Ashwagandha Dosing: How Much Should You Take Per Day?

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb which is quickly becoming one of the most popular herbal dietary supplements out there. It was highly regarded in traditional medicine systems, and nowadays many …

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Written by: Jack Cincotta, MS
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Medical Review by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb which is quickly becoming one of the most popular herbal dietary supplements out there.

It was highly regarded in traditional medicine systems, and nowadays many individuals take ashwagandha to potentially reduce stress, improve hormonal and sexual health, enhance exercise performance, and improve brain function among other things.

Of course, it’s essential to take the best dosage of ashwagandha to receive the greatest benefits. This article details our recommended ashwagandha dosing to take per day for various conditions, as well as other relevant considerations. 

ashwagandha dosing (Withania somnifera)

How Much Ashwagandha Should You Take?

Based on recent research, most individuals will benefit from taking 300mg to 600mg of ashwagandha per day. This dosage has shown consistent benefits across a wide range of health conditions.

However, the ideal dosage may vary depending on one’s current health status, intended benefits, and other unique factors, which we will cover below. 

how much ashwagandha should i take?

Ashwagandha Dosage:

Ashwagandha is one of the most well-researched herbs, with a variety of potential benefits, including: 

  • Reduced Stress & Anxiety
  • Improved Sleep
  • Enhanced Sexual Function & Fertility
  • Increased Athletic Performance
  • Improved Cognitive Function

In order to receive these benefits, it’s essential to take the right amount of ashwagandha. Thus, below, we will go over the research-backed doses of ashwagandha for various benefits and conditions. 

Ashwagandha Dosage for Stress & Anxiety:

The most well-researched benefit of ashwagandha root is decreased stress and anxiety symptoms. Numerous clinical trials over the years have shown that between 300 to 600mg of ashwagandha can potently reduce stress and anxiety. Although, some individuals may require greater amounts as high as 1g or more. 

In one of the most recent clinical trials, supplementation with 500mg of ashwagandha at night led to significant reductions in stress and anxiety symptoms. Ashwagandha also decreased cortisol and increased serotonin levels, further indicating anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects.

Another clinical study showed that twice-daily administration of ashwagandha (at either 125mg or 300mg per dose) greatly reduced stress and anxiety symptoms as well as cortisol levels compared to the placebo. These effects were greater for the higher-dose group compared to the lower-dosed group. 

In a clinical trial on individuals with high chronic stress, supplementation with 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily led to substantial reductions in stress, anxiety, and cortisol compared to the control group. 

Summary:

The recommended dosage of Withania somnifera to reduce stress and anxiety is between 300 and 600mg.

Ashwagandha Dosage for Sexual Function & Fertility:

There is also a significant amount of clinical trials detailing the potential benefits of ashwagandha for sexual function and fertility. Based on numerous clinical trials, 300 to 600mg is a good starting point, although some situations such as male infertility may require significantly higher doses in some cases. 

In a clinical trial on men with infertility, men who receive 5g of ashwagandha root extract daily had significantly improved sperm count, sperm motility, and semen volume compared to the control group. This is a rather high dose, and while other studies used a similar amount, there are also clinical trials such as this one which showed similar benefits at a much lower ashwagandha dose of 675mg (225mg three times per day). 

In another clinical trial in healthy women, supplementing with 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily increased overall sexual function, including arousal, orgasm, lubrication, and sexual satisfaction, compared to the placebo. Moreover, these women had notably lower levels of sexual distress. 

A clinical study on men with lower sexual desire also noted that 300mg of Withania somnifera twice daily led to higher sexual functioning and higher testosterone levels compared to the control group. 

Summary:

The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha for promoting sexual health and function is between 300 and 600mg.

Ashwagandha Dosage for Sleep:

Ashwagandha may also improve sleep, which is in part due to its anti-anxiety and stress-reducing properties. Several clinical studies point to a dosage between 125mg and 600mg for improving sleep quality and other sleep parameters. 

In a clinical trial on individuals with frequent non-restorative sleep, individuals who took 125mg of a highly concentrated ashwagandha supplement had much higher self-reported sleep quality compared to the placebo. Additionally, the ashwagandha group had greater sleep efficiency, fewer nightly awakenings, and shorter sleep onset time compared to the control group. 

In a clinical trial on individuals with insomnia and anxiety, 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily led to significant improvements in sleep quality and sleep efficiency, as well as a significant reduction in sleep onset latency (the time it takes to fall asleep) compared to the placebo. 

A clinical study on both healthy sleepers and those with insomnia showed that ashwagandha supplementation improved sleep in both groups, with greater effects for the insomniacs. Additionally, ashwagandha root improved a variety of sleep parameters while reducing anxiety in those with insomnia. 

Summary:

The recommended Withania somnifera dosage for sleep benefits is between 125 and 600mg.

Ashwagandha Dosage for Athletic Performance:

Clinical trials indicate that ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) may have various benefits for athletic and physical performance, including endurance, strength, and power, typically when dosed between 300 to 600mg per day. Although some studies have used 1,000mg or more, which is possibly (but not definitively) better for elite level athletes. 

In a clinical trial on recreationally active men, 500mg daily of ashwagandha increased upper- and lower-body strength to a greater degree than the control group. Moreover, the ashwagandha group experienced higher peak power as well as more favorable body mass distribution. 

In a clinical study on young men, supplementing with 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily significantly increased several measures compared to the placebo, including strength, muscle mass, and testosterone, as well as significantly lower body fat and muscle damage. 

A clinical trial on healthy, athletic adults revealed that twice-daily administration of 300mg of ashwagandha resulted in higher VO2 Max (a marker of cardiorespiratory endurance compared to the placebo, with additional benefits for recovery, inflammation, and energy levels. 

Summary:

The recommended ashwagandha dosage for physical performance is between 300 and 600mg although higher doses may work for some individuals.

Ashwagandha Dosage for Cognitive Function:

Many clinical trials also show the potential benefits of ashwagandha for cognitive function and brain health. Overall, between 300 to 600mg of ashwagandha appears to enhance several aspects of cognition. 

In a clinical trial on adults with mild cognitive impairment, those who received 300mg of ashwagandha twice daily experienced increased immediate and general memory compared to the placebo, along with additional improvements over the placebo in executive function, sustained attention, and information processing speed. 

A clinical study on healthy, stressed adults showed that 300mg daily of ashwagandha enhanced memory and focus better than the placebo, while also improving psychological well-being. 

In a clinical trial on healthy adults, those who were given 400mg of ashwagandha had significant increases in working memory, sustained attention, and reaction times compared to the control group, as well as decreased mental fatigue. 

Summary:

The recommended ashwagandha dosage for improving brain function and cognition is between 300 and 600mg.
Withania somnifera supplementation
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1II1PWO02ON6wSvGYJzCHY1hIxQ4FK2W2TnHEHd__1M0/edit?usp=sharing

What Form of Ashwagandha is Best?

An ashwagandha root extract standardized to a high concentration of withanolides (typically at least 2.5%) are most effective. This is because the withanolides provide the bulk of ashwagandha’s beneficial properties. Withanolides are steroidal lactones found in several Solanaceae species and have been shown in research to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-stress effects, among other benefits. 

Nearly all of the clinical trials mentioned included some form of a standardized ashwagandha root extract, with varying degrees of withanolide content.  When choosing an ashwagandha supplement, anywhere from 2.5% withanolides on up is beneficial and safe. Keep in mind that as the withanolide concentration goes up, the total dose required is lower. 

Can I Take Ashwagandha on an Empty Stomach?

Yes, you can take ashwagandha on an empty stomach. Some people even find that the effects are even better when taking it this way.

However, taking Withania somnifera on an empty stomach may cause an upset stomach or other digestive symptoms for some people. So, always listen to your body and see what works best for you. 

When is the Best Time of Day to Take Ashwagandha?

The best time of day to take ashwagandha depends on your intended health benefits, although for most people, twice-daily administration (once in the morning and once in the evening) works well. 

Based on a combination of scientific research and anecdotal reports, here are common practices with ashwagandha supplementation:

  • For Stress and Anxiety: Once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening
  • For Sexual Function & Fertility: Once in the morning and once in the evening
  • For Sleep: Entire dose about an hour before bed OR once in the evening and once before bed
  • For Athletic Performance: About 30 minutes before workout and/or one other time daily
  • For Cognitive Function: Once in the morning and once in the evening

The primary reason one can take ashwagandha at different times during the day is because of its role as an adaptogen, which allows it to have a balancing effect based on the unique needs of the individual.

For example, if someone is fatigued, ashwagandha can have energizing, mood-boosting effects. And if an individual is anxious or burned out, ashwagandha can provide calming, relaxing effects.

(For more information on adaptogens in general, read this article). 

Read More:

Below, we’ve compiled several articles going over additional information regarding Ashwagandha for further reading.

Ashwagandha Benefits: Dosage & Safety

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Anxiety & Stress

• Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Sleep

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Women

• Best Ashwagandha Supplements

Conclusion:

Ashwagandha is a valuable herb with many possible health benefits, including stress reduction, sleep support, enhanced exercise physical performance, improved sexual function, and boosted cognitive health. 

For most conditions, an effective dosage of ashwagandha is between 300 to 600mg per day, although some individuals may need to adjust this based on their own individual needs, circumstances, and other factors.

Also, in order to receive the greatest benefits from this dosage, one should look for an ashwagandha supplement standardized to at least 2.5% withanolides. 

All in all, ashwagandha is very well-researched, and taking doses in line with the evidence makes it likely that one will experience its positive effects. As always, consult your doctor or other trusted healthcare provider before starting any supplement. 

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About Jack Cincotta, MS

Jack has a Master of Science degree in Psychology and is also an AADP® Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and AFPA® Certified Holistic Health Coach. His passion is to help people develop optimal levels of health, particularly mental health.