The supplement turkesterone (scientific name: ajuga turkestanica) has absolutely exploded in popularity over the past year in bodybuilding and athletic communities as a potential game changer for building muscle, gaining strength and setting new PRs - with some people comparing it to the gains you’d get from steroids - with all the downsides.
So what is Turkesterone, does it live up to the hype and is it wroth shelling out the cash for? Let’s fine out:
What Is Turkesterone?
Turkesterone is a type of ecdysteroid - a plant hormone that exists to help develop the plant or insect. This compound drives the development of the plant or insect and pushes their development forward.
It’s become wildly popular in bodybuilding circles because it has been said to help promote muscle building to the level of anabolic steroids, but because it is not an actual steroid and is not anabolic, it does not have any of the downside androgenic effects that you would normally encounter in a steroid cycle - including hair loss and requiring a post-cycle therapy.
Because of this - some people consider it a “hack” to stay natural while still getting a little boost in their performance. Others however, consider turkesterone an unproven waste of money.
Personally, upon reviewing the evidence, we’d place this more in the “promising, but unproven” rather than the “complete bullshit” category most people seem to reflexively jumping to.
What Other Ecdysteroids Exist?
Turkesterone is part of a series of ecdysteroids including ecdysone, ecdysterone, 2-deoxyecdysone and Turkesterone.
The origins of the word “ecdy” come from “ecdysis” - the process of molting for insects.
The Origins of Turkesterone
Before turkesterone blew up online - it started like all great things - in a Russian research lab somewhere (we joke). But seriously, old Russian research studies report astounding effects of turkesterone use.
However, it’s almost impossible to actually verify these things in real life and for some reason, these studies have not been replicated (or even tried).
While the theories and mechanism of actions make sense intellectually - most people won’t really be satisfied until turkesterone has a decade or so of research under it’s belt.
That said, some of what the older research claims seems really, really good.
Possible Benefits of Turkesterone
Turkesterone benefits seem to include:
- Improving overall body composition
- Helping build lean muscle
- Better overall muscle-to-fat ratio
- Improved recovery time
- Improved muscular endurance
- Possible improved anxiety symptoms
- Possible sleep improvements
The merits of and repeatability of each of these claims varies, but people do seem to report good results with the product (although it could possibly be placebo and vary greatly based on the brand involved).
Some users have reported gains similar to that of when they were on anabolic steroids, but without having to go through a post-cycle-therapy which is common with anabolic steroids due to their androgenic effects.
Possible Side Effects of Turkesterone
There is not enough studies out there to comprehensively list all the possible side effects of turkesterone.
However, thankfully - there seem to be pretty standard fare for supplements - and nothing dangerous.
Some people have reported nausea or upset stomach while taking turkesterone without food - but that seems to be a highly individualized reaction.
This is something you’ll need to weigh and evaluate on your own risk assessment.
Turkesterone Legality & Banned Status
Turkesterone is legal to take in the United States and is not considered a steroid.
However, there is some concern among members of places like WADA that think that Turkesterone is so effective that it may need to be banned.
That said for the time being, it’s 100% legal to buy and available for purchase in the US.
We will update this page if this status changes.
How to Properly Dose Turkesterone
You should dose Turkesterone at about 500mg / day. Some people have tried up to 1000mg / day with good results, but there are not many studies at or above that level.
Turkesterone is not a steroid so you don’t need to cycle, but you should evaluate everything 8-12 weeks into taking the product to see exactly where you stand and notice any changes that have happened.
Turkesterone should not cause any sort of long-term dependence so you don’t have to worry about post-cycle therapy issues like you would with typical steroids.
Most turkesterone supplements contain anywhere from 2-10% turkesterone in their product. Anyone who claims to have 90% turkesterone in their product you should be wary of - that’s simply not how the compound works.
Why Did Turkesterone Get Popular?
YouTube More Plates More Dates was the first major internet personality we heard talk about the effects of Turkesterone.
From there, Andrew Huberman mentioned it a few times - most notably on Joe Rogan - which obviously caused a huge interest in the product.
We’ve also seen twitter avatar BowTiedOx reference it as well throughout his newsletter.
However, the real popularity set in when it started getting popular from these sources and other twitter, blog and YouTube personalities set in to start calling turkesterone a scam.
The Controversy Around Turkesterone
As turkesterone has grown in popularity, so has the controversy around it.
You’ll see lots of “turkesterone scams” blogs and vlogs as they get tons of clicks.
But, when you dive in and take the time to watch these 10-30 minute vlogs, the click-bait turns out to be just that. There's a few categories the criticisms seem to fall into.
“Turkesterone is Overpriced”
Most of the complaints in the videos are “turkesterone is overpriced” or “turkesterone did not work for me” - which can be subjectively true of any supplement. This are concerning, but not more so than other supplements.
Some people do not like the fact that people are making money on Turkesterone at all - which is a hard claim to counter in any way (this is the supplement space after all).
“Turkesterone lacks studies”
Some people take issue with the lack of studies on Turkesterone. This is true as we’ve noted above, but the problem is that this is true of any new supplement on the market. The only way for more research to be done, is…for more research to be done. And in that research - someone needs to be a guinea pig. If a person isn’t comfortable with the level of research that exists - that’s fine. However, some people might be more risk tolerant and want to experiment themselves. We haven’t seen enough research on Turkesterone to say that it’s dangerous so in light of that - in a free country people should likely be able to spend their money on whatever they like (even if a YouTube person thinks it’s a waste).
“Some brands don’t contain turkesterone”
The most serious complaint we saw was on reddit where one user claims that every bottle they have tested did not actually contain turkesterone, but instead beta-ecdysterone - which is a sister compound.
We are not able to validate the claims or know the brands they’re referencing, but these would be serious if true.
Because they contain beta-ecdysterone - people could still see some serious gains here, but it would be problematic that the exact compound is not turkesterone itself.
Because of this, it’s always important to trust the brands you’re buying from and ask for a certificate of analysis or third party testing when possible.
Where To Buy Turkesterone
Given turkesterone is a relatively new supplement, it’s tough to know what to buy from or where to buy it at. We recommend you buy it from Turkesterone.com - they have tons of papers and citations on their cite and by far have the most compiled research of any other Turkesterone retailer we found on the internet.
Summary & Final Thoughts
Turkesterone is a new and promising new supplement that seems like it can help build muscle and strength alongside a well programmed fitness routine.
While it is newer to the scene, it can still potentially be very useful.
Like all things with your health, your decision to use Turk may line up to your risk tolerance. Do you like being on the cutting edge or do you need decades of research before you feel comfortable taking something?
That’s something only you can only answer for yourself.
Sources & Citations for Turkesterone
For further reading on Turkesterone from official sources, check: