What is Shilajit & Where Does it Come From?
Shilajit is a tar-like substance that is found in the mountains of India, Nepal, Tibet, and other parts of Asia. It is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Indian system of medicine, to improve overall health and wellness. It is typically made from the decomposition of plants that have been compressed by layers of rock over millions of years. Shilajit is rich in minerals, including fulvic acid, which is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also believed to contain a variety of other beneficial compounds, including amino acids, vitamins, and other organic acids.
Celebrities That Praise The Use of Shilajit
In the last few years, more and more celebrities have been noted as Shilajit users including Gweneth Paltrow, Rooney Mara, Zoe Kravitz, Rachel McAdams and the Simpson's Matt Groening. More recently however, the interest in Shilajit has spiked even further when the podcast king Joe Rogan touted the benefits of Shilajit, as did the owner of Twitter, CEO of Tesla and one of the world's richest men Elon Musk.
Shilajit: Boosting Testosterone Levels
Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men, playing a role in muscle growth, bone density, and overall energy levels. Low testosterone levels can lead to a variety of health problems, such as decreased libido, muscle loss, and even depression.
Studies have shown that Shilajit when taken regularly, may help to increase testosterone levels in men.
In one scientific trial, which had male volunteers between the ages of 45 and 55, half received a placebo, and the other half received a dose of purified Shilajit where 250mg was taken twice daily. The study discovered that those getting purified Shilajit had considerably higher free testosterone levels than those receiving a placebo after 90 consecutive days.
Shilajit also appears to be a supplement that may help with male infertility.
In a further study, Shilajit was given to 60 infertile men twice daily for 90 days after meals. The results showed that over 60% of the trial subjects displayed an increase in total sperm count at the end of the 90-day period. Sperm motility increased in over 12% of people (sperm motility, a crucial component of fertility, is the ability of the sperm to move sufficiently).
Shilajit: The Natural Muscle Builder
Shilajit is used to promote muscle growth and strength by many gymgoers, and yes this is why bodybuilders use it.
There are studies to support this thesis, these studies suggest it may have beneficial effects on muscle hypertrophy.
One study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2010, found that Shilajit helped to improve physical performance and reduce muscle damage in rats. The study suggests that Shilajit may have an anabolic effect on muscle tissue, which could potentially lead to increased muscle mass.
Another study, published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine in 2012, found that men who took Shilajit for 90 days had a significant increase in muscle mass and strength compared to a placebo group.
Shilajit for Workout Recovery: The Natural Solution for Improved Performance and Reduced Soreness
Shilajit is believed to have potential benefits for workout recovery. The minerals present in Shilajit are known to be beneficial for muscle recovery and repair, which can be especially helpful for those who engage in regular intense physical activity. In a non-human study, it has been found that Shilajit helped to improve physical performance and reduce muscle damage in rats.
The study suggests that Shilajit may have an anabolic effect on muscle tissue, which could potentially lead to improved muscle recovery after intense physical activity or gym workouts. An additional study found that men who took Shilajit had a significant reduction in muscle soreness and inflammation compared to a placebo group.
Who Should Take Shilajit
Shilajit is suitable for healthy men and women who are seeking to support their overall health and wellness or those seeking support for exercise performance and sexual well-being. Shilajit may be of particular benefit to Athletes seeking to boost performance.
People with pre-existing health concerns or conditions should consult a healthcare professional prior to supplementing with Shilajit. One should always read and follow the manufacturer's label safety warnings.
When to Take Shilajit
As it is however a safer natural type supplement Shilajit may be taken at any time of the day or evening. In general, it is suggested by many manufacturers to take Shilajit on an empty stomach, 20-30 minutes before a meal & usually taken once or twice a day.
Users that are taking Shilajit for the benefits of increasing strength, improving exercise performance or for muscle hypertrophy. Taking Shilajit 60 minutes prior to a workout may be optimal. Importantly Shilajit should be taken on workout and non-workout days.
How to Take Shilajit: The Best Dose
A daily dose of quality Shilajit between 300mg and 500mg, based on previous studies, appears optimal. As Shilajit comes in various forms including capsules, resin, liquids & powders, one should follow the manufacturer's label instructions.
How Long to Notice Shilajit Benefits
The length of time it takes to notice the benefits of Shilajit can vary depending on the Shilajit quality, the individual and the intended use. Some people may notice benefits within a few days of starting to take it, while others may need to take it for several weeks or even months before noticing any effects.
For the purposes of increasing testosterone, improving libido & supporting strength from gym training, we would say the majority of users notice benefits within 14 days.
It's important to note that the effects of Shilajit are cumulative, meaning that the benefits build up over time. As such it's best to take it daily for at least several weeks to see the benefits.
Does Shilajit Have Potential Side Effects
Shilajit is generally considered safe for healthy people when used in appropriate doses. However, like any supplement, it can have some side effects. The most common temporary side effects of Shilajit may include:
- Stomach upset
In rare cases, Shilajit can also cause allergic reactions. This however would be most uncommon.
It's important to follow the instructions on the label of the product you are using & if you have concerns, consult with a healthcare professional for a personalised recommendation.
Summing Up Shilajit
Shilajit is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy that has been used for centuries to improve overall health and wellness. Recently, it has gained popularity due to social media coverage for its potential to boost testosterone levels, build muscle mass, and aid recovery in men. Studies have shown that Shilajit may help increase testosterone levels and improve male fertility, while also promoting muscle growth and strength, and aiding workout recovery. Shilajit is generally considered safe for healthy individuals. The benefits of Shilajit are cumulative and may take several weeks or even months for them to be optimal. Shilajit may provide a natural and safe option for those looking to support overall health and wellness, exercise performance, and sexual well-being.
- 2016 Jun;48(5):570-5. doi: 10.1111/and.12482. Epub 2015 Sep 22. Clinical evaluation of purified Shilajit on testosterone levels in healthy volunteers S Pandit, S Biswas, U Jana, R K De, S C Mukhopadhyay, T K Biswas
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology Dinesh Kumar Surapanenia Sree Rama Shiva Shanker Adapaa Kumari Preetia Gangineni Ravi Tejaa Muruganandam Veeraragavanb Sairam Krishnamurthy Volume 143, Issue 1, 30 August 2012, Pages 91-99 Shilajit attenuates behavioral symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome by modulating the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and mitochondrial bioenergetics in rats
- 2010 Feb;42(1):48-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2009.00956.x. Clinical evaluation of spermatogenic activity of processed Shilajit in oligospermia T K Biswas 1 , S Pandit, S Mondal, S K Biswas, U Jana, T Ghosh, P C Tripathi, P K Debnath, R G Auddy, B Auddy