Los Angeles, CA—Healthy men who regularly do resistance training may want to consider adding ashwagandha to their exercise routine, based on the results of a recent clinical trial.

Researchers affiliated with several hospitals in India gave a placebo or a branded ashwagandha extract (300 mg twice daily as KSM-66, manufactured by Ixoreal BioMed, based here) to 57 men (ages 18–50) that didn’t normally do resistance training. Before and after eight weeks of the same resistance training routine, researchers tested the men’s muscle strength, size, composition and recovery.

Overall, the ashwagandha group had much more strength during bench press exercise (lifting 101 pounds on average versus 26 pounds in the placebo group). They also performed much better on leg exercises, with the ashwagandha group lifting 32 pounds on average and the placebo group lifting 22 pounds on average. In addition, arm and chest sizes in the supplement group were also significantly larger and they experienced less exercise-induce muscle damage, as measured by serum creatine kinase levels.

The study was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2016 (online 12/31/15)