Tribulus Terrestris for Resistance Training?
Does Tribulus Terrestris extract work?
Though Tribulus Terrestris has long been a constituent in tonics in Indian Ayurveda practice, it is now a popular herbal nutritional supplement that is marketed as an ingredient to produce large gains in strength and lean muscle mass in people who engage in resistance training or weight lifting.
Commonly sold in dietary supplements as Tribulus Terrestris extract, many people ask themselves whether or not Tribulus Terrestris actually work to help athletes to promote gains in strength or lean muscle mass?
A recent study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, studied the effects of Tribulus Terrestris extract on muscular strength, body composition, and urinary T/E (testosterone/epitestosterone) ratio in elite Australian male rugby players.
Dosage of Tribulus Terrestris used in the study:
Tribulus Terrestris extract – 450 mg/d or placebo capsules were consumed once daily for 5 weeks.
Note: All subjects performed structured heavy resistance training as part of the club’s preseason preparations.
Is Tribulus Terrestris a waste of money?
“It was concluded 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 (testosterone/epitestosterone) 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.”
From the previously cited study, the authors basically concluded that supplementation with Tribulus Terrestris extract had no effects on testosterone levels, increasing strength, or improving lean muscle mass.
Tribulus Terrestris Side Effects:
Though most sources suggest that side effects from Tribulus Terrestris supplementation are mild and include possible upset stomach along with gynecomastia, there have been serious reports in the literature of nephrotoxicity or kidney toxicity in males using the supplement 
The bottom line about Tribulus:
The results of this study are consistent with the results of a previous study which was published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (Antonio et al, 2001), which concluded, “supplementation with Tribulus does not enhance body composition or exercise performance in resistance-trained males.”
On that note, much like ZMA, Tribulus Terrestris appears to be another sports supplement that’s basically a waste of money for those who’re looking for performance benefits.
- Rogerson S, Riches CJ, Jennings C, Weatherby RP, Meir RA, Marshall-Gradisnik SM. The effect of five weeks of Tribulus Terrestris supplementation on muscle strength and body composition during preseason training in elite rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 May;21(2):348-53.
- Antonio J, Uelmen J, Rodriguez R, Earnest C. The effects of Tribulus Terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Jun;10(2):208-15.
- alasaz AH, Abbasi MR, Abkhiz S, Dashti-Khavidaki S. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2010 Nov;25(11):3792-3. Epub 2010 Jul 28.
Jarret Morrow, M.D.
Yelax thanks for sharing your thoughts on this ZMA post.
I used Tribulus Raw Power and I am a 19 year old male that lifts hard everyday. Bought this due to the positive reviews on here, have been talking for 2 weeks and haven't noticed anything... no improvements in workouts or libido. Then I switched to using the Dr max Powers Testosterone Boost (it was recommended by a College Football Coach I am working with). The Dr Max Powers brand is a very good testosteron booster. I use it before going to the gym and it does give you extra power (has an effect on libido as well). Did not experience any side effects so far (6th week of use). Recovery seemed to not be as painfully sore after lifting the next couple of days,
I have never tried any type of Tribulus supplement before, so I was browsing around and found Dr Max Powers Testosterone Booster. Taking just one capsule on an empty stomach morning and afternoon I seemed to feel much better all around on the 3rd to 4th day and forward. My workouts went better, I felt more like a "beast" while lifting, if that makes any sense. Recovery seemed to not be as painfully sore after lifting the next couple of days, especially when I pushed myself too far, so I'm going to chalk that one up to 'boosted' or 'leveled' test levels. All around, I don't have any negatives to report back, and for the price, you really can't complain.
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