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Ashwagandha Root May Help Improve Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. The root, leaf, and berry are used to make traditional medicines. A new study suggests that supplementation with ashwagandha root may help improve cardiorespiratory endurance and quality of life in athletes. 

Fifty healthy, athletic adults participated in the study. They were given 600 mg of ashwagandha root or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. Cardiorespiratory fitness was evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period. Stress management was measured using Total Quality Recovery Scores, Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes, and Daily Analysis of Life Demands for Athletes. 

 Participants in the ashwagandha root group saw a statistically significant increase in cardiorespiratory fitness, which went from 40.22 ml/kg/min to 46.82 ml/kg/min. In comparison, cardiorespiratory fitness went from 40.63 ml/kg/min to 42.66 ml/kg/min in the placebo group. The ashwagandha group also saw significant improvements in Total Quality Recovery Scores and the Daily Analysis of Life Demands for Athletes questionnaire. 

In addition, participants in the ashwagandha group increased improvements in the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes, especially in the areas of fatigue recovery, lack of energy, and fitness analysis. 

The study was conducted by researchers from the M V Hospital and Research Center. It was published online ahead of print on February 15, 2021 in The Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

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