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Ecdysterone supplements are sweeping the fitness world by storm, and if you look at the potential health benefits, it’s easy to see why.
The supporters of ecdysterone claim that it’s a ‘natural steroid’ that boosts muscle growth with none of the side effects of man-made anabolic steroids.
But perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that ecdysterone is a naturally occurring chemical found in arthropods (insects, crustaceans, etc.) and plants.
Every so often, a new class of supplements come along that surpasses all expectations, and phytoecdysteroids appear to be one of them. Ecdysteroids or phytoecdysteroids are categories of naturally occurring steroidal compounds found in certain plants and arthropods, including ecdysterone, ecdysone, and turkesterone.
However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty around how these compounds work and the differences between subcategories like ecdysone, turkesterone, or beta ecdysterone supplements. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at ecdysterone (sometimes known as 20-hydroxyecdysone), its effects on the human body, and how best to use it for improved gains.
What Does Ecdysterone Do To The Body?
Ecdysterone is structurally similar to testosterone – the male sex hormone and a well-known anabolic steroid – and is believed to boost muscle growth in a similar way. In a 10-week study, 46 athletes who were administered huge ecdysterone doses experienced significant increases in muscle mass compared to the control group, indicating that ecdysterone may be surprisingly effective as a non-conventional anabolic agent
The researchers found that ecdysterone binds to estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ) and stimulates the PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, stimulating protein synthesis and muscle growth. Additionally, further studies have found that ecdysterone may improve overall exercise and performance and improve weight loss, and these ecdysterone benefits potentially make it an ideal workout supplement.
What Do Ecdysterone Supplements Do?
Ecdysterone supplements are designed to deliver an effective ecdysterone dosage in a convenient package, which is more often than not a compact capsule. Then, the ecdysterone contents of your chosen supplement should bind to the estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ) and induce muscle hypertrophy – an increase in muscle mass.
Additionally, ecdysteroids have been shown to provide increased physical strength and endurance while boosting weight loss, making them highly desirable as workout supplements. However, ecdysterone supplements are often marketed under different names (even though the contents are exactly the same), so look out for these alternative names for ecdysterone:
- Beta ecdysterone supplements
How Does Ecdysterone Build Muscle?
Because ecdysterone is a relatively recent discovery, there are a lot of questions surrounding it, such as how does it work, is ecdysterone natural and are there any side effects? Fortunately, researchers have observed the effects of ecdysterone on the human body and theorize that it helps build muscle by enhancing nitrogen retention and protein synthesis, both of which contribute to muscle growth. Secondly, ecdysterone exerts an anabolic effect on the body by increasing the amount of free testosterone, as it binds to estrogen receptors and decreases active estrogen levels. Lastly, ecdysterone works differently to other steroids, as it doesn’t bind to androgen receptors and doesn’t appear to cause harmful hormonal imbalances like most man-made anabolic steroids.
How Much Ecdysterone To Take?
There is currently no recommended ecdysterone dosage, and the ideal amount will vary based on the user’s age, health body mass, fitness goals, etc. A 2015 case study found that many bodybuilders used doses of up to 1,000mg per day, though it’s worth noting that much smaller doses are still effective, as in the previously mentioned study of 46 athletes, some of whom only took 48mg of pure ecdysterone per day. The ideal dosage for you will depend on your anatomy and responsiveness to anabolic compounds, so it’s worth experimenting a little before asking does beta ecdysterone really work. While we recommend starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing it until you notice the benefits, here is a basic guideline for recommended ecdysterone dosages:
• Beginner: 250mg/day
• Intermediate: 500mg/day
• Intensive: 1,000mg/day
When Is The Best Time To Take Ecdysterone?
Because many ecdysterone benefits (improved muscle growth, increased strength) lend themselves to physical exercise, most sources recommend taking it before or after exercise. So, why not try mixing some ecdysterone powder in your pre-workout protein shake or taking a capsule before you go to bed to make the most of the muscle-boosting properties? Alternatively, if you’re a bodybuilder and plan to take a huge ecdysterone dose, you could spread it out and take half in the morning and half in the evening. Either way, no studies have shown a noticeable downside to taking ecdysterone supplements in the morning or evening, before or after exercise, so you should go with whatever allows you to keep a consistent dose easily.
Benefits Of Ecdysterone Supplements
Now that we’ve laid to rest the questions of is ecdysterone natural and does beta ecdysterone really work, let’s go over the benefits. Multiple studies and hundreds of personal accounts show that ecdysterone is surprisingly effective when used as a dietary supplement and has some powerful benefits, such as:
Increases Muscle Mass
Ecdysterone has anabolic effects on the human body and helps increase muscle mass by increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention and decreasing levels of active estrogen. Some animal studies show that ecdysterone use leads to significant differences in body composition, even when resistance training, showing that it functions like an anabolic steroid without the side effects.
A Russian study of track & field runners found that athletes saw their working capacity (stamina) increase by 10-15% after taking ecdysterone for 20 days. These findings show that taking ecdysterone in pill or ecdysterone powder form will help with training adaptions and increase your exercise performance.
Reduces Blood Glucose
In addition to the anabolic properties of ecdysterone, it also helps lower blood sugar levels in patients with mild to moderate levels of blood glucose, lowering their risk of diabetes. However, there is currently no evidence that ecdysterone can help treat diagnosed cases of diabetes, so please do not try using beta ecdysterone supplements as a form of diabetic medicine.
May Support Heart Health
Multiple studies show that ecdysterone has antioxidant and adaptogenic effects, which help to destroy free radicals that could damage your cardiovascular system over time. Furthermore, ecdysterone helps fight metabolic syndrome – a combination of symptoms like high blood pressure, obesity and prediabetes – and may contribute to long-term cardiovascular health.
Best Ecdysterone Supplements To Buy
When choosing the best ecdysterone supplements for your needs, you should always check the dose to be sure you’re getting a huge ecdysterone dose (assuming that’s what you want) and buy from trusted manufacturers. To help you find the best products for your ecdysterone needs, we’ve assembled a shortlist of our favorite supplements, including:
Double Wood Beta Ecdysterone
Double Wood Supplement’s beta ecdysterone supplements contain 250mg of ecdysterone in each capsule and are proudly made in the US to a gluten-free recipe with non-GMO ingredients. While they don’t have as much ecdysterone as the other items on this list, these supplements have tons of positive reviews attesting to their muscle-boosting benefits, so they get our recommendation.
Muscle Empire Beta Ecdysterone
Muscle Empire’s supplements contain a healthy 275mg of beta-ecdysterone in each capsule and are free from soy, dairy, eggs, fish, and gluten, allowing you to enjoy all the ecdysterone benefits on a plant-based diet. We would recommend these supplements to anyone with allergies interested in ecdysterone, as it clearly states it is free from a variety of common allergens, not just the ones we listed.
NatuRoids Beta Ecdysterone
These supplements from NatuRoids contain a blend of ecdysterone extracted from cyanotis vaga root, L-leucine and spinach extract to support your gains with completely vegan ingredients. What’s more, these supplements are billed as “the natural advantage,” as if they’re trying to end the “is ecdysterone natural?” questions before they start, so this is one for all the bodybuilders trying to stay natty.
Another plant-based entry, Nutriissa’s supplements contain 500mg of ecdysterone powder in each vegetarian capsule, making it easy to hit the 1,000mg per day dosage that many bodybuilders swear by. If you’re interested in trying a high dosage ecdysterone routine, these are an excellent way to squeeze 1,000mg of ecdysterone into your routine.
The categories of ecdysteroid and phytoecdysteroid supplements continue to amaze and could help you achieve the gains you’ve always dreamt of whilst being much safer than many anabolic steroids. Although research is limited, studies show that these relatively new supplements are extremely effective in building muscle, so you should stop asking does beta ecdysterone really works and dip a toe into the brave new world of plant-based steroids now.
Disclaimer: Always consult a medical professional before trying a new supplement regime, and remember to exercise responsibly, as pushing yourself too hard may result in injuries.
My name is Isabella Archie, and I'm an experienced health consultant and author. With a Doctor of Medicine degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and 10 years in the field, I have developed customized health plans for individuals, groups, and organizations. I've written numerous articles and books on various health topics, with a mission to empower people to take control of their health through education, motivation, and support. My ultimate goal is to help people lead healthier and happier lives.