If you’re a bodybuilder who’s looking to naturally enhance your physique and performance, chances are you’ve considered taking tongkat ali (read our guide to the best tongkat ali here). Over the last few years, a large portion of the bodybuilding community has turned to tongkat ali to help them build muscle and strength, lose fat, and increase testosterone as it’s a much safer alternative to SARMs and steroids, and is supposedly more effective than many other supplements that have emerged in the industry as of late. Most bodybuilders typically use 100 mg/day over the course of several weeks and then take time off to let their bodies reset.
[If you want to get really in-depth on Tongkat Ali, please head over to our comprehensive guide to Tongkat Ali, which reviews the relevant studies, goes deep on its potential benefits, and looks at the best brands in the space.]
Of course, there’s always the potential that supplements don’t work as advertised, but in the case of tongkat ali there is sufficient evidence on its efficacy. In fact, several studies have found that tongkat ali boosts testosterone production, increases muscle mass, reduces cortisol, and enhances weight loss.
However, the tongkat ali dosage needs to be high enough to work. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your well-earned money or, at the very best, getting sub-par results.
Here, I’ll provide insight into the research-backed benefits of tongkat ali, explain what’s the best tongkat ali dosage for bodybuilding, as well as discuss what a typical tongkat ali cycle may look like.
Tongkat Ali For Bodybuilding
Bodybuilders are always looking for the next big supplement when it comes to enhancing their physique but are constantly bombarded by false health claims and bad marketing. However, tongkat ali sets itself apart due to its clinically researched effectiveness and overall safety. Essentially, tongkat ali helps bodybuilders to increase strength and muscle mass, shed body fat, and restore hormonal levels back to normal. This is critical since dieting and intense training usually increases the risk for high cortisol and low testosterone, but tongkat ali can help mitigate those risks and make it easier for bodybuilders to achieve their fitness and health goals.
In fact, there are many uses of tongkat ali for bodybuilders. Specifically, bodybuilders choose to use tongkat ali for:
- Boosting testosterone and muscle mass—This study showed that bioactive compounds in tongkat ali increase testosterone levels and that tongkat ali has potential to be a natural alternative to testosterone replacement therapy. This is great news for bodybuilders as higher testosterone promotes muscle growth, enhances strength, and improves body composition.
- Enhancing weight loss—Enhancing testosterone can also improve various metabolic measures which enhances fat loss.
- Reducing cortisol – This study found that tongkat ali can reduce the stress hormone cortisol which is often elevated in bodybuilders due to the stress of dieting for competitions and intense training. Having lower cortisol levels helps bodybuilders to continue shedding fat during intense periods of dieting, rather than hitting a plateau, while maintaining as much lean mass as possible.
Basically, tongkat ali can help bodybuilders get that extra edge which is crucial for performance and competition, as well as overall health. And despite it being predominantly used by men, it can be used by women as well since it helps improve their hormonal profiles too along with the noted benefits for muscle, strength, and recovery.
Lastly, there doesn’t appear to be any side effects associated with its short-term use. However, there aren’t any studies that have examined its long-term use, which makes it unclear whether the supplement is safe over longer periods.
This is why more research is required, despite the promising research thus far. It is always best to talk to a physician first before using tongkat ali for extended periods of time.
What’s The Best Tongkat Ali Dosage For Bodybuilding?
As with any supplement, it’s critical to know what dosage to use. Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels or worse, running the risk of harming yourself.
The typical dosage recommendations, based on traditional use and on the available scientific evidence in humans including dieters and athletes, call for 50-200 mg/day of a water-extracted tongkat ali root standardized to 22% eurypeptides. Various studies in men, such as these from 2003 and 2012, have shown that 100 to 300mg/day of tongkat ali leads to improvements in lean body mass, one-rep max strength, arm circumference, and overall body mass when combined with strength training routines.
Research has also shown that 100 to 300mg/day of tongkat ali can increase testosterone levels and libido in weight-trained men. And even just 50-100 mg/day of tongkat ali extract helps to restore normal testosterone levels when dieting and/or engaging in intense strength training, whereas those without taking tongkat ali are at risk of decreased testosterone and excess cortisol.
[Want to maximize your results? If so, read our article about stacking tongkat ali and fadogia agrestis.]
How To Cycle Tongkat Ali
Based on the research mentioned above, tongkat ali can be cycled 4 weeks on and 1 week off. Despite the high safety profile of tongkat ali, it’s best to avoid taking this supplement indefinitely without a break as there is currently no research on the side effects of long-term use.
Below is a cycle that could be used for bodybuilders, athletes, or anyone looking to optimize their hormonal profiles. It’s best to start off at a modest dosage and work up from there every cycle if needed.
- Week 1 @ 100 mg/day taken 1 hour before workouts (or in the morning on off days)
- Week 2 @ 100 mg/day taken 1 hour before workouts (or in the morning on off days)
- Week 3 @ 100mg/day taken 1 hour before workouts (or in the morning on off days)
- Week 4 @ 100mg/day taken 1 hour before workouts (or in the morning on off days)
- Week 5 @ 0 mg/day
- Week 6 – Repeat the above cycle (adjusting dosage up by 50mg , if needed, until desired effects are achieved)
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. We always recommend speaking with your medical care provider prior to using any supplement.
Editor’s note: we are regularly updating this article. If you see any problems, weird interpretations of the data, or just want to say hi, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.