If you are a coffee drinker, then taking your daily caffeine dose is likely an essential part of your morning routine. Coffee is also known to be the go-to beverage for boosting your energy levels when you're feeling tired.
But just like a cup of coffee can help you get through the day with its stimulating properties, there is another all-natural substance that can be just as useful.
Ashwagandha is a potent herbal adaptogen that is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. This makes it the perfect supplement to carry you through stressful or exhausting daily schedules and it's one of the most popular herbs used for stress-relief.
While coffee can be seen as the energetic yin to ashwagandha's calming yang, both offer unique benefits that could be used for stress relief and improving overall health.
So if you're looking to reduce tension without having to give up your daily cup of joe, read on to find out more about how ashwagandha could help and why coffee fits perfectly into this equation!
What are the health benefits of ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, also known as "Indian ginseng" or Withania somnifera (Latin), is one of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs and possesses numerous health benefits that have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Being an adaptogen means it can help the body cope with physical and mental stress. The name "somnifera" also means "sleep-inducing," which highlights the ability of the herb to promote relaxation.
Ashwagandha has traditionally been used to reduce stress, improve cognitive functions and increase energy levels. Research has shown that ashwagandha can boost mood and fight fatigue by improving sleep patterns and helping with difficulty sleeping .
Additionally, studies have shown that ashwagandha can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression , . Furthermore, ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen that can help to regulate hormones such as cortisol (the 'stress hormone').
Currently, there are several studies investigating the effect of ashwagandha on cortisol, and all report significant effects, with the highest one reaching almost a 30% reduction .
The ability of Withania somnifera to lower stress and cortisol levels also carries additional benefits, such as improving testosterone levels in stressed men. Cortisol has immunosuppressive effects, so by lowering it, ashwagandha may also potentially boost the immune system in chronically stressed individuals.
All these benefits are thought to be due to the plant's active ingredients – withanolides. They are steroidal lactones, and the most prominent ones in ashwagandha include withaferin A, withanolide A, withanolide E, withanoside IV, and withanone .
These benefits make ashwagandha one of the best herbs for those who are looking to manage their stress levels naturally or enhance overall health.
What are the health benefits of caffeine?
Most of the effects and benefits of coffee are due to the content of caffeine. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in coffee, tea, and cocoa. It is also often added to energy drinks and other beverages.
Coffee and caffeine are well known for their ability to improve alertness, focus, and concentration while also providing a boost of energy.
It achieves these effects by being an adenosine receptor antagonist. It is a competitive inhibitor of adenosine by fitting into the adenosine receptor, blocking it, and preventing adenosine from acting .
Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that mediates the perception of drowsiness, so preventing its action results in improved alertness and reduced feeling of fatigue .
Research reveals that caffeine can significantly reduce your reaction time and induce a positive mood . Moreover, it increases reaction time even in fatigued individuals .
Furthermore, studies have shown that consuming a cup of coffee before exercise has the potential to increase physical strength and enhance endurance , .
Additionally, caffeine has been linked to increased fat oxidation and improved metabolic rate, which may contribute to weight loss.
Coffee consumption has also been linked to several health benefits, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and other serious chronic diseases by acting as an antioxidant. Furthermore, coffee may help reduce the risk of certain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's due to these potent antioxidant properties.
What are the side effects of drinking coffee?
Despite the potential benefits of caffeine to energy levels and even mood, too much coffee can be detrimental to your health because it can lead to increased anxiety levels and even affect your sleep.
Coffee might not prevent you from falling asleep. But it does not mean that sleep quality is not going to plummet if you go to sleep right after. Caffeine, which is the main stimulant in coffee, has a half-life of 5 hours in your bloodstream .
Drinking a coffee in the late afternoon will still leave half of the caffeine in your system by bedtime. That is, even though the beneficial effects you were looking for will be long gone.
For example, one study included 30 healthy volunteers to investigate caffeine and sleep. It revealed that caffeine reduces sleep quality even hours after consumption .
Caffeine is a stimulant, and too much of it can also cause jitters and anxiety. In sensitive individuals, coffee may even lead to increased heart rate and palpitations.
Additionally, coffee can lead to dehydration as it acts as a diuretic which causes the body to expel more water than usual. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach may also lead to stomach issues such as heartburn or nausea due to its acidic nature.
Therefore it's important to be mindful of your intake and ensure you're not consuming too much coffee or other caffeinated drinks on a regular basis.
What are the health benefits of combining ashwagandha and caffeine in your everyday life?
Combining ashwagandha and coffee in your daily routine may be a great strategy to keep enjoying the benefits of your favorite morning drink while minimizing the potential impact it may have on your sleep quality and stress tolerance throughout your day.
Coffee and ashwagandha can also be a great combination for managing stress levels, improving physical performance, and boosting overall health and well-being.
Drinking a coffee right before your workout can increase your strength by roughly 15%, according to a meta-analysis of 10 studies .
Regular intake of ashwagandha may also contribute to similar benefits, as another study shows that 8 weeks of supplementation led to a significant increase in the muscle strength of training individuals as well .
Another area of effect that both coffee and ashwagandha can improve is cognitive performance. Research clearly shows that drinking a cup of coffee can be as effective as taking mid day naps in improving your memory and concentration levels .
On the other hand, ashwagandha will further improve your cognitive performance if you take it for at least 14 days. One trial reports that 2 weeks of supplementation led to significant improvement in both cognitive and psychomotor performance .
Both coffee and ashwagandha are also great sources of antioxidants that can help the normal functioning of your immune system.
Combining ashwagandha and caffeine in your everyday life can offer numerous health benefits. This makes coffee and ashwagandha an ideal combination for those looking to manage their stress levels naturally or enhance their overall health.
What are some of the side effects of taking caffeine and ashwagandha?
When coffee is consumed responsibly with a balanced diet incorporating natural supplements such as ashwagandha - then the health benefits of coffee can be enjoyed without experiencing any of the negative side effects.
Taking coffee and ashwagandha is generally safe. However, it's important to keep in mind that coffee is a stimulant and can cause side effects such as increased heart rate, palpitations, restlessness, insomnia, or anxiety if too much coffee is consumed. Sometimes blood pressure may also increase.
Additionally, coffee can also lead to dehydration due to its diuretic properties - so be sure to drink plenty of water when consuming coffee.
Ashwagandha may also have some mild side effects, such as upset stomach or nausea, so it's best to start with a small dosage and then gradually increase the amount over time until you find the balance that works for you.
In general, caffeine and ashwagandha are safe to consume when taken in moderation, but it is important to consult a medical professional before taking either coffee or ashwagandha if you have any underlying health conditions.
If you are a coffee drinker, what is the right time to take ashwagandha, and how much?
Ultimately, adding coffee and ashwagandha into your daily routine could be an effective way to manage occasional stress and support your overall health and well-being.
It is important to remember that caffeine and ashwagandha also have some opposite effects, such as their impact on sleep. That's why you may want to take coffee and ashwagandha at different times throughout your day.
Taking your coffee in the morning can minimize its impact on your sleep quality, while at the same time, taking ashwagandha later will only enhance its sleep-related benefits.
Thus, you should choose to take coffee in the morning and then the ashwagandha supplement at night.
Additionally, be sure not to exceed recommended dosages of either substance - coffee should not exceed 400 mg per day, while an optimal ashwagandha intake per day varies between 1300 and 1950 mg.
Furthermore, make sure to select high-quality ashwagandha root extract that is certified organic and its 3rd party testing.
Ashwagandha by Nutririse contains full-spectrum root extract that is UDAF certified as 100% organic, and each batch undergoes independent third-party testing. Therefore, you can rest assured that you are receiving the highest quality supplement for maximum effectiveness and safety.
So next time you reach for your coffee cup, why not try throwing in some ashwagandha for added benefits? Who knows – maybe this unlikely duo will soon become your new favorite coffee companion!
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.