Want a straightforward answer to your query about ashwagandha being helpful in gaining weight? Maybe. Or maybe not. Confused? Well, unfortunately, that is how it is.
So basically, are you among those people who get called out for being thin or underweight? Or maybe among those who have that urge of maintaining yourself and your weight that keeps poking you again and again? While the former situation mostly makes a person insecure and/or irritated, the latter one might probe you towards creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Sadly, if you get obsessed with either of these situations, things might turn out to be pretty toxic. That's why you should be careful with what measure you opt for, be it anything. One of these can be choosing natural elements like ashwagandha.
But then arises the question- “Can ashwagandha help you gain weight?” because it certainly can help in its reduction. So what’s the truth? Can using this adaptogenic herb be of any help in this matter? If yes, how? And if no, why and also, how? Let’s carry on with our reading and try and solve this puzzle.
The Two Fronts of Ashwagandha in Weight Management
Using this perennial shrub for weight management has two fronts although it is mainly used for one- weight loss. However, some people do have the question that points to a situation that is otherwise. To clear this confusion about whether ashwagandha can help gain weight or not, let’s first consider, learn about, and understand both of these aspects.
Prior to that, what might the reasons that influence your weight be? See if you connect with any of the following:
- Improper diet and food habits
- The environment you stay in
- Your genetics
- Medications and health conditions
- Mental health and related issues
Now that you know the basic things that your weight depends on, let’s proceed further.
Ashwagandha and Weight Loss
Ashwagandha is often used for the purpose of losing weight. Do you know why and how it does that? Well, the thing is, ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb. An adaptogenic herb refers to the kind of herb that is a high source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This prompts them to offer their "services" to your complete body and health. Improving metabolism and reducing inflammation is also something it is responsible for.
Besides, ashwagandha works towards the reduction of cortisol. For your information, cortisol is a steroid hormone which is produced by the adrenal glands in the human body and that decides our body's reaction to stress. Now you may ask what this hormone has to do with your weight. The fact is that the levels of cortisol affect your food cravings and thus, your food habits. Furthermore, it causes your body to accumulate fat and break down and damage your muscles all by themselves. Thus, cortisol ends up increasing your weight to an unwanted extent. Therefore, in short, you can say thatby decreasing the cortisol levels, ashwagandha helps in the reduction of weight.
Ashwagandha and Weight Gain
This is one big confusion. Does ashwagandha help you gain weight? But honestly, there is no direct answer to this. As discussed earlier, ashwagandha promotes a loss of weight, saying that it also helps gain weight might sound pretty contradictory. But what if this contradiction is true? The fact that ashwagandha helps better one’s athletic performance brings us to the logic behind it it betters your muscle and bone health, provides your energy and stamina, and strengthens you.
In addition, it also improves one’s mental health which greatly influences multiple aspects of one’s body. As you already know stress increases cortisol levels which, in turn, breaks down muscle fats. However, when ashwagandha decreases these cortisol levels, it automatically plays a major role in protecting your muscle health, repairing them, and strengthening them. Ashwagandha also has withanolides. Withanolides are compounds offering aid in improving the mass of the muscles, helping the damaged ones recover, and strengthening them as a whole. This again means that these muscles would be perfectly on their way to gaining more mass that would contribute to helping you gain weight as well.
Weight Gain vs Weight Loss Through Ashwagandha
Now, you know how ashwagandha might influence your weight. But what is the conclusion of all this explanation? Does Ashwagandha help gain weight or not after all? Let’s brief all that we know here!
Ashwagandha for Weight Loss
Ashwagandha for Weight Gain
The herb reduces cortisol levels (hormones that are actually largely responsible for influencing our stress levels). High stress levels influence and increase our diet and so, weight. Thus, a reduction of cortisol decreases one’s food cravings and consumption of junk. This automatically assists in the breakdown of extra fats and turns them into energy. Thus, this further helps you attain your ideal weight level by its deduction.
Ashwagandha, as you know by now, decreases the quantity of stress hormones, i.e., cortisols. This reduces the extra and unwanted fats from your body and thus, helps bring down your weight. However, what it also does is that this process and the presence of withanolides work to strengthen your muscles. This asserts that your body would start gaining more muscle mass and be better and full of strength which would better your appetite. However, because you continue with the consumption of ashwagandha, you now start gaining healthy fats and muscular weight that is actually considered healthy.
Therefore, on the one hand, where ashwagandha helps you shed unwanted and unhealthy fats, it also helps you gain healthy and muscular weight. This further has benefits like-
- Bettering your athletic performance
- Improving your physique
- Hiking your stamina and energy levels, etc.
However, you must also understand that taking this herb may mostly promote weight loss over weight gain while helping your body keep it stable as well.
Treasure of Benefits- Ashwagandha!
If you have come this far, wouldn’t it be better to know what else ashwagandha aids you with? Wait. we hope you didn’t think this herb is just limited to weight management, did you? Nevertheless, let’s go through some of its other qualities that you may want to take advantage of!
Raises Testosterone Levels
One of the major functions of ashwagandha is that it helps raise testosterone levels. This fact is followed by another fact that it also helps raise sexual desire in males.
Besides improving testosterone levels and aiding women's fertility, ashwagandha betters male fertility by increasing sperm count and quality.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Ashwagandha also helps in the reduction of high blood sugar levels by boosting insulin in one’s body. Insulin is the hormone that transforms food into energy as well as maintains sugar levels in the blood.
Helps Deal with Anxiety and Stress
As we already know by now, ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels in one’s body. This helps a person deal with anxiety and stress better and, in fact, reduces them to lower levels.
Ashwagandha is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that obviously relieve inflammation. Having said this, this points to the direction that suggests the ingestion of ashwagandha may also provide some amount of aid in arthritis.
Betters Energy and Stamina
The quality of ashwagandha that reduces cortisol levels in one’s body comes into the picture again. This has a logical and scientific reasoning of stress being able to impact one’s complete self and health on great levels in many unexpected ways, including one's energy and stamina levels. Thus, when ashwagandha works to reduce cortisol, it also helps prevent lethargy.
Ashwagandha may also help lower cholesterol levels. The presence of withanolides and steroidal lactones in this herb might be the biggest reason for this.
With the reduction of cortisol comes a reduction of stress and anxiety. And with a decrease in stress and anxiety levels comes peace of mind that enables you to stay calm, avoid overthinking, unrest, etc. and thus, enable you to have a better and sound sleep.
Because of the numerous benefits of ashwagandha, it is now available in various forms like powder, tablets, capsules, gummies, etc. This is one of the reasons why the amount of ashwagandha your body receives would be different. Besides, a person’s medical conditions, lifestyle, purpose, etc. determine the consumption of this herb. Other than this, how you would feel comfortable to consume it also matters. For instance, powder can be mixed with your food while gummies are chewable. Also, why you desire to have it also matters. For example, to gain weight, you may have it with ingredients like ghee, milk, or honey. Such ways to consume would also help suppress its strong smell.
This is why it’s better that you seek a professional’s advice before starting its consumption. They would be able to guide you in a much better way. Besides, one can never know for sure how one's body might react to a certain thing one consumes. Thus, because we wouldn’t want you to suffer in any way and/or have any side effects, we strongly recommend seeing an expert before you add ashwagandha to your diet in any way.
Wrapping Thoughts Around!
It’s always better to see on the brighter side of things rather than questioning or doubting them all the time or neglecting them for one flaw. However, this doesn’t mean you would avoid all the effects they would have on you in all the different ways. When talking about ashwagandha, it has multiple benefits that have always probed the experts in the medical field to see it in a bright and positive light. In fact, the fact that it has little to no side effects on a person vouches enough for it. Thus, whatever the reason may be that you are thinking to start consuming ashwagandha, remember to consider other of its benefits as well. However, we repeat, we strongly recommend seeing an expert before you add ashwagandha to your diet in any way to avoid any counterback of the herb. ‘Cause your health matters to us!