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Best Ashwagandha Supplement

Ashwagandha can alleviate stress, increase focus, and even raise testosterone levels in men. Here are your seven best options in 2022.

Last Updated: Jun 7, 2022
Best ashwagandha supplement

Perhaps you find yourself struggling with anxiety from time to time. Or your focus and memory aren’t what they used to be. Maybe you’re fighting tooth and nail for every rep in the gym and not seeing results. It turns out that a single botanical ingredient — ashwagandha — may be able to help with all three of these issues.

Ashwagandha has a long history, reaching back into the ancient practice of Ayurvedic medicine. Modern research has revealed that its benefits are more than anecdotal, potentially acting as a nootropic, anxiolytic, and testosterone enhancer.

As research has expanded, so has the abundance of available ashwagandha supplements. Finding the best kind and figuring out which one would be ideal for your needs can be tricky. In this guide, we’ll point you toward the best brands on the market and help you decide which one to choose.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a brief look at our top picks:

Summary of recommendations

Our Top Choice

Nootropics Depot Shoden

WIth its Shoden ashwagandha, Nootropics Depot delivers high potency and the best value on the market.

If you’d prefer more widely studied ashwagandha, the company also offers great KSM-66 or Sensoril supplements, but our top pick is Shoden ashwagandha. Third-party testing ensures high quality.

Ashwagandha supplements: top considerations

Ingredient quality

Winner: Nootropics Depot Shoden

While a handful of companies in this guide subject their supplements to third-party testing and even share those results with their customers, Nootropics Depot’s use of Shoden ashwagandha takes their quality a step further. This is one of the most potent, bioavailable ashwagandha extracts on the market.

Nootropics Depot also gets points for giving you the option to go with Shoden or the more thoroughly researched KSM-66 or Sensoril brands. Transparent Labs takes a close second in this category thanks to its rigorous third-party testing and the degree of information they share with their customers.

Cost

Tie: Nootropics Depot Shoden Powder and Xwerks Ashwa

Breaking down the cost of an ashwagandha supplement is a little more complicated than you might think. This has to do with the concentration of active ingredients in a given extract.

Before we get into how this concentration affects the overall value of a supplement, let’s look at how the top brands perform in a cost-per-dose analysis.

  Price Servings Dose Price per dose
Nootropics Depot Shoden powder $39.99 250 120mg $0.16
Nootropics Depot Shoden capsules $39.99 90 120mg $0.33
Xwerks Ashwa gummies $19.00 60 1,500mg $0.32
Physician’s Choice $22.95 30 1,000mg $0.78
Live Conscious ZenWell $24.99 30 600mg $0.83
Moon Juice $38.00 72 600mg $0.53
Transparent Labs $19.99 60 600mg $0.33
Youtheory $18.99 60 600mg $0.32

*YouTheory’s ashwagandha contains an additional 400mg of ashwagandha root powder, but without a standardized withanolide percentage for this component, it’s more illustrative to compare extract doses with known withanolide content.

With ashwagandha, the price per dose isn’t the whole picture. The active component in ashwagandha — withanolides — doesn’t correlate in the same measure with every extract. Some extracting processes can result in supplements containing up to 80% withanolides. Such potent extracts are rare, with most available supplements averaging a 5% withanolide concentration.

Here’s a look at how our top contenders compare in withanolide content:

  Price Withanolide concentration Withanolides per dose Price per g withanolides
Nootropics Depot Shoden powder $39.99 35% 42mg $3.81
Nootropics Depot Shoden capsules $39.99 35% 42mg $7.86
Xwerks Ashwa gummies $19.00 3% 45mg $7.11
Physician’s Choice $22.95 5% 50mg $15.50
Live Conscious ZenWell $24.99 5% 30mg $27.67
Moon Juice $38.00 5% 30mg $17.67
Transparent Labs $19.99 5% 30mg $11.00
Youtheory* $18.99 5% 30mg $10.67

*Again, Youtheory provides an additional source of withanolides with their included 400mg root powder. As we said above, this powder has no standardized withanolide concentration, so we chose not to make assumptions and to compare products based on concrete data alone.

As you can see, some products whose price points would lead you to believe they offer the best deals actually have extremely high withanolide costs. At the same time, the most expensive option in our guide has the lowest withanolide cost.

We consider this a tie between Nootropics Depot and Xwerks, despite Nootropics Depot’s clear advantage in cost per dose and cost per gram of withanolides. That’s mainly because Xwerks costs a little less than half as much at the outset, and they offer a subscription option that saves you more and adds a degree of convenience. If you’re concerned about spending a certain amount of money up-front until you know whether these supplements work for you, Xwerks is your best bet. But if you’re willing to spend a little more to save in the long run, there’s no beating Nootropics Depot.

Youtheory might have had an edge if you could quantify the withanolide concentration added by the 400mg of ashwagandha root powder in their mixture. But we make our recommendations based on our testing and research without making assumptions.

Effectiveness

Winner: Nootropics Depot Shoden

This was nearly a tossup between Nootropics Depot and Xwerks. We evaluate effectiveness based on how much of a result you can get from as little a dose as possible. And while Xwerks offers a few more milligrams of withanolides per dose than Nootropics Depot, their base dose is more than ten times that of Nootropics Depot. That means you get more withanolides from a smaller amount of ashwagandha.

Nootropics Depot also recommends 1-2 capsules per day, which is perfectly safe considering the small base dose of 120mg per capsule. That means you could safely get nearly double the amount of withanolides you’d receive from Xwerks Ashwa in two small pills.

Convenience

Winner: Xwerks Ashwa

For convenience, Xwerks Ashwa is the clear victor. They boast a reasonable price, a great price per gram of withanolides, and an easy-to-take and highly bioavailable gummy delivery method. You don’t have to worry about pills getting caught in your throat, and you don’t need a glass of water to take them.

What is ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha comes from the plant Withania somnifera, sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. It traces its roots in Ayurvedic medicine to at least 6000 B.C.E. That medical tradition used ashwagandha to treat ailments like arthritis, anxiety, and respiratory difficulties. It was also used to reduce inflammation and increase energy.

In more recent years, studies have shown many of these ancient beliefs to be true. There is ample evidence that ashwagandha reduces stress and anxiety. There is also evidence that it can boost testosterone and improve cognition.

Withanolides from ashwagandha

Most ashwagandha supplements utilize a powdered form of the roots or leaves of the plant. These supplements have no serious issues with efficacy, but they aren’t as consistent as standardized extracts. That’s because of a particular class of naturally occurring steroids in ashwagandha called withanolides. These steroids are what make ashwagandha’s benefits possible.

Withanolides have been the subject of numerous studies, most often associated with ashwagandha or Withania somnifera. We’ve decided to focus on ashwagandha supplements with quantifiable amounts of withanolides per dose, which non-standardized powder supplements rarely provide.

Branded ashwagandha extracts

There are three prominent ashwagandha extracts on the market: KSM-66, Shoden, and Sensoril. There are advantages and disadvantages for each, but we generally think Shoden is the best of the bunch. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Shoden

This is the most potent of the three top branded extracts, boasting a 35% withanolide glycoside concentration. It utilizes both the root and stem of the plant and is more bioavailable than its competitors.

KSM-66

KSM-66 is likely the most widely used ashwagandha extract. Its 5% concentration is laudable, and its efficacy and safety are well documented in clinical studies.

Sensoril

Sensoril is the least costly of the three branded extracts, making it a great choice for budget-conscious customers. It has a 10% withanolide concentration, but it also contains 32% oligosaccharides. That could be a non-starter for those with IBS or people on a strict low-FODMAP diet.

Are ashwagandha supplements safe?

Ashwagandha supplements should be perfectly safe for most people, particularly short term. Numerous studies have looked at its potential to treat various ailments, and very few have reported significant adverse effects. That said, the long-term safety of chronic ashwagandha supplementation is unknown.

When ashwagandha use leads to side effects, they usually include upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. As with any supplement, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before incorporating it into your regimen.

Ashwagandha and the thyroid

Studies looking into ashwagandha as a treatment for hypothyroidism have shown promising results. In one study, eight weeks of supplementation at 600mg (a common dose of KSM-66) normalized thyroid indices that measure TSH, T3, and T4 hormones.

Ashwagandha’s apparent ability to increase these hormone levels has raised concerns that patients with hyperthyroidism may be at risk of thyrotoxicosis resulting from a dangerous excess of thyroid hormones in the blood. As such, we discourage anyone with thyroid issues from trying ashwagandha without speaking to their doctor first.

Nootropics Depot

Best overall

Pros

  • High-potency Shoden ashwagandha available
  • Several ashwagandha supplements to choose from
  • Rigorous third-party testing
  • Wide array of additional supplements
  • Powdered extracts are a great deal
  • Batch-specific test results available

Cons

  • Capsules are a little pricier than others
  • Not expensive enough on its own to trigger free shipping
  • No subscription options
  • Mediocre return policy

Nootropics Depot is unique among the companies in our guide in offering the top three branded ashwagandha extracts on the market — Shoden, KSM-66, and Sensoril. Of the three, we prefer Shoden, as its 35% withanolide concentration means you get more benefits from smaller doses.

In addition to their ashwagandha supplements, Nootropics Depot offers many products designed to boost cognition and memory, regulate mood, and reduce anxiety. These include:

  • Adaptogens
  • Immunity boosters
  • Pain management
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Pre-workout
  • Energy
  • Metabolism
  • Skin health
  • Fitness
  • Mitochondrial support
  • Sleep support

Here are the best available prices for Nootropics Depot’s ashwagandha supplements:

  Price Servings Dose Price per dose
Shoden powder 30g $39.99 250 120mg $0.16
Shoden capsules $39.99 90 120mg $0.33
KSM-66 powder 60g $24.99 200 300mg $0.13
KSM-66 capsules $29.99 180 300mg $0.17
Sensoril powder 60g $21.99 480 125mg $0.05
Sensoril capsules $26.99 180 125mg $0.15
Whole plant ashwagandha powder 60g $23.99 200 300mg $0.12
Whole plant ashwagandha tablets $24.99 180 300mg $0.14

Shipping from Nootropics Depot is only free if you spend more than $50. None of their ashwagandha supplements meet that total on their own unless you buy more than one bottle per order. If you have to pay shipping, here are their current rates:

  • FedEx 2-3 Day: $10.20
  • USPS Priority: $10.25
  • FedEx Ground: $17.08
  • USPS Express: $45.40

You can only return unopened products to Nootropics Depot unless there is some significant problem with your order. This is disappointing from a company that gets so much else right. We’d love to see them add a money-back guarantee to their products.

Xwerks

Best budget pick and easiest to take

Pros

  • Fitness-focused supplement lineup
  • Ashwagandha gummies are easy to take
  • High 1,500mg dose
  • Enjoyable strawberry flavor
  • 5% savings with a subscription
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Gummies are vegan-friendly
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Free shipping only kicks in after $75
  • High sugar content

Xwerks offers a targeted range of supplements to help you get the most out of intense workouts. That said, not all of their products are exclusively for those who hit the gym hard. Several, including their ashwagandha gummies, are suitable for everyday people just trying to feel better. And because they deliver their ashwagandha in gummies, they’re easy for anyone to take.

Xwerks Ashwa gummies provide 45mg of withanolides per dose from 1,500mg of ashwagandha — the highest dose on our list. And since gummies generally have a greater degree of bioavailability than capsules, you stand to absorb the lion’s share of the dose with little to no waste.

The one downside to the gummy format is sugar content. The ingredients list includes glucose syrup, sugar, and glucose, adding 6g of sugar to every 2-gummy serving. That makes these less of an ideal choice for anyone on a Keto or low-sugar diet or those with diabetes.

One bottle of Xwerks Ashwa contains 60 gummies (a 1-month supply) and costs $19. If you choose to subscribe, the cost per bottle comes down to $18.05.

Other Xwerks supplements include:

  • Grow whey protein
  • Ignite pre-workout
  • Motion BCAAs and electrolytes
  • Lift creatine monohydrate

Xwerks also sells a few T-shirts, a hat, and a shaker for protein drinks.

Shipping from Xwerks is free if you can get your order over $75. Otherwise, you’ll pay a $5 flat rate.

Physician's Choice

Best high dose

Pros

  • High 1,000mg dose
  • Contains black pepper extract
  • Vegan-friendly capsule
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • 50mg withanolides per dose
  • Free shipping on all orders
  • 15% savings with a subscription

Cons

  • Capsules are on the large side
  • Cost per gram of withanolides is middle-of-the-road

Physician’s Choice boasts an impressive supplement catalog, with offerings in multiple categories, including:

  • Immune support
  • Sleep and mood
  • Digestive health
  • Beauty support
  • Women’s health
  • Weight management

For their ashwagandha, Physician’s Choice uses KSM-66, one of the most popular forms of ashwagandha extract. Most of the KSM-66 supplements offer it in a 600mg dose. Physician’s Choice uses a 1,000mg dose. That delivers nearly twice as many withanolides to your system daily. Unfortunately, it also means their capsules are a bit larger than some competitors. The inclusion of black pepper extract helps enhance bioavailability, so those withanolides readily make their way into your system.

Physician’s Choice also offers an organic ashwagandha root powder. The withanolide content of the powder is not standardized.

A single bottle of Physician’s Choice KSM-66 costs $22.95 for a one-time purchase or $19.51 with a subscription.

Moon Juice

Best powder form

Pros

  • Full-spectrum KSM-66 extract
  • Subscription unlocks free shipping
  • Subscribers save 10%
  • Powder form eliminates extra ingredients
  • Site provides useful recipes
  • Simple 30-day return policy

Cons

  • Not part of the company’s stacking bundles
  • More tedious to take than a capsule
  • One of the more expensive options

Moon Juice offers a wide variety of supplements for everything from hair health to cognition. We looked specifically at their pure KSM-66 ashwagandha powder, but there are 12 other products on the company’s site that contain ashwagandha within a proprietary blend. This makes it difficult to ascertain just how important the ashwagandha is within these products or how much you’d get per serving. Still, if any of these other products interest you, they might be a nice fit for your needs.

Moon Juice’s ashwagandha products include

  • Pure KSM-66 ashwagandha powder
  • SuperYou: Stress Management
  • SuperHair: Hair Nutrition
  • Cosmis Cocoa: Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate
  • Cosmic Matcha: Adaptogenic Matcha Latte
  • Cosmic Gold: Adaptogenic Golden Latte
  • Beauty Dust: Adaptogens for Skin
  • Brain Dust: Adaptogens for Focus
  • Power Dust: Adaptogens for Energy
  • Spirit Dust: Adaptogens For Mood
  • Dream Dust: Adaptogens for Sleep
  • Blue Beauty: Adaptogenic Protein
  • Vanilla Mushroom: Adaptogenic Protein

Figuring out how to take a pure ashwagandha powder may seem daunting. Do you just mix it with water? What does it even taste like? Our testers tried the powder on its own with plain water and found it to be earthy and vaguely sweet. Moon Juice provides several recipes built around their ashwagandha powder to give you some extra ideas. We highly recommend their ashwagandha butter coffee as a tasty and convenient way to get your dose every morning.

One jar of Moon Juice ashwagandha powder costs $38, but you can subscribe and pay only $34.20/jar.

Live Conscious

Best blend and Best money-back guarantee

Pros

  • Contains black pepper extract and L-theanine
  • Subscriptions and bulk orders get up to 40% off
  • Free of most allergens
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Outstanding money-back guarantee

Cons

  • High cost per gram of withanolides
  • No free shipping on single-bottle purchases

Live Conscious has a slightly smaller offering of wellness products than some competitors, but that focus allows them to make what are generally very high-quality products. Their ZenWell ashwagandha supplement is ideal for those who want to improve their cognitive performance. In addition to KSM-66 ashwagandha, ZenWell includes 200mg of Alphawave L-theanine.

Theanine is derived from tea leaves, and multiple studies support its ability to increase focus. And if you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’ll find that theanine can take the edge off a high dose of caffeine without reducing its efficacy.

The big downside to ZenWell is cost. One bottle costs $24.99, which doesn’t seem like too much at first. But one bottle only contains 30 servings. Most other KSM-66 supplements in this price range offer 60 servings or more. However, you can save up to 40% by buying in bulk and setting up a subscription.

Here’s how your purchasing options for Live Conscious ZenWell break down:

  Price per bottle Price per dose Savings
One bottle, one-time purchase $24.99 $0.83 N/A
One bottle, subscription $20.99 $0.70 $4.00
Three bottles, one-time purchase $21.99 $0.73 $8.00
Three bottles, subscription $17.99 $0.60 $21.00
Six bottles, one-time purchase $18.99 $0.63 $36.00
Six bottles, subscription $14.99 $0.50 $60.00

Live Conscious gives you a 365-day money-back guarantee, though there are some caveats to it. You can return any unopened product for up to a year. Opened product returns are limited to two bottles from no more than one order each. So, if you purchased a 6-month supply of ZenWell and decided to stop taking it after two months, you’d have another ten months to set up your return and still get a full refund.

Youtheory

Best blend and Best money-back guarantee

Pros

  • Blends an extract with a pure root powder
  • Contains 20mg ginger root extract
  • 15% savings with a subscription

Cons

  • Root powder is not standardized
  • Poor return policy

Youtheory’s product lineup consists of supplements and mixes that can support various health and wellness goals. Their wellness categories include:

  • Beauty
  • General wellness
  • Emotional wellness
  • Collagen
  • Digestive health
  • Joint support

Youtheory’s ashwagandha is a blend of 600mg KSM-66 and 400mg of an organic ashwagandha root powder. This brings the total ashwagandha dose up to 1,000mg. That’s pretty impressive for its $18.99 price point, but without a way to quantify the withanolide content in the root powder, it’s hard to say how this would compare to the similar doses from Xwerks and Physician’s Choice.

It’s worth noting that Youtheory’s ashwagandha also contains 20mg of ginger root extract. Some studies suggest ginger can play a critical role in improving cognitive function, especially in the presence of cognitive disorders. That makes it a wise addition to an ashwagandha supplement or any nootropic blend.

While one bottle of Youtheory ashwagandha costs $18.99, you can subscribe and save 15%, bringing the costs per bottle down to $16.14.

Youtheory calculates shipping costs based on your location, and our testers found options ranging from as little as $3.37 for a 2-day shipment to $46.90 for next-day air.

Transparent Labs

Pros

  • Rigorous third-party testing
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • 60 servings per bottle
  • Batch specific test results

Cons

  • No free shipping on orders under $100
  • Blog is poorly organized

Transparent Labs is among the leaders in honest supplement production. They constantly update their database of batch-specific third-party test results. This lets you compare the bottle in your hand to the results from its particular batch, ensuring purity, dose accuracy, and safety.

Transparent Labs uses KSM-66 ashwagandha in a 600mg dose. It’s a simple supplement with no bells or whistles, which may be ideal for some customers. One bottle costs $19.99. There are no subscription options or bulk discounts available, so that’s the price you’ll pay per bottle no matter what.

Because you won’t qualify for free shipping without spending at least $100, you should know how shipping costs break down:

  • Standard (5-7 business days): $7.99
  • USPS Priority (two business days): $9.90
  • FedEx Home Delivery (two business days): $17.37
  • FedEx 2Day: $25.65
  • FedEx Priority Overnight: $38.43

Ashwagandha supplement FAQ

Do ashwagandha supplements work?

Multiple studies show that ashwagandha supplements can effectively lower stress and anxiety levels in most users. You should be able to rely on it to work for those purposes. A smaller number of studies point toward ashwagandha’s ability to boost testosterone levels, improve sleep, and increase focus. You might find ashwagandha less effective for these uses, given the current state of research.

Are ashwagandha supplements dangerous?

For most users, ashwagandha supplements should be completely safe. Some people may not find ashwagandha ideal, including pregnant or nursing mothers and those with thyroid problems. Even if you don’t fall into one of those categories, you should talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement.

Can ashwagandha improve my sex life?

Some ashwagandha supplements may advertise benefits to a man’s sex life. If stress and anxiety contribute to performance issues in the bedroom, ashwagandha might help. There is also evidence that ashwagandha can work as a testosterone booster. If that’s the case for you, you could see improvements in erectile performance and semen quality. Sexual health is multifaceted, however. You shouldn’t expect ashwagandha to be a silver bullet so much as one part of a multi-prong approach to wellness.

What’s the best dose for ashwagandha supplements?

The effective dose for ashwagandha will vary from person to person, given their body weight and goals for the supplement. One of the most common doses we came across in our research was 600mg, particularly for KSM-66 ashwagandha. But most of the KSM-66 supplements we found all advised users to start with one pill (a 300mg dose) and work their way up. We concur with this, as the smallest effective dose of any treatment is ideal.

How do you take ashwagandha supplements?

You should take most ashwagandha supplements daily. There’s little risk of adverse effects when you take your entire daily dose at once, but you can spread out multiple capsules or take them with meals if you find they cause some mild digestive discomfort.

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