This remarkable study will leapfrog the herb ashwagandha to amongst the top of workout supplements and bring this amazing and versatile adaptogenic herb to the attention of everyone who works out and wants to lose fat and build muscle. . . .

Fifty-seven men between the ages of eighteen and fifty who were not regular resistance trainers were given either a placebo or 300mg extract of the herb ashwagandha root twice a day for eight weeks. The study was double-blinded.

During the eight weeks, the men did a resistance training program that targeted major muscle groups in the upper and lower body. Results were measured by bench press and leg extensions.

After eight weeks, upper body strength improved significantly more in the ashwagandha group: the placebo group increased the amount they bench pressed by 26.4 kg (58 lbs). But the ashwagandha group increased theirs by 46 kg (101 lbs). The same results were obtained for lower body strength. The placebo group increased their leg extensions by 9.8 kg (22 lbs) compared to a 14.5 kg (32 lbs) increase in the ashwagandha group.

And the ashwagandha group built bigger muscles too: arm muscles were 5.3cm larger in the placebo group but 8.6cm larger in the herbal group; chest muscles were 1.4cm larger in the placebo group but 3.3cm larger in the herbal group.

The ashwagandha had other benefits too. It improved muscle recovery time better than placebo and significantly reduced muscle damage. The ashwagandha also produced significantly greater loss of body fat percentage. Testosterone levels also increased significantly more in the ashwagandha group.

For more on ashwagandha, see our book, Healthy Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Their Uses.

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2015;12:43.

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