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Ingredient Spotlight: Your Quick Guide to Ashwagandha

If you’re feeling more stressed than usual, struggling to fall asleep, or lacking in energy, then ashwagandha may be the perfect addition to your healthy diet. 

It’s one of many adaptogens you’ll find in our 310 “All-In-One” Shake blend—as well as our delicious 310 Reds! It’s an herb that comes from an ancient healing tradition, one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world. (1) 

Read on to discover more about this helpful ancient herb and its many potential benefits. And head to our blog on adaptogens to learn more about all the other herbs and super-mushrooms you can find in our new 310 Shake!

Ashwagandha Quick Benefits 

  • Helps reduce inflammation, promoting overall wellness 
  • Supports stress reduction and hormonal balance 
  • May improve mental sharpness (focus, concentration, memory) 
  • Promotes greater energy levels and athletic endurance

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian ginseng”, is an adaptogenic herb. It comes from the roots and orange-red berries of small evergreen shrubs found in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. (2,3)

It’s used as a common herbal treatment in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. This is an ancient Hindu system of medicine that goes back thousands of years. (3,4) In fact, Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world. It focuses not only on proper nutrition, but also exercise and mindfulness as a way to promote connection with the world around you while supporting wellness in mind, body, and spirit. (5) 

This ancient herb is often used to help relieve stress, increase energy, reduce inflammation, ease pain, and improve sleep quality, among many other potential benefits. (3,5) While more research is needed, its power-packed potential is picking up in popularity. 

You can enjoy the possible benefits of ashwagandha raw, but it’s most commonly found in teas, tinctures, supplements, and powders— like our All-In-One 310 Shake or 310 Reds blend! This could have something to do with this ancient herb’s literal translation. (6)

“Ashwagandha” translates to “like a horse” or “smell of horse”, describing the scent you’ll experience if you get a good whiff of the root. (1,7) But the translation also applies to its potential benefits, with the belief that this ancient herb can give you the strength, power, and energy of a horse! (7) 

In-Depth: Ashwagandha Health Benefits

Whether you’ll feel like a horse or not after enjoying ashwagandha is still up for debate. But what we can say is that this herb has thousands of years of history in traditional medicine, meaning there’s a lot of health-boosting possibilities. 

A lot of these benefits come from the herbs’ over 50 different beneficial chemical compounds and antioxidants, giving it health-boosting effects that we’re still exploring to this day. (8) What are some of the biggest benefits we’ve seen so far in research? Let’s dive in to find out: 

May reduce stress levels and improve your sleep

Woman meditating on a step

Ashwagandha, like many other adaptogens, is most known for helping to reduce stress and anxiety levels, and improve sleep quality. (8) Ashwagandha helps to create more balance in your hormones by releasing chemicals that could help calm your brain, impacting how you react to a stressful event. (2) 

In a Forbes review of several studies, they found that ashwagandha could help reduce anxiety compared to a placebo. (4) In another study, researchers found that participants taking ashwagandha had significantly better sleep and lower self-reported stress levels compared to the placebo group. (9) 

Participants in the study experienced lower cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. (9) While cortisol gives you the adrenaline you need to respond to a dangerous situation, high levels are not useful for everyday life. Ashwagandha may help lower high cortisol levels so you experience a greater state of calm, helping you to react appropriately to your stressful situation. (5) 

Could improve your memory and focus

Woman sitting in a chair reading a book

Ashwagandha could also help improve your cognitive functioning, such as your memory and focus. In some small studies, for example, participants taking ashwagandha had a faster reaction time during cognition and psychomotor tests compared to the placebo. (10) 

These tests measure your ability to respond to instructions and perform certain tasks, suggesting that ashwagandha could improve not only your reaction time but also your memory. (10) In another small study, researchers also found that ashwagandha could improve your memory, as well as your attention span. (11) However, most of these studies were fairly small, meaning that we need more in-depth research to fully understand the potential brain benefits. 

Could improve energy levels and exercise performance

Two women exercising outside on yoga mats

Many adaptogens, like ashwagandha, are also useful for their energy-boosting properties that could help fight the effects of fatigue as a natural energy tonic. That’s because adaptogens help create a state of homeostasis or balance in your body. 

This balance could help reduce stress levels and increase your energy in the process. In one study, for example, patients taking an ashwagandha extract felt a reduction in fatigue and experienced a higher quality of life. (7) 

This energy-boosting potential could also play a role in your exercise performance. In one study on young adults taking ashwagandha for eight weeks, they found that participants taking the ancient herb had increased speed and strength during their workout compared to those taking the placebo. (3) In another study, men taking ashwagandha experienced more muscle gain and strength while taking the herb. (6) 

This could be a result not only of its possible energy-boosting properties but also the herb’s potential to increase your oxygen consumption. (12,13) The better your VO2 max—or your body’s aerobic capacity—the more efficient your body will be at taking in oxygen during your workout. (13) And if your body can breathe easier as you work out, this means you can go for longer. 

Shop Our All-In-One 310 Shake

From better exercise performance to improved sleep quality to lower stress levels, this ancient herb has a lot of possibilities for your health and wellness. You can take advantage of this ancient medicinal herb—and many other power-packed ingredients!—in our 310 “All-In-One” Shake blend or our 310 Red Black Cherry blend.

Our “All-In-One” Shake blend features the best ingredients that plant nutrition has to offer. This includes adaptogens (like ashwagandha!), a triple protein blend, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and superfoods. 

Shop our exciting new 310 Shake flavors and discover all the possible benefits today for both your brain and body! 

And in case you missed it, check out this article Explaining All About Different Adaptogens and how they might benefit you — including every adaptogen you’ll find in 310 All-In-One meal replacement shakes! 



Sources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318407
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-953/ashwagandha
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/ashwagandha
  4. https://www.forbes.com/health/body/what-are-adaptogens/
  5. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-is-ashwagandha/
  6. https://www.forbes.com/health/body/ashwagandha-benefits/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777855/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6750292/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6979308/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24497737/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28471731/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4687242/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230697/
Written by:

Megan Elizabeth Clark

310 Nutrition Content Writer 

Megan Elizabeth Clark is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist in the health, wellness, and fitness industry. As a NASM certified personal trainer and RYT-200 certified yoga instructor Megan is passionate about using her fitness background and writing skills to provide authentic, actionable, and accurate information to the world [...]

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