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Best Time to Take Ashwagandha: Morning or Night?

by Jason | May 28, 2024

Feeling stressed, tired, or just plain…blah (a highly-technical medical term)? You’re not alone. Ashwagandha, an ancient root used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine, might be the natural solution you’ve been searching for. It’s been shown to help people relax  and sleep better, but it’s also (ironically) been shown to boost energy.

Knowing when to take ashwagandha is key to unlocking its full potential. And the “when” is somewhat going to depend on you. So let’s chat about the best times to take it for your specific needs, in order to get the most out of this amazing herb.

Best Time of Day to Take Different Forms of Ashwagandha

You’re not a robot. You can’t just put ashwagandha in and get a benefit out. Your physiology is nuanced, and every person is different. Ashwagandha also isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of herb. Add to that the fact that it comes in several varieties, and knowing “when” can become a bit complicated. Most people take it either in the morning, or later in the evening, before bed. Let’s look at each form, and the timing needed for specific benefits.

1. Capsules/Tablets

Capsules and tablets are typically how people consume ashwagandha, for numerous reasons: they tend to be cheaper than other forms, they’re far more convenient (it’s easier to pop a pill in your mouth when you’re on the go than it is to try and use a liquid and a dropper), and it’s, frankly, how most of us are used to taking supplements. But when’s the best time to take it? This is where it depends on your physiology. 

Morning: Starting your day with an Ashwagandha capsule is like giving your mind and body a gentle nudge towards calm and focus. It can help set the tone for a less stressful day and may even give you a bit of an energy lift, similar to a cup of coffee (but without the caffeine jitters).

Evening: If falling asleep is a nightly struggle because you just can’t seem to shut off your brain, consider taking Ashwagandha a few hours before bedtime. Early studies indicate that ashwagandha can lower cortisol (a stress chemical) levels. This potential calming property can help you unwind, relax your muscles, and prepare for a deeper sleep. For an extra dose of tranquility, try pairing it with a warm bath or a good book.

2. Powder

Ashwagandha powder might not be the tastiest thing on its own (it’s been described by some as “earthy and bitter”), but it’s a powerhouse when mixed into smoothies, warm milk, or even baked goods. Hmmmm … not sure if we’d like it, but we’re willing to try an ashwagandha-blueberry muffin.

Morning: Adding a spoonful to your morning smoothie can be a great way to set yourself up for a less stressful day. The powder blends well with fruits, veggies, and yogurt, making it a seamless addition to your breakfast routine.

Evening: A warm cup of moon milk is a delicious way to unwind before bed, since the milk provides additional soothing benefits, as well. 

3. Liquid Extract

Not a fan of pills or powder? Ashwagandha liquid extract might be your speed. A few drops under the tongue, mixed into a drink, or even added to a meal can offer the same benefits as other forms, often with faster absorption.  

Morning: If you’re looking for a quick way to de-stress before a busy day, a few drops can be a lifesaver. It can help you feel more centered and focused before diving into your to-do list.

Evening: As with other forms, taking an extract in the evening can calm your mind, giving you a more restful sleep. Experiment with taking it a few hours before bed to find what works best for your body.

4. Tea

If you’re a tea drinker, ashwagandha tea makes for a nice alternative to your typical brew. Available in a tea bag or loose leaf, you can fix it however you want (we recommend a spoonful of honey), get the enjoyment of drinking tea, PLUS get the added benefits of ashwagandha. 

Evening: The warmth and aroma of ashwagandha tea make it perfect for a pre-bedtime wind-down. Sip it slowly and savor the moment as you let go of the day’s stress. You can even blend it with other relaxing herbs, like chamomile or lavender, for an extra calming effect.

5. Gummies

Who doesn’t like gummy bears? For more than 100 years, this sweet treat has been a staple for most households. Well, nutrition companies took notice of this and began selling vitamins in gummy form in the mid-1990s. Now, we can find all kinds of varieties, including ashwagandha. Ashwagandha gummies are a delicious and convenient option for those who prefer a sweet treat that even has some nutritional value! 

Morning or Evening: Pop a couple in the morning or evening as a tasty way to manage stress and keep your energy levels up. Just be mindful of the sugar content, especially if you’re watching your intake.
We’ve looked at the fact that The best time to take ashwagandha can vary depending on the form you’re using and what benefits you’re hoping to gain. To make things easier, here’s a quick reference table to get you started (just be sure to check the instructions on your particular brand, because servings can vary slightly):

FormTime of DayRecommended Dosage
Capsule/TabletMorning/Evening1-3 capsules per day, depending on the brand (check product label)
PowderMorning/Evening¼-1 teaspoon mixed in 1 cup of water or milk, or blended into a smoothie
Liquid/TinctureMorning/EveningAs directed on the product label (roughly 2 oz.)
Tea Afternoon/Evening1 tea bag/cup, or 1-2 teaspoons/cup
GummiesMorning/EveningAs directed on product label (typically 2 per day)

How Long Should I Use Ashwagandha?

Unlike that energy drink you chugged at 2 p.m., Ashwagandha doesn’t give you an instant jolt followed by a crash. It’s more like a slow burn, working its magic gradually over time. But how long does it stick around, and is it safe to use long-term?

As with most herbal supplements, the answer isn’t as straightforward as we would like. Both the benefits and the adverse effects of ashwagandha are just now really being explored. We do know a few things, however. The first is that it can take days or weeks of consistent use before you really begin to notice the benefits. We also know very little about taking it long-term (longer than three months), so most medical professionals would discourage that.

Remember, though, that there isn’t a large amount of evidence on this yet. The best way to gauge how long Ashwagandha stays in your system is to pay attention to how you feel after taking it. In fact, when getting started, we highly recommend small doses at first. If your tablet directions tell you to take it three times a day, try it just once a day first, to see if you have adverse effects. Start with a lower dose, and gradually increase it over the course of the next few weeks, being mindful of how you feel.

Can You Take Ashwagandha at Night?

This is a big question for many people, and the answer is (usually) a resounding YES, Even though ashwagandha can give you an energy boost, it does so by reducing cortisol, the stress hormone that can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle. By calming your nervous system and promoting relaxation, Ashwagandha can help you fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly, and wake up feeling refreshed (which, consequently, will help your energy levels throughout the day).

Should you Take Ashwagandha in the Morning?

While Ashwagandha is often associated with sleep, it can also be a great way to kickstart your day. Think of it as a natural way to get your engine running smoothly. Plus, as we noted above, if you’re using it to reduce stress so you can sleep better, you’ll naturally have more energy. Taking Ashwagandha in the morning can help you manage stress throughout the day, improve focus and concentration, and even enhance your mood. It’s like a dose of sunshine for your mind and body.

When Should you Avoid Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is generally safe for most people, but there are a few situations where you might want to proceed with caution (or avoid it altogether):

If you experience any unusual side effects after taking Ashwagandha, stop using it and consult with a healthcare professional.

Also Read: Shelf Life of Ashwagandha: Can it Expire?

Final Words

The best time to take Ashwagandha really boils down to your individual goals and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a mentally-uncluttered start to your day or better sleep at night, ashwagandha can be a game-changer. Experiment with different times and forms to find what works best for you. And remember, consistency is key! Give it a few weeks to work its magic.

Now, go forth and conquer your day (or night) with the power of ashwagandha! And if you have any questions or want to share your ashwagandha experiences, drop us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

Jason