The start-stop approach or OFF / ON cycle is relatively popular amongst Tongkat Ali users. There has been increasing positive feedback from cycling Tongkat Ali on forums such as Reddit.
This article focuses on how to cycle Tongkat Ali to get the best results and health gains. Apart from cycling, you need to know when to use Tongkat Ali in various situations to get the best results.
We will cover how often you should cycle Tongkat Ali, the types of Tongkat Ali cycling methods, is Tongkat Ali cycling necessary and why you should even consider cycling it.
What is Tongkat Ali cycling?
Tongkat Ali cycling is the practice of taking Tongkat Ali in a start-stop manner at regular intervals. It is believed that cycling Tongkat Ali consumption will optimize Tongkat Ali’s bioactive efficacy and hormonal responses.
As a result, many users reported better gains from cycling Tongkat Ali compared to continuous long-term consumption without breaks.
How to cycle Tongkat Ali?
The most common Tongkat Ali cycle is to take four weeks ON and one week OFF. This regular Tongkat Ali cycling method works well for most people and if you are moderately active.
How often should I cycle Tongkat Ali?
The frequency of ON / OFF cycle when taking Tongkat Ali depends highly on your needs and how your body react to it. Every individual has various tolerance, suppression and threshold levels when it comes to cycling herbal supplements.
Here is a quick guide on cycling Tongkat Ali.
- Duration: Every 4 to 8 weeks
- 4 to 8 weeks ON
- 1 to 2 weeks OFF
- Duration: Every 4 weeks.
- 4 weeks ON
- 1 week OFF
Types of Tongkat Ali Cycling Methods
Macro cycling Tongkat Ali
Macro cycling of Tongkat Ali is performed at a longer start-stop interval. Macro cycling of Tongkat Ali enables your body to rest and resets itself (during the OFF cycle) and allows better absorption of nutrients (during the ON cycle).
Macro-cycling is performed by long-term and experienced users of Tongkat Ali. Most of the users are well versed on how their body reacts to herbal supplements and changes in dietary intake.
Macro Cycling Best Practice
- Duration: Every 3 months
- 3 months ON
- 1 month OFF
Micro cycling Tongkat Ali
Micro cycling of Tongkat Ali is allowing the ON / OFF cycle in shorter intervals. This works if you are starting out with Tongkat Ali, or if you are new to Tongkat Ali supplements.
This benefits greatly as your body is able to regulate and absorb the new bioactive ingredients gradually. In turn, micro cycling Tongkat Ali may greatly bring noticeable-but-greater advantage to short-term goals like a libido boost, testosterone gains or energy burst.
Micro Cycling Best Practice
- Duration: Every 4 weeks.
- 4 weeks ON
- 1 week OFF
- You may choose which cycle method that works best for you.
- Each individual responds different to Tongkat Ali cycling and it is best to try various cycling method whilst monitoring the effects and gains throughout the consumption (ON) period.
Expert’s view on Tongkat Ali cycle
Expert in hormone optimization, Dr. Kyle Gillett, suggests that the optimal cycle for taking Tongkat Ali supplements is to take one month off and eleven months on.
Note: Dr. Kyle’s view is not scientifically verified through clinical trials or tests. The effectiveness of Tongkat Ali cycling method may vary from one user to another.
What cycling do to me?
Cycling Tongkat Ali may help you get the most out of your Tongkat Ali supplements by maintaining their efficacy.
This directly optimizes your health gains over a longer period. Cycling Tongkat Ali is suitable for those taking Tongkat Ali as daily supplement on a long-term basis, typically 2-5 years or longer.
With the right daily dosage, Tongkat Ali cycling can help you achieve better results, keeping you in good shape and also save you some money.
Tongkat Ali cycle will give you good results after six weeks. Here is a six-week review of Tongkat Ali with micro-cycling.
Why should you cycle Tongkat Ali?
There are reasons why you should consider taking Tongkat Ali with OFF / ON cycle and these has to do with the following factors.
Tolerance is our resistance to drugs and cycling Tongkat Ali may maintain your tolerance levels.
When taking any herbal supplements including Tongkat Ali, your body may get used to the bioactive ingredients after a prolonged period. Eventually, continuous consumption without cycling will stop your body from producing the desired effect or gains.
Similar to the effect of caffeine (and other stimulants / botanical drugs), taking Tongkat Ali every day without breaks may cause you to increase your dosage to get the same effect.
Suppression is another reason why you should cycle Tongkat Ali.
Suppression is a state where your body realises you have excess nutrients, and hence so your body decides that it doesn’t need to make any more of it’s own. Cycling Tongkat Ali will reduce suppression and ensure your body builds positive reaction
Cycling Tongkat Ali maintains the threshold of what your body can absorb, whilst flushing away the extra surplus. This means, you may not gain more if you are taking high dosage of say 1,000 mg per day, compared to someone who is taking 500mg or less.
This threshold works the same way when you are taking creatine. Once you hit the maximum amount your body can use, the rest just gets flushed out of your system.
What to look out for when cycling Tongkat Ali?
Tips on Tongkat Ali Cycle
Here are the top 5 tips to get the most when cycling Tongkat Ali:
1) Start with a small daily dosage
- When cycling Tongkat Ali, always start with small daily dosage of 200mg to 400mg before gradually increasing your dosage.
2) Watch your exercises and diet
- Tongkat Ali can only be effective when supplemented with regular 3-times a week light exercises (for those who are not fit), or resistance / weight training (for those who are fit and healthy).
3) Choose a potent Tongkat Ali
- Optimize your Tongkat Ali cycle by taking super-potent Tongkat Ali formulation with higher efficacy.
- Always buy clinically tested Tongkat Ali products that are tested for efficacy.
4) Monitor your progress
- Be patient and monitor how your body responds with each OFF / ON cycle.
- Change the cycle period to longer intervals (macro cycling) if needed.
5) Be patient
- Tongkat Ali may take longer time to work as with other herbal supplements
- Tongkat Ali’s efficacy depends largely on the quality of Tongkat Ali extract and a host of other factors.
What if cycling does not work on me?
If the above tips on cycling Tongkat Ali do not work, please refer to our insights on possible reasons why Tongkat Ali did not work on you.
What happens if you don’t cycle Tongkat Ali?
If you don’t cycle Tongkat Ali, your body will build higher tolerance and you may need to increase your dosage to get similar effect that you desire, or health goals (eg: to energize your body, reduce mental stress or to achieve greater focus).
Cycling Tongkat Ali enables you to maintain the same dosage without needing to increase your daily dosage every month or every 3 months! And that saves you money.
What happens if you stop taking Tongkat Ali?
There is no change to your body or energy levels when you stop taking Tongkat Ali during your OFF cycle (eg: 1 week). Assuming you are adopting a regular micro cycling of Tongkat Ali (4 weeks ON and 1 week OFF), it may not have any noticeable deterioration of energy, stamina or even libido.
However, a prolonged OFF cycle (or if you decided to stop taking Tongkat Ali supplements completely for your daily diet) may have significant effect to your mood, mental focus, sex drive and stamina.
Should you cycle Tongkat Ali?
You should cycle Tongkat Ali if you are taking high doses daily continuously for more than 3 months. Those taking more than 600 mg to 1,000 mg per day should consider cycling Tongkat Ali monthly, i.e 1 month ON and 1 month OFF.
If you are taking between 200 mg to 400 mg of Tongkat Ali daily, then cycling may not be necessary.
Are there drawbacks if you don't cycle Tongkat Ali?
Whilst it is safe to take Tongkat Ali continuously without OFF/ON cycle, some users stop taking Tongkat Ali, caffeine and other natural supplements for 1 – 2 weeks as a means to “detox the body”.
Are there benefits of cycling Tongkat Ali?
Health experts and scientists are of the opinion that cycling Tongkat Ali may not bring any significant benefits as there are no studies to prove its efficacy on health performance.
Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman from Stanford University said that he takes Tongkat Ali continuously daily without OFF / ON cycle. He added that Tongkat Ali cycling isn’t necessary.
Liste to the podcast below on reasons why Dr. Andrew Huberman doesn’t cycle Tongkat Ali here.
Leading Tongkat Ali scientist and research Dr. Annie George from Biotropics also agreed that cycling isn’t necessary. Dr Annie, who has published more than 10 research studies on Tongkat Ali said that most Tongkat Ali studies and benefits are based on continuously daily consumption without OFF / ON cycle.
In which situation should I cycle Tongkat Ali?
You may consider cycling Tongkat Ali under the following conditions:
- if you are new to herbal supplements, allowing your body to adjust to new bioactive ingredients.
- If you are taking high dose of Tongkat Ali daily (i.e more than 600 mg per day)
- If you are planning to increase your dosage gradually by increasing your threshold to achieve your health goals.
Do I need to cycle Tongkat Ali if I am not active?
If you have a sedentary lifestyle or have not been active in the last 6 months (or longer), cycling Tongkat Ali may not deliver any noticeable difference or added benefits. You are better off taking Tongkat Ali continuously in small doses of 200 mg daily for 3 to 6 months.
Cycling Tongkat Ali seemed to work better for most people.
In reality, almost all herbal supplements can be consumed continuously or cycled in fixed intervals. Many believe that Tongkat Ali should be cycled if you want to get the most out of your supplement intake.
As the debate continues, further research is required to validate the perception that Tongkat Ali works better with the cycling method.
As far as research studies are concerned, there are no clinical tests to prove the efficacy or effectiveness of Tongkat Ali through cycling. Perhaps the only way to prove it is to perform a blood test.
Let me know if cycling Tongkat Ali works for you and please leave your comments below!
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Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a researcher and investigative journalist specializing in nutrition and natural wellness, Naressa is all about creating, deconstructing, and reassembling meaningful content through words and facts. With this approach always in mind, she eagerly explores the nuances in life via the aspects of lifestyle, culture, travel, health, and wellness in Malaysia .
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