To reduce fatigue, optimize sports performance or boost libido, ashwagandha has been used for 3000 years, according to writings. Popular in alternative medicine, it is becoming popular in the world of sport thanks to its many virtues.
- What is ashwagandha?
- What is ashwagandha made of?
- What are its health benefits?
- What are its benefits in sport?
- How to choose your ashwagandha?
What is ashwagandha?
Originally from India, ashwagandha is part of the Solanaceae family. From its scientific name whitania somnifera, it is an adaptogenic plant with multiple virtues. In traditional Indian medicine, it is considered a medicinal plant. It is recognizable by its size (between 40 and 70 cm), its oval leaves, its white flowers and its red fruits.
It is often associated with Indian Ginseng, its properties being very similar to ashwagandha. The roots of this plant are isolated and reduced to powder which can be found commercially.
It is intended for people who wish to increase their immune system, reduce their stress, improve their sleep or increase their sporting performance. Both sedentary people and athletes can use it according to their needs.
What is ashwagandha made of?
Ashwagandha has a composition very rich in nutrients and active ingredients. We find in particular:
- Flavonoids (including catechin and kaempferol), secondary metabolites that act as powerful antioxidants
- Alkaloids (whitanine, somniferine, tropine, anaferine, andanahydrine)
- Sitoindosides and withanolides whose role is to reduce oxidative stress in the brain by producing antioxidants. In this way, the neurons are preserved.
The withanolides present in ashwagandha are very popular. These are the most interesting active ingredients and with the most benefits.
Most ashwagandha supplements contain 5% withanolides. The more there are, the more effective the food supplement is. At Nutrimuscle, our ashwagandha contains 35% withanolides, one of the most concentrated on the market.
- Phenolic acids such as gallic, vanillic, coumaric, benzoic, syringic acids
- Fatty acids (palmitic, oleic, linoleic)
- Free amino acids (aspartic and glutamic acid, glycine, tyrosine, alanine, cystine, proline and tryptophan)
- Iron, potassium nitrate, glucose and tannins.
What are the health benefits of ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha has many virtues, both for the body and the mind.
- Protection and preservation of the immune system
The antioxidants present in ashwagandha help reduce the effects of oxidative stress on the brain. In addition, this plant promotes the production of antioxidant enzymes in the cerebral cortex. It improves cognitive abilities and repels the degeneration of cells and tissues in the body. It therefore helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.
- Protection of the body against diseases
The benefits of ashwagandha are numerous. It has an anti-inflammatory action which helps fight against joint diseases and inflammatory pain. Its antioxidant properties allow the elimination of free radicals in the body.
This plant is recognized as an anti-aging agent because it helps slow down cellular aging, but not only that. Indeed, withaferin A present in ashwagandha helps slow the multiplication of cancer cells and metastases. This plant is already used in certain treatments, notably against breast cancer.
- Improved concentration, sleep, and reduction of stress
Ashwagandha is a so-called adaptogenic herb , which means that it adapts and responds to any form of stress. It prevents damage to the brain system and helps increase concentration. It is therefore the ideal ally for students during exams. More generally, ashwagandha helps reduce stress, whether temporary or in the form of anxiety.
Furthermore, it is recommended to consume ashwagandha in the evening because this plant has soporific effects. Sleep is of better quality because this plant acts on sleep disorders and insomnia. It acts in the long term on the quality of sleep by targeting the sources responsible for fatigue.
Ashwagandha is therefore not similar to sleeping pills. In fact, these do not guarantee restful sleep in the long term because they are addictive.
- Increased fertility and libido
The adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha help reduce stress throughout the body. It is a plant known for its aphrodisiac virtues coming from the plant. According to several studies, ashwagandha improves sperm quality and increases libido. However, it is important to respect the dosage otherwise you will obtain reverse effects.
- Regulation of hormones
Some studies demonstrate the effects of ashwagandha on hypothyroidism problems, but also periods that are too heavy, too painful or absent. It would also alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
What are the benefits of ashwagandha in sport?
Ashwagandha increases energy levels, which is why many athletes use it. It is also very effective on people who are sedentary or who do not regularly practice sporting activity. In bodybuilding, ashwagandha improves strength, balance, power and muscle mass. It helps release ATP levels, making it the ideal ally for strength, power and endurance exercises.
Ashwagandha helps reduce post-workout inflammation and oxidative stress by minimizing the negative effects of free radicals. Recovery is therefore optimized: less muscle fatigue and less aches.