What is a testosterone booster?
Testosterone boosters are over-the-counter dietary supplements and sports supplements that are touted as safe for raising sex hormones. Manufacturers of such drugs “promise” that the effect of taking boosters will be comparable to the effect of taking anabolic steroids - starting from increasing testosterone and libido, ending with rapid muscle growth .
The most popular ingredient in boosters is an extract of the tribulus terrestris plant, known as gokshura or Tribulus terrestris. This plant has been used in Indian folk medicine for many centuries - ancient doctors believed that tribulus is able to rejuvenate a man’s body, work as an aphrodisiac and positively affect the reproductive system.
Tribulus: use in traditional medicine
According to the treatises of Indian Ayurveda, tribulus enhances kidney function, being a mild diuretic and an effective treatment for diseases of the genitourinary tract. It is also believed that in the form of milk broth, the powder of this herb has a strong aphroditic effect (especially when combined with ghee ghee and ashwagandha powder ) (1) .
Tribulus (under the name "gokshura") is considered one of the main anti-aging herbs of Ayurveda. Such plants not only restore the body and mind, but also inhibit the aging of tissues and prevent their premature decrepitude. The main action of the tribulus is aimed at maintaining the optimal functions of various organs and at balancing the energy balance of the body.
Despite the fact that the tribulus is actively advertised as a booster and a means to increase testosterone, scientific data do not confirm this at all. So far, four full-scale studies have been conducted, none of which have revealed a statistically significant effect of tribulus on the level of testosterone or other male hormones.
In fact, there is only one reliable study that has shown a positive effect of this supplement on the overall libido level with regular use (2) . It should be noted that it is precisely about such effects that Ayurveda says, recommending tribulus (gokshuru) as a means for complex rejuvenation of the body of a man, and not at all as an analogue of Viagra.
Reviews on the effects of supplements on testosterone
According to the reviews of athletes who took tribulus terrestris before training, they noted an increase in strength indicators in key exercises - which, in the end, had a positive effect on muscle gain. However, we note that there is simply no scientific evidence for such reviews.
In addition, tribulus gained fame as a natural antidepressant - thanks to this quality (and not at all in the form of a testosterone booster), “sports pharmacologists” recommend its use at the end of a cycle of full-fledged anabolics . Interestingly, this statement is indeed confirmed by scientific research (3) .
Tribulus: dangers and side effects
Among the most common side effects that occur when taking a tribulus, athletes most often note a slight increase in body temperature, accelerated heartbeat, moderate sleep problems (especially when taking the supplement in the afternoon), as well as a feeling of imbalance and slight dizziness.
This supplement is not recommended for diabetics (since it lowers blood sugar), as well as for those preparing for surgery. Separately, we note that since tribulus is not officially a drug, this list of side effects and contraindications is not final (4) .
Dosage and route of administration
As an anti-aging tonic, Ayurveda recommends a 1-2 month course of daily use of gokshura powder (tribulus) in an amount of 250 mg to 1000 mg early in the morning, 30-40 minutes before meals. The powder is taken either in the form of a milk broth with ghee butter and unrefined sugar, or simply added to 100 ml of warm milk (1) .
In modern scientific sources, it is most often recommended to take the terrestris tribulus in the same dosage - about 5 mg per kg of body weight or 350-400 mg per day for an athlete weighing 75-80 kg (2) . At the same time, we note that most boosters and dietary supplements containing tribulus have an extremely small dosage of the substance per capsule - usually about 50-70 mg.
Is tribulus prohibited in Russia?
On the one hand, under the name "Tribulus terrestris" the additive is included in the list of plants containing potent, narcotic or toxic substances - which, in theory, prohibits the sale of any dietary supplements containing tribulus on the territory of the Russian Federation. However, in reality, this prohibition is most often ignored.
On the other hand, under the name "gokshura" or "shvadamstra", the supplement is often found in specialized Ayurvedic stores. In Europe, tribulus terrestris can be bought in almost any such store, and the price of 100 g of a package will be about 10 euros - while in Russia a tribulus in capsules can cost tens of times more.
Tribulus Terrestris, touted as a testosterone booster, is one of the key plants in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian teaching on health. Under the name "gokshura", it has been considered an anti-aging agent for men and a drug for improving kidney function for centuries. At the same time, scientific studies have not revealed any effect of tribulus on testosterone levels.
- V. Lad, D. Frawley “Herb Yoga - Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices”, p. 190
- Examine.com: Tribulus terrestris, source
- Effect of tribulus terrestris saponins on behavior and neuroendocrine in chronic mild stress depression rats, source
- Clinical study of Tribulus terrestris Linn. in Oligozoospermia, source
- Tribulus: Side Effects & Safety, source