Next Article in Journal
Feedback-Based Treatments for Eating Disorders and Related Symptoms: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Previous Article in Journal
The Effect of Small Doses of Fructose and Its Epimers on Glycemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Feeding Trials
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1807;

Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Withania somnifera on Strength Training Adaptations and Recovery: The STAR Trial

The Center for Applied Health Sciences, 4302 Allen Road, Suite 120, Stow, OH 44224, USA
Exercise and Performance Nutrition Laboratory, School of Health Sciences, Lindenwood University, 209 S. Kingshighway, St. Charles, MO 63301, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [698 KB, uploaded 20 November 2018]   |  


Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is an Ayurvedic herb categorized as having “rasayana” (rejuvenator), longevity, and revitalizing properties. Sensoril® is a standardized aqueous extract of the roots and leaves of Withania somnifera. Purpose: To examine the impact of Sensoril® supplementation on strength training adaptations. Methods: Recreationally active men (26.5 ± 6.4 years, 181 ± 6.8 cm, 86.9 ± 12.5 kg, 24.5 ± 6.6% fat) were randomized in a double-blind fashion to placebo (PLA, n = 19) or 500 mg/d Sensoril® (S500, n = 19). Body composition (DEXA), muscular strength, power, and endurance, 7.5 km cycling time trial, and clinical blood chemistries were measured at baseline and after 12 weeks of supplementation and training. Subjects were required to maintain their normal dietary habits and to follow a specific, progressive overload resistance-training program (4-day/week, upper body/lower body split). 2 × 2 mixed factorial ANOVA was used for analysis and statistical significance was set a priori at p ≤ 0.05. Results: Gains in 1-RM squat (S500: +19.1 ± 13.0 kg vs. PLA +10.0 ± 6.2 kg, p = 0.009) and bench press (S500: +12.8 ± 8.2 kg vs. PLA: +8.0 ± 6.0 kg, p = 0.048) were significantly greater in S500. Changes in DEXA-derived android/gynoid ratio (S500: +0.0 ± 0.14 vs. PLA: +0.09 ± 0.1, p = 0.03) also favored S500. No other between-group differences were found for body composition, visual analog scales for recovery and affect, or systemic hemodynamics, however, only the S500 group experienced statistically significant improvements in average squat power, peak bench press power, 7.5 km time trial performance, and perceived recovery scores. Clinical chemistry analysis indicated a slight polycythemia effect in PLA, with no other statistical or clinically relevant changes being noted. Conclusions: A 500 mg dose of an aqueous extract of Ashwagandha improves upper and lower-body strength, supports a favorable distribution of body mass, and was well tolerated clinically in recreationally active men over a 12-week resistance training and supplementation period. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ashwaganhda; Ayurvedic; resistance training; exercise; placebo; strength; DEXA Ashwaganhda; Ayurvedic; resistance training; exercise; placebo; strength; DEXA

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ziegenfuss, T.N.; Kedia, A.W.; Sandrock, J.E.; Raub, B.J.; Kerksick, C.M.; Lopez, H.L. Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Withania somnifera on Strength Training Adaptations and Recovery: The STAR Trial. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1807.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top