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The World's Most Clinically Studied Ashwagandha for Promoting Muscle Strength and Testosterone Health
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The World's Most Clinically Studied Ashwagandha for Promoting Muscle Strength and Testosterone Health

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A man's value and contributions to society are multifaceted and cannot be limited to a single criterion; it may involve various factors, his conduct during times of strife, his capacity to provide, and/or his ability to reproduce. A strong contender among various physical attributes is pure, raw, and unadulterated muscle strength, along with other traits that are equally valuable. It can be said that the ability to overcome physical obstacles and assert oneself is a defining characteristic of human beings, and it will continue to be one of the benchmarks for evaluating individuals.

In fact, research implicates a lack of strength with accelerated aging and decreased resiliency.[1,2] Moreover, a recent literature review, appearing in Current Sports Medicine Reports,​​ also concluded that increasing strength can “protect against major cardiometabolic risk factors, chronic diseases, and mortality.”[3]

While cardiovascular exercise (“cardio”) is often the first option individuals turn to when seeking to improve fitness/lose weight, the reality is that cardio is not very effective for increasing muscle strength. Yes, it supports heart health and can increase energy expenditure, which can help reduce total body weight, thereby improving cardiometabolic health, but it doesn’t pay many dividends in terms of a man’s ability to lift heavy and tackle the challenges of the physical world. The real key to building strength across a lifetime (for both men and​​ women) is resistance-training​​ (e.g. barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and/or bodyweight exercises). Resistance training increases muscle mass, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness -- all of which support healthy aging (and testosterone levels for men).

In addition to consistent resistance training (e.g. 2-4x/week), eating a nutritious diet, and getting quality sleep, time-honored traditions and modern research have identified a natural remedy that can also sustain a man’s strength, virility, and testosterone level -- ashwagandha.​​

How Ashwagandha Builds Muscle & Strength

Ashwagandha is a root that has been used for centuries to improve stamina, strength, libido, and virility. FYI…to be ”virile” means that a man is "marked by strength or force". ​​Traditional Ayurveda explicitly advocates the use of ashwagandha toward “bala”, which means “strength” in Sanskrit.[4]

Various studies demonstrating ashwagandha’s muscle and strength-building benefits have been conducted, verifying thousands of years of traditional usage.

For example, an 8-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial including 57 young men (18–50 years old) with little experience in resistance-training, were randomly assigned to receive 300mg of KSM-66 ashwagandha root extract twice daily (600mg total/day​​), while the control group consumed starch placebos. Following baseline measurements, both groups of men engaged in a structured 8-week resistance training program with another set of measurements being taken at the end of week 8.[5]

Muscle strength, the primary metric of the trial, was evaluated using the 1-rep max (1RM) load for the bench press and leg extension exercises. Men receiving ashwagandha increased their bench press 1-RM over the 8-week by an average of 46.05kg (~101 pounds), while the placebo group only increased their bench press 1-RM by an average of 26.42kg (~58 pounds).[5] Significant increases were also noted in lower body strength, with the ashwagandha group improving their 1-RM by an average of 14.5kg (~32 pounds) and the placebo group increasing strength by an average of 9.77kg (~21 pounds).[5]

Researchers also noted significant increases in muscle size of the chest (3.37 vs 1.43cm) and arms (8.89cm2​​ vs 5.30cm2​​). In line with increases in muscle size and strength, both groups of men reduced body fat percentage, with those men receiving ashwagandha experiencing greater results -- an average reduction in body fat percentage of 3.47%!

Perhaps most notably, supplementation with KSM-66 ashwagandha resulted in a 15.3% increase in testosterone level ​​compared to a 2.7% increase in the placebo group.[5]

In a soon-to-be-published study, researchers evaluated the ability of 8 weeks of KSM-66 ashwagandha root extract supplementation on muscle strength and recovery in 80 participants. KSM-66 Ashwagandha root extract supplementation produced a significant improvement in muscle strength, muscle mass, endurance, and muscle recovery. Most importantly a statistically significant increase in the levels of testosterone in men was observed [6].

A 2013 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 46 men published in The Journal of Evidence Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine found that KSM-66 ashwagandha root extract supplementation increased the levels of testosterone by 17% [7].

A recently published study, also demonstrated a 16.65% increase in testosterone levels of men supplemented with KSM-66 Ashwagandha root extract for 8 weeks at a daily dose of 600mg/day [8].

Ashwagandha contains a variety of bioactive compounds, including steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins), saponins and alkaloids, and researchers note these can benefit muscle growth in multiple ways, including increased testosterone (the body’s primary anabolic, or muscle-building, hormone) and decreased cortisol -- a catabolic hormone that can lead to fat storage and muscle breakdown when chronically elevated.

Additional mechanisms highlighted in the trial by which ashwagandha may improve resistance-training performance (and as a result, muscle growth) are by enhancing mitochondrial energy levels and functioning as well as increase creatine levels, which can subsequently aid ATP production.

Finally, men receiving KSM-66 ashwagandha benefited from improved muscle recovery between training bouts. Better recovery allows for greater training intensity and/or volume in subsequent workouts which supports greater gains in size and strength.


Ashwagandha has long been used to reduce stress, improve stamina, and boost strength. KSM-66 is the premier ashwagandha supplement on the market offering the high-quality, root-only extract on the market, backed by the most scientific research. In addition to helping relieve stress, KSM-66 ashwagandha has been shown to improve cardiorespiratory endurance, sexual wellness, and sleep quality (which also supports muscle growth, strength & testosterone levels).



  1. Peterson, M. D., Collins, S., Meier, H. C. S., Brahmsteadt, A., and Faul, J. D. (2023) Grip strength is inversely associated with DNA methylation age acceleration, Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, 14, 108– 115,
  2. Rantanen T, Masaki K, He Q, Ross GW, Willcox BJ, White L. Midlife muscle strength and human longevity up to age 100 years: a 44-year prospective study among a decedent cohort. Age (Dordr). 2012 Jun;34(3):563-70. doi: 10.1007/s11357-011-9256-y. Epub 2011 May 4. PMID: 21541735; PMCID: PMC3337929.
  3. Brellenthin AG, Bennie JA, Lee DC. Aerobic or Muscle-Strengthening Physical Activity: Which Is Better for Health? Curr Sports Med Rep. 2022 Aug 1;21(8):272-279. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000981. PMID: 35946846; PMCID: PMC9373235.
  4. Sastry JLN. Ayurvedokta Oushadha niruktamala. Edn 1st, Chaukhambha Orient Varanasi 2001, 36.
  5. Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 0–11.

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