Ashwagandha falls into a category of herbs (and some mushrooms), known as adaptogens.
They have this label due to their unique ability to adapt to the body’s needs.
For example, when you’re overstressed, adaptogens will help calm you down, whereas if you need that extra jolt of energy, they’ll “pick you up” so to speak.
In other words, they work like an internal Stressostat, keeping the body’s stress response at an ideal state.
(Yes – I just invented the word stressostat and yes – I’m proud of it.)
The reason I’m telling you this is the time of day you take adaptogens has a massive impact on the benefits and effects that you get from them.
So, in this article, I’m going to explore the benefits you may notice from taking Ashwagandha in the morning and at night.
From this knowledge, you can then take Ashwagandha at the time of day which suits your needs.
First, let’s cover the reasons why you may take Ashwagandha in the morning.
Reasons To Take Ashwagandha In The Morning
1. Ashwagandha can reduce blood sugar levels
Ashwagandha has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in many different studies now.
One study in particular had 12 participants treated with Ashwagandha powder for 30 days. The results showed that the decrease in blood sugar was similar to that of an actual blood sugar lowering drug!
So, by taking Ashwagandha in the morning, you’re more likely to have stable blood sugar levels for the rest of the day.
I’ve noticed that stable blood sugar levels are important for keeping your mood, hunger and energy levels from yo-yoing which usually sends me crazy.
2. Ashwagandha may help reduce anxiety
With so many of us getting caught up in the stress of everyday life, as well as comparing ourselves with others on social media, it’s sadly unsurprising to see how many people have anxiety nowadays.
The good news is Ashwagandha has been shown to improve anxiety in quite a few studies.
For example, a 6-week study looked at anxiety levels in people taking either Ashwagandha or a placebo.
The results showed that 88% of people who took Ashwagandha had less anxiety by the end of the study.
Another study on 64 people had some participants take 600mg of Ashwagandha every day for 60 days.
Those who took Ashwagandha had a significant reduction in scores on the “stress test”, relative to those who took a placebo.
Since anxiety is generally more noticeable throughout the day, it’s best to take Ashwagandha in the morning to keep them mental health demons at bay.
(Related reading: Do Cold Showers Work For Anxiety?)
Reasons To Take Ashwagandha At Night
1. Ashwagandha lowers Cortisol levels
As touched upon earlier, many of us are stressed nowadays by getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the hectic lifestyles we live.
Unfortunately, high stress levels raise your Cortisol levels through the roof, making it difficult to fall asleep.
(Biologically, we’ve evolved to have high Melatonin and low Cortisol levels at night which helps us sleep, but high Cortisol levels messes up this process.)
Well you’ll be please to know that Ashwagandha has been shown to lower Cortisol levels in plenty of studies, including this one.
So, by taking Ashwagandha at night, you’ll have lower Cortisol levels before bed as nature intended, resulting in a good night’s sleep.
2. Ashwagandha boosts testosterone
If you’re a male and you’re depressed, then there’s a fairly good chance that your testosterone levels are low.
And despite what the mainstream media want you to believe about testosterone being the root of all evil, there’s nothing wrong with having high testosterone levels.
Put it this way, if high testosterone levels are helpful to the richest man in the universe, then they’re almost certainly going to be helpful to you.
Well it turns out that Ashwagandha is very effective at boosting your T levels.
Take this study for example, where 75 infertile males who were given Ashwagandha ended up with significantly higher testosterone, as well as “healthier” seminal fluid.
The reason I recommend you taking Ashwagandha at night for this benefit is that your testosterone levels are at their highest during sleep. (The REM phase of sleep to be precise.)
So, this will help boost testosterone at the time when your body has evolved to have high testosterone.
3. Ashwagandha may boost muscle size and strength
An 8-week study of 57 participants investigated the relationship between Ashwagandha and muscle size and strength.
Some of the participants took 300mg of Ashwagandha twice per day whilst others took a placebo.
Those who took the Ashwagandha had greater increases in muscle strength, muscle size, testosterone levels and fat loss.
In other words, they pretty much turned into Wolverine.
Joking aside, if you want Ashwagandha to help you gain size and strength, you’re probably best taking it close to your workout.
And since evening workouts are more effective than morning workouts for size and strength, I recommend taking Ashwagandha at night for muscle related benefits.
By now, you’ll know just how amazingly versatile Ashwagandha is as a supplement.
And if I’ve done my job correctly, you’ll have an idea of when the best time to take Ashwagandha is to benefit yourself.
Chances are many of you are better off taking it in the morning whilst many of you will benefit from taking it at night.
But if you’re still unsure, then why not do your own mini experiment and try both?
As always, thanks for sticking with me to the end and I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.
See you in the next one.