Ashwagandha, natural power
Supplementation with Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is experiencing major growth worldwide. The increase in popularity is caused by a burst of recent studies in pharmacology and medicine. The evidence of Ashwagandha's effectiveness has convinced fitness experts and consumers of its abilities.
The Power of Adaptogens
Ashwagandha is a member of the family of herbs referred to as adaptogens. The term adaptogen is applied to an herb with phytonutrients that regulate metabolism when a body is perturbed by physical or mental stress.
Ashwagandha is one of the few herbs with significant effects on both the psychological and the physiological aspects of human functioning and it promotes balance in the body.
Adaptogens help the body normalyze system functions by supporting the development of resistance to future stress and by elevating the body’s functioning to a higher level of performance.
Withanolides, remember that!
Ashwagandha is considered one of the most important herbs in the Ayurvedic medicine system, a healthcare practice that started in India over 3,000 years ago. The herb has an impressively broad range of therapeutic effects and because of its varied therapeutic potential, it has also been the subject of considerable modern scientific attention.
Ashwagandha contains a range of active components, including a unique family of compounds called Withanolides. Withanolides are Steroid Lactones. These naturally occurring plant Steroids decrease inflammation and are powerful antioxidants.
Through decades of development the extraction of the working substance in the root has been optimized to give you the best product available in the market.
We give you the Science, you get the Performance.
Thousands of studies have been performed on the health benefits of supplementing with this powerful plant extract. These range from improved memory and insulin sensitivity, anti-bacterial properties, improved Thyroid function and many more.
We wanted to highlight a number of benefits, specifically explaining the benefits on a hormonal level and the effects related to free Testosterone, Cortisol and Estrogen and the results on muscle, power and strength performance.
The apoptogenic properties of Ashwagandha raise the possibility of it being an effective ergogenic aid. This means that if we consider the strain from exercise as a form of stress, supplementation with Ashwagandha can enhance the physical performance aiding with the body's stress response.
The results of several studies indicate that supplementation with Ashwagandha has positive effects on muscle mass, body strength and cardio respiratoy endurance. Ashwagandha is helpful in reducing exercise-induced muscle damage, supporting muscle size increase and favorable distribution of body mass and increasing Testosterone level.
A study that was performed over a 12-week period by the center of applied health science in the US to examine the impact of supplementation with Ashwagandha on strength training adaptations and showed convincing progress in bench press and squat performance as compared to the control group.
The Ashwagandha supplemented group added 19kg on the Squat and 13kg on Bench press, significantly more than the control group. Ashwagandha improves upper and lower-body strength and supports a favorable distribution of body mass (1).
Another study was designed to assess the effects of Withania somnifera/ Ashwagandha on absolute and relative power. It was found that supplementation with Ashwagandha was useful to improve speed and lower limb muscular strength and neuro-muscular co-ordination (2).
Forty elite cyclists were chosen randomly and were equally divided into experimental and placebo groups. There was significant improvement in the experimental group in all parameters, whereas the placebo group did not show any change with respect to their baseline parameters. The conclusion of the research was that Ashwagandha improved the cardiorespiratory endurance of the elite athletes (3).
The journal of the international Society of Sports Nutrition performed a study to examine the possible effects of Ashwagandha root extract consumption on muscle mass and strength in healthy young men engaged in resistance training. The subjects receiving Ashwagandha had significantly greater reduction of exercise-induced muscle damage as indicated by the stabilization of serum creatine kinase. Significantly greater muscle size increase at the arm was measured and an increase in testosterone level was noted. This study reports that Ashwagandha supplementation is associated with a significant increase in muscle mass and strength and suggests that Ashwagandha supplementation may be useful in conjunction with a resistance training program (4).
In terms of energy production, Ashwagandha can have beneficial effects on mitochondrial energy level (5).
A study performed in California indicated that Ashwagandha exerts a positive influence on the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems (6).
Let´s get those T-levels up
The production of Testosterone starts in the brain. A small gland called the Hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system. The Hypothalamus releases a hormone called Gonadotropin releasing Hormone (GnRH) which stimulated the Pituitary Gland and is responsible for a number of important hormones.
The Pituitary Gland secretes Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). LH and FSH find their way to the testes via the bloodstream. The Leydig cells in the testes convert cholesterol into Testosterone. The Testosterone is released back into the bloodstream where most of it binds with SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) from the liver. Only a small percentage is not bound and is called free Testosterone.
Free T is what androgen receptors receive and allow you get the full benefit of T in your cells and muscle tissue.
Maybe in plain English; if you want to outperform, we need T levels up and especially free T.
In Australia, research was performed with a 16-week trail that looked at
Ashwagandha supplementation and natural hormone levels. The study showed an increase in Testosterone levels (7).
Another study was conducted to evaluate the spermatogenic activity of
Ashwagandha root extract. The fertility research with a group of males showed an increase in semen volume and sperm motility/concentration levels after 90 days of treatment and elevated levels of Testosterone (8).
Similar results were found in a research with 75 subjects. The researchers investigated the impact of Withania somnifera roots on semen profile, oxidative biomarkers, and reproductive hormone levels of infertile men. The results showed increased levels in Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and total Testosterone numbers (9).
Why we don´t like Cortisol
For you to perform at your best, you need the highest levels of free T available in your body This means we need to manage your Estrogen and Cortisol levels. Remember that Cortisol is your stress hormone and in today`s challenging society you risk running high levels of Cortisol. Cortisol lowers free Testosterone and we don`t want that.... Next to that, there are a number of negative health consequences by having high Cortisol levels for a long period.
Always Science backed
An Asian study looked at the effect of Ashwagandha supplementation with group of chronically stressed individuals. The study provided evidence that the herb significantly reduced biochemical indicators of stress. More specifically, daily supplementation with Ashwagandha for 1–3 months has shown to lower cortisol levels by 11–32% (10).
Another study looked at body weight management with Adults under chronic stress through treatment with Ashwagandha root extract. The results of this study suggest that Ashwagandha root extract reduces physiological markers of stress, improves mental well-being, and reduces serum cortisol level and food cravings and improves eating behaviors. A statistically significant reduction in body weight and body mass index were observed in patients treated with Ashwagandha root extract compared to the placebo group. Therefore, it was concluded that Ashwagandha root extract can be useful for body-weight management in patients experiencing chronic stress (11).
The findings of this study suggest that Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life. The serum cortisol levels were substantially reduced (12).