The Best Ashwagandha Supplements for Stress, Improved Performance, and More

This increasingly popular adaptogen may help you manage stress, reduce fatigue, and perform better in the gym.

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Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a plant in the nightshade family with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s considered an adaptogen: a product that might help the body to manage stress, whether that be stress from exercise or stress from a tough day at the office. While it’s currently difficult to work out the ideal dosage — studies have seen positive effects from dosages anywhere between 50 to 500 milligrams. A good amount of research suggests that ashwagandha may have anti-anxiety effects, help to manage fatigue, reduce levels of cortisol, and maybe even improve athletic performance.

So which brands have produced the best supplements? We sifted through the market to account for each supplement’s transparency, label accuracy, and absorption. Here are the ones that stand out from the rest of the field:

Best Ashwagandha Supplements

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent, and/or treat health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns or before beginning any new workout regimen.

Best Ashwagandha Supplement

Transparent Labs’ KSM-66 Ashwagandha supplement from their Raw Series line is nothing but straight ashwagandha extract, which is why it landed our top pick on this list. If you’re looking to dial in on the potential benefits of ashwagandha — like a potential reduction in stress and fatigue — without any added extras, then this product should be an appealing pick for you. There are no artificial sweeteners, colorings, or preservatives in this supplement, and the capsules are made from veggies with rice flour to prevent pills from sticking to each other in the bottle.

Transparent Labs Raw Series Ashwagandha
Transparent Labs Raw Series Ashwagandha
Transparent Labs Raw Series Ashwagandha

Transparent Labs' KSM-66 Ashwagandha supplement is about a straightforward as it comes when we're talking about a raw ingredient in supplement form. Each capsule contains 600mg of ashwagandha extract at around $0.28 per serving.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Raw Series Ashwagandha

  • This is about as straightforward as it gets: Pure ashwagandha. If you’re looking for a no-frills pick that’s very reasonably priced, look no further than here.
  • Anyone who prefers their supplements free of artificial additives. There’s nothing to add here as this is simply ashwagandha extract.
  • Vegans, these capsules are made from veggies, and the flour used to keep pills from sticking together is made from rice.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Raw Series Ashwagandha

  • People who are looking for a more complex supplement that includes ashwagandha, but isn’t limited to just that ingredient.
  • Those who prefer a supplement in powder form, potentially with added flavors.

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Best Greens Supplement with Ashwagandha

Athletic Greens is an absolute nutrient powerhouse supplement. One serving provides 700 percent of your daily Vitamin C and 100 percent or more of most B vitamins (including B12), Vitamin K2, and zinc.

It also has the antioxidants of twelve servings of vegetables, 7.2 billion probiotic bacteria, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, and even ingredients linked to mental health, like Rhodiola Rosea and, of course, ashwagandha. The downside, though, is that a lot of those ingredients are wrapped up in blends.

Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily
Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily
Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

This nutritious greens powder is NSF certified for sport and includes 75 absorbable ingredients and is free of gluten, sugar, dairy, eggs, and nuts. It is compatible with vegan, keto, and paleo diets. 

Who Should Buy Athletic Greens

  • People who like greens powders for the digestive benefits (probiotic bacteria and digestive enzymes).
  • Those who take greens for their antioxidant content (spirulina, wheatgrass juice powder, and chlorella).
  • Folks who want adaptogens that might help with stress levels — this product has Rhodiola Rosea in addition to the ashwagandha.
  • Athletes who appreciate products that are NSF Certified for Sport®.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Athletic Greens

  • Those who prioritize transparency — many of the ingredients are in proprietary blends.
  • Folks working with tighter budgets.

[Related: The Best Types Of Supplements For Performance, Weight Loss, And Health]

Best Multivitamin with Ashwagandha

Transparent Labs’ Vitality provides 600 milligrams of organic ashwagandha extract in every two-capsule serving. Additionally, each serving contains 15 milligrams of zinc, 10 milligrams of black pepper extract, and a handful of other ingredients, all of which are non-GMO and gluten-free. There are no artificial sweeteners, colorings, or preservatives used.

Transparent Labs Vitality
Transparent Labs Vitality
Transparent Labs Vitality

Each two-capsule serving provides 600 milligrams of organic ashwagandha alongside 15 milligrams of zinc. It is free of artificial sweeteners, colorings, gluten, and GMOs.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Vitality

  • People looking for a decent addition of zinc to their diets.
  • Anyone who follows a gluten-free diet.
  • Anyone who prefers their supplements free of artificial additives.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Vitality

  • Folks who prefer a powder supplement for mixing into drinks and smoothies.
  • Those who can’t don’t want to reach too deep into their wallets.

[Related: Best Macros Calculator For Tracking Muscle Gain And Fat Loss]

Best Ashwagandha Powder

This powder provides 450 milligrams of ashwagandha extract in each of it’s 222 servings per pouch. Made without any additional ingredients, this supplement is free of soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, sugar, and additives. Each batch is third-party tested for purity and made in current GMP standards. The pouch is resealable for easier storage and it is on the much more affordable end of the market.

BulkSupplements Ashwagandha
BulkSupplements Ashwagandha
BulkSupplements Ashwagandha

Each serving provides 450 milligrams of ashwagandha extract. There are no additional ingredients used and it is free of soy, gluten, dairy, yeast, sugar, and additives. Each pouch includes 222 servings.

Who Should Buy BulkSupplements Ashwagandha

  • People who want a powder supplement free of any additional ingredients.
  • Those who appreciate third-party testing for purity.
  • Anyone looking to save some money.

Who Shouldn’t Buy BulkSupplements Ashwagandha

  • Folks without access to a scoop or other tool to measure a serving.
  • People who prefer to consume their supplements via capsules or pills.

[Related: Nutrition For Bulking: 10 Tips For Intelligent Muscle Gain]

Best Ashwagandha Capsules

NaturaLife Labs Organic Ashwagandha delivers a whopping 2,100 milligrams per three-capsule serving that is half is root powder and half is root extract. An important factor is that it discloses the number of withanolides, the active ingredient in ashwagandha. The capsule is vegetarian and free of sugar, soy, gluten, milk, egg, and peanuts. It is made in the USA and third-party tested for purity.

NaturaLife Organic Ashwagandha
NaturaLife Organic Ashwagandha
NaturaLife Organic Ashwagandha

This ashwagandha ticks all the boxes: a huge serving of 2,100 milligrams, made with organic ingredients, transparent labeling, and third party tested to ensure label accuracy.

Who Should Buy NaturalLife Labs Organic Ashwagandha

  • Those who value third-party tested to ensure label accuracy.
  • Folks who want a very potent dose of ashwagandha — 2,100 milligrams per serving.
  • People who want the withanolide content — the active ingredient in ashwagandha — listed on the label.
  • Anyone looking to stay on the more affordable end of the market.

Who Shouldn’t Buy NaturalLife Labs Organic Ashwagandha

  • While it’s made with organic ingredients, the product hasn’t been certified organic by the USDA.
  • Anyone who wants a supplement with fewer capsules per serving.

[Related: Intermittent Fasting 101: A Guide To Benefits, Muscle Gain, And More]

How We Decided Our Picks

A good amount of evidence suggests that ashwagandha can be useful for helping to manage fatigue, improve focus and mindset, reduce anxiety, and maybe even help with sports performance. (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7) After reading the studies and following the science, how does one land on the best ashwagandha supplement? Here is what we focused on.

Ashwagandha Content

How much ashwagandha should you demand from your supplements? The truth is that there’s currently no real consensus on the ideal dosage. Some studies have seen benefits with lower doses. The most potent product we found delivered 2,100 milligrams per serving. Many reasonable competitors’ supplements contain well under 1,000 milligrams.

Withanolide Content

This is the name for metabolites found in ashwagandha and other members of the nightshade family. Research suggests that they’re the primary active ingredient in ashwagandha, and they’ve been linked to the plant’s myriad benefits. Very few companies put this on the label, so we didn’t penalize too harshly. However, bonus points to the options that did print that information on their label.

Ashwagandha
Image via Shutterstock/Eskymaks

[Related: The Lifter’s Guide To Magnesium: What This Nutrient Does For Strength]

Black Pepper Extract

Most of these products contain black pepper extract (sometimes called piperine or BioPerine®, a trademarked variant), as it may help to increase absorption. Research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism & Toxicology, and Planta Medica found that the addition of piperine can help the intestines to uptake anti-inflammatory compounds. (8)(9)(10)

Third-Party Testing

The FDA doesn’t really monitor nutritional supplements, so consumers have taken it in faith that the label is accurate. Not everyone is happy with the system, so many top-tier products have an external company test the product to ensure accuracy of the label and make sure there are no heavy metals or other contaminants present.

Organic Certification

It’s unlikely that this affects the product’s potency, but it’s clear that a large portion of customers prefer their ashwagandha to be certified organic, so we made sure to include it as a feature. There are a variety of different certifications, though — many feel the USDA is the gold standard. Still, there’s also Organic Certifiers, and there’s the “made with organic ingredients” label, which means at least 70 percent of the ingredients need to be produced per organic standards.

Ashwagandha
Image via Shutterstock/Indian Food Images

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Wrapping Up

Ashwagandha is a fascinating supplement with a wealth of research supporting it as a means to help the body combat stress and fatigue. We should emphasize that the scientific community isn’t unanimous here — we need more research — but if you’re convinced that this Ayurvedic plant is worth experimenting with, we think we’ve landed on the best products for your needs.

References

  1. Chandrasekhar K, et al. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62.
  2. Cooley K, et al. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 31;4(8):e6628.
  3. Andrade C, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. Indian J Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;42(3):295-301.
  4. Khyati, S et al. A RANDOMIZED DOUBLE BLIND PLACEBO CONTROLLED STUDY OF ASHWAGANDHA ON GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER. IAMJ. 2013 Sep-Oct;1(5):1-7
  5. Sandhu JS, et al. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Jul;1(3):144-9.
  6. Wankhede S, et al. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Nov 25;12:43.
  7. Raut AA, et al. Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2012 Jul;3(3):111-4.
  8. Srinivasan K. Black pepper and its pungent principle-piperine: a review of diverse physiological effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2007;47(8):735-48.
  9. Han HK, et al. The effects of black pepper on the intestinal absorption and hepatic metabolism of drugs. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2011 Jun;7(6):721-9.
  10. Shoba G, et al. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6.