Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb with incredible rejuvenating properties – best known for its ability to relieve stress and increase libido.
But there’s always a time factor to consider when taking herbs. As with other things intended to nourish your body, timing plays a role in achieving maximum benefit.
However, the exact “best time” is not so cut and dry. The more accurate answer would be “it depends.”
So let’s look at all the difference scenarios when taking ashwagandha to determine what’s best for your unique needs.
Reasons You Might Want to Take Ashwagandha at Night
1. Improves sexual function
Ashwagandha is the go-to herb for people with low sex drive and other issues people don’t want to talk about.
Clinical studies and anecdotal evidence both show that ashwagandha boosts testosterone levels. For this reason, it’s primarily used by men.
And if this is your goal, taking ashwagandha at night may be best.
2. Improves sleep onset, duration, and quality
Studies have shown that ashwagandha can help improve sleep quality. So if you find it hard to fall asleep, consider taking it about 30 minutes before bed.
3. It helps to burn fat at night
Ashwagandha can be used to help maintain healthy body weight. It actively burns fat in the body to produce energy.
Although the burning of fats can occur any time of the day, the energy produced during the metabolism of fats can help improve your sleep quality.
As a result, it makes perfect sense to take ashwagandha for weight loss at night because you get double benefits – fat loss and improved sleep quality.
Reasons You May Prefer Taking Ashwagandha in the Morning
1. Ashwagandha increases energy levels
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning it helps your body “adapt” to whatever it faces. In this way, it can both improve sleep quality in those who need it, and boost energy levels in others who struggle with fatigue.
If you’re considering ashwagandha for more energy, you might want to take it in the morning.
2. It improves memory and concentration
When we take ashwagandha, it triggers a neurochemical pathway in our brain that helps improve memory and concentration.
It also has neuroprotective benefits that can enhance the health of brain cells. For these reasons, ashwagandha can be taken at any time of the day.
But you’re more likely to do well with enhanced concentration during the day when you have work to do.
3. Ashwagandha can help women with lower abdominal pain
Several things cause lower abdominal pain in women. One of the most common cause is period pains, which ashwagandha can help with.
As an adaptogen, it can also help balance hormones in women, thereby helping prevent any adverse symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
Since such pain and imbalance can affect activity levels and productivity during the day, it’s best to take ashwagandha in the morning if this is your primary intention.
Other Questions to Ask to Determine the Best Time to Take It
Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer or time. It all depends on you and your needs. Consider the following questions as you decide when to take ashwagandha:
Why are you taking it?
If you’re using this herb to boost concentration and improve memory, it makes no sense taking it at night. On the flip side, it makes sense to take it at night if you’re trying it for better sleep.
Is this your first time taking it?
First-time users usually don’t know how their body will respond to any given herb. So you may want to take it early in the day in order to monitor yourself for side effects.
How Long Does Ashwagandha Take to Work?
Ashwagandha doesn’t have an immediate or near-immediate onset of action. You usually need to take it for a while to really notice its benefits.
The idea is that your body needs to prime itself and adjust appropriately before responding to its therapeutic potential.
So it may take a few days to weeks for it to work.
For instance, if your goal is to burn fat and build muscle mass, it won’t happen within days. This herb is not a miracle weight loss “pill” and usually requires a few weeks to a month to make a difference.
How Long Does It Stay in Your System?
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study that was done on 98 subjects using ashwagandha, it took roughly two months to have a noticeable effect on participants’ energy levels, cognition, and stress.
However, the study did not state how long the Indian ginseng (another name for it) lasted in the bloodstream.
Will Ashwagandha Make Me Sleepy?
It might. Ashwagandha can definitely make you sleepy - at night. Several factors regulate sleep pattern and behaviour.
The most common is the hormone, melatonin. One of the hormones that counter the actions of melatonin is cortisol. This stress hormone, cortisol, is responsible for an increased level of activity even when you should be sleeping.
Studies have shown that maintaining balanced cortisol levels can reduce the threshold of falling asleep so you fall asleep quicker.
Studies such as this one have shown that ashwagandha helps balance cortisol levels. So taking ashwagandha at night can help you have lower cortisol levels before bed, encouraging good quality sleep.
On the other hand, there is no evidence indicating that taking ashwagandha during the day will leave you begging for naptime.
Instead, daytime usage typically means you’ll benefit from its many other benefits like enhanced concentration and natural energy.
Possible Side Effects Of Ashwagandha
It’s usually well tolerated, but some users have experienced:
- Stomach upset
- Allergic reactions
Some studies also show that ashwagandha can increase the level of thyroid hormones. This comes with its challenges, typically related to increased metabolism.
However, these side effects are not common to every user. When starting any new supplement, always start small and work your way up to the full dose.
And of course, always consult with an expert in herbal health or your primary caregiver for personalized advice.
Final Thoughts: When Is the Best Time of Day to Take Ashwagandha?
Of the many things to consider, knowing why you need ashwagandha will determine when you should take it for maximum benefits.
Some can do well with morning doses while some may prefer evening doses.
If you are unsure, try both and see which timing better produces your desired results.