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SupplementsTongkat Ali

Tribulus Terrestris Vs. Tongkat Ali: Which Is Better For You?

Tribulus Terrestris and Tongkat Ali are two herbal supplements that have become increasingly popular due to their purported health and performance-enhancing benefits. In this article, we will look at these two supplements in-depth, compare their effects and uses, and help you determine which one may be better suited for you.

An Introduction to Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris, also known as Devil’s Weed or Puncture Vine, is a plant used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It contains various compounds such as saponins, flavonoids, and alkaloids that are thought to provide health benefits.

Some of the main proposed benefits of Tribulus Terrestris include:

  • Increased testosterone levels
  • Enhanced libido and sexual function
  • Improved athletic performance and muscle gain
  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects

Research shows that Tribulus may help boost testosterone by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. This hormone stimulates testosterone production in the testes. The active compounds in Tribulus may also increase nitric oxide levels, which widens blood vessels and improves blood circulation.

While more research is still needed, current evidence suggests Tribulus may be helpful for improving libido, fertility, muscle strength, and endurance. It’s important to note that many of the claims around Tribulus come from animal studies rather than human trials.

An Introduction to Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali, also known as Longjack or Eurycoma longifolia, is a therapeutic plant native to Southeast Asia. Like Tribulus, it has traditionally been used to enhance libido, energy levels, and sports performance.

The main active compounds in Tongkat Ali thought to be responsible for its benefits include eurycomaoside, eurycolactone, and eurycomalactone. These may help in various ways, such as:

  • Increasing testosterone production and release
  • Preventing the conversion of testosterone to estrogen
  • Reducing cortisol levels
  • Possessing anti-inflammatory and antimalarial properties

Research indicates Tongkat Ali may be effective at increasing testosterone in men with low levels. It may also improve sperm quality and motility (4). There’s some evidence it can provide an energy boost, reduce fatigue, and improve muscle strength and athletic performance.

However, most current research is limited, and longer-term human studies are still needed. The supplement may interact with certain medications, so caution is advised.

Key Differences Between Tribulus and Tongkat Ali

Now that we’ve introduced these two popular herbal supplements, let’s compare some of the key differences between Tribulus Terrestris and Tongkat Ali:

  • Mechanisms of action – While both are thought to increase testosterone, they may work in slightly different ways. Tribulus may act on the pituitary gland while Tongkat Ali directly stimulates the testes.
  • Research backing – Currently, Tongkat Ali has more human research demonstrating its effects on testosterone levels and sexual health compared to Tribulus. However, more studies are still needed.
  • Active compounds – The primary active compounds differ between the two supplements. Tribulus contains saponins while Tongkat Ali contains eurycomaoside, eurycolactone, and eurycomalactone.
  • Origin – Tribulus Terrestris comes from a plant native to tropical regions in Africa, Asia, and the Mediterranean. Tongkat Ali comes from a tree native to Southeast Asia.
  • Usage in Traditional Medicine – Both supplements have been used in traditional medical systems, but Tongkat Ali has a longer history of use. It’s been part of traditional Southeast Asian medicine for centuries.
  • Dosage – The standard dosage also differs. Tribulus dosages range from 85–250 mg taken 1–3 times daily. Tongkat Ali is usually taken in dosages of 200–400 mg daily.
  • Side effects – Potential side effects seem minimal for both supplements if taken appropriately. However, Tongkat Ali may be more likely to cause restlessness in some people.

Determining Which Supplement Is Better for You

When comparing Tribulus Terrestris and Tongkat Ali, there is no definitively “better” option. The right supplement depends entirely on your specific needs and goals.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding between Tribulus and Tongkat Ali:

  • Reason for supplementing – If your main goal is boosting testosterone, Tongkat Ali may be the better choice. For enhancing libido, both can be helpful. For building muscle mass and endurance, Tribulus may have a slight edge.
  • Gender – Tribulus may be preferred for women since Tongkat Ali is geared more towards benefiting men. However, women should still exercise caution with Tribulus since high doses may lead to some masculine effects.
  • Quality of the supplement – With both options, purity and potency can vary greatly between brands. Only purchase high-quality supplements from reputable companies.
  • Existing testosterone levels – Men with low testosterone are more likely to notice major effects from Tongkat Ali supplementation. Those with normal levels may benefit more mildly from Tribulus.
  • Budget – Tongkat Ali supplements are usually more expensive than Tribulus products. This may factor into your decision if cost is a significant concern.

Dosage Recommendations and Side Effects

Always start carefully with recommended dosages when taking a new supplement. Both Tribulus and Tongkat Ali are generally safe when taken as directed, but potential side effects can include:

  • Headaches, dizziness, nausea
  • Restlessness and irritability (more common with Tongkat Ali)
  • Hormonal fluctuations at high doses

For Tribulus Terrestris, doses of 85–250 mg taken 1–3 times daily are typically recommended. For Tongkat Ali, 200–400 mg per day is standard. Cycling these supplements by taking breaks may help reduce any possible side effects.

Of course, it’s wise to consult a doctor if you have any pre-existing health conditions or take prescription medications before trying these supplements. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid both options to be safe.

Putting It All Together

In summary, Tribulus Terrestris and Tongkat Ali promise to enhance libido, vitality, and physical performance in certain individuals. However, Tongkat Ali has more clinical evidence for increasing testosterone levels at this time.

The right choice ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Be sure to purchase high-quality supplements, follow dosage guidelines, and carefully monitor your body’s response. Combining these plant-based supplements with a healthy diet, exercise, stress management, and other positive lifestyle choices can help you achieve optimal wellbeing.

About the author

Holden Desalles is a journalist in the new wellness space, covering topics such as CBD, adaptogens, and nootropics. He was formerly a staff writer at the millennial lifestyle website Thought Catalog.

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