Ashwagandha, an ancient Indian herb, that has become increasingly popular as a supplement in testosterone boosters and as a standalone supplement.
You may also see it listed as Withania somnifera, its formal Latin name. For those of us who don’t speak Latin (like me) we’ll stick with the former.
In this article, we cover everything you need to know about this healing shrub and the best ashwagandha supplements on the market.
Ashwagandha is an herb native to India, and it has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It’s most commonly used for treating stress but has various potential benefits, from treating fertility to increasing muscle strength.
It can be consumed in powder or capsule form, or it can be ingested as tea. However, research suggests that you need to take ashwagandha for several months before seeing its effects. Dosing recommendations for ashwagandha can vary from 250 to 1000 mg.
While ashwagandha can be an effective supplement, it’s not for everyone. Pregnant women should not consume ashwagandha because it can cause complications, including miscarriage.
An ashwagandha supplement has various potential health benefits, including enhancing athletic ability, supporting male fertility, and relieving stress.
A review of five studies discovered that participants who took ashwagandha experienced an improvement in VO2 max, short for maximum oxygen consumption, which is important for optimal cardiovascular health.
Another study showed that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha every day might improve muscle strength.
This is likely as a downstream effect of supporting testosterone production.
Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen, which is a plant that helps the body respond to stressors. Adaptogen consumption has been linked to reduced anxiety levels.
One study showed, for example, that taking ashwagandha long-term can help lower cortisol levels and reduce stress.
A different study had similar results, showing that taking 240 mg of ashwagandha every day could reduce anxiety levels. In fact, it’s a key ingredient in many supplements designed to help manage cortisol.
While not a classic “nootropic” ingredient like l-tyrosine or choline, there are some claims that ashwagandha can slow brain decline. All of this research, though, is on older populations and those with some kind of cognitive impairment. Whether it supports cognition in healthy adults, we dont’ know.
While research on the benefits of ashwagandha has been promising so far, more research is needed.
Now, let’s get into the best ashwagandha supplements out there today.
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Price: from $19.
A few elements make Goli an easy top choice
What separates Goli, as well as a few of our top choices, is that they use a patented form of ashwagandha, KSM-66®.
This form has a specific extraction process that results in a full-spectrum ashwagandha extract. By “full-spectrum,” that means it uses all of the parts of the herb, without overrepresenting one particular component.
KSM-66 has the highest percentage of naturally-occurring withanolides of root-only extracts available on the market today, with more than 5% concentrations.
Many ashwagandha products don’t even reveal the concentration. Withanolides are naturally-occuring compounds in ashwagandha (and lots of other stuff) that have a host of health and pharmacological applications. The withanolides in ashwagandha have specific research, and in general we want more of them.
KSM-66® ashwagandha seems to be more bioavailable, and it’s the form that specifically has the most solid research behind it.
Luckily, it’s not more expensive, either, so in our estimate, choosing an ashwagandha product that uses KSM-66® is a no-brainer.
To further support your immune system, Goji added vitamin D to their blend.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Goji maintains a commitment to putting only the best stuff in, and leaving everything else out.
It’s vegan, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free, and even use a pectin (fruit peel) gummy instead of the typical gelatin gummy.
Goli also has some of the best customer service out there, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For all of these reasons, Goli Ashwa Gummies is our top pick.
Price: From $17.26
Jarrow Formulas Ashwagandha has 300 mg of sustainably sourced KSM-66®
ashwagandha extract in every capsule. It comes in a vegetarian capsule and is free of gluten. Each bottle contains 60 servings if taking two capsules per day.
Jarrow also uses a vegetable capsule, is vegan, certified non-GMO, and doesn’t contain any other ingredients.
For all these reasons, Jarrow Formulas Ashwagandha is our top choice.
We just talked about how great the KSM-66 form of Ashwagandha is, so we don’t need to do it again.
This product is basically the same. It’s a simple, effective ashwagandha capsule product. The difference is the dose. It comes in 600mg capsules, and 90 capsules per bottle. So if you want a higher dose, this is the one for you.
Price: From $16.76
Youtheory Ashwagandha contains 500 mg of KSM-66 ashwagandha, which is also a high dose. It also contains 20 mg of ginger extract, which is believed to support the immune system. It comes in a vegetarian capsule and is free of gluten, dairy, and soy.
Each bottle contains 30 to 60 servings, depending on your personalized dosing.
All 3 of our top choices are very similar, so think about the dosing that’s right for you based on your needs and goals.
Price: From $23.95
Microingredients’ Organic Ashwagandha is perfect for people who prefer powder form. You can mix 1 scoop into any beverage or smoothie. It’s vegan-friendly and free of additives, preservatives, artificial colors, and gluten.
Ashwagandha works best with long-term use, so the fact this package contains over 300 servings makes it a worthwhile purchase.
It’s USDA-certified organic.
How does it taste? I won’t lie, not amazing, but you can mask it easily with something like a protein powder.
This California Gold Nutrition product offers a moderate dose of ashwagandha root extract in every capsule, which makes it a great beginner supplement. It comes in a vegetarian capsule and is made without gluten or soy. Each bottle contains 180 450 mg servings.
Price: From $8.00
NOW Foods offers a moderate dose of ashwagandha at a great price. Each capsule contains 450 mg of ashwagandha root extract, and you can choose between a 90 and 180 count bottle. It comes in a vegetarian capsule and is free of gluten and soy.
Price: From $7.50
Life Extension Optimized Ashwagandha contains 250 mg of ashwagandha extract in every serving, making it a good starter option. It’s also gluten-free and suitable for vegetarian diets.
Each bottle only has 30 servings, which is its only downside. Since ashwagandha works best when taken over time, you might have to restock this product often.
Although we ranked these supplements, we want you to decide on the best product for you.
Here’s what we took into consideration when ranking these products.
The supplement industry isn’t FDA-regulated, making finding a reputable supplement challenging.
That’s why we only select companies that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations and have their products third-party tested.
We looked for supplements that contain sustainably sourced ashwagandha extract. In addition, ashwagandha dosing recommendations can vary widely, ranging from 250 to 1000 mg. That’s why we looked for supplements with dosages in this range.
Living our healthiest lives can get expensive. That’s why we selected high-quality products that won’t hurt your wallet.
Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people. Mild side effects include upset stomach, diarrhea, and drowsiness when taken in high doses. People who are pregnant should not take ashwagandha because it can lead to pregnancy complications. It may also interact with certain medications.
The best way to determine if an ashwagandha supplement is right for you is by consulting a healthcare professional. If you want to improve athletic performance and reduce anxiety, an ashwagandha supplement is worth the try.
For another ingredient that has reported some benefits to natural improve testosterone, check out our article on the best Tongkat Ali supplements.
Yes. Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogen ingredient in many of the best greens powders and testosterone boosters.