Is Turkesterone a Steroid? 3 Benefits of Turkesterone
Despite the overwhelming popularity of turkesterone supplements, some people are still skeptical about their safety, especially considering the safety concerns expressed over typical steroids. Manufacturers have found a way around this by marketing it as a dietary supplement. However, the fact that it offers similar benefits to regular steroids is stirring up controversy in the fitness enthusiast community.
To alleviate some of your concerns, here’s a detailed guide evaluating whether turkesterone is a steroid and how it compares to actual steroids.
What Are Steroids?
The term “steroid” is a broad term for organic and synthetic compounds that work similarly to natural hormones produced in the body. They come in various forms and have different properties and applications.
Steroids work by binding to specific receptors in the cells, where they either activate or inhibit certain cellular processes. Take anabolic steroids, for instance. These steroids bind to androgen receptors in muscle tissues, leading to a significant increase in protein synthesis and muscle growth.
There are two main types of steroids:
- Anabolic steroids
Corticosteroids are steroid hormones produced in the adrenal glands. These steroids support a wide range of physiological processes, including metabolism, immune response, and the regulation of inflammation. Corticosteroids are further grouped into glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids.
Glucocorticoids are typically involved in the regulation of stress response and glucose metabolism. They also have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. Mineralocorticoids, on the other hand, support the regulation of water and electrolyte balance in the body.
Due to their unique characteristics, Corticosteroids are primarily used for medical applications to treat various conditions.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of naturally occurring hormones like testosterone. Besides increasing protein synthesis in the muscles, anabolic steroids also increase the production of red blood cells, which can significantly improve endurance during exercise.
On the downside, anabolic steroids have numerous side effects, including acne, hair loss, and mood swings. When used for extended periods, they can present more serious side effects, including cardiovascular disease, liver damage, and infertility.
What is Turkesterone?
Turkesterone is a form of ecdysteroid. These are steroid hormones commonly found in plants and insects, where they support growth and development, particularly when it comes to molting and reproduction in arthropods.
Turkesterone supplements available in the market are derived from the Ajuga turkestanica plant, which is native to Central Asia. Turkesterone has anabolic properties, which means that it can potentially help increase muscle growth, endurance, and athletic performance. It achieves this by increasing protein synthesis and actively reducing muscle damage during exercise.
However, unlike anabolic steroids, turkesterone doesn’t present many side effects. But you may still get headaches and negative interactions with certain medications. Still, the limited severity of its side effects makes it a preferable substitute for anabolic steroids among many fitness enthusiasts.
How Does Turkesterone Work?
Turkesterone works by increasing muscle protein synthesis in skeletal muscles, which significantly increases muscle growth and strength. The supplement has also been shown to activate Akt/mTOR pathways, which stimulate protein synthesis, metabolism, and growth of muscle cells.
Some studies also suggest that supplementing with turkesterone may increase glycogen levels and increase oxygen uptake in muscle tissues, which could significantly increase performance.
Turkesterone has also been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, which could potentially reduce muscle damage and improve recovery time after exercise.
Is Turkesterone a Steroid?
Turkesterone has a similar chemical structure to ecdysteroids, which are a class of hormones found in insects and some plants. These hormones have steroid-like effects but are not necessarily considered steroids, at least not in a traditional sense.
The steroid-like effects of turkesterone have made it a popular alternative to anabolic steroids. Like anabolic steroids, turkesterone has been shown to produce muscle-building benefits on the body, including supporting the development of muscles, increasing endurance, and boosting athletic performance.
Benefits of Turkesterone
1. Increased Muscle Mass and Strength
The working mechanisms of turkesterone, particularly its ability to promote muscle protein synthesis and glycogen levels in skeletal muscles, resulting significant muscle mass increases and enhanced strength.
This notion is further supported by a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, which found that supplementing with turkesterone may increase lean muscle mass and strength in both rats and humans.
2. Enhanced Endurance and Athletic Performance
Evidence suggests that turkesterone may increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels in the muscles, leading to increased strength, endurance, and athletic performance. A recent study published in the journal Phytochemistry found that when given turkesterone, rats experienced increased ATP levels in isolated liver mitochondria.
Similarly, a review article published in the journal Phytotherapy Research summarized several studies on turkesterone and its potential benefits. According to the researchers, turkesterone was found to increase ATP production in cells and tissues, leading to improved energy levels and physical performance.
3. Improved Recovery Time
Turkesterone has anti-inflammatory effects. In a 2013 study published in the journal Metabolism, researchers investigated the effects of turkesterone on recovery time and muscle damage in male rats. The study concluded that supplementing with turkesterone reduced muscle damage and inflammation, which significantly improved recovery time after intense exercise.
Side Effects of Turkesterone
Despite its numerous benefits and the fact that it is considerably safer than synthetic anabolic steroids, turkesterone comes with a few side effects of its own. This may be the reason most health enthusiasts ask, “Is turkesterone a steroid?” Some of the notable side effects of turkesterone include:
- Stomach upset, especially when taken on an empty stomach
- Increased heart rate
- Changes in blood pressure
With that said, there’s still very little research available on the effects of a turkesterone supplement on the human body. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a medical professional before using the fitness supplement.
Is Turkesterone a Steroid: Final Verdict
Anabolic steroids gave fitness supplements a bad rep. Now, people are skeptical about using most fitness supplements in the market, including turkesterone. Well, on the bright side, turkesterone is not an anabolic steroid and, thus, does not produce the adverse side effects associated with anabolic steroids.
However, despite its many benefits, turkesterone may present a few side effects like the ones mentioned above. It is important to note that not every user gets these side effects. But, to err on the safe side, always consult a medical professional before taking any supplements.