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So you’re looking at improving your health with supplements.
The good news is there are a ton of great supplements that will fit the bill.
Two awesome options that you may be aware of are Ashwagandha and Turmeric. I’m here to help you figure out which one is right for you.
In my ever-growing Supplement Comparison series, I take two supplements and break them down based on price, benefits, side effects and more. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of which one to take.
In this post, we’ll take a look at Ashwagandha vs Turmeric.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (Withania Sommnifera) is a herb originating from India that’s been used for many thousand years for a wide variety of conditions. It belongs to the Nightshade family of plants which include popular vegetables like potatoes and eggplants.
In the ancient Sanskrit language, Ashwagandha loosely translates to “the scent of a horse”, hinting it can give you the strength of a stallion.
In fact, it’s believed that Ashwagandha root smells similar to horse sweat too.
Ashwagandha is most well-known for its ability to promote feelings of calmness, strength and vitality in people.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric, also known as the golden spice is a tall plant that grows mainly in Asia.
The turmeric we see in spice cabinets is composed of the ground roots of the plant, and it’s this form that’s used in many curry powders.
It’s one of the most potent, anti-inflammatory, mood boosting ingredients that just about everyone should be using.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha boosts testosterone levels
There’s no doubt that many people are suffering from low testosterone levels these days.
This can be attributed to many things, including:
- Low fat diets
- Lower meat intake
- Poor sleep hygiene
But few people realise that low T levels can be catastrophic to your health.
(Yep… both mental and physical.)
For example, research suggests that depression in aging men is due to low T levels.
Now, if low T levels concern you, then perhaps you should start taking Ashwagandha.
Well, a study of 75 infertile males showed that Ashwagandha supplementation increased Seminal T levels.
Ashwagandha improves anxiety symptoms
Anxiety is an awful condition that’s widespread around the world.
In fact, over 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety and related disorders, making it the most common mental illness in the US.
If you or a loved one suffer from anxiety, then Ashwagandha may be able to help you, as research shows it’s effective at improving anxiety symptoms.
Take this study for example, which compared anxiety levels in subjects taking Ashwagandha or a placebo after 6 weeks.
The results showed that 88% of the Ashwagandha users had less anxiety.
Another 8-week study had some people take 600mg of Ashwagandha every day and others take a placebo.
At the end of the study, the Ashwagandha takers had a massive reduction in scores on the “stress test” compared to those who took the placebo.
(Related reading: Are Cold Showers Good For Anxiety?)
Ashwagandha lowers blood sugar levels
High blood sugar levels often result in an energy crash, leading to fatigue, brain fog and mood swings.
This energy crash will make you more likely to indulge on junk food, which will lead to higher blood sugar levels, restarting the vicious cycle.
(This cycle is partly to blame for the obesity crisis, but that’s a story for another day…)
So, keeping your blood sugar levels stable is a great way to sustain your energy levels.
Recent research has shown that Ashwagandha is very capable at reducing blood sugar levels.
For example, a study investigated how Ashwagandha affected the blood sugar levels of 12 people.
After only a month of using Ashwagandha, their blood sugar was lowered by amounts comparable to medication used by Diabetics!
Ashwagandha increases muscle size and strength
Although Ashwagandha is pretty much unknown to the Bodybuilding community, it’s an excellent supplement for muscle building.
A study investigated the effects of muscle size and strength in 57 people.
Some of them took a placebo and some took 600mg of Ashwagandha each day.
At the end of the study, the Ashwagandha users had greater increases in muscle size, strength, fat loss and T levels compared to those who took the placebo.
(Related reading: Best Bulking Supplements For Skinny Guys)
Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric may help lower inflammation
Inflammation is a real doubled-edged sword.
Acute inflammation is incredibly important, as it signals to your body that something’s not right and needs healed.
In certain situations, for example bacterial infections, this can be difference between life and death.
Whereas chronic (i.e. long term) inflammation can be problematic.
In fact, the following conditions have been linked to chronic inflammation:
- Heart Disease
So, minimizing chronic inflammation is key to living a long, healthy life.
Curcumin, a molecule found in Turmeric has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory compound.
In fact, some research suggests its anti-inflammatory effects are comparable to that of an anti-inflammatory drug!
(Related reading: Best Fish Oil Supplements For Reducing Inflammation)
Turmeric may help lower oxidative stress
Oxidative stress, caused by free radicals is one of the key mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.
Antioxidants are a great way to combat oxidative stress as they help protect your body from free radicals.
Thanks to its chemical structure, Curcumin acts as a powerful antioxidant which helps neutralize free radicals, leading to less oxidative stress in the body.
But that’s not all though…
Research shows that Curcumin also boosts your body’s own antioxidant capabilities.
Turmeric may improve cognition function
It was once believed that neurons weren’t capable of dividing and multiplying after childhood, but recent research has shown that that’s not the case.
In fact, not only are neurons capable of forming new connections, but they can also multiply and increase in number in certain areas of the brain.
A key component to this phenomenon is a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
Research has shown that Curcumin is capable of increasing levels of BDNF in the brain, which may result improved cognition.
But what’s even more exciting is that increased levels of BDNF may help ward of common brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Well, research shows that a lot of these brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of BDNF.
Ashwagandha is usually sold in the form of tablets or as a liquid extract.
Typical prices for these are:
- Tablets: $18 for 100
- Liquid Extract: $17 for 2 Oz
Turmeric is typically sold as capsules.
For 120 mid-strength capsules, you can expect to pay around $20.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
Ashwagandha supplements are well-tolerated by most people, but mild side effects such as headaches, sleepiness and stomach upset have been reported by some people.
Also, Diabetics and those who are taking blood sugar lowering medication must speak to a doctor before using Ashwagandha, as it may lead to Hypoglycaemia which is very, very dangerous.
The following people should NOT take Ashwagandha:
- Pregnant women
- People with stomach ulcers
- Those with high/low blood pressure
- People who’re allergic to Nightshade plants, i.e. Potatoes, Tomatoes, etc.
- People with autoimmune conditions, i.e. Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
Turmeric Side Effects
Like Ashwagandha, Turmeric supplements usually don’t cause any significant side effects, but some people can experience nausea, dizziness or stomach upset.
My Ashwagandha Recommendation: NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha
I’m a big, big fan of NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha.
Considering its high strength and quality, it’s fantastic value for money.
What I like about it
Lots of excellent reviews shows that this is a trusted Ashwagandha supplement, and many people are seeing amazing results from it.
Also, I love that NaturaLife Labs Ashwagandha is pre-mixed with Black Pepper Extract.
It’s been shown that Ashwagandha is better absorbed when taken with Black Pepper, making this supplement more effective than its competitors.
Another great feature is that this supplement contains only organic, natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about nasty additives.
With the recommended serving size being 3 capsules, each bottle will only last you a month or so, assuming you follow the recommended amount.
But in the grand scheme of things, this is just a minor inconvenience, rather than a deal breaker.
My Turmeric Recommendation: Nature’s Nutrition Turmeric
A popular, high-strength Turmeric supplement that’s mixed with other compounds for super absorption.
If you’re after a reliable, fair-priced Turmeric supplement, then this is exactly what you need.
What I like about it
The fact this Turmeric is pre-mixed with Bioperine is a huge benefit.
Well, studies have shown that the absorption of Turmeric is massively amplified when it’s taken alongside Bioperine.
In fact, it’s believed that Turmeric mixed with Bioperine is absorbed up to 2000x better than standard Turmeric!
(Bioperine is just a fancy name for Black Pepper extract FYI…)
Another great feature is this Turmeric has been enhanced with extra Curcumin.
As you’re now aware, a lot of the benefits that Turmeric has to offer can be credited to Curcumin.
Also, it’s clear that this is a great Turmeric supplement thanks to the hundreds of excellent reviews, showing it’s loved and used by many people just like me and you.
Very little, if any.
Some users have reported that they feel warm after taking the capsules, but I guess you get a similar feeling after eating a Turmeric-rich Curry!
Thanks for sticking to the end of this Ashwagandha vs Turmeric breakdown with me.
I hope you’ve learned a lot!
And if I’ve done my job correctly, you’ll know exactly which supplement you’re going to take.
But if you’re still on the fence, then here’s how I’d make my recommendation:
You might prefer Ashwagandha if:
- You experience anxiety
- You want to gain muscle
- You want to increase your T levels
- You want to keep your blood sugar levels stable
You might prefer Turmeric if:
- You want to reduce inflammation
- You want to improve your brain health
- You want to increase your antioxidant intake
See you in the next one!