How to Cut Stress and Body Fat, While Gaining Muscle and Optimizing Hormones

"Stress contributes to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes."

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So, I’ve done an episode like this before, where I share a personal recommendation for, and the science behind an herb for specific health and performance benefits.

One that I use, believe in, and feel may help others. Especially those who engage in regular fitness activity.

Last time, and it was a while ago, I discussed the remarkable joint and tissue-healing properties of the herb Cissus Quadrangularis.

This time, I wanted to discuss an herb that may help on a number of fronts, for those looking for mental, emotional, physical and/or even sexual health benefits.

Ashwagandha! Also known as Withania somnifera, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, and winter cherry.

First and foremost, it is heralded as a stress-fighter. Something we all face in our daily lives, to some degree, at any given time. Something that can be quite serious not only to our performance, but our health!

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress that is left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

And according to Healthline, it can also cause such conditions as depression, insomnia, infertility, erectile dysfunction and poor immunity.

And while getting to the bottom of WHAT, precisely, is the root of your stress… and, moreover, working toward solving any issues sooner, rather than later, perhaps with the help of a mental health expert, SHOULD take center stage…

…why not give your body a helping hand while doing so? Especially if it may help relieve some of the negative side-effects.

Enter Ashwagandha

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2012, utilizing 64 human subjects with a history of chronic stress, it was found that a high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract is safe and effective at improving resistance to stress, and overall quality of life.

For 60 days, the subjects consumed 300 mg of a high-concentration, full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha twice-per-day… or a placebo.

Compared to the placebo group, serum cortisol levels were reduced by over 28% more in the Ashwagandha group, as well as a significant reduction in scores on all the stress-assessment scales!

Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”, as it’s released in response to stress, as well as low blood-glucose concentration.

And while “carbing-the-fuck-up” can certainly combat cortisol from one angle, you still need to consider the stress factor.

I, personally, have turned to Ashwagandha for a few years now… I do not take it daily, year-round, but only when I enter a period of stress in my life.

I prefer over-the-counter herbal remedies where effective, as I am not one to use prescription pharmaceuticals unless I absolutely require them.

Typically, I’d dose about 500mg of a full-spectrum Ashwagandha extract two to three times per day when I need it.

Or, 1/8 of a teaspoon, in powder form, for each dosing. As I prefer to purchase raw, bulk herbs. You get more bang for your buck.

Taste-wise, as I am sure you are wondering, the powder form is a bit bitter… quite “earthy”… but, not terrible. I dump a dose on the center of my tongue, and chase it back with some water, tea or coffee. Swishing around in my mouth, to ensure it is fully washed back and swallowed.

TIP: Amazon sells a number of powder options  just search something like “ashwagandha extract powder”, and you will return numerous results.

But, moving forward… the benefits of Ashwagandha do not appear to stop at managing stress and cortisol! In fact, it was another study that further inspired me to do this episode!

There was a 30-day study published in 2012, which involved 18 healthy human volunteers, of which 12 were men and 6 were women, all aged from 18-30.

The study participants consumed 750mg per day for days 1 through 10, 1,000mg per day for days 11 through 20, and 1,250mg per day for days 21-30. These amounts were divided into two equal daily dosings each day.

Body fat percentage was reduced, on average, by 2.27%. Lean body mass rose, on average, by 1.82kg, or by approx. 4 lbs.

There was also a significant increase in both quadriceps and back extensor strength, but only a minor improvement in grip strength.

Furthermore, triglycerides in the blood were reduced by a significant amount, and LDL reductions were almost significant.

Based on these results, further studies ARE planned to evaluate the potential for Ashwagandha administration in patients suffering from sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle tissue and strength.

Today, I have actually begun my first day of this 30-day cycle… following this study’s dosing guidelines. As a personal experiment. Especially given that I am in a cutting phase right now.

So… shall be interesting for me to see what I experience.

Also, it may interest any men who may be having difficult conceiving a child, that a study published in 2010 demonstrated that Ashwagandha improved sperm count and motility, and also significantly increased serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone in infertile subjects.

Now, I am not saying this herb can work wonders, but it is relatively cheap, and is safe and effective, even at high doses, according to the papers I’ve read — so, it can’t hurt to try, right?

Granted, I am not a doctor, so certainly consult with a medical professional before use — this video is not intended to replace professional medical diagnosis or treatment.

Anyhow… I hope you’ve all found this informative! Maybe I’ve even given you some ideas. If so, please share this blog post.

And with that, I bid you all adieu.

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