If you’ve been in to testosterone boosters or bodybuilding for quite a while now, there’s very little chance of you not hearing about Tribulus Terrestris. This herb right here is one of the most popular ingredients used in testosterone boosters but what makes it popular might not be its ability to boost test.
Tribulus Terrestris is heavily marketed by a myriad of manufacturers as a powerful muscle building, libido enhancing, and testosterone boosting product. Is it really that powerful, though? To answer that question, I compiled a bunch of research to review so keep reading.
WHY TEST BOOSTER SUPPLEMENTS USE TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS
Tribulus Terrestris is known for many names and a lot of them sound pretty hellish like devil’s weed, devil’s thorn, devil’s eyelashes, and puncture vine. I mean, doesn’t that creep you out?
Well, it may sound pretty evil but really, there’s nothing evil about Tribulus Terrestris. It carries those names because its nuts have thorns that are sharp enough to puncture even bicycle tires.
Speaking of, Tribulus Terrestris is one sturdy little devil. It can grow in desert climates and strive in poor soil by sucking the moisture out of it. And if it can grow in extreme conditions, it sure as hell can survive in temperate and tropical climates too.
In testosterone boosters, Tribulus Terrestris helps us get in contact with our primal and instinctive selves by enhancing libido and overall male virility. As libido is strongly associated with testosterone, a lot of manufacturers nabbed at this opportunity to cash out on Tribulus Terrestris but as research on this plant grew more extensive, a lot of marketing ploys have already been proven false. You’ll see what I mean when you read the research below.
STUDIES ON TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS SUGGEST:
No increase in testosterone in young males
The goal of this first research was to study the effect of Tribulus Terrestris on androgen metabolism in young men. These men were divided into 3 groups depending on what and how much they took.
- Tribulus Terrestris at 20 mg/kg body weight per day (TT1)
- Tribulus Terrestris at 10 mg/kg body weight per day (TT2)
- Placebo (control group)
The total dosages were divided into 3 servings per day for 4 weeks and 24 hours before supplementation, testosterone, androstenedione and luteinizing hormone levels were measured for baseline. Measurements were again taken at several time points after supplementation for comparison and analysis.
The results of the research are pretty simple. Tribulus Terrestris supplementation (regardless of dosage) made no significant difference in testosterone, androstenedione and luteinizing hormone as compared to the control group. This led the researchers to conclude that “Tribulus terrestris steroid saponins possess neither direct nor indirect androgen-increasing properties“.
No improvement in physical abilities of athletes
This next research set out to determine if Tribulus Terrestris had any effect on strength, fat free mass, and urinary testosterone to estrogen (T/E) ratio. Here, the subjects were elite rugby league players in Australia.
These athletes were divided into either Tribulus Terrestris or placebo capsules which they had to take once daily for 5 weeks. Before and after measurements for muscle strength, body composition, and the T/E ratio were monitored. The experimentation yielded the following results:
- strength and fat free mass increased significantly but did not have any difference between groups
- T/E ratio had no difference between groups
As illustrated by this research, Tribulus Terrestris (again) did not influence testosterone. We already knew this. What’s new though, is that this research disproved the claims of a lot of supplement manufacturers claiming that Tribulus Terrestris can make a significantly positive influence on strength and lean muscle mass. As such, the researchers ended their paper by concluding the following:
“…that T. terrestris did not produce the large gains in strength or lean muscle mass that many manufacturers claim can be experienced within 5-28 days. Furthermore, T. terrestris did not alter the urinary T/E ratio and would not place an athlete at risk of testing positive based on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s urinary T/E ratio limit of 4:1“.
Improve testosterone and erectile function in aging men
Lastly, here we have a research that studied the effect of Tribulus Terrestris on serum testosterone and erectile function. This research was conducted on aging males who complained to have been suffering from partial androgen deficiency (low testosterone).
These men were then asked to take a total of 750 mg/day of Tribulus Terrestris per day divided into 3 doses or a placebo for 3 months. Measurements for testosterone (total and “free”), luteinizing hormone (LH), and erectile function were taken prior to and after the 3 month supplementation. Below are the results of the study:
- statistically significant difference in the level of testosterone (total and free)
- statistically significant difference in IIEF-5 (an erectile function questionnaire)
- no statistically significant difference in the level of LH
Based on these results, it looks like Tribulus Terrestris may be able to influence testosterone levels after all. Additionally, the herb also improves erections so that’s cool.
I know these results are contradicting the results of the previous two studies but there’s a very good explanation for this. The two previous researchers were done on healthy, young males. As young men are already brimming with testosterone, Tribulus Terrestris doesn’t seem to be effective at all.
On this last study though, the subjects were old guys who already had low levels of testosterone to start with. In this case, Tribulus Terrestris may be beneficial to this specific demographic.
How Do I Take TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS?
Based on the last research, 750 mg of Tribulus Terrestris seems to have been effective. When I took a look at supplements that used Tribulus Terrestris though, I observed 750 mg to already be at higher end dosages. Testosterone boosters seem to range their dosage between 200 and 750 mg so my suggestion is to shoot for somewhere in between. 500 mg for a day should work just fine.
When it comes to form, the steroidal saponins of Tribulus Terrestris looks to be what’s responsible for its benefits on male sexual health. Given that Tribulus Terrestris is best used for this kinky reason, I say look for this herb standardized to 40-60% steroidal saponins.
Despite heavy advertising on Tribulus Terrestris being sort of like a miracle worker for testosterone and athletic performance, multiple researches suggest that this is all just a false marketing ploy by supplement manufacturers who want to cash out on what was a growing trend.
To be fair though, Tribulus Terrestris does seem to benefit the mature male population who are already suffering from low testosterone but as far as I have seen, that’s the only demographic where this herb can do some test boosting. Otherwise, I personally wouldn’t depend on it.
What Tribulus Terrestris is really good at though, is sex. I mean really, really, REALLY hard sex. The libido boosts from the steroidal saponins (mainly protodioscin) of this herb is legit, man. But the sexual benefits don’t stop there as it seems to influence sperm as well. To end this, let me just say that when taking Tribulus Terrestris, don’t expect ball-dropping testosterone boosts but do expect a lot of panty-dropping action.
TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS THAT USE TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS
- Vitaligenix T10 – Expensive but effective testosterone booster using Tribulus Terrestris standardized for 45% saponins
- MuscleTest – A PCT using Tribulus terrestris Fruit Extract as a part of its LH Rejuvenation Blend
- SPARTN – A bodybuilding supplement using a heavily standardized Tribulus Terrestris that has 80% saponins
- Super Male T – An innovative T-booster using T. Terrestris’ cousin Tribulus Alatus standardized to %54 saponins
- Test Drive – Has Tribulus Terrestris harvested from Bulgaria standardized for 40% Protodioscin and 20% Saponins