Finding Fitness Fads: What Is Turkesterone?

A bodybuilder with a bottle of supplements

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Guys always look for the next big thing when exercising and building muscle. What substance heightens your workouts and creates those big, burly biceps on your arms? Finding naturally occurring and high-impact supplements can be challenging, so ensuring no stone goes unturned is essential. One substance you should consider is turkesterone. What is turkesterone? Let’s discuss this substance, its benefits and its drawbacks.

What Is Turkesterone? 

As the name suggests, turkesterone is similar to testosterone and is a naturally occurring substance found in particular plants. In simple terms, turkesterone is what people call the plant version of testosterone. Some label the substance as a naturally occurring steroid, but some clarification is necessary to understand this substance.

Turkesterone falls in the phytoecdysteroid category, making it a steroid hormone. Other ecdysteroids include ecdysterone, ecdysone and 2-deoxyecdysone. Plants use substances like turkesterone in their metabolic processes and as defense mechanisms. For example, they can use their toxins to defend themselves from animals trying to eat them. 

You’ll discover turkesterone when looking at Ajuga turkestanica, Triticum aestivum (wheat), Rhaponticum acaule and similar plants. While grain is available worldwide, you’ll have to travel to find the other two shrubs. For example, Ajuga turkestanica is most common in central Asia, whereas Rhaponticum acaule grows in northern Africa. 

In the human world, turkesterone has become a supplement used by people in the fitness industry. Anabolic steroids are generally frowned upon because of their adverse health outcomes, so some have turned to the steroid hormone as a natural alternative. The goal of using this steroid hormone is to build muscle and increase your endurance, just like you would with other anabolic steroids.

Can athletes use turkesterone? As of 2024, the supplement does not appear on the World Anti-Doping Code’s list of prohibited substances, meaning the pros are free to use it. Do they take turkesterone? Some reap the benefits by incorporating it into their routine. 

What Are the Benefits of Turkesterone? 

Turkesterone is growing in popularity worldwide due to its easy access and advantages. What is the benefit of using turkesterone? Here are three reasons why people tend to take it. 

Building Muscle

One of the primary uses of turkesterone is building muscle. Taking this steroid hormone may develop your muscle mass by decreasing fat and increasing metabolism. With a higher muscle-to-fat ratio, you’ll look and feel stronger. Turkesterone assists in preparing your body for workouts and recovering from intense strength training sessions.

Man works out on a pull-up bar.

Exercise Performance

Boosting in-workout performance is why people use substances. While research on this substance and athletic performance is limited, you can still reap the benefits during your workouts. 

A 2021 Nutrients study examines the relationship between phytoanabolic extracts and exercise in male and female mice. While we don’t know how this steroid hormone affects humans, we can learn what the researchers found. The study concluded the substances (including turkesterone) resulted in muscle mass gain for the mice. If you want to gain weight through muscle mass, turkesterone could be what you need. 


Suppose you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other gastrointestinal (GI) issues. In that case, you may have to be picky regarding your dietary choices. Fitness supplements may be unkind to those with sensitive stomachs, so it’s essential to be careful. For example, protein powder may make you feel bloated and increase your flatulence due to additives. 

Luckily, this steroid hormone has demonstrated its friendliness to your body’s GI system, making it an accessible workout supplement for most people. A 2023 study examines how turkesterone dosing influences the digestive system in active males. The researchers concluded no athletes had significant alterations due to the acute testosterone doses and no adverse GI symptoms.

Man in athletic gear runs through the city.

What Side Effects Can Turkesterone Bring?

While turkesterone can bring some positive effects, being aware of its side effects is essential. The scientific world hasn’t done much research on the substance, so the most common side effects are unknown. However, we do know some of what people go through. Here are some adverse effects of taking turkesterone:

  • Nausea: When you start taking turkesterone, you may experience nausea. This side effect will likely pass after your first few days of use. In the meantime, take it easy in your workouts and lower your dosage.  
  • Dizziness: Dizziness is another common side effect of turkesterone. If you feel dizzy, stop your workout immediately if you feel unsafe. The last thing you need is an accident in the gym with your weights. 
  • Headaches: Headaches are another reported symptom with turkesterone users. If one comes, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to relax the pain. 

Is Turkesterone Effective?

Shirtless man lifts a singular dumbbell with his left hand.

The fitness industry looks for any advantage to give you a leg up. You could be a regular guy on the basketball courts or a beast in the weight room. Regardless, you’re searching for the most reliable substances. 

If you want the best workout supplements, turkesterone is not what you want. Although some research is available, we don’t know the full ramifications of the substance yet. This supplement works similarly to your body’s testosterone system in plants and insects. Still, the evidence is inconclusive for supporting athletic performance and similar uses. 

What Is a Turkesterone Alternative for Men?

If you’re not up for turkesterone, there are alternatives on the market for your consideration. These substances have proven effectiveness and bring some similar benefits. 

  • Creatine: If you take fitness supplements, the odds are good you’re familiar with creatine. This substance is famous for building muscle and post-workout recovery. You can get creatine naturally through steak, shrimp and other meats. However, you can increase your intake with powders and supplements. 
  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is a popular plant in India, Africa and the Middle East. You may find it in gummies, tea and other everyday food items. Why do fitness lovers take it? Research has demonstrated ashwagandha’s effectiveness with increasing muscle mass.
  • Caffeine: If you want a solid pre-workout supplement, consider caffeine. Many pre-workout powders contain caffeine as the active ingredient, among other nutrients. You can also find caffeine in coffee, tea and other beverages to boost your energy. 

What Is Turkesterone? A Fitness Fad

Trends in the fitness industry come and go, while others stay for generations. One fad you may have heard of recently is turkesterone. This naturally occurring substance is a safer alternative to anabolic steroids and can bring some health benefits. Should you take it? While it’s safe to use, you may be better off with creatine, protein powder and other supplements with a proven track record.

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