Hard training is imperative if you want to build muscle as quickly as possible. However, you can only train as hard as your ability to effectively recover between training sessions. Failure to repair and recover from the previous day’s thrashing directly affects your ability to create overload in subsequent training, which is the very foundation of building muscle and strength.
Much of the focus around recovery centers on nutrition and sleep, and make no mistake about it, without proper eating and good sleep, you’re leaving gains on the table. Ashwagandha is a powerful plant that helps athletes recover faster and train harder. Better yet, this has been demonstrated time and again in human research studies.
For example, a 2015 published in the respected Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that supplementing with 300mg of ashwagandha (as KSM-66) twice per day experienced a significantly greater reduction of exercise-induced muscle damage.
An interesting side note is that individuals supplementing with KSM-66 experience a “significantly greater increase in testosterone level” compared to those receiving placebo. The more effectively that you can recover from a hard training session, the more frequently you can train and create overload, which means that you get better results faster.
Another notable finding regarding ashwagandha supplementation is that it helps lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released in the event of a perceived threat. Intense exercise triggers this stress response (which is beneficial for muscle growth); however, that spike in cortisol needs to be transient.
Too often these days our stress meters are red-lining for any number of reasons. Excessive cortisol creates a net catabolic environment in the body, which can lead to muscle breakdown. In addition to promoting greater recovery, KSM-66 has also been found (in humans) to lower cortisol (up to 22%!) and improve lean mass gains.[1,2,3]
Ashwagandha is a centuries-old plant that has stood the test of time for reducing stress and improving well-being. Modern research is showing that the benefits of this ancient botanical extend beyond stress management. It can improve exercise performance, lean mass gains, and fat loss!
KSM-66 is the premier form of ashwagandha on the market, standardized to 5% withanolides. It is the most clinically researched ashwagandha supplement available, providing a full-spectrum extract of high-potency bioactives for maximum effect.