When Is the Best Time to Take Ashwagandha?
Written by Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT on March 31, 2021 — Medically reviewed by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a plant-based adaptogen that has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years.
Adaptogens are plants that support your body’s physiological response to stress and have been linked to lower stress levels and improved sleep (1Trusted Source).
With more people turning to natural remedies, ashwagandha has grown in popularity for its health-promoting properties.
However, ashwagandha may lead to stomach upset for some people, so choosing the right time to take it may help you reap the greatest benefits without any side effects.
This article investigates whether you should take ashwagandha in the morning or at night.
Ashwagandha supplements have recently soared in popularity as a natural remedy that may provide various benefits, including reduced blood sugar, stress, and anxiety levels, as well as improved sleep and immune health (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
Most commonly, people choose to take ashwagandha for its adaptogenic properties, which are believed to help regulate the body’s natural stress response (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
Ashwagandha is usually available in tablet, capsule, or powdered form. It’s also available as an oil or cream, as well as in other cosmetic products.
Studies on these other preparations of ashwagandha, such as oils and creams, are limited, and most of ashwagandha’s benefits are linked to oral supplementation rather than topical application to the skin or hair.
Ashwagandha is most commonly used to help combat stress. It’s generally consumed as a capsule, tablet, or powder, but it’s also available in various creams, oils, and other skin care products.
When to take ashwagandha
In general, you can take ashwagandha any time of day or night. However, you may prefer to take it in the morning or evening, depending on your goals and tolerance.
Taking it in the morning
Unlike many other supplements and medications, ashwagandha’s benefits are not immediate. It can take days to weeks before you begin to notice its effects.
For example, in one study including 60 people who took 300 mg of ashwagandha daily, it took upward of 10 weeks for them to observe its full effects on their sleep quality, compared with those in the control group (6Trusted Source).
As such, choosing when to take ashwagandha largely depends on your personal preference.
If you’re taking ashwagandha as part of your supplement routine for general health, you may wish to take it in the morning along with any other vitamins or supplements.
That said, taking ashwagandha on an empty stomach may lead to mild stomach discomfort in some people. Therefore, you may wish to take ashwagandha after breakfast or after eating a small snack.
Alternatively, you can try adding ashwagandha to a smoothie, drink, or other meals.
Taking it at night
If used to promote sleep, you may opt for ashwagandha powder in moon milk before bed to help you relax.
For people who experience stomach discomfort when taking ashwagandha, taking it at night may be a better option than taking it in the morning, especially if you prefer taking it on an empty stomach.
All things considered, it’s most important to choose a time when you’ll be most consistent in taking it, as well as that feels best for you.
Ashwagandha can be taken in the morning, at night, or at any other time of the day. Timing will mostly depend on your personal preferences, tolerance, and the type of ashwagandha you choose to take.
Generally, ashwagandha is considered safe for most people (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
In some cases, high doses — usually those beyond the recommended dose suggested on the package — may lead to stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Therefore, it’s important to follow the instructions on the label and speak with your healthcare provider before changing doses.
In rare cases, liver problems have been reported, though this may be due to other contaminants found in unregulated supplements. Be sure to purchase ashwagandha from a trusted supplement company (11Trusted Source).
Finally, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking immunosuppressants, sedatives, antidepressants, or other medications (12Trusted Source).
Ashwagandha is generally safe for most people. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding or on medications should consult their healthcare provider first.
The bottom line
Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogen with many health benefits.
Most people take ashwagandha as a capsule or powder that can be taken at any time of the day.
You may wish to incorporate it into your nightly routine to promote good sleep habits. Alternatively, you may find taking it in the morning suits your routine better.
Since ashwagandha takes time to work, you can take ashwagandha when it’s most convenient for you. However, you may wish to take it with food or at night if you notice any stomach discomfort.
All in all, the best time to take ashwagandha is when you’ll most consistently take it.
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