Tribulus Terrestris/Gokshura is an incredibly popular supplement, renowned for aiding bodybuilding, training and as a powerful sexual tonic. It is incredibly rich in saponins - phytochemicals which have the ability to boost the body’s testosterone levels naturally, making Tribulus the go to herb for men suffering from sexual dysfunction.
One popular study showed that Tribulus Terrestris elevates luteinizing hormone (LH) and increases free testosterone levels in active healthy males. LH has an effect on the leydig cells of the testis and is generally responsible for the production of testosterone. This in turn will increase sexual desire and libido, improve the quality of sperm whilst making it more nimble, and in some cases it will help to remedy erectile dysfunction. Tribulus has also been proven to be helpful in cases of premature ejaculation.
Why YOU should use Tribulus Terrestris/Gokshura for Bodybuilding:
As a bodybuilding or training supplement, Tribulus is hard to beat. Of the aforementioned saponins, it contains one steroidal saponin in particular – protodioscin – which is thought to be the active nutrient responsible for this herbs popularity amongst athletes.
Specifically, protodioscin promotes the release of nitric oxide which in turn increases the flow of oxygen rich blood to muscles, and enables better use of nutrients such as protein. At the same time protodioscin stimulates the pituitary gland resulting in it producing LH, thus promoting higher testosterone levels.
As well as contributing to a boost in testosterone levels, Tribulus Terrestris can also help to increase stamina during a workout as well as aiding post workout muscle recovery.
How to incorporate Tribulus Terrestris into your bodybuilding diet:
Whilst the long term use of Tribulus has yet to be studied, it is strongly recommended that the use of this herb is cycled. Being an adaptogen, the benefits of Tribulus are most noticeable when they are needed most. It works to stabilise the adrenal system and balance hormones – once these are at a stable level it may seem that the benefits plateau. Common sense suggests that you use Tribulus during a training phase and cycle off during a recovery period.
The suggested dose of 3g – 5g daily should be spaced out with 2/3 of the daily dose being taken around an hour before your workout, with the remaining 1/3 being taken post workout.
Combining Tribulus with other herbs:
Users of Tribulus for bodybuilding report that the best results are obtained when it is combined with other testosterone boosting herbs such as Ashwagandha. Said to give the “strength of a stallion”, Ashwagandha significantly raises serum testosterone levels by (again) increasing the luteinising hormone (LH). Also powerfully adaptogenic, this herb lowers the body’s main stress hormone, cortisol, which is “catabolic” – meaning it breaks down muscle mass. The lowering of this hormone leads to increased muscle mass and a drastic improvement in recovery rates after intense sessions at the gym.
You could also try combining it with the comically named yet mightily impressive Horny Goat Weed herb. Its contribution to bodybuilding is twofold and a result of another powerful plant flavonoid – icariin. Icariin has been found to have the ability to boost the successful transmission of nitric oxide and to increase the natural circulation of free form testosterone around the body. The benefits you can expect in the gym are an increase in lean muscle mass, improved muscular “pump” and enhanced levels of stamina and endurance.
Nettle is another great herb to combine with Tribulus. It inhibits the binding of free testosterone to “sex hormone binding globulin” - a protein circulating the blood - leading to higher levels of testosterone being utilised by the body.