The athletic world touts tribulus terrestris as a natural alternative to artificial steroids. Some people believe using tribulus terrestris can affect the body's muscle composition and improve a person's success with bodybuilding. Tribulus terrestris may contribute to an athlete's improved performance and add to an athlete's muscle mass [source: Monson and Schoenstadt].
There are several claims circulating that say tribulus terrestris is both safe and effective in helping athletes build their muscles, and that it avoids all the negative side effects of using steroids. The theory is that there are three chemicals found within the plant that might help foster the growth of muscles and activate the production of testosterone. Those three phytochemicals, meaning chemicals found within a plant, are dioscin, protodioscin and diosgenin [source: Chinese Herbs].
It is important to remember that the scientific and medical communities have not yet verified any of the claims made about tribulus terrestris. All of the claims you hear about tribulus terrestris heightening the ability of cells and tissues to absorb the most protein and energy from food are generally speculations based on sparse studies [source: Chinese Herbs].
Visit the links below to learn more about tribulus terrestris.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Al-Bavati, Firas A. and Hassan F. Al-Mola. "Antibacterial and antifungal activities of different parts of Tribulus terrestris L. growing in Iraq." Journal of Zhejiang University Science. 1/16/08. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2225498
- Alternative Health Guide. "Tribulus Terrestris." (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.alternative-healthguide.com/ayurveda/tribulus_terrestris.htm
- Antonio, J. et al. "The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males." International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 10, 2. June 2000. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10861339
- Calflora. "Tribulus Terrestris." Calflora Database. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=8024
- CDFA. "Puncturevine." (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/PHPPS/ipc/weedinfo/tribulus-terrestris.htm
- Chinese Herbs. "Tribulus Terrestris for Athletes and Bodybuilders." (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.chinese-herbs.org/tribulus-terrestris/tribulus-and-bodybuilding.html
- Monson, Kristi and Arthur Schoenstadt. "Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris." MedTV. 10/7/08. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://men.emedtv.com/tribulus-terrestris/benefits-of-tribulus-terrestris.html
- Monson, Kristi and Arthur Schoenstadt. "Tribulus Terrestris Side Effects." MedTV. 10/7/08. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://men.emedtv.com/tribulus-terrestris/tribulus-terrestris-side-effects.html
- Santoso, Alex. "Treat Impotence Without Drugs." Ask Men. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.askmen.com/sports/health_60/79c_mens_health.html
- USDA. "Tribulus terrestris." (Accessed 3/20/09) http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=TRTE