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When Is The Best Time To Take Ashwagandha?

Wondering when to take Ashwagandha for maximum benefits? Discover the best time to take Ashwagandha and how to optimize its effects. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways

  • Some of Ashwagandha’s main benefits include decreasing stress, anxiety and cortisol levels as well as improving sleep and strength and aerobic training
  • Ashwagandha can be taken in the morning, afternoon or night. More research is needed to show the best time to take the supplement
  • The best time to take ashwagandha is going to vary from person to person. Whichever schedule you can stick to will be the best time for you to take ashwagandha

What Is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb originally used in traditional Indian medicine. It is thought to have adaptogenic properties.

Adaptogens are thought to help the body modulate the stress response and improve sleep.  One way that ashwagandha has been specifically studied for this is by way of reducing cortisol levels.

Cortisol is a stress hormone involved in the fight-or-flight response. When stuck in that response, cortisol suppresses other functions that would not be beneficial in the fight or flight response, like sleep, digestion, and reproductive processes.

Levels of cortisol rise and fall throughout the day. While we need cortisol for a variety of functions, staying too high throughout the day is not great for our health.

Ashwagandha has also been studied for its benefits in men and women individually.

Some benefits of Ashwagandha for men include increased testosterone levels, increased sperm count, and improved sperm motility.

For women, Ashwagandha has been studied for improvement in perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms and improved sexual health. More studies are needed as a whole to continue to prove these benefits.

Finding the time of day that taking ashwagandha works best for you may be able to help modulate the stress response, decrease anxiety, and improve sleep. 

Do I Take Ashwagandha In the Morning, Afternoon Or Night?

Ashwagandha can be taken at any time of day. Oftentimes, studies use a twice-per-day dosing protocol.

For example, this study that looked at the adaptogenic and anxiolytic effects of ashwagandha, they provided the groups with either 125 mg or 300 mg, once in the morning and once at night.

Taking Ashwagandha In The Morning

Some people prefer to wake up and take all of their supplements in the morning. If that sounds like you, it might be a good time to take your ashwagandha in the morning.

The thought behind taking it in the morning comes with modulating the stress response. If you know there is a busy day, week, or month ahead, taking ashwagandha in the morning can provide a more calm, stable energy throughout the day without spiking cortisol.

Interestingly, specifically for men, one study looked at ashwagandha supplementation and its impact on strength training and recovery.

They were provided with either placebo or 500 mg of ashwagandha supplementation in the morning with 12 ounces of water. The study duration was twelve weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found significantly greater gains in the ashwagandha group in regards to one repetition max squat and one repetition max bench press. They also found statistically significant improvements in a 7.5-kilometer cycling time.

While this is compelling research that taking ashwagandha in the morning for men could improve strength and cycling performance, more research is needed.

Although you can take ashwagandha on an empty stomach, doing so can cause some people unwanted side effects.

 If you have had any side effects from taking medications in the morning on an empty stomach, consider taking ashwagandha with food or a small snack in the morning.

Some of the side effects, mostly seen with very large doses, include nausea, upset stomach, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.

Ashwagandha Root and Powder

Taking Ashwagandha In The Afternoon

So far, there are no research studies that use ashwagandha taken only mid-day. If this is a preferred time for you to take supplements, it’s worth a try to see how it will work for you.

Taking Ashwagandha In The Evening

The thought behind taking ashwagandha in the evening as opposed to the morning is that it has been shown to help with getting more restful sleep, decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep, and feeling more well-rested upon waking.

Another reason some consumers may choose to take ashwagandha in the evening would be to avoid stomach upset. If you had previously experienced any side effects when taking it on an empty stomach, taking ashwagandha in the evening with a snack could be a better option.

A select few consumers even report that ashwagandha can make them feel sleepy or drowsy due to a component in ashwagandha called triethylene glycol.

Best Time To Take Ashwagandha

There really is no one best time of the day to take ashwagandha.

The best time to take ashwagandha is going to be what works best for you. However you can keep yourself on a consistent schedule with taking it, that will be the best way.

Some people prefer to get their daily exercise in right when they wake up, and some prefer to go to the gym after the sun goes down.

It all depends on your schedule and how you feel your best after taking it!

Remember that it might take a couple of days for ashwagandha to kick in, so if you are not feeling the effects immediately, that’s okay. Reflect every few days to see how you feel, or even keep a daily journal to track your stress, anxiety, and sleep and compare them over time.

How Much Ashwagandha To Take Per Day?

The most widely used dose of ashwagandha ranges from 240-600 mg per day.

Since ashwagandha is a supplement and not a medication that is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, there is no optimal dosage or upper limit assigned.

While there is some evidence that higher doses could be beneficial for those undergoing intense exercise regimens or improvement in sperm count, much more research is needed for ashwagandha at high doses and over a long period of time. 

Is Ashwagandha Safe?

Generally, ashwagandha is safe for most people. The side effects if taken in large doses seem to be GI related.

 A rare, uncommon side effect that has been reported is liver injury that resolves after stopping the supplement, though not much information on the dose and time frame taken, as well as other supplements or underlying medical conditions the user may have had.

This is why it is important to speak with your own medical doctor before starting any supplements, even if it is considered herbal or natural.

Some groups of people that should avoid ashwagandha include those pregnant or breastfeeding. Studies haven’t shown if it is safe to take during those times just yet.

Additionally, those taking sedative medications, diabetes medications, or immunosuppressive medications should avoid ashwagandha as well.

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Greens Powders And Ashwagandha In The Morning Or Night

Oftentimes, green powders will contain the adaptogen Ashwagandha. Most people prefer to drink their greens in the morning to start off their day, but they can be taken at night too.

Green powders are not a substitute for a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables, but they are made to support it and close any nutritional gaps.

Some proposed benefits of green powders include improved immune function, improved energy levels, and reducing oxidative damage. They usually contain more than just greens, vitamins, and minerals.

For example, Supergreen Tonik has all of that plus an immune-boosting blend and a Nootropic blend, for a total of 38 ingredients.

The Nootropic blend contains ashwagandha, along with another adaptogen called Rhodiola.

Looking for a reputable, well-trusted greens powder is important. Try looking for one that’s 3rd party tested or NSF certified. Also, keeping an eye out for proprietary blends can be another thing to look for when searching for a greens powder.

A proprietary blend does not disclose the exact amount of each ingredient in the supplement, it rather just lumps them all together. Consumers cannot be exactly sure how much of each component they are getting.

Supergreen Tonik has a transparent label with no proprietary blends, and there, consumers can see that it contains 500 mg of ashwagandha. That is one of reviewers favorite things about the brand!

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Final Thoughts

Ashwagnadha can be taken at any time of day. The best time to take ashwagandha would be whatever makes you feel the best and whichever way fits best in your schedule.

Taking ashwagandha first thing in the morning in your green powder can be one way to set up for a successful day ahead.

Taking it at night with some stress-relieving activities like a warm shower or meditation can help you wind down for the night and promote restful sleep.

More research is needed to find a time to take ashwagandha that provides optimal benefits for both men and women.

Always remember to speak with your own doctor before adding any new nutritional or herbal supplement to your daily regimen.

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