Tongkat Ali on Strength, Muscle and Sports Performance: Facts & Benefits

Natural sports supplements such as Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) contain anabolic properties that are increasingly popular amongst sports amateurs and professional athletes.

Tongkat Ali is consumed widely as a pre-workout and post-workout supplement to boost sports performance by increasing muscle strength during training and aid post muscle recovery after training. This helps to enhance endurance from premature muscle fatigue. This is why Tongkat Ali is used widely in bodybuilding or weightlifting competitions in recent years..

This article deep-dive the usage of Tongkat Ali as a sports supplement, and how it benefits muscle development, strength, and more from your sports activities.

Summary: Benefits of Tongkat Ali in sports 

Here are key benefits of Tongkat Ali in enhancing sports performance to give you that competitive edge:

  1. Increase muscle strength – through elevated testosterone and higher protein synthesis
  2. Increase lean muscle mass / Fat-Free Mass (FFM) – 
  3. Improve energy usage – better energy and protein synthesis
  4. Reduce muscle fatigue – by reducing the accumulation of lactic acid 
  5. Faster muscle recovery time – with the help of elevated testosterone to repair damaged tissues
  6. Improve endurance and stamina – by restoring the required testosterone levels during intense workouts
  7. Higher anaerobic output: from high level of testosterone required for the body to function optimally


Tongkat Ali is widely studied for its ergogenic effects in sports (i.e effects that enhance energy production, use and recovery) and for its anabolic actions through testosterone boosting mechanism.

In fact, Tongkat Ali has been used widely by sports athletes such as bodybuilders, weightlifters, rugby players and footballers to help promote stronger muscles, stamina, and endurance.  

For instance, AKARALI is one of the top global Tongkat Ali brands that has worked with a natural bodybuilding competition in Australia to help natural bodybuilders achieve optimal performance and goals.

Tongkat Ali’s global popularity as a sports supplement hinges on a winning attribute that sets it apart from other sports supplements.

Scientists believe boosting testosterone is a key winning advantage to bring a competitive edge in sports as it may promote athletic performance through long-term anabolic actions that promote stronger muscles, better fat burn and efficient use of energy during endurance races, and better protein synthesis for lean muscle growth.

Clinically tested to boost testosterone by 581% when paired with multivitamins, this makes Tongkat Ali an effective daily supplement to enhance sports performance by active and non-active adults.

Does Tongkat Ali boost sports performance?

Tongkat Ali is scientifically proven to enhance sports performance; mainly underpinned by its potent adaptogen and anabolic properties that boosts testosterone whilst restoring energy to optimal levels when your body is exposed to strenuous activities during training/competition.

Decades of human clinical trials showed Tongkat Ali as one of the best natural testosterone supplements to boost sports performance better than Ashwagandha, Fadogia Agrestis and Panax Ginseng.

In general, Tongkat Ali is an effective sports supplement that helps you in the following sports activities: 

  • Bodybuilding: Tongkat Ali is used in natural bodybuilding competitions to gain faster lean muscle mass, metabolism and fat burn due to its thermogenic properties.
  • Rugby: Tongkat Ali supplement may help boost energy, muscular strength and endurance that requires both leg muscles and upper body strength during rugby competitions.
  • Long-distance runner or sprinter. Tongkat Ali may help sprinters that require a constant boost of high free testosterone levels during competition
  • Rock Climbing: Tongkat Ali’s supplementation helps rock climbers achieve better performance through higher anaerobic power output required during climbing.
  • MMA / Muay Thai: Tongkat Ali’s boost on anaerobic output helps MMA or martial arts activities that require a higher energy burst during training or in competition.

Does Tongkat Ali help in cardio?

Tongkat Ali helps in sports that demand short-duration of maximal efforts, which require high anaerobic Peak Power Output (PPO) and Anaerobic Capacity.

Tongkat Ali human study showed an improvement of anaerobic peak power output and anaerobic capacity by 12-15% after 8 weeks of Tongkat Ali supplementation.

Test participants who took Tongkat Ali with Resistance Training (RT) showed the largest increase in anaerobic peak power, indicating that Tongkat Ali may help athletes achieve their optimal cardio and energy performance.

Results from anaerobic studies suggest Tongkat Ali may benefit long-distance runners, rock climbers and MMA fighters by giving added energy (power output) when required. This effectively helps to reduce premature muscle fatigue whilst promoting efficient energy utilization across different muscle groups more efficiently.

Studies on the effect of Tongkat Ali on sports performance

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


Tongkat Ali (LongJack) pilot study on active adults showed increased muscle strength, muscle growth and Fat-Free Mass (FFM) after 5 weeks of 100mg Tongkat Ali daily supplementation.

Tongkat Ali effects on sports activities for senior adult men and women.

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


Tongkat Ali supplementation of 400mg daily for 5 weeks increases hand grip indicated by higher muscle force amongst aging adults, supplemented by an increase of testosterone levels observed in male and female test participants aged 57 to 72 years.


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


Tongkat Ali study on a group of healthy male adults (30- 55 years) showed an increase in upper back muscle strength and leg muscles after 12 weeks.

Tongkat Ali effects on Muscular Strength and Power

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


Tongkat Ali helps adult men improve their circuit training performance with increases in muscular strength and overall power output based on 400mg daily consumption of Tongkat Ali over 8 weeks.

Tongkat Ali Effects on Resistance Training on Young Adult Males

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


The Tongkat Ali study on young adult males (19-25 years) showed an increase in overall muscular strength and an increase in peak power output based on 200mg daily consumption of Tongkat Ali extract for 8 weeks. The test participants was exposed to resistance training 3 times a week over a course of 8 weeks.

Sports That Are Best Suited With Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali is best suited for sports activities that require muscle strength, energy and stamina (endurance) such as:

  • Bodybuilding
  • Weight training
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Rock Climbing
  • Rugby
  • Football
  • Parkour
  • Calisthenic
  • Yoga
  • HIIT
  • 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.

Does Tongkat Ali benefit endurance-related sports?

Tongkat Ali studies showed a positive impact on sports activities, with a noticeable effect on sports endurance and performance.

If you are into endurance sports activities such as cycling, marathons (or long-distance running, triathlons), Tongkat Ali supplements may help you to maintain a constant supply of energy from optimal testosterone levels throughout the race.

Taking Tongkat Ali effervescent is the best form of supplement amongst sports enthusiasts that ensures you stay hydrated and get the best bioavailability from Tongkat Ali. This is an excellent choice for long-distance running or marathon.

Here are other Tongkat Ali benefits that are associated with endurance-related sports that involve strength or repetitive muscle movements:

Tongkat Ali effects on muscle recovery and overtraining

Tongkat Ali helps faster muscle recovery from overtraining. 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.

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.

Does Tongkat Ali benefit muscle growth?

Tongkat Ali contains high crude protein content, between 20% to 40% that helps muscle growth when paired with weight training and resistance training. Tongkat Ali’s high plant-based protein is comparable to chia seed, soya bean, tofu and other natural plant-based protein sources that helps muscle growth and recovery.

According to professional bodybuilder Sazali Samad, he takes Tongkat Ali daily to help build more muscle and keep his metabolism at peak levels. As a 10-time Mr. Universe and other world bodybuilding titles under his belt, Sazali Samad claimed that he has been taking Tongkat Ali supplements along with protein supplements for 5 years to achieve optimal muscle growth.

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.

Which is the best Tongkat Ali for bodybuilding?

According to YNF Australia bodybuilding event co-founder Andric Lim, AKARALI Tongkat Ali stands out as the preferred choice amongst semi-pro bodybuilders due to its high potency, clinically backed human studies and high-quality safety standards.

In a recent bodybuilding competition held by YNF in Perth Australia, users reported that Physta Tongkat Ali extract is used by world bodybuilding champions such as Sazali Samad and other professional bodybuilders.

Can I use Tongkat Ali in bodybuilding competitions?

Yes, Tongkat Ali is a safe natural supplement that is used in natural bodybuilding competitions in Australia, UK and the US. Natural bodybuilders use drug-free Tongkat Ali natural supplements to improve lean muscle mass, reduce body fat and maintain high levels of metabolism to ensure they stay in shape.

Does Tongkat Ali increase muscle strength?

Yes, studies showed Tongkat Ali exhibits Insulin Growth Factor (IGF) properties and increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH) that helps in the development of muscular strength with improvements in hand grip force, and leg press.

Is Tongkat Ali good for endurance sports?

Yes, Tongkat Ali may improve your endurance if you are competing in long-distance running, swimming, cycling or climbing. Tongkat Ali is taken at least 2 hours before training or competition at 200 mg to 600 mg. 

Types of exercises when taking Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali works effectively when used with weight training exercises to boost testosterone, energy and muscle gains.

You may gain more energy, libido and testosterone boost when performing any of 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.

Tongkat Ali for sports amateur and non-professional athletes

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.

FAQ: User Guide

Get more answers on Tongkat Ali’s effects on muscle, stamina, endurance or sports performance.

Can I add Tongkat Ali with protein shake?

Yes, you may add a quarter of a teaspoon of Tongkat Ali powder extract into your protein shake, and smoothies along with slices of banana or strawberry for added taste. You may use protein shake in the morning or as a pre-workout drink with added advantage due to high level of crude protein (~40%) from Tongkat Ali root extract.

What are the benefits of adding Tongkat Ali in my protein shake?

Tongkat Ali hot water root extract contains high natural plant-based crude protein content between 20% to 40%, which is comparable to soya bean, chia seeds and other grains that helps to aid muscle growth or recovery. The added advantage is that Tongkat Ali contains zero fat which is an ideal ingredient to your smoothies or protein shakes. However, you should take small amounts of Tongkat Ali powder extract between quarter of a teaspoon (< 1g per serving) to your protein shake for optimal maximum protein intake.

How best to take Tongkat Ali for sports?

There are two ways of using Tongkat Ali for sports activities. The first approach is to take Tongkat Ali capsules between 200mg to 400mg at least an hour before hitting the gym or any sports activities. This allows time for your body to digest the Tongkat Ali capsules and time for the nutrients to absorb into your blood. The second approach is by adding a quarter of teaspoon of Tongkat Ali powder extract into your pre-workout protein shake which allows faster absorption an hour before you perform any cardiovascular or weight training activities.

Does Tongkat Ali helps burn more fat during sports?

Tongkat Ali contains thermogenic (fat-burning) properties that aid fat loss. When used in cardio or with high-intensity exercises, Tongkat Ali’s studies on obese adults showed a reduction in BMI after 112 days.

In other sports involving muscle mass development, Tongkat Ali is used by bodybuilders to achieve more lean muscle mass and reduce fat loss in their weight training.

Which type of Tongkat Ali is best for sports?

Clinically tested Tongkat Ali with standardized hot water extract is best suited for sports activities and competition due to its fast-acting bioactive properties that help to restore energy, promote muscle-building activities and reduce fatigue during endurance or high-intensity sports.

Does Tongkat Ali increase leg strength?

A 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 of Tongkat Ali daily.

Sports science researchers concluded there are sufficient human clinical studies to suggest that Tongkat Ali may help sports activities that involve rapid movement of upper and lower leg muscles such as football, rugby, sprinters, marathon runners, and others.

The above study showed higher strength improvements from concentric leg press in the group consuming Tongkat Ali after 3 weeks.

Does Tongkat Ali benefit rock climbers?

Yes, Tongkat Ali boosts energy and muscle recovery and increases concentric along with eccentric leg strength which enhances rock climbing performance. Eccentric contractions amongst rock climbers are known to cause more muscle damage, thus Tongkat Ali supplementation helps muscle recovery in those areas.

What is the recommended Tongkat Ali dosage for athletes?

For sports amateurs 200 mg to 400 mg daily dose of Tongkat Ali helps to restore your lost energy, while higher dose of 400 mg to 600 mg is suitable for semi-professional athletes who are seeking peak performance during training or competition.

Can I take Tongkat Ali and Creatine together?

Yes, it is safe to combine both Tongkat Ali and creatine as part of your sports supplement or daily stack. Creatine contains amino acids glycine, l-arginine and l-methionine whilst Tongkat Ali contain eurypeptides (i.e polypeptides comprising a chain of amino-acids). Both are essential in helping muscle development during post-recovery whilst restoring optimal hormonal levels during training.

However, you are advised to monitor any severe side effects when combining Tongkat Ali and creatine as part of your daily diet.

Can I take Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha to improve sports performance?

There are no studies to suggest any performance improvements in sports activities when combining Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha together. Ashwagandha is primarily used to elevate mood whilst Tongkat Ali is used primarily to boost testosterone to optimize sports performance.

Does Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis improve energy and muscle strength?

Both Tongkat Ali and Fadogia may boost testosterone and energy performance. However, Fadogia may not be suitable for sports amateurs or athletes as it has severe effects on the liver and may cause kidney failure.

Is Tongkat Ali banned by WADA?

Tongkat Ali is not on the banned list of substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Using Tongkat Ali may not exceed the Testosterone / Epitestosterone (T/E) limit ratio of 4.0 set by WADA. 

A study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine showed the Testosterone vs. Epitestosterone ratio (i.e T:E ratio) of athletes consuming 400 mg of Tongkat Ali recorded an acceptable range of TE ratio between 0.63:1 and 0.74:1 after six weeks.

Due to the low T/E ratio, this study suggests that Tongkat Ali may be safe as long as the doping policy of the Olympics Committee or WADA remains unchanged.

Can I add Tongkat Ali with other supplements to boost sports performance?

Yes, you may add or mix Tongkat Ali with other supplements to boost sports performance for amateurs and semi-professional athletes. Here are common supplements that can be mixed or added with Tongkat Ali.

  • Creatine
  • Protein Powder
  • Omega 3
  • Green tea
  • Fadogia Agrestis
  • Ashwaghanda
  • Turkesterone
  • Caffeine
  • Vitamin D
  • Nitrates
  • Zinc
  • Boron
  • Magnesium

Parting Thoughts

In conclusion, Tongkat Ali is one of the top natural sports supplements that increase ergogenic and anabolic actions that enable higher anaerobic performance from stronger muscle strength.

A word of caution. Tongkat Ali is not an anabolic steroid and many athletes are using Tongkat Ali in international competitions for better stamina, energy and stronger lean muscle mass.

Add Tongkat Ali with your other supplements such as creatine and protein shakes to experience a significant boost of energy in your workouts.

Have fun!


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.

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