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What Is Tongkat Ali Coffee, And How Does It Compare To Taking A Tongkat Ali Supplement?

Tongkat ali coffee has been a major part of Malaysian culture for centuries and people continue to use it today to help fight off fatigue and kickstart their day. While it certainly seems like this coffee may be worth a try, you may wonder whether or not it’s more effective to just stick to your regular cup of Joe and use a tongkat ali supplement alongside it instead.

Although studies have supported tongkat ali’s ability to improve energy and cognition when used in extract form, the current research on tongkat ali coffee’s efficacy has mixed results. In fact, it appears that the majority of today’s most popular tongkat ali coffee brands don’t have a high enough concentration of extract to provide the same benefits as tongkat ali in supplement form and may not be worth your money.

In this article, I’ll discuss the current state of research on the efficacy of tongkat ali coffee and explain what you should look for in a product in order to achieve the best results.

What Is Tongkat Ali Coffee?

Tongkat ali coffee is a traditional drink in Southeast Asia that people have used for centuries to boost their energy levels and enhance libido. Historically, its preparation involved grinding tongkat ali root and then boiling it for several hours which would result in a higher eurycomanone content. After steeping it for several hours, people would then pour it into a cup of coffee or tea and drink it.

Currently, tongkat ali coffee is available online and in stores in the form of an instant mix that contains tongkat ali powder, sugar, coffee, and sometimes an additional herb like ginseng. This form is way more convenient and only takes a few minutes to make as all you have to do is add boiling water to the mix. As such, many consumers have turned to the use of instant powder mix rather than multiple spend hours on the traditional preparation of tongkat ali coffee.

While most people drink tongkat ali coffee to boost their energy levels, others may use it to reduce stress, enhance athletic performance, or improve sexual health. You can read our in-depth review of this supplement for a complete list of tongkat ali’s benefits.

Is Tongkat Ali Coffee As Effective As Tongkat Ali Supplements?

Unfortunately, the research on tongkat ali coffee’s benefits is somewhat limited. However, the studies that have examined popular instant mix brands have discovered that most lack a high enough concentration of eurycomanones to be effective or that they failed to contain any at all.

One study reviewed the efficacy of Malaysian and international tongkat ali products including coffee. Out of 41 products that were assessed, 17 didn’t contain any eurycomanones, while 24 did. Among the 24 products with eurycomanones, only 14 complied with the eurycomanone level set by Malaysian Standard which requires that the level of eurycomanones be 0.8-1.5 weight per volume (%). Unfortunately, no eurycomanones were detected in the 9 samples of premixed tongkat ali coffees that were analyzed.

Another study conducted by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) found that 7 out of 10 popular tongkat ali coffee brands examined contained minimal amounts of this extract (no more than 1.6%) and that the concentrations of eurycomanones were as low as .0039 – .0246%.

So, overall these findings show us that tongkat ali instant coffee contains incredibly low concentrations of eurycomanones (if any) compared to tongkat ali in supplement form. It appears that trying instant mix tongkat ali coffee is most likely not worth your time, however, more research is required to be sure that this is the case for other brands and other studies are needed to determine the concentration of tongkat ali in traditionally prepared coffee.

The Verdict – Should You Use Tongkat Ali Coffee?

It’s up to you to make the final decision, but most tongkat ali coffee mixes contain little to no active compounds. If you want to maximize your results, it’s best to use a tongkat ali product that contains 200 mg to 400 mg of tongkat ali extract and 22% eurycomanones. As such, I highly recommend trying out one of the products from our review on the best tongkat ali supplements rather than spending hours trying to find a coffee mix that meets these criteria.


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Photo by Amr Taha™ on Unsplash

About the author

Dusan is a content writer focusing on biology and science-related topics. His love for biology, nature, and science has helped him gain a better understanding of the world around us. He loves keeping up to date with new research and creating evidence-based content to help improve people’s lives. In his free time, he enjoys hiking trips, camping, exercising, and cooking healthy meals in his tiny kitchen.

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