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Turkesterone: What It Is & How To Use It

Turkesterone is fast becoming one of the most popular modern supplements among people looking to build lean muscle mass, but what is it, is it safe and why should anyone bother taking it?

Read on for the full breakdown of this supplement and its impact on muscle growth.

What Is Turkesterone?

Turkesterone (Ajuga turkestanica) is an ecdysteroid, a type of hormone mainly found in insects, plants, and some water animals.

In their native environment, ecdysteroids like turkesterone seem to play a role similar to testosterone and help with cell growth and overall performance.

As the name suggests, ecdysteroids are part of the steroid family. Although most people know steroids mainly for their effect on athletic performance, the truth is that human bodies require steroids for many different processes - including muscle growth.

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The main types of steroids for building muscle mass are known as anabolic steroids. Doctors may prescribe anabolic steroids as a treatment for various issues, ranging from damage from mental health problems to issues with body composition and insulin resistance.

Some athletes take anabolic steroids to help with muscle building and stamina. This practice is usually illegal in competitions but is mostly tolerated among private individuals.

Companies may refer to turkesterone by the name of its primary source, the ajuga turkestanica. This relatively small herbaceous plant is native to Uzbekistan, a relatively small country west of China and north of Afghanistan, where it has a long history of use as a tonic.

A Brief History of Turkesterone for Muscle Growth

Turkesterone has been largely overlooked for years. Some companies have used it as part of general bodybuilding supplements for a long time, but it has historically been a minor ingredient.

Around 2021, however, social media focused attention on turkesterone as the next big thing (specifically Dr Andrew Huberman talking about supplements on the Joe Rogan podcast). These shifts are relatively common in the fitness supplement industry, where people looking for the next boost to their performance offer reliable attention to new options.

With this attention, demand quickly outstripped the supply for the little-known herb, although growth efforts mean more of this substance will be available in the future. And in all honesty - in-depth research into its value and effects is currently sparse but ongoing.

Ajuga turkestanica

What Does Turkesterone Do for Muscle Building?

Research on turkesterone supplements is honestly still lacking, so this is yet another area of dietary supplements where we don't have as much research as we'd like.

However, some early studies suggest that turkesterone positively impacts anabolic activity, which is the body's function of creating larger structures from smaller pieces. In practical terms, turkesterone seems to increase muscle growth and provide other muscle-building benefits.

Humans naturally consume small amounts of turkesterone in foods like spinach and quinoa. However, these steroid hormones are present in too low of a dose in nature to have a meaningful impact on the human body.

That's why any turkesterone supplementation involves significantly higher concentrations, with the goal of supporting the growth of muscle cells throughout the body.

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Is Turkesterone Natural and Is It a Part of Anabolic Steroids?

Turkesterone itself is present widely in nature. While a turkesterone supplement is usually an artificial concentration of the substance, turkesterone exists and works in various plant species.

This is one of the reasons that the bodybuilding community looks more favourably on it than some other products.

In a regular Western diet, you probably eat less than 1 mg of turkesterone per day. That's too low to call it a biologically active ingredient in food because you need far more to have any meaningful impact.

Supplements are usually concentrated and dried extracts, which maximize the potency of these chemicals while minimizing the risk of spoilage. Depending on the manufacturer, however, supplements may have other additives to try and improve them as a product.

An example of an additive is a mix containing several different steroid products, including turkesterone and a popular alternative known as ecdysterone. It’s a good sample for showing how pure turkesterone is not the only option for supplementation.

Rather, there’s a good argument that mixed supplements are probably better.

Most foods we eat are extraordinarily complex. Strawberries, for example, have over 350 volatile molecules in them, mostly in small concentrations. Natural nutrition is a complex process of chemical interactions, so a well-balanced supplement may work better than a single focused product.

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How Does Turkesterone Work?

Researchers currently believe that turkesterone works by improving overall muscle protein synthesis and specifically by improving how mRNA works. It may also create a positive nitrogen balance in muscles, which helps limit muscle breakdown.

Animal studies suggest that turkesterone has a measurable benefit over other muscle-building substances like SARM S-1.

It is not a regular anabolic steroid, so current thinking suggests that it does not require post-cycle therapy (PCT). For those who aren't familiar with post-cycle therapy, it's a technique that rebalances your hormones to help prevent damage from using steroids.

Without this rebalancing, mammals suffer significant side effects after steroid usage. PCT is common after both personal and medical steroid use, especially in people who want to avoid issues with their cholesterol or ability to exercise.

It's worth mentioning that while most people don't believe turkesterone requires PCT, there's no formal information on this, so it's hard to be sure of its value.

Another thing to note about turkesterone is that the body metabolizes it quickly. Unlike some other substances, it’s difficult to overdose on turkesterone unless you deliberately take an insanely large amount of it.

We don’t know what the lethal dose for turkesterone is, but it’s suspected to be around 6.4 grams per kilogram of body weight in mice. A typical adult human is somewhere from 60 to 80 kilograms, so at the same rate, it would take about 384 grams of turkesterone to be dangerous.

At 1-2 grams per day, tukesterone is currently considered safe in humans.

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What Are the Health Benefits of Turkesterone?

The health benefits of this steroid aren't as clear as many people would like.

As with many substances that bodybuilders use, research is lacking on the long-term effects on humans. The fact that something is a potent ecdysteroid naturally found in nature doesn't necessarily mean it will have a beneficial impact on humans.

However, anecdotal evidence from users suggests that turkesterone can noticeably help build lean muscle mass. Most natural supplements aren't very good at this, and experts will often attribute at least several pounds of lean muscle building to turkesterone.

Users also report that this insect steroid hormone can help with improving muscle recovery times. That means handling better workloads and more intensive workouts while taking turkesterone.

Here we see one of the many challenges of adequately calculating the benefits of a supplement. Are users building more muscle because they're recovering faster, or does the supplement directly build muscle mass?

The truth is that it's probably a bit of both.

A small amount of muscle growth and improved stamina can lead to better workouts, and that in turn leads to even more muscle growth. Turkesterone isn't a magic supplement that can help you perform like you never have before, but it does seem to be part of a positive feedback cycle - particularly if you are combining it with good sleep, quality clean protein and a well-structured strength program.

turkesterone and muscle growth

Does Turkersterone Have any Side Effects?

Turkesterone appears to have very few side effects - which is another reason gym-goers prefer this substance over other steroids and growth supplements that can have can cause some serious issues.

Specifically, there's not much point in building muscle mass if you end up damaging yourself. Almost any substance can have negative side effects in the wrong dosage, so the challenge is limiting any negative impacts while maximizing the positive ones.

Reported side effects from turkesterone use are very rare ,but when reported include:

  • nausea
  • lightheadedness
  • bloating

Like other ecdysteroids, it's better to avoid taking turkesterone on an empty stomach. Most athletes consume this substance in capsule form, and it can cause dizziness and nausea if you don't balance it out with some food.

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How Much Turkesterone Should I Take? Dosage and Cycle Information

There is no official dosage recommendation for any turkesterone supplement - and before we go any further - you should always consult your GP before starting any supplement regime, including turkesterone..

Research has not conclusively identified safe or ideal amounts of this substance to take each day.

However, like other ecdysteroid supplements that bodybuilders take, there is anecdotal evidence from people who have tried it without an official dose.

Most users report a common turkesterone dosage is 500 mg per day, split into two doses. Splitting the dose ensures the body has more of the supplement available throughout the day, rather than only having it for a short time.

Some athletes report taking up to 1000 mg of turkesterone supplements per day and a few reports indicate that 2000 mg may be safe, but far fewer people are willing to experiment with that high of a dose.

Note that not everyone recommends this dose. Some providers recommend as little as 50mg per day as part of a more balanced approach to nutrition and slowly increasing your dose as your body adapts.

Either way, it appears that most people need a decent amount of turkesterone to see real effects. Most creatures that create it naturally are far smaller than humans, so we need more of the same substance.

Again - we do not recommend pushing any high-level of dosing without talking to your doctor or another qualified medical professional. Having an expert monitor your vital signs and performance can help determine a safe threshold for this supplement.

When To Take Turkesterone Supplements

According to athletes, the best time to take turkesterone is usually after exercise.

Most muscle growth starts about two hours after a workout, and it can continue for about 48 hours.

Taking turkesterone after a workout gives it time to go through the digestive system and get into the body right when the muscle-building starts. With more of this substance available, it's far easier for cells to use it when building new muscle fibres.

Most experienced users take turkesterone for about eight weeks at a time, though some people may go as high as twelve weeks.

As a steroid, turkesterone is not ideal for long-term use.

when to take turkesterone

Where To Buy the Best Turkesterone Supplements

Turkesterone supplements are becoming widely available thanks to their popularity among bodybuilders and athletes.

There's a good chance you can find turkesterone at most supplement stores nowadays in Australia, the US & many other countries.

Most people seem to prefer to buy it online as it’s more convenient, usually cheaper and easier to get access to high-quality brands.

No matter where you choose to buy it though, there are a few key things to look for when you’re buying.

First, look for products labelled “Extract 10% Turkesterone,” which is the best commercially available version of this substance. Some companies sell products with an extract of around 5%, due partly to the ingredient’s scarcity. They will often charge the same price for this half-concentrated product.

A concentration of 10% isn’t bad. The rest of the product is usually another plant material that helps carry and stabilize the turkesterone. Without that, it might be much harder to bring the product to market so as long as you can get an appropriate dose (and the filler material isn’t dodgy), the carrier is mostly irrelevant.

Second, many users recommend 500 mg doses. A decent product is probably 250 mg capsules, which allow you to take your dose at different times throughout the day to even out the bioavailability.

Third, avoid proprietary blends that don’t tell you how much turkesterone you’re getting. If you can’t verify the quantity of each ingredient, you can’t trust any of the other claims on the label.

Finally, third-party verification is always better than trusting a company. Reputable manufacturers like verification and actively seek it out because it’s a great way to promote customer confidence in their products. If a company refuses to get tests for its products, it probably has something to hide.

HPLC testing is excellent and functions as an industry standard for analyzing the components of supplements.

The suppliers we’ve mentioned via the banners and links in these articles tick all of these boxes at the time of writing this article

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Here are some common questions people have about turkesterone.

Is Turkesterone a Steroid?

Yes. Specifically, turkesterone is a type of steroid normally found in some plants and insects.

How Long Does It Take for Turkesterone To Kick In?

Most people who take turkesterone report that they start noticing effects after about one week of use, with significant results anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks after they begin using it. This will differ for everyone though.

Can Women Take Turkesterone?

Yes. Unlike regular anabolic steroids, which increase male hormones while negatively impacting female ones, turkesterone has a similar impact on men and women. This fact makes it a rare bodybuilding supplement that most people consider safe for women.

Is Turkesterone Legal?

Turkesterone is legal in most areas. Although it is a steroid, people haven’t reported enough negative side effects to make it worth banning or restricting. In fact, it’s not even banned in most sports, although some agencies are considering a blanket ban on ecdysteroids.

For now, however, this means that turkesterone is a bodybuilding supplement that won’t lock you out of most athletic competitions, however, you should always double-check for yourself first as rules can change quickly.

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Is Turkesterone FDA Approved?

No. The FDA’s approval processes only cover drugs, food, medical devices, and cosmetics. As a dietary substance found in nature, turkesterone does not require FDA approval unless someone is trying to sell it as a drug.

That said, the FDA wants you to know that ‘bodybuilding products’ can be risky. Some products contain additional steroids to enhance their effects, so the fact that a company markets something as turkesterone doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s pure turkesterone.

As a general principle, it’s best to look for products that undergo independent laboratory verification to check their ingredients. That adds a level of safety and reliability when you’re taking a supplement.

Does Turkesterone Cause Hair Loss?

Turkesterone is not known to cause hair loss. Regular anabolic steroids can cause balding, but turkesterone works in a different way and doesn’t trigger the same reactions.

However, this only applies to taking a regular dose as part of a steroid cycle. Unusually high or long-term doses of turkesterone may have effects we’re not aware of.

Can Turkesterone Cause Anxiety?

Turkesterone is not known to cause anxiety.

Depending on the dose and how you take it, turkesterone may cause varying levels of nausea or other digestive issues. Some people also report feeling a little lightheaded after taking it.

However, as turkesterone doesn’t function like a regular steroid, it probably won’t cause issues like changes in sleep, mood, appetite, or skin quality.

Is Turkesterone Vegan?

In most cases, turkesterone is a vegan product. It does not require animal products or by-products to make.

However, turkesterone capsules do undergo some processing to concentrate and extract from plants - so make sure the brand you choose doesn’t process on the same equipment that is used to process animal products.

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That’s A Wrap!

Turkesterone is exploding onto the modern fitness scene - positioned as a healthier, natural and ethical alternative to classic anabolic steroids that are linked to many detrimental side effects.

It’s showing interesting promise in helping to build muscle, improve athletic performance and promote better testosterone levels, however, the clinical data for it is still largely lacking and most reporting is currently anecdotal.

If you are an athlete, gym-goer, bodybuilder or general fitness enthusiast looking for a natural edge, turkesterone may be a good option. Just make sure you check in with your GP first as even ‘natural’ substances can cause some people problems.

Finally - iIf you want to see the Joe Rogan / Andrew Huberman clip that arguably re-launched the modern popularity of turkesterone - hit play below:

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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