Ashwagandha is one of my favorite herbs. In this guide, I share the top 10 best ashwagandha brands, along with the optimal dosage to maximize the benefits.
Ashwagandha is one of few herbs on Earth that can truly boost testosterone. Below, I include the dosage that men who participated in a study took to significantly boost theirs. The participants also experienced several other benefits that I’ll share with you.
What I like most about using ashwagandha to boost test is that the research proving it works includes human studies as opposed to animal studies only.
Often times, companies and bodybuilding supplement pushers claim that their products boost testosterone, but in reality, they base their claims on animal studies.
The 10 brands below are the best currently on the market. I chose different forms including extract powder, organic powder, KSM-66 extract capsules, tincture, and capsules with black pepper for enhanced absorption.
Why did I list the powders as my top picks? I’m a fan of making my own capsules and saving money by purchasing powdered herbs at wholesale prices. My companion article “the best form of ashwagandha to take” explains in greater detail why I prefer powdered herbs.
Best Ashwagandha Powder for Bodybuilders
Best Organic Ashwagandha
Cheapest Organic Powder
Best for Anxiety
Best for Sleep
Best for Adrenal Fatigue
Best for Stress (High Withanolides Concentration)
Top Brand for Energy
KSM-66 with Ginger for Enhanced Absorption
My Final Powder Pick
Ashwagandha Dosage Guide
What’s the best dosage for a testosterone boost? In this section, I share the dosage used in the study that showed promising results, plus the dosage I take to get max benefits.
First, let’s check out the dosage male participants in the human study took to boost their testosterone:
- The double-blind randomized study used withania somnifera aka ashwagandha
- 57 healthy males between the ages of 18 and 50 participated in the study
- 29 men in the treatment group took 300 mg of ashwagandha extract 2 times per day for 8 weeks
- All of the men in the study engaged in resistance training for 8 weeks
The results of the treatment group compared to the placebo:
- Greater reduction in post-workout muscle damage
- A significantly greater decrease in body fat percentage
- Greater mass and strength gains
- Significantly higher testosterone level: 96.2 ng/dL in the Ashwagandha group compared to 18.0 ng/dL in the placebo group
Does this mean you can gain muscle and boost your testosterone by taking ashwagandha without resistance training? More than likely, no.
The researchers concluded that the results are best when ashwagandha is taken while engaging in a consistent resistance training program.
Overall, this study is one of the more promising studies I’ve seen for any male enhancement herb.
Best Dosage to Boost Testosterone
In case you missed it, the optimal dosage for men who want to boost their testosterone is 300 mg of extract twice daily.
Unlike other herbs, it’s best to take ashwagandha every day for at least one month to reap the most health benefits.
The reason I chose the Bulk Supplements extract powder as my #1 choice is that I’m a big fan of their brand and have had a lot of success with their powders over the years.
They also sell their products for affordable prices and let you do the research on your own instead of slapping a bunch of far-fetched health claims on the bag.
The Bulk Supplements powder is one of the few extract versions of bulk powder available online. Since the men in the study took 300 mg of extract twice per day, it’s best to take the extract version to boost testosterone.
How to Make Your Own Capsules
You have two options with the powder. You can either mix the powder into a smoothie or drink, or you can make your own capsules.
Of all the herbs I’ve tried over the years, ashwagandha has one of the more agreeable flavors, but that doesn’t mean it tastes good.
Some people mix the powder with a drink without a problem. I prefer to encapsulate it.
The best way to make your own capsules is to buy a capsule filling machine and empty vegetarian capsules.
My list of best capsule filling machines and guide has all the information you need to learn how to make your own capsules in minutes.
As I mentioned earlier, I prefer to make my own capsules to save money. Plus, I like knowing there are no fillers in my supplements.
Weighing the Powder
To ensure you get 600 mg of extract per day, purchase a digital kitchen scale and weigh a small amount of powder.
This way you can figure out how many teaspoons or capsules equal 300 mg of powder.
The best way to calculate the number of milligrams in each capsule is to weigh an empty capsule before you fill your capsules. Once you finish filling your capsules, weigh a full capsule, then subtract the weight of the empty capsule.
Option #2 is to dump the powder from a full capsule onto the scale.
How much do I take?
I take more than 600 mg per day when I cycle ashwagandha with the other herbs I take. I generally take 2 or 3 “00” capsules per day which equals roughly 1.5 grams.
This dosage has treated me quite well over the years.
When shopping for the best brands, there are several factors to consider. For men who want to boost testosterone, muscle mass, and energy, it’s best to stick with the extract version.
Plus, you get the added benefit of decreased body fat percentage when you combine ashwagandha extract with a resistance training program.
KSM-66 Ashwagandha Benefits
KSM-66 extract is better for people who want to better manage their stress and anxiety. For this reason, KSM-66 is also good for people who want to improve their quality of sleep.
KSM-66 is a powerful full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract that took 14 years to develop. Plenty of research went into developing it.
Here’s a list of KSM-66 Benefits:
- Better resistance to stress and anxiety through reduced cortisol levels
- Improved sperm quality and count
- Greater endurance for athletes
- Testosterone Boost
- Greater Strength
- Bigger Mass Gains
- Better sexual function for females
- Improved weight management
- Cognitive and Memory Improvement
- Improved Thyroid Function
The most positive ashwagandha reviews are for the KSM-66 extract version. Several of the picks in my top 10 brands are the KSM-66 variety.
While I do believe in the power of the KSM-66 extract, I’ve experienced noticeable benefits from both the normal extract powder and full-spectrum powder.
Black Pepper and Ginger
You may have noticed the inclusion of 10 mg of black pepper in several of the encapsulated versions and ginger root powder in the Mizzle brand.
Why do companies add these ingredients? Black pepper and ginger enhance absorption.
One of the drawbacks of buying the capsules is you end up paying for black pepper powder over time. Unfortunately, the KSM-66 extract is only available in capsules at the moment.
A good way to enhance the absorption of the powdered brands is to buy a bottle of Bioperine black pepper fruit extract and take it with your serving of ashwagandha.
If you decide to make your own capsules, you can mix ginger root powder with your ashwagandha powder at the correct ratio. Be sure to mix the powders well to get an even mix.
Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Organic, and Vegetarian
When shopping for ashwagandha, it’s a good idea to look for these words on the product label. However, it’s not always 100% necessary to see these designations.
I know I for one have had plenty of success without these specs, but if you’re concerned about gluten and GMOs, it’s good to keep an eye out for these words on the product label.
Where does ashwagandha come from?
Most of the world’s ashwagandha comes from India. However, some brands are grown in California. Himalaya is one of the most trustworthy brands that use Indian ashwagandha.
In fact, “Indian ginseng” is another name for Ashwagandha.
On most of the product labels of the brands in my top 10, you’ll see the words “double strength” and “5% withanolides.” The maximum withanolides dosage is in the Fresh Healthcare KSM-66 brand above.
Each serving contains about 60 mg of withanolides at 5% withanolides per 1300 mg of ashwagandha. Overall, the Fresh Healthcare brand is the most powerful brand in my top 10.
Mizzle and Tribe Organics follow the guidelines of the human study with a 600 mg daily dose.
I included the Ultra6 Nutrition brand as the best tincture available if you prefer tinctures over capsules and powders.
Are there side effects?
Since a lot of people use ashwagandha to ease the symptoms of anxiety and stress, you may be wondering if there are any withdrawal symptoms or side effects to worry about.
In my years of taking ashwagandha, I have yet to experience any withdrawal symptoms or side effects. Does this mean there aren’t any? Of course not.
You should always consult a physician before trying a new supplement or if you’re unsure about taking one. Please take the time to read my disclaimer.
Here’s a list of precautions:
- Do not take ashwagandha if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- It can lower blood sugar
- People taking thyroid medications should avoid it
- Do not take before surgery or close to surgery
- It can negatively affect the health of people with autoimmune disorders
- GI Irritation
It’s always important to do your research before trying any herb. Since side effects are possible when taking ashwagandha, consider them first.
Ashwagandha for Withdrawal
Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics have used ashwagandha to ease their withdrawal symptoms. Most of the benefits that recovering addicts experience stem from the herb’s ability to relieve anxiety and stress.
When combined with a proper diet and exercise, ashwagandha has proven effective in helping people gain muscle while burning fat.
If you’re looking for a supplement to help you tone your body and burn fat, ashwagandha is a good choice.
Men with low testosterone often have more belly fat aka a “spare tire.” This type of fat is extremely difficult to lose when testosterone is low. Boosting testosterone with ashwagandha gives older men a better chance of reducing the size of their spare tires.
Here’s a recap of everything you learned:
- Choose Ashwagandha from India or California
- Purchase extract brands
- KSM-66 is the most powerful extract
- Black pepper and ginger root powder enhance absorption
- Organic brands are easy to find in 2019
- 600 mg daily is the clinically-proven dose for a testosterone boost
- 5% withanolides content is the current gold standard
- Consider the potential ashwagandha side effects before you buy it
Jump to: comparison table
I’m confident you know everything there is to know about this wonderful herb from India and the best ashwagandha brands currently on the market.
Now you know exactly what to look for when shopping for this herb. It’s one of my favorite male enhancement herbs for stress.
It enhances my performance in the gym because it helps me concentrate. It also makes me feel more relaxed around other people. Men who experience approach anxiety or nervousness around women are good candidates for ashwagandha supplementation.
It’s also a great herb for women to take.