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So, you wanna get healthy. This is the year.
There’s only one problem – you have 300 different supplements to choose from. So how do you pick?
Well, in my Supplement Comparison Series, I take 2 supplements and put them against each other on pros, cons, price, and more. The goal isn’t to choose a “winner”, but to help you decide which one is right for you.
Up next, we have Ashwagandha vs Caffeine.
Let’s get started.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (Withania Sommnifera) is a herb native to India that’s been used for a variety of conditions for over 4,000 years. It belongs to the Solanaceae family of plants which includes common vegetables like potatoes and eggplants.
It’s renown for its ability to promote feelings of strength, calmness, and vitality in people.
In the ancient Sanskrit language, Ashwagandha roughly translates to the smell of a horse, suggesting it can give you the strength of a stallion.
(Apparently fresh Ashwagandha root smells like horse sweat. A fair trade-off for gaining the strength of a stallion in my opinion!)
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine (trimethylxanthine) is considered the most popular drug in the world.
It’s a stimulant (meaning it stimulates the central nervous system) that’s naturally found in beans, leaves, and fruits of over 60 plants worldwide.
The most common sources of Caffeine are tea leaves, cocoa beans, and of course, coffee.
Interestingly, the word Caffeine is derived from the word kaffee, which means coffee in German.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha may help lower blood sugar levels
High blood sugar levels can crash your energy levels, leading to fatigue, brain fog, and mood swings.
This low energy state will steal any will power that you have, meaning you’re more likely to binge on sugary foods which will restart this vicious cycle.
(This is how many people become slaves to junk food.)
Fear not however – Ashwagandha has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in recent research.
For example, a study of 12 subjects looked at how Ashwagandha powder affected their blood sugar levels.
After taking Ashwagandha for 30 days, their blood sugar levels were lowered by amounts comparable to that of blood sugar lowering medication.
Ashwagandha may help improve anxiety
Wanna know a shocking fact?
More than 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders.
This makes anxiety the most common mental illness in the US.
According to research, Ashwagandha may be effective at improving anxiety symptoms.
In one study, the subjects took 600mg of Ashwagandha or a placebo each day for 2 months.
The results showed that the Ashwagandha takers had a bigger reduction in scores on the stress test than the placebo takers.
Another study compared anxiety levels in subjects taking Ashwagandha or a placebo for 6 weeks.
By the end of the study, 88% of people who took Ashwagandha had less anxiety.
Ashwagandha may help boost muscle size and strength
Although Ashwagandha is rarely discussed in the Bodybuilding community, research shows it’s useful for those wanting to get stronger and put on more muscle.
A study investigated the effects of Ashwagandha on muscle size and strength in 57 subjects.
Each day during the study, some subjects took 600mg of Ashwagandha and the others took a placebo.
The results showed that the Ashwagandha group had bigger increases in muscle size, strength, fat loss, and testosterone levels than the placebo group.
Ashwagandha may help boost testosterone levels
Many people have lower than ideal testosterone levels these days.
The reasons for this are widespread, including low fat diets, poor sleep hygiene, and lower meat intake.
But low testosterone levels can be devastating for your health.
For example, research suggests that depression in aging men may be due to declining testosterone levels.
And this is where Ashwagandha enters the picture.
A study of 75 infertile males found that Ashwagandha supplementation increased Seminal testosterone levels.
Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine may help improve exercise performance
According to research, Caffeine may help improve exercise performance.
One study found that 5mg of Caffeine per kg of body weight boosted endurance by 5%, when taken an hour before exercise.
Another study found that Caffeine reduced perceived force by 5.6%, which could make your workouts feel less challenging.
Caffeine may improve mental function and health
Many people consume caffeine to feel mentally sharper.
And for good reason too.
In one study, Caffeine improved awareness, attention, and reaction time when compared with placebo.
Also, a summary of 12 studies concluded that Caffeine users have a 16% lower risk of depression.
Caffeine may help with fat loss
Research suggests that Caffeine may be an effective tool for fat loss.
One study found that taking 300mg of daily Caffeine can increase daily energy expenditure by 79 calories.
Another study found that taking 10mg of Caffeine per kg of body weight increased fat burning by 13%.
Caffeine may help reduce the risk of Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is a serious illness that’s characterized by high blood sugar levels.
It can cause some unwanted symptoms, like:
- Sight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Numb hands and feet
The good news is that Caffeine may help protect against Type 2 Diabetes.
A summary of 6 studies concluded that people who take the most Caffeine have up to a 30% lower risk of developing Diabetes.
Ashwagandha is normally sold in tablets or as a liquid extract.
Here are some typical prices for these:
- Tablets: $18 for 100
- Liquid Extract: $17 for 2 Oz
Caffeine is generally sold in tablets or capsules.
Standard prices for these are:
- Tablets: $7 for 100
- Capsules: $7 for 100
Ashwagandha Side Effects
Most people can take Ashwagandha supplements with minimal fuss, but the following side effects have been reported in some clinical studies:
- Upset stomach
Since Ashwagandha may lower blood sugar levels, those taking blood sugar lowering medication should consult a doctor before taking Ashwagandha.
The following people should avoid Ashwagandha:
- Pregnant women
- People with stomach ulcers
- People with low/high blood pressure
- People who are allergic to Solanaceae plants, i.e. Potatoes, Eggplants, etc.
- People with autoimmune conditions, i.e. Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
Caffeine Side Effects
Like Ashwagandha, Caffeine is typically safe to supplement with, but some people may experience the following side effects:
- Rapid heartbeat
My Ashwagandha Recommendation: NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha
Fair priced? Check.
High strength? Check.
NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha ticks all the boxes of a top supplement.
What I like about it
I love that this supplement contains only natural, organic ingredients meaning it’s free from any nasty chemical pesticides.
That’s right. Just 100% natural goodness.
Another great feature is the addition of black pepper extract to the capsules.
Well, it’s believed that Ashwagandha is a lot more absorbable when taken alongside black pepper extract.
The reviews are pretty epic too, which shows that many people have used this supplement with awesome results.
Since the serving size is 3 capsules, a bottle will only last you a month or so assuming you take it every day.
My Caffeine Recommendation: NutraBio 100% Pure Caffeine
Pure, potent, and not too pricey.
NutraBio 100% Pure Caffeine is the bee’s knees.
What I like about it
It’s impressive that the Caffeine is pure despite being in capsules.
Well, you get more value as there are no cheap fillers, binders, or other junk that’s been added which makes it cheaper to produce.
Also, it’s good to know that the Caffeine has been HPLC lab tested by a 3rd party.
In other words, it’s tested to the highest of industry standards, so you know you’re getting the highest quality Caffeine that money can buy.
A small number of people have reported an upset stomach after taking these capsules.
Ashwagandha vs Caffeine: The Verdict
Well I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this Ashwagandha vs Caffeine breakdown.
They’re both awesome supplements that aren’t too pricey and offer so many benefits.
Hopefully, you’ve now made your decision of which one to side with.
But for those on the fence, here’s a basic guide to help you decide:
You might prefer Ashwagandha if:
- You suffer from anxiety
- You want to get bigger and stronger
- You want to increase your testosterone levels
You might prefer Caffeine if:
- You want to burn more fat
- You want to feel mentally sharper
- You want to reduce your risk of Diabetes
- You want to enhance your exercise performance
Hope this helped!