Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a plant-derived adaptogen that has been utilised in traditional medicine for countless years.
Adaptogens are botanicals that bolster the body's natural reaction to stress and have been associated with decreased stress levels and enhanced sleep quality. It is used to decrease levels of anxiety as well. It may aid in enhancing cognitive function(1) and lowering the danger of dementia(2), and also helps ease chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
As more people turn to natural remedies, the popularity of ashwagandha has surged due to its health-enhancing characteristics.
Nevertheless, for some people, ashwagandha might lead to stomach discomfort. Consequently, selecting the optimal time for consumption can enable you to harness its greatest benefits devoid of any adverse effects.
This article explores the question of when to take ashwagandha and if it should be taken in the morning or at night.
Ashwagandha supplements have risen in popularity as a natural remedy with many benefits. These encompass lowered blood sugar(3), reduced stress(4) and anxiety, improved sleep, and fortified immune health.
Primarily, people opt for ashwagandha due to its adaptogenic properties, believed to regulate the body's inherent stress response. Ashwagandha is typically sold as tablets, capsules, or powder, but it is also available in other forms like oils, creams, and even some cosmetics.
There is little research on alternate Ashwagandha doses like oils and lotions. Instead of being applied topically to the skin or hair, the majority of its effects are linked to oral intake.
Considering Timing for Optimal Results
In general, ashwagandha is an herb that can be taken day or night. However, depending on your taste and tolerance, the best time to take ashwagandha is either in the morning or evening. Unlike most drugs, ashwagandha takes a while to take effect, and frequently takes days or weeks before its effects are felt.
What time of day to take ashwagandha?
Any time of the day is a good time to take ashwagandha if you are trying to lower your stress levels. While some like to take it in the evening or some are used to taking ashwagandha at night to help them unwind before bed. Some people also find that taking it in the morning helps them start their day with a peaceful and clear mind.
Some professionals answer when is the best time to take ashwagandha as an hour or so before bed for difficulties in falling asleep. The herb's sedative properties may make it easier to unwind and go off to sleep. However, the best time of day to take ashwagandha is in the morning if you want to benefit from its immune-boosting properties. The body will have the entire day to absorb and utilise the nutrients from the herb.
Drink plenty of water while taking Ashwagandha, regardless of what time of day you do so. If the herb is consumed without adequate drink, it may upset the stomach. To give the body time to react, start with a modest dose of the herb and raise it gradually over time.
Taking Ashwagandha in the Morning
If you feel overwhelmed or concerned when the day first begins, ashwagandha may help you feel less stressed and apprehensive. So it might be best to take ashwagandha in the morning if you're using it for anxiety and stress alleviation.
Ashwagandha can be taken in the morning together with other vitamins or supplements if it is part of your daily supplement regimen for overall wellness. But for some people, taking ashwagandha on an empty stomach may cause slight stomach pain. So it may be better to take it after breakfast or a little snack.
As an alternative, you might include it in a smoothie, drink, or breakfast item. Some people may have sedative effects from ashwagandha, which could result in daytime sleepiness and difficulties concentrating. Ashwagandha can reduce the efficiency(5) of some medicines when taken with them. Therefore, you should consult your physician before taking ashwagandha along with your morning medications.
It takes time for Ashwagandha to show its effects. Most of the timing will be determined by your personal preferences.
Taking Ashwagandha at Night for Relaxation
It is preferable to take ashwagandha at night if you're using it to aid with sleep. Your ability to unwind and sleep will be aided by the herb's relaxing properties.
It is better to take ashwagandha before bed if you frequently experience stomach distress after taking it. When you are sleeping, you are less likely to be disturbed by any stomach issues.
Potential Risks and Safety Measures
In some cases, high doses that frequently go above the suggested levels may cause symptoms including stomach pain, diarrhoea, or even vomiting. As a result, it is essential to strictly follow the directions on the label and obtain advice from a healthcare provider before modifying any dosage. Although they are uncommon, isolated liver problems have been reported. However, these incidents can be related to contaminants found in unrestricted supplements(6).
It is advised to always purchase Ashwagandha from reliable supplement producers. Last but not least, before beginning an Ashwagandha regimen, those who are expecting, nursing, or who are currently on drugs like immunosuppressants, sedatives, or antidepressants should get advice from a medical professional.
To determine the effectiveness of ashwagandha supplementation, there are key aspects to monitor. Primarily, an improvement in stress levels and a heightened sense of calmness indicates its efficacy. Additionally, enhancements in sleep quality, resulting in better rest, signify its positive impact. Increased energy levels and an overall sense of improved well-being also reflect Ashwagandha's effectiveness. If unsure, experimenting with different consumption times can offer insights into optimal usage, with some finding morning intake more suitable, while others prefer evening consumption.
FAQs on When to take Ashwagandha
How Long Does it Take for Ashwagandha to Work?
Ashwagandha's effects typically become noticeable after 4 to 12 weeks of consistent use, though some individuals might experience changes sooner. The timing of its effectiveness varies based on factors like dosage frequency. To accurately gauge its impact, it's recommended to track its effects over time.
Can I Take Ashwagandha Before a Workout?
For the most advantages, ashwagandha should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before exercise. Ingesting ashwagandha before working out may improve athletic performance. According to one study, those who took ashwagandha had greater stamina and strength than those who took a placebo.
Should I Take Ashwagandha with a Meal?
Ashwagandha can be ingested with or without food and is commonly taken as a pill or powder. Some people favour taking it on an empty stomach, while others favour taking it alongside food. It's vital to remember that in some people, taking Ashwagandha on an empty stomach could make them feel sick. So to answer when to take ashwagandha before or after meal, the optimal time to consume ashwagandha will depend on your personal needs and preferences.
Depending on personal preferences, Ashwagandha can be ingested either at night or in the morning. It is vital to be aware that taking Ashwagandha on an empty stomach may cause slight discomfort for some people. So to briefly answer when to take ashwagandha, it is best taken after breakfast or with a light snack.
Another strategy is to include ashwagandha in meals or smoothies. This offers a method to get its advantages without any stomach-related issues. Although ashwagandha has many benefits, it's important to be aware of the possible side effects of large doses, such as stomach distress and gastrointestinal problems. It is strongly advised to stick to the suggested doses and, when in doubt, consult healthcare professionals before making any significant modifications to your supplement regimen to ensure a safe and beneficial experience.
- Effects of Acute Ashwagandha Ingestion on Cognitive Function, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36231152/
- An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22754076/
- Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng) in diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis of scientific evidence from experimental research to clinical application, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31975514/
- Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract on Cognitive Functions in Healthy, Stressed Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34858513/
- Investigation of CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 Interactions of Withania somnifera and Centella asiatica in Human Liver Microsomes, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25684704/
- LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet] ; Ashwagandha, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548536/