Tongkat Ali for Muscle Growth
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Tongkat ali is best known as a traditional herbal medicine for increasing sexual performance. But there has been a growing interest in the use of tongkat ali for muscle growth and development over recent years, especially in the athletes and sports community. Some modern scientific research has also substantiated its ergogenic effects on humans as well. But how does it work? Keep reading to explore the reasons.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the benefits of tongkat ali for muscle growth according to scientific evidence. But before we get into how tongkat ali can benefit muscle health, it’s worth learning the basics of tongkat ali a little bit more. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is tongkat ali?
- Tongkat ali: compounds and properties
- Benefits of tongkat ali for muscle growth
- How to use tongkat ali supplements
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is tongkat ali?
Tongkat ali refers to a shrub tree species botanically called Eurycoma longifolia which is endemic to South East Asia. The roots of the plant have been used in traditional and folk medicines in several Asian countries, especially Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and China for thousands of years to treat a range of health conditions including malaria, erectile dysfunction, infertility, infections, and fevers among others.
The tongkat ali plant goes by many other names as well such as longjack, tung sawa, pasak bumi, Malaysian ginseng, and more. Today, the extract derived from the root of the plant is widely used to make dietary supplements that are commonly available as capsules, pills, and herbal drinks.
Tongkat ali: compounds and properties
Tongkat ali has been shown to contain various biologically active compounds such as flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, triterpenes, phenolics, and tannins. It’s also a rich source of various quassinoids such as eurycomalactone, eurycolactone, eurycomaoside, eurycomanone, and eurycomanol, all of which have been found to be effective to produce several remedial activities including increasing muscle strength, reducing anxiety, and enhancing cycling time, and more.
Moreover, tongkat ali and the active compounds it contains have been shown to have tremendous antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antimalarial properties that support human health in many different ways including promoting antiaging, sexuality, and fertility. In other words, tongkat ali can improve nearly every function within the body.
Benefits of tongkat ali for muscle growth
Studies suggest that a healthy level of testosterone is crucial for the promotion of muscle growth in both men and women because it has been found to be the major modulator of muscle mass in the human body. In muscles, it has an anabolic effect and an anti-catabolic effect that stimulates protein synthesis and inhibits protein degradation respectively. These combined effects on muscles hugely help the promotion of muscle growth in the body.
Tongkat ali has a significant amount of evidence that it can boost testosterone levels in the body. Multiple research studies and clinical trials have shown that tongkat ali supplementation can help enhance various types of testosterone in the body, including:
- Free testosterone (the most usable form within the body)
- Total testosterone
- DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone
- DHT or dihydrotestosterone
For this reason, the use of tongkat ali for muscle growth could be highly beneficial, especially for those who want to increase their physical function and sports performance. Today, now it’s scientifically official that tongkat ali can cause muscle growth in humans.
A 2003 pilot study investigating “the ergogenic effects of Eurycoma longifolia jack” published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that supplementation of a water-soluble extract of tongkat ali herb causes significant muscle growth by increasing fat-free muscle mass, enhancing muscle size, and strength, and reducing body fat and thereby, may have an ergogenic effect on physical performance.
How to use tongkat ali supplements
There’s no established supplementation dose of tongkat ali for muscle growth so far. However, in most studies, doses ranging from 100 mg to 400 mg are commonly used. But higher doses may be required particularly for the growth and development of muscles and increasing physical function and sports performance. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a licensed naturopathic healthcare practitioner prior to taking tongkat ali oral supplements
Precautions and side effects
Tongkat ali is generally considered safe and well-tolerable in recommended doses. Higher doses may produce side effects such as nausea, headache, vomiting, dizziness, increased heart rate, restlessness, hypertension, and insomnia.
Besides, some tongkat ali supplements contain high amounts of mercury that might lead to mercury or lead poisoning. Finally, tongkat ali may interact with certain medications, especially those that are broken down by the liver.
Therefore, it’s highly important to seek the direct supervision of a licensed naturopathic doctor or healthcare provider when considering taking tongkat ali for muscle growth or any reason, especially if you’re on medications for any underlying health problem, or pregnant, or breastfeeding women.
Tongkat ali has been shown to have several bioactive compounds that can help the human body in many different ways. It can help increase and maintain testosterone levels. Testosterone plays an important role in promoting muscle growth and development.
Therefore, the use of tongkat ali for muscle growth and development could be helpful in increasing fat-free muscle mass, enhancing muscle size and strength, and reducing fats, which is vital for optimal physical function. Since higher doses of tongkat ali are linked to various detrimental effects on the body, it’s essential to take this supplement under direct medical supervision only.