doses by improving your energy. Cortisol suspends internal activities that interfere with alertness, such as glucose metabolism, digestion, and immunity, so that the body may focus on the flight or fight reaction. As you probably have figured, this is troublesome if you have been dealing with stress for a long time. 

Several studies have found that ashwagandha can aid with stress and anxiety relief.

In a short trial of 58 people, those who took 250mg or 600 mg of ashwagandha extracts for 8 weeks had considerably lower levels of subjective stress and the stress hormone cortisol than those who took a placebo. Furthermore, as compared to the placebo group, people who took ashwagandha had much better sleep quality (1).

Another 60-person trial discovered that individuals who consumed 240 mg of this plant's extract each day for 60 days experienced substantial decreases in anxiety (2).

May aid in sleep
Many individuals use ashwagandha to encourage peaceful sleep, and there is some evidence that it could help with sleep problems.

A research study of 50 people aged 65 to 80, for example, discovered that consuming 600 mg of ashwagandha root per day for 12 weeks dramatically enhanced the quality of sleep and mental alertness upon rising when compared to placebo therapy (3).

Furthermore, one meta-analysis of five high-quality studies discovered that ashwagandha has a small but substantial favorable effect on total sleep quality. Taking ashwagandha made people feel less anxious and more attentive when they woke (4). 

Improves exercise performance
Scientific studies have shown that ashwagandha improves athletic performance. Extracts from the ashwagandha plant have been demonstrated to increase endurance. For example, one study found that giving plant extracts to research subjects for two weeks boosted their maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) capacity by 4.9% (5). The Vo2 Max test measures cardiovascular fitness as well as aerobic endurance. The more oxygen you can take while exercising, the more energy you will generate. Furthermore, the researchers discovered that combining this substance with Arjuna improves muscle speed and strength. Arjuna and ashwagandha are powerful components used in our product, Flow.

The findings of this study are similar to research that involved a review of 12 studies in women and men who took ashwagandha extract doses from 120 mg to 1,250 mg a day. The findings indicate that the plant may improve physical performance, including oxygen usage and strength during exercise (6). Another study also found that ashwagandha root extract improves QOL and promotes cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy athletic adults (7).

Final Word
We love ashwagandha for all of the reasons cited above, which is why we’ve incorporated it in two of our most popular supplements, REM and Flow

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6979308/ 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6750292/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7096075/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC8462692/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21170205/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC8006238/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26730141/#:~:text=Efficacy%20of%20Ashwagandha%20%28Withania%20somnifera%20%5BL.%5D%20Dunal%29%20in,endurance%20and%20improves%20QOL%20in%20healthy%20athletic%20adults
By Jeff Evans

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