If you are looking for a powerful, natural calming agent with health boosting potential then you are probably already familiar with Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha has plenty of great effects, but many people are looking to get even more out of this amazing botanical by optimizing dose amount and timing. If you are wondering whether taking Ashwagandha during the day or at night is best for you then read on.
Ashwagandha the Adaptogen
Ashwagandha is a plant found in India and North America that has been a staple of Indian Medicine for thousands of years.
In Indian and Ayurvedic medicine ashwagandha was given various classifications:
- Rasayana - meaning that it was believed to bring a long life.
- Bhalya - meaning that it was believed to increase strength.
- Vajikara - meaning that it was believed to promote healthy sexual function.
Modern medicine does not use these classifications, but instead uses a different one for ashwagandha: adaptogen. An adaptogen is a compound that aids the body’s ability to deal with stress.
Usually, in a healthy person, the effect stress has on your body is acute, short-term, and beneficial. However, stress can have adverse health outcomes.
In response to either physical or emotional stress, your sympathetic nervous system floods your bloodstream with a hormone made by your adrenal glands called cortisol.
When you are stressed, the continued presence of cortisol can be tough on your body, damaging the blood vessels and lowering reproductive hormones. In addition, stress can also contribute to fat storage, overeating, and other factors.
One common stress reliever is an antioxidant. Antioxidants reduce the amount of harmful stress damaged molecules in the body through reduction reactions.
An adaptogen differs from the anti-oxidant, by working one stage lower. Instead of reducing the negative consequences of stress, it directly dampens the body’s stress response on a hormone level. Adaptogens lower the amount of cortisol released into the body, which can secondarily reduce the amount of oxidation in the body.
While antioxidants and adaptogens are different classifications, they are not mutually exclusive. Adaptogens can, and many do, also have antioxidant properties. The chemicals that have both properties can reduce stress on both ends of the body’s stress state, managing both the cause and symptoms.
Ashwagandha also has plenty of other great health benefits to offer beyond its adaptogenic properties. Let’s take a look at some of these properties in greater detail:
Managing your blood sugar is an important part of avoiding chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. While diet is the biggest contributor to keeping your blood sugar in check some additional herbs and supplements can help the process along.
For instance, our champion, Ashwagandha, has been shown to reduce the blood sugar levels in healthy people and people who have been diagnosed with metabolic function issues.
With the mismanagement of insulin being one of the biggest drivers of atherosclerosis and therefore heart issues, it should be no surprise then that if Ashwagandha can help lower blood sugar then it is probably associated with better heart health. One study does exemplify this through favorable lipid panel results due to supplementation.
Weight tends to be an indicator of health for a lot of people. While extreme weight gain or loss does have serious health concerns the bigger culprit for health is body fat percentage. Not all fat is bad. In fact, brown fat stores are very important for keeping you warm and they help regulate lipid management throughout the body.
However, when your adipose tissue begins to fill up it can have dangerous effects for your heart and cause stress on the body. This is where the big swings in body fat percentage come in. Keeping your body fat percentage lower tends to be quite favorable for health outcomes, and studies have found there to be a reduction trend in body fat percentage amongst people supplementing with ashwagandha.
Sleep is an integral part of the human experience. It makes up roughly a third of our time here on Earth, yet many people find it difficult to fall asleep or to get quality sleep. Thankfully, there are plenty of great ways to get more deep sleep. One supplement that has been shown to help people get better sleep is, you guessed it, ashwagandha.
Getting great sleep is a good start to keeping good energy throughout the day, but there are other important factors as well.
Keeping you calm, relaxed and focussed is an important part of keeping your energy use efficient throughout the day, leaving you with enough to do what you want to do. Ashwagandha is just one of many supplements that can boost your energy efficiency throughout the day.
One study identified a greater level of muscle strength during supplementation with ashwagandha.
Muscle strength is an important factor especially to frequent gym goers looking to get the most out of their body. The exact mechanism for the increased muscle activity is not yet known, but it likely has something to do with ashwaganda’s effect on testosterone.
Having low testosterone can be debilitating especially for men. It can leave you with low sex drive, feeling foggy, and unable to perform when you need to.
One of the biggest factors that contributes to the deficiency is stress. Stress has been shown to reduce male fertility and lower testosterone. But, ashwagandha has powerful effects that not only boost testosterone by relieving stress, but by directly regulating reproductive hormone levels.
AM or PM
When you decide to take your ashwagandha is really up to you. There are no super benefits from taking it in the morning instead of the night or vise-versa. However, there are some timing elements to consider.
For instance, ashwagandha is a herb that can take days or weeks before its effects begin to become apparent.
It might be best to take ashwagandha whenever you take the rest of your supplements to make it easy.
And, it's best to take ashwagandha with some food. Taking ashwagandha on an empty stomach can cause discomfort for some people. If you prefer to take your supplements on an empty stomach, but find that ashwagandha causes you discomfort then you might find more success taking it at night.
It’s probably best just to find a time that works for you and stay consistent with it, especially since you might be on it a few days before the effects are at a point where you begin to notice.
Ashwagandha is a fantastic herb that is a huge part of traditional indian medicine. It has many great health benefits, but they can take a few days before they kick in. Don’t be too concerned about what time of the day you decide to take ashwagandha, just be sure that you stay consistent to ensure that those benefits come through.