Ashwagandha and rhodiola are both anxiolytic supplements. As such, people sometimes put them in the same bucket, but this can be a mistake. They have slightly different use cases, but their effects may also complement each other in some cases if taken together.
Ashwagandha vs Rhodiola: Which Is Better?
Rhodiola vs ashwagandha, which should you choose? Both are considered adaptogens but they have different purposes ー ashwagandha is a pure anxiolytic/depressant, while rhodiola has mixed stimulant and anxiolytic properties. It therefore depends on which effect you’re looking for.
Each supplement is better at a different time of day ー taken in the evening, ashwagandha will help you sleep. On the other hand, rhodiola would keep you awake if you took it too late in the day.
An easier way to understand rhodiola is that it produces a similar effect to low dose ashwagandha (or theanine) and low dose caffeine combined. Rhodiola helps with stress-induced fatigue, but more acutely than ashwagandha. It also gives you a little more energy physically and improves focus.
In contrast, ashwagandha can increase your energy level in the long run, but only by helping you sleep better ー there isn’t a direct stimulatory effect.
Ashwagandha, Rhodiola’s Synergistic Effects
Just like rhodiola, ashwagandha is anxiolytic. Rhodiola gives more energy acutely, whereas ashwagandha gives more energy chronically by helping you get a better night’s sleep. Neither is very stimulating in the way that caffeine is, though rhodiola could be likened to a very low dose of caffeine.
Since rhodiola is moderately stimulating and an anxiolytic, while ashwagandha is purely anxiolytic, the way to combine them would be to take Rhodiola rosea (300-500 mg) in the morning, and ashwagandha (200-300 mg) in the evening.
You could also divide the ashwagandha into afternoon and evening doses of 200 mg each. The afternoon dose will calm anxiety while the evening dose will act purely as a sleep aid.
Note that since you’re combining two supplements, you err on the side of dosing each one a bit lower than is typical when taking either one on its own.
You should limit your morning caffeine to one cup of coffee, both because the rhodiola is stimulating enough and caffeine increases anxiety.
Taking Rhodiola And Ashwagandha Together For Weight Loss
Should you take ashwagandha and rhodiola for weight loss? Both adaptogens can help you in weight loss, especially by reducing anxiety, which prevents stress eating. In fact, this has been demonstrated in ashwagandha, though not rhodiola. Ashwagandha also boosts thyroid activity, speeding up your metabolism.
Rhodiola provides energy with less sleep impairment than caffeine (though not none), so it’s good for fueling exercise, especially in the afternoon. Some caffeine earlier in the morning may be a good addition to this stack for an added energy and fat burning effect, particularly if you work out in the mornings.
If you work out later in the day, dividing your rhodiola into morning and afternoon doses of 200-300 mg each to provide energy for your workout may help ー it won’t impair your sleep as much as caffeine would, if at all.
It’s important to protect your sleep and never use stimulants to aid weight loss in a way that impairs sleep ー losing sleep does more harm than good over the long run.
The Best Ashwagandha And Rhodiola Products, Reviewed
You can buy ashwagandha and rhodiola separately or in “stack” products that combine them both along with other ingredients. Stacks tend to have a lower than normal dose of ashwagandha and an extremely low dose of rhodiola, which makes them good for afternoons or combined with caffeine in the mornings. You’ll need a pure rhodiola product if you want a decently high rhodiola rosea dosage.
Best Rhodiola, Ashwagandha Stack For Mornings
Nuven Naturals Adrenal Support stack has a pretty low (though not insignificant) rhodiola dosage, while the ashwagandha dosage is about right where you’d want it in the mornings. This stack is ideal if you want something that would go well with a morning cup of coffee. The other ingredients: holy basil, schisandra berry and magnolia bark, are also adaptogens which will help in reducing anxiety throughout the day.
Best Ashwagandha And Rhodiola Stack For Afternoons
This Humavit stack contains slightly more ashwagandha ー equivalent to 200 mg of the more typical 5% withanolides extract. The rhodiola dosage is so low it would be insignificant on its own though. However, a low rhodiola dosage makes this stack ideal for afternoon usage, assuming you took a higher dose of rhodiola in the morning and merely need a small boost to keep the effects going until evening.
The other adaptogens in this stack will also relieve anxiety and stress, while tyrosine will boost the stimulatory effects of rhodiola without extending its length, so as not to disrupt sleep.
Best Pure Ashwagandha Capsules For Evenings
Tribe Organics’ KSM-66 ashwagandha is best for relaxing in the evenings and getting a good night’s sleep. A serving contains 600 mg of ashwagandha with the standard 5% withanolide extract, which is really high. However, a serving is also two capsules, so you can just take half a serving (1 capsule) at a time unless you really need a higher dosage before bed.
Best Pure Rhodiola Rosea Capsules For Mornings
Solaray Super Rhodiola Root extract contains 500 mg of the standard extract, so it’s on the high side of our recommendation. This is perfect for a morning energy boost, especially if you’re not a caffeine drinker.
Looking to take rhodiola rosea on its own? Make sure to read our article on the best rhodiola supplements.
Editor’s note: we are regularly updating this review. If you see any problems, weird interpretations of the data, or just want to say hi, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.