Question: How does Tongkat Ali aim to support bodybuilders?

Answer: Through improved performance, endurance, sleep, and more.

Tongkat Ali For Men & Women

Scientifically known as eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat Ali is a flowering plant of the Simaroubaceae family. It is found in Southeast Asia and has been used in several cultures for centuries. 

Tongkat Ali is available in extract capsules, powdered form, or decoction. The dosage is measured in milligrams (mg) while the herbal supplement is available for both men and women.

Traditionally, Tongkat Ali has been used to treat infections, fevers, male infertility, and erectile dysfunction. It is also promoted as a potent aphrodisiac to boost libidos. However, its growing popularity has seen other proposed uses surface – not least for bodybuilders.

Tongkat Ali For BodyBuilders: The Active Compounds 

Tongkat Ali extracts come from the root of the plant and scientists have spent many years researching its active ingredients. The key compounds in relation to bodybuilding are;

  • Eurycomanone: responsible for supporting enhanced testosterone levels. 
  • Quassinoids: responsible for anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Triterpenes: responsible for antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering effects.

As an herbal supplement, Tongkat Ali is suitable for male and female bodybuilders of varying experience levels. It is also deemed safe and may be taken either alone or in conjunction with other supplements. However, high doses may cause damage to the individual’s gastrointestinal DNA or lead to complications like mercury poisoning depending on the exact product. 

Tongkat Ali For BodyBuilders: The Potential Benefits

Increased Performance Levels

Bodybuilders need to perform at very high levels in the gym. Improved physical performance is proposed as one of the main benefits of taking Tongkat Ali before a workout. The suggestion is that it is possible to lift heavier weights and reach a higher level of optimal performance, thus unlocking greater gains.

What the science says:

Tongkat Ali is shown to have a positive correlation with increased testosterone levels, with one clinical study showing increases of up to 582% increase in free testosterone (the testosterone that is actively available for the muscles) over a 24-week course. 

The eurycomaoside, eurycolactone, and eurycomanon compounds (quassinoids) may also improve how efficiently the body utilizes energy stores. This is due to increased adenosine triphosphate ATP production In turn, the athlete can transfer more energy to the muscles for weight lifting exercises, thus potentially increasing the maximum weight that the individual can handle. 

Another scientific study found that the herbal extract seems to boost muscle strength in active older participants, again highlighting an increase in free testosterone. It is thought that similar outcomes are seen in bodybuilding athletes.

Improved Endurance 

In addition to increased strength and optimal lifting performances, bodybuilders may begin taking Tongkat Ali supplements for their proposed endurance benefits. By improving the bodybuilder’s capabilities regarding the number of reps and sets that can be completed, sessions become more effective and body compositions become better. 

What the science says:

The herbal extract’s ergogenic effect has only undergone preliminary studies, but it is suggested that Tongkat Ali does reduce muscle fatigue and ultimately boost endurance during exercise. Some research has suggested that psychological impacts, such as its antianxiety attributes, may play a role in exercise performance levels too.

In direct relation to bodybuilding, Tongkat Ali has also been shown to display a positive influence on isokinetic power during resistance training without causing fatigue. The results include increased reps, resistance, and rewards.

Early suggestions show that increased doses and duration of exposure to daily Tongkat Ali supplements also boost the level of improvement. It can support general athletic performance but is particularly effective for bodybuilders, who spend long sessions in the gym and must avoid muscle fatigue that compromises form and the range of motion. 

Faster Muscle Growth

Muscle mass is the cornerstone of any successful bodybuilder’s strategy. The ergogenic properties of Tongkat Ali make it a supplement that is touted as offering many of the benefits that dangerous performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) provide. Boosted testosterone and energy utilization are cited as reasons for potential muscle growth. 

Faster Muscle Growth

What the science says:

Despite being associated with men, testosterone is the key building block for muscle growth in both sexes. One study has shown that men taking Tongkat Ali supplements in conjunction with a strength training program saw significant lean muscle mass improvements over a five-week cycle. 

Bodybuilders will respond well to the increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production levels, which supports lean muscle growth as well as muscle recovery. Protein synthesis and muscle cell proliferation both rely on HGH. Only small studies have been conducted, but the scientific thesis is backed by anecdotal evidence with many users citing Tongkat Ali as the most powerful natural muscle mass supplement available.

Research has also suggested that muscle mass grows by 4% in men looking to improve strength. This study focused on three training sessions and 100mg of the supplement. Therefore, it can be surmized that bodybuilders with increased consumption and dedicated training see even greater results.

Faster Fat Loss

Bodybuilding success isn’t defined solely by muscle growth. Fat loss is equally integral to creating the desired physique. Tongkat Ali is promoted as a supplement that may support fat loss due to a combination of increased metabolism, suppressed appetite, and improved caloric output in the gym. 

What the science says:

Thermogenic properties are central to many fat-loss pills, and they are present in Tongkat Ali supplements. As well as a powerful impact on obese people, generating weight loss of up to 20% in 24 weeks, the herbal solution may support bodybuilders by stripping fat alongside muscle growth.

Faster rates in metabolizing fat is supported by inhibited appetites, due to the active compounds found within Tongkat Ali. Bodybuilders on a controlled nutritional plan will inevitably yield better results.

Fat stores may be used more effectively while increased metabolic rates and reduced calorie intakes promote fat loss too. Evidence from long-term studies is lacking, but the theories are built on physical processes.

Better Sleep & Recovery

Ample rest and recovery are vital for allowing muscle fibers to repair themselves, thus facilitating growth. A growing percentage of bodybuilders turn to Tongkat Ali as a pre-bed supplement to improve recoveries while also fighting a range of sleep conditions, including apnea and restless legs syndrome.

Better Sleep & Recovery

What the science says:

Clear indications of improved stress resilience and normal cortisol levels can improve sleep quality. A 200mg daily supplement for one month reduced cortisol in saliva by 16%. For bodybuilders, who put their body under a lot of stress, the impact on sleep may be huge. The supplements should be taken an hour before sleep.

The routine alone can have a psychological impact. Meanwhile, the reduced fatigue levels give the muscles an easier path to recovery mode. Crude proteins found in the product are necessary for muscle recovery, making them a key ingredient to look for.

It is stated that Tongkat Ali will provide a testosterone boost during sleep too. So, while giving bodybuilders better REM phases during sleep, it also promotes energy when they wake. This gives the herb an advantage over many other sleep supplements that cause a drowsy feeling the following day.

Tongkat Ali For Bodybuilders: Suggestions

Before taking Tongkat Ali, it’s vital to understand dosages. While most people are safe to consume up to 600mg daily, it may be best to trial a smaller dose and increase it as required. It is also suggested that regular breaks are taken to stop the body from developing a tolerance or dependence.

For general sporting performance and lean muscle growth, around 400mg daily is enough. However, bodybuilders may benefit from 600mg. Experienced bodybuilders may increase this to around 1,000mg, which has been backed by research to unlock increased muscle strength, muscle growth, and Fat-Free Mass (FFM) over a five-week period.

Tongkat Ali supplements can be used as a pre-workout and/or post-workout supplement. For the best results, it should be consumed one hour before a workout. The post-workout routine will depend on the objective. Taking it an hour before bed will promote better sleep while an hour after training can support suppressed appetites.

Bodybuilders should also note that the timeframes of when to see certain benefits can vary. A boost in energy, for example, may occur within the first 24 hours while stamina benefits may take 2-4 weeks. 

The Takeaways Of Taking Tongkat Ali For Bodybuilding

  • Promotes faster improvements to body composition.
  • May support performance levels and endurance in the gym.
  • May unlock greater improvements through general wellness.
  • Safe for men and women but care must be taken over doses.
Adil Maqbool, Medical MD

Adil Maqbool, Medical MD

Dr. Adil is a seasoned medical writer, researcher, and physician with extensive publications in top medical journals. Holding an MBBS, BSc, and FCPS-1, he excels in medical writing and patient care. Certified as a Registered Practitioner, Medical Writer, and Peer-Reviewer, he stays current with the latest medical advancements.