Currently, the supplement industry is thriving. Each and every single year, the industry, valued at close to $220 billion as of this writing, generates billions in profits, and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. There are all kinds of weird and wonderful supplements out there which are designed to address all manner of various aspects of health and wellbeing. The bodybuilding and fitness industries in particular, are large consumers of supplements. For muscle growth and repair, supplements such as whey protein, creatine, and BCAAs instantly spring to mind.
There’s another, however, that people often overlook when trying to build muscle by boosting testosterone levels naturally, and that product in question is Tribulus Terrestris. This natural herb is a very potent adaptogen that has been clinically proven to elevate testosterone levels naturally. It’s therefore very popular in the fitness community. It’s also a very powerful aphrodisiac, which we’ll be learning more about a little later on as well. If you’re looking to add a new supplement to your stack, Tribulus terrestris could be ideal. Here’s an expert guide to using this supplement.
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What is Tribulus Terrestris?
By many, Tribulus Terrestris is considered nothing more than a pesky and invasive weed found in the wild. It is a natural herb that has been a key ingredient in natural holistic medicine for many centuries now. Used to treat a whole variety of ailments, including kidney stones and erectile dysfunction, Tribulus is now a hugely popular supplement in the bodybuilding industry.
Native to many different parts of the world – particularly Asia, Tribulus thrives in warm and predominantly dry climates. It is found where many other species of plant struggle to survive. As you probably know, plants generally need water to survive, yet Tribulus Terrestris tends to do well in parts of the world where rainfall is less common and less frequent.
Also known as puncture vine, bindii, and Goathead weed, Tribulus is small in size but powerful in effects. It is a small flowering plant that, when pollinated, produces fruit which is comprised of 5 very small and spiky nutlets. The spikes/thorns on the fruit are very sharp, and if touched, could cause injury. You remember how we said that Tribulus is also known as Goathead weed? Well, the reason for that is because the fruit tends to resemble that of a Goat’s head, or a Bull’s head, thanks to the spiky thorns which resemble the horns.
Tribulus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurvedic Medicine for hundreds upon hundreds of years, yet these days it is primarily know as a powerful natural testosterone booster. It is therefore marketed either as a sexual health supplement, or a bodybuilding supplement. It does, however, offer many other useful health benefits, and we’ll be looking at those a little later on.
Why is testosterone important for building muscle?
In the world of bodybuilding, testosterone is considered the Grand Daddy of the hormone world. It’s no secret that bodybuilders have been known to use anabolic androgenic steroids, but did you know that each and every single steroid is derived from testosterone and is basically a synthetic version of testosterone? Hell, bodybuilders even inject various forms of testosterone into their bodies as part of a steroid cycle, and they enjoy some freaky gains as a result.
Testosterone enanthate, testosterone propionate, and testosterone cypionate are just three popular examples of what we mean. But what about for men who have no intentions of using steroids? Are their natural testosterone reserves enough to get them big and jacked? Well, the answer is probably no.
You see, testosterone is the dominant male sexual health hormone found within the human body. it is responsible for sexual health and characteristics such as hair growth, masculinity, deepness of the voice, energy, aggression, muscle strength, muscle size, recovery, athletic performance, mood, fat loss, libido, fertility, and much more besides. The higher a man’s testosterone levels, generally the healthier he will be. Generally, we want to ensure our testosterone levels are as high as possible as there are all kinds of health benefits associated with elevated test levels.
When we’re in our teens, we go through puberty, and our testosterone levels spike crazily out of control. It’s why young boys suddenly transform into men over the summer. Their voices deepen, their testicles drop, they grow bigger, they normally break out in spots, they grow stronger, they experience mood swings, and they transform into horny deviants with sex drives that are out of control.
As men grow older however, testosterone levels tend to stabilize in the twenties, yet by the time a man reaches thirty, his test levels have peaked, and they begin to decline. From 30, instead of going up, testosterone levels go down. Each year a man’s testosterone levels drop more and more. It’s why the older a man gets, the harder he finds it to naturally build muscle and burn fat. It’s also why most older men do not have the same sex drive or libido as they had when they were in their teens and early twenties. Life can be cruel and unfair like that. Rather than wallowing in self-pity however, there are natural ways of increasing your testosterone, and Tribulus Terrestris has been found to be particularly effective.
How does testosterone work?
Before we start telling you more about this fantastic natural herb that bodybuilders swear by, we first need to understand how testosterone works to get us big and jacked in the first place. Testosterone is an androgenic sex hormone that is produced by both men and women. In men, concentrations are far higher, which is why men are generally bigger and stronger than women.
Now, before you jump on the chauvinism bandwagon, that isn’t a generalization, it’s a proven medical scientific fact, so don’t get mad at us, get mad at science. Damn you, science! Anyways, we digress. Typically, an average adult male will synthesize and secrete anything from 5 – 10 milligrams of testosterone each day. Testosterone levels fluctuate as the day goes by.
For men, testosterone levels are highest in the morning. This is why a man is at his most fertile at around 7AM in the morning. As the day goes by, normally they decline although in response to certain stimuli, I.E exercise, arousal, and supplementation, they can spike up and down. In order for testosterone to be produced however, a hormone known as GnRH or Gonadotrophin-Releasing Hormone must be present. This hormone is released every 1 – 3 hours on average.
That’s all well and good, but what about, you know, getting jacked? Well, testosterone is able to passively enter cells where it then binds to androgen receptors. When this occurs, it basically reprograms the receptors and tells them to increase the rates in which they carry out protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is a natural process whereby the body generates brand new muscle protein tissues. The more you generate, the more muscle mass you will carry on your frame. The hormone also helps to boost Insulin-Like Growth Factor, or IGF-1, which also has a very anabolic effect on the body.
Key benefits of Tribulus Terrestris
So, now that we know a little more about testosterone and what this fantastic little herb is, we’ll now take a look at some of the primary benefits associated with Tribulus Terrestris. Some of the main health, fitness, and wellness benefits associated with Tribulus include:
– Boosts libido
As we’ve mentioned a few times in this article, Tribulus is a natural herb that has been found to significantly boost libido, in both men and women as it goes. It is often marketed as a sexual health supplement and if you can’t find it in the fitness section of the local supplement store, you’ll likely find it in the sexual health section.
In men, testosterone plays a key role in libido and sex drive. It’s why middle-aged men are far less interested in sex than horny teenagers who have not long gone through puberty. The more testosterone you have in your system, the more interested in sex you will become. As testosterone levels decline as we grow older, so too does our interest in sex to a certain degree. A low libido can put a strain on marriages and relationships, plus it can hinder a man’s self-confidence and performance in the bedroom.
If you’re dealing with a low sex drive however, Tribulus Terrestris is a very effective supplement to consider. Studies have found that Tribulus Terrestris, when administered in a variety of different dosages, can help to significantly increase a man’s libido and sex drive. Dosages between 750mg and 1500mg per day have both been found to improve sexual function, boost sex drive/libido, and even increase levels of satisfaction from sex.
– Naturally boosts testosterone
You probably were already aware of this benefit, but as it’s so important we’re going to go over it again just to make sure. Tribulus Terrestris is indeed a very effective natural testosterone booster that has been proven to work in a number of clinical studies conducted over the years. Optimal doses appear to be between 750mg per day and 1500mg per day. Now, as we believe in transparency we’re not going to sit here and talk about how this herb is basically a legal, healthy, and natural anabolic steroid that grows in the wild because it’s not.
Supplementing with Tribulus is not going to cause you to pack on 30 pounds of solid muscle in a few weeks. If you use it alongside a healthy diet, a smart training regime, and stack it with other effective supplements, it will however, help you to add muscle mass to your frame, to lose fat at a faster rate, and to help boost your strength and power. We can’t say for certain by how much it will boost your testosterone because each person is different. If you do indeed use it as part of a healthy lifestyle which includes plenty of resistance training however, your testosterone levels will indeed noticeably increase.
– Increased muscle mass
First off, if you expect to take Tribulus and then wake up the next day jacked out of your mind and ripped to shreds, you’re going to be very disappointed. Tribulus does indeed help to increase lean muscle mass. However, you need to use it in conjunction with a healthy diet, and plenty of training. Testosterone in the body binds to androgen receptors, which in turn then increase the rates in which protein synthesis is carried out. This means that the body then generates more muscle protein tissue, so you get bigger and stronger.
As Tribulus boosts testosterone, the more test you produce, the more muscle mass you can potentially build. You still need to work hard in the gym, eat right, and follow an effective training routine. If you do however, supplementing with Tribulus will certainly help to increase your lean muscle mass.
– Reduced blood pressure
This is a refreshing change because usually, supplements that are designed to help you to increase your muscle mass are normally the ones which cause your blood pressure to increase. Medical research, however, has found that Tribulus Terrestris will actually cause your blood pressure to drop. High blood pressure is scientifically known as hypertension, though medical experts unofficially refer to it as the ‘silent killer’. The reason for this is because it can kill, yet it is incredibly difficult to diagnose as, other than having your blood pressure taken, there are very few symptoms to watch out for.
Hypertension can cause damage to the arteries and blood vessels, it can lead to organ damage, stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and much more besides. According to medical research however, Tribulus can actually reduce blood pressure quite noticeably. In a study conducted on 75 individuals all diagnosed with hypertension, just 3 grams of Tribulus per day for 4 weeks was sufficient enough to reduce their blood pressure by 9%. Not only that, but it also reduced their heart rate as well. This, therefore, makes the supplement very effective for cardiovascular health and well-being.
– Lowers LDL cholesterol
In the body, we have two individual types of cholesterol. We have Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and we have High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. One of these is very dangerous for us, whilst the other is very healthy. LDL is dangerous, whereas HDL is good for us.
LDL cholesterol is responsible for causing fatty build-ups and deposits in the arteries, which, overtime, can become blocked. When this occurs, circulation can be reduced, blood pressure will increase, and you are more susceptible to heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks.
HDL cholesterol helps to reduce LDL cholesterol in the body, which is why HDL is good for us. Put simply, if you have high LDL cholesterol levels, your health and indeed, your life, will be in danger. Yet another huge advantage of supplementing with Tribulus is the fact that it has been found to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol in both men and women, while seemingly promoting an increase in HDL cholesterol production.
As an added bonus, Tribulus has also been found to help protect the blood vessels from damage caused by LDL cholesterol. You see, when LDL cholesterol blocks the arteries, overtime the blockage calcifies and turns to plaque, which then causes a complete blockage and can lead to a heart attack, as well as blood clot. As the herb helps to promote arterial health as well, the benefits really begin to become more apparent.
– Helps promote fertility in men
For men hoping to start a family, low levels of fertility can potentially be devastating. It can put strains on relationships, it can harness feelings of bitterness and resentment, and it can affect a man’s self-esteem. Worldwide, around 12% of couples struggle with infertility. When it comes to infertility, poor sperm mobility and low sperm quality are some of the primary issues. If you’re a male that suffers from infertility, then Tribulus Terrestris is a supplement that is very effective.
Initially, it was found that the herb was very effective at increasing sperm cell counts in rats. As we aren’t rats however, that isn’t much help. Thankfully, Tribulus was also found to help increase sperm cell counts in men, to boost sperm mobility, and increase sperm cell quality. Just 250mg per day for 12 weeks has been clinically proven to help improve sperm quality and sperm counts in a variety of different men. If you’re worried about your fertility levels, Tribulus is very effective. As an added bonus, as it boosts your libido, you’ll also be at it like rabbits, so your chances of conceiving and starting a family will be greatly improved.
– Prevents kidney stones
If you cast your minds back way to the start of this article, you may remember how we spoke about the fact that Tribulus was effective when it came to treating kidney stones. When calcium oxalate in the body is allowed to accumulate, it crystalizes and forms kidney stones. These stones can then bind to cells in the kidneys and cause damage to them. Experts, however, have found that regular Tribulus Terrestris supplementation can prevent Calcium Oxalate from accumulating and clumping together to form said crystals.
Tribulus contains Quercetin and Kaempferol which have been found to reduce the activity of enzymes in the body responsible for the formation of Oxalate. It even acts as a diuretic and so it helps to flush kidney stones from the body more effectively. If you’ve ever suffered with kidney stones in the past, you’ll know just how painful they can be. If not, then think yourself lucky because passing a kidney stone can be excruciatingly painful.
When people think of anti-inflammatories, they think of painkillers such as Ibuprofen, or Turmeric supplements. However, a surprising health benefit of Tribulus is the fact that it is actually a very potent anti-inflammatory. It helps to ease inflammation all around the body, making it great for preventing headaches and for relieving sore and stiff joints and muscles. There is some research to suggest that the anti-inflammatory benefits may even help to alleviate inflammation internally, which could potentially help you to ward off life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Research is still ongoing, but so far things are looking very promising with this respect.
What kind of Tribulus Terrestris dosage is ideal for me?
Now we need to look at how you can maximize the effects of Tribulus to get the most from it. This is where it’s important to understand what type of dosage is right for you. We can’t sit here and tell you precisely how much Tribulus to take each day because we don’t know what you want to get from the supplement. If you want to simply reduce your blood pressure for example, you’ll need to consume far more than you would need to consume if you want to increase your muscle mass.
Dosages can vary drastically depending on what it is you want to get from the drug. As we’re looking at the bodybuilding/testosterone boosting benefits of Tribulus however, we’re going to stick with dosages which have been found to elicit the best results for people looking to get jacked. Per day, experts recommend between 750mg and 1500mg as being optimal for test boosting. The larger and more active you are, the closer to 1500mg per day you will ideally want to be.
Is Tribulus Terrestris worth it?
In short – Yes, it is. The herb isn’t anywhere near as powerful as an androgenic anabolic steroid, and anybody who tries to convince you otherwise is lying through their teeth. It is however, a very effective natural solution for people looking to boost their overall testosterone levels. As you can see, as well as boosting testosterone levels and helping bodybuilders to jump on the Gain-Train to Gainsville, it also promotes overall health and wellness in general.