There are ways to boost sports performance and resorting to the risky route of anabolic-androgenic steroids is definitely a bad decision. That is true to most professional athletes.
For most non-professional athletes and sports amateurs, we require sports supplements to boost our training output and accelerate our health goals.
This point to alternative sports supplements such as Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) – an anabolic adaptogen plant which is increasingly popular amongst active adults that delivers ergogenic effects.
Tongkat Ali is consumed widely as a pre-workout and post-workout supplement to boost sports performance.
But how does Tongkat Ali benefit sports performance for professional athletes, or amateurs who are on a regular exercise regime?
Is Tongkat Ali suitable for all kinds of sports? And more importantly, are the improvements marginal or significant?
This article aims to answer fundamental questions on the usage of Tongkat Ali as a sports supplement (both as a pre and post workout), how it works and how you can benefit more from your sport activities.
If you are planning to use Tongkat Ali to boost your athletic performance, this article is perfect for managing your expectations.
POPULAR SPORTS SUPPLEMENTS
Here is a quick preamble.
Sports supplements are mainly suited to boost sports performance for amateurs and beginners.
However, if you think sports supplements are helpful to reduce your time to achieve your peak performance, it is worth trying one.
Here are some of the key ingredients contained in the top sports supplements that are available in the market today:
- Protein Powder
- Omega 3
- Green tea
- Tongkat Ali
- Fadogia Agrestis
- Vitamin D
Tongkat Ali as a Sports Supplement
Tongkat Ali is widely studied for its ergogenic effects in sports (i.e effects that enhance energy production, use and recovery). And only few sports supplements are tested to bolster strength or endurance in sports.
Against the backdrop of sports enhancing supplements such as Fadogia Agrestis, Turkesterone and other conventional sports supplements such as creatine and protein, the energy-boosting capability (driven by testosterone) of Tongkat Ali has been a subject of interest by medical experts and health professionals. This is backed by growing scientific evidence in recent years.
Here is the question that we are all waiting for.
Tongkat Ali supplement comes in many forms. Tongkat Ali coffee and Tongkat Ali effervescent are increasingly popular amongst sports and fitness enthusiasts.
Can Tongkat Ali boost sports performance?
Tongkat Ali is scientifically proven to enhance sports performance; mainly underpinned by its proven adaptogen and anabolic ability to boost testosterone and maintain energy requirements when your body is exposed to strenuous repetitive tasks during training/competition.
Scientists believe boosting testosterone is a key winning advantage to bring a competitive edge in sports.
Despite that the relationship between higher testosterone and sports performance is an ongoing debate, researchers and scientists believe that testosterone may promote athletic performance through long-term anabolic actions.
Decades of clinical trials showed Tongkat Ali as one of the best natural testosterone supplements for sports performance alongside Ashwagandha, Fadogia Agrestis and Panax Ginseng.
At the same time, Tongkat Ali may benefit you greatly if you already have high predisposed testosterone levels, for example:
- If you are a professional sprinter. Male and female sprinters showed higher free testosterone levels than athletes in other sports (e.g., long-distance runners or other sports)
- If you are black. Study has shown that black men has 21% higher free testosterone than white men.
- If you are already been consistently active in sports for a long time (eg: avid runner, active tennis player, regular rock climbers, and martial artists)
Let’s find out how Tongkat Ali can enhance sports performance.
How does Tongkat Ali work to benefit my sports or boost athletic performance?
The most significant effect of Tongkat Ali on sports performance across multiple studies is the higher anaerobic Peak Power Output (PPO) when subjected to resistance training.
In one of the studies involving the consumption of 200 mg of Tongkat Ali daily, the results below showed the anaerobic peak power output improved by 12-15% after 8 weeks of group consuming Tongkat Ali (EIJ) and subjected to Resistance Training (RT).
Wingate Anaerobic Test is touted to be the best fitness test in history and higher anaerobic peak power from Tongkat Ali is highly correlated to distance running performance.
To put it simply, taking Tongkat Ali may propel you to run further distances, and this proves Tongkat Ali is scientifically proven to deliver such an added advantage in sports.
The truth is, Tongkat Ali benefits sports performance in many ways.
Here are six potential benefits from Tongkat Ali that may enhance sports performance:
- Increase muscle strength – through elevated testosterone
- Increase lean muscle mass / Fat-Free Mass (FFM)
- Improve energy usage – throughout your training / competition
- Reduce muscle fatigue – by reducing the accumulation of lactic acid (and uric acid for some people)
- Faster muscle recovery time – with the help of elevated testosterone to repair damaged tissues
- Improve endurance and stamina – by restoring the required testosterone levels
Scientific studies on the effect of Tongkat Ali on sports and exercises
There are sufficient clinical trials and research studies to support Tongkat Ali as an effective sports supplement that benefit sports activities across various age groups.
Here are some of research findings from various clinical trials:
Tongkat Ali on Ergogenic Effects on Adult Men
Title: The Ergogenic Effect of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack: A Pilot Study
Hamzah & Yusof (2003)
Test participants: 14 men
Dosage: 100mg daily
Duration: 5 weeks
- Increased muscle strength and size
- Increased Fat-Free Mass (FFM)
Tongkat Ali on sports activities for seniors
Title: Tongkat Ali as a potential herbal supplement for physically active male and female seniors
Henkel et. al (2013)
Test participants: 13 male, 12 female (57-72 years)
Dosage: 400mg daily
Duration: 5 weeks
- Enhanced muscle force
- Increased testosterone
Tongkat Ali on TE Ratio and Muscular Strength
Title : The Eurycoma Longifolia Freeze-Dried Water Extract-Physta® Does not Change Normal Ratios of Testosterone to Epitestosterone in Healthy Males
George et. al (2013)
Test participants: 40 men (30-55 years)
Dosage: 300mg daily
Duration: 12 weeks
- Increased muscular strength (back)
- Increased muscular strength (legs)
Tongkat Ali on Circuit Training
Title: Combined effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack supplementation and a circuit training programme on bone metabolism markers, muscular strength and power, and immune functions in adult men.
Ooi FK et. al – (2015)
Test participants: 40 men (35-55 years)
Dosage: 400mg daily
Duration: 8 weeks
- Increased in muscular strength
- Increased in power output
Tongkat Ali on Resistance Training
Research Title: Effects of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack Supplementation Combined with Resistance Training on Isokinetic Muscular Strength and Power, Anaerobic Power, and Urinary Testosterone: Epitestosterone Ratio in Young Males
Chen et. al – (2019)
Test participants: 40 men (19-25 years)
Dosage: 200mg daily
Duration: 8 weeks
- Increased in muscular strength
- Increased in peak power
Why does Tongkat ali work well on sports activities?
Here is a quick scientific explanation.
- Studies have shown that our body produce a burst of testosterone (temporarily) during workouts or when engaging sports activities. Depending on your age, it takes up to 15 minutes after workout before you can witness increase in testosterone.
- As your heart pumps more blood (which contains hormones – required to achieve specific sports tasks), simultaneously your hormonal glands are working equally hard to produce more testosterone to fuel your energy and muscle strength.
- Therefore, supplementation of Tongkat Ali through its bioactive ingredients (such as eurycomanone, eurypeptides and glycosaponin and polysaccharide) fuel the nutrients required by the endocrine system. In fact, Tongkat Ali is clinically tested to affect more than 50% of key hormones in your endocrine system.
- As a result, Tongkat Ali effectively fuels your adrenal glands, Leydig cells and testes to produce more testosterone and reduce the cortisol levels (i.e stress hormones) to prevent your body from muscle fatigue and other overtraining symptoms that can limit your sports performance.
The above provides reasoning behind why supplementation of Tongkat Ali between 400mg to 600mg daily may work effectively for sports; more so if you require extra strength or energy before your workouts, or if you are into serious competitive sports.
Sports That Are Best Suited With Tongkat Ali
Tongkat Ali is regarded as one of the best all-around sports supplements that benefit many sports activities.
Tongkat Ali is best suited for sports activities that require muscle strength, energy and stamina (endurance) such as:
- Weight training
- Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Most real-life encounters of Tongkat Ali displayed noticeable effect of “instant boost of energy”, prolonged stamina during anaerobic exercises, and greater strength during strength or weight training.
We will cover more about that later in the article, and how various clinical trials validated the ergogenic effects of Tongkat Ali when your body is subjected to sports-related activities.
Benefits of Tongkat Ali on endurance-related sports
Whichever clinical studies you refer to, Tongkat Ali has been tested for decades to have positive impact on sports activities, with notable effect on endurance
If you are into endurance sports activities such as cycling, marathons (or long-distance running, triathlons), Tongkat Ali may benefit you in a surprising way.
Taking Tongkat Ali effervescent may help you stay hydrated whilst ensuring higher bioavailability from Tongkat Ali. This is an excellent choice for long-distance running or marathon.
Here is one aspect how Tongkat Ali can benefit endurance sports.
- Studies suggest that low intensity long-distance running and overtraining may temporarily weaken your immune system.
- Whilst Tongkat Ali works by boosting testosterone as evidenced in multiple studies, Tongkat Ali is also clinically tested to restore your immune system by increasing T-cells and CD4 T-cells – which may be a good preventive measure when your body is exposed to endurance-related sports.
- This study is backed by a placebo-controlled Tongkat Ali study conducted by Japan scientists showing improved immune system after consuming 200mg daily of Physta® Tongkat Ali for four weeks.
Here are other Tongkat Ali benefits that is associated with endurance-related sports:
- Improvement on muscular strength of the lower limb
- Improved strength on leg press
- Improvement in upper body muscle
- Improvement in squats and bench press
- Improvement in muscular force grip strength
- Improvement in peak power output
Ideal dosage for endurance & general workout
- Most clinical tests on humans involved measuring the before and after effect of Tongkat Ali involved consuming at least a minimum of 200mg during pre-workout.
- If you are into bodybuilding and weight training, taking 400mg – 600mg of Tongkat Ali daily is effective to improve strength and muscle development.
- You can refer to our detailed dosage guide for various sports activities.
Usage of Tongkat Ali for overtraining
Whether you choose to take Tongkat Ali coffee or Tongkat Ali effervescent, Tongkat Ali helps faster muscle recovery from overtraining. Here is why Tongkat Ali is important in such a situation.
There are many studies that showed Tongkat Ali’s ability to restore hormonal balance in your endocrine system. As a result, this minimizes further neuroendocrine disorders from overtraining.
Here is what you need to know when you are overtrained.
- Results from overtraining may cause higher cortisol, lower immunology and lower testosterone.
- Yes, your testosterone may drop if you overtrain. In fact, a study showed that too much of endurance exercises will reduce testosterone by 20-40%.
- So taking Tongkat Ali may reduce cortisol (i.e stress hormones) substantially and increase your testosterone (by releasing both free testosterone and total testosterone) while improving your immunology parameters (eg: T-cells and Cd4 T-cells)
Are you experiencing overtraining syndrome?
There are symptoms of overtraining that can be reduced by taking Tongkat Ali. Overtraining syndrome is a neuroendocrine disorder characterized by:
- poor performance in competition
- inability to maintain training loads
- persistent fatigue (or muscle fatigue)
- reduced catecholamine excretion
- frequent illness
- disturbed sleep and alterations in mood state.
- If you are experiencing overtraining syndromes or symptoms related to overtraining (eg: muscle fatigue), take 400mg Tongkat Ali daily for few days until the symptoms subside.
- Meanwhile, use the resting period to recover fully, ideally immerse in an ice-cold bath or cold showers 20 minutes a day.
- Tongkat Ali will release more free testosterone that is responsible for muscle protein resynthesis, resulting in an accelerate-rate of repair of muscle proteins damaged by overtraining.
Usage of Tongkat Ali for weight training
Tongkat Ali benefit most from weight training and resistance training. Both types of exercises are naturally a good fit to boost and maintain a healthy testosterone after workouts.
Aside from clinical studies on Tongkat Ali, real-world performance of Tongkat Ali showed significant increase in energy, muscle growth and fat loss after consuming 200-400 mg of Tongkat Ali daily for a minimum of four weeks.
A four-week Tongkat Ali experience by James from the United Kingdom is one of many real-world reviews of Tongkat Ali’s performance. It worked amazingly well for James who spends his time intensely 5 days a week.
To complement his health stack, James reported that taking 400mg of Tongkat Ali “made a world of difference” in his daily workouts, with increased reps. He further added that he could carry 20% more weights after consuming Tongkat Ali.
There are long-term reviews of Tongkat Ali too, so do check out our six-week review when paired with twice a week exercise. This review is ideally if you are on a less-intense exercise regime.
Will Tongkat Ali make you run, swim, climb or cycle faster?
Consuming Tongkat Ali will not make you run, climb or cycle faster. There are no sports supplements in the market today that will improve sports performance related to speed.
So if you expect Tongkat Ali will cut down your 0-100m sprint by few seconds, than you will be greatly disappointed.
If you notice an improvement in your sprint time after taking Tongkat Ali, that has to do with your limb muscles growing stronger coupled with your training regime.
However, when consumed in higher doses of 200mg-400mg daily, Tongkat Ali may have a positive impact to your overall endurance if you are doing a 800m running, or even in marathon.
The impact of testosterone flowing through your blood as your heart pumps more blood throughout the training session (or competition) serves as a key advantage from consuming Tongkat Ali.
What type of other exercises can benefit from Tongkat Ali?
Aside from the list of sports which we have listed earlier, you may consume Tongkat Ali 1 hour before your workout to gain more from the following exercises:
- heel raise with dumbbells
- lateral raise with elastic band
- leg curls with elastic band
- bicep curls with dumbbells
- leg abduction with elastic band
- front raise with dumbbells
- knee extension with elastic band
- arm extension with dumbbells
- half squat with elastic band
- standing chest fly with dumbbells.
In recent years, Tongkat Ali has grown into a popular supplement for yoga. So, if you want to maximize your yoga performance and benefits, get a healthy dose of clinically-tested Tongkat Ali and feel the difference!
Tongkat Ali for sports amateur and non-professional athletes
Two questions if you are sports amateur, or a non-professional athlete.
- Can I take Tongkat Ali if I am not a professional athlete?
- Will I gain any sports performance benefits from Tongkat Ali if I am not active in sports?
For many of us who are not professional athletes, we ought to know that our testosterone fluctuates throughout the day, and in most cases drops by almost 50% as we age.
Sports supplements such as Tongkat Ali is beneficial to optimize our testosterone levels before indulging in our regular training or leisure / regular exercises.
Tongkat Ali is the only sports supplement that can be taken daily or over a prolonged period without side effects.
And for most sports amateurs, Tongkat Ali comes in handy as an ideal sports supplement to restore the testosterone dip, especially as you age. Optimal testosterone is necessary during sports activities or when performing exercises.
Or, if you are planning to get back in shape – Tongkat Ali is the ideal 1st time sports supplement that cuts down your time by promoting weight loss and improve lean muscle development.
Our six week Tongkat Ali review is a real-world testament of how Tongkat Ali can be your ideal sports supplement to get fit in no time!
A highly potent clinically tested Tongkat Ali such as Physta® showed a significant increase of testosterone by up to 600% by test participants consuming 200mg Tongkat Ali daily over four to six weeks, and paired with multivitamins.
When consumed at higher potency before your workout, Tongkat Ali makes other pre-workout testosterone boosting supplements such as Fadogia Agrestis or Turkesterone pale in comparison.
Standardized Tongkat Ali extract with high eurycomanone reported to deliver superfast reaction time (efficacy) from Tongkat Ali’s unique bioactive ingredients (i.e eurycomanone, eurypeptides, glycosaponin) to enable your hormonal glands in order to produce more testosterone to fuel your muscles, energy and stamina.
So, be sure to purchase Tongkat Ali that is clinically tested to deliver the highest potential gains for your sporting needs.
Potent hot-water Tongkat Ali extract produces higher testosterone by optimizing your overall endocrine system and hormonal glands compared to high dose of Fadogia Agrestis and Turkesterone.
This makes Tongkat Ali one of the best sports supplements in the last century for regular men and women who are seeking to stay active, fit and healthy.
Tongkat Ali usage for professional elite athletes
Are you on the national team or competing in regional, international events, or even in the Olympics?
For well-trained elite athletes, you may gain more muscle strength from taking Tongkat Ali, albeit marginal improvement compared to non-professional athletes.
Recent placebo-controlled group study in 2020 showed Tongkat Ali supplementation increased the strength of concentric leg press and eccentric leg press of elite rugby players by 20% after 3 weeks of consuming 400mg Tongkat Ali daily.
Despite there is no significant difference between the placebo-group vs the group consuming Tongkat Ali due to both groups are highly-trained athletes (and due to small sample size of 8 test participants), the strength improvements in the group consuming Tongkat Ali suggests the improvement is rather significant after 3 weeks.
We have proven that Tongkat Ali is one of the top sports supplements that drive ergogenic effects to give sports a competitive edge. This holds true even if you are a sports amateur or a beginner.
More and more people are beginning to appreciate that taking sports supplements such as Tongkat Ali benefit more than just sporting activities, but also the overall endocrine system.
Whilst anabolic steroid hormone produces increasingly more testosterone and accelerating muscle building and strength at an incredible rate, the usage is extremely harmful and not recommended by many medical experts – with negative effect on testicular functions amongst others.
Read more of our review on Fadogia Agrestis, Turkesterone and Panax Ginseng to find out if it benefits your health or your athletic performance.
Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a researcher and investigative journalist, 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 .
Our articles are third party reviewed by our panel of experts and medical advisors to ensure the facts are accurate and credible. These are validated against multiple source references which include but not limited to research studies, peer-reviewed journals, pre-clinical studies, clinical tests and other credible publications.
Our panel of medical advisors and experts are highly experienced in their individual fields. However, they do not provide any medical advice or recommendations arising from content published in this article.
The content published on this website is for educational purposes and should not be viewed, read, or seen as a prescription or constitute any form of medical advice. We recommend you consult your nearest GP or doctors before consuming Tongkat Ali or any products which contain Tongkat Ali. For further information, kindly refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.