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The Role of Ecdysterone in Sports Nutrition: A Comprehensive Guide

Ecdysterone is a naturally occurring hormone found in animals and plants. It is a popular choice for its potential muscle-building benefits. 

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Fitness enthusiasts often seek to enhance their performance, size, and strength through proper training, diet, sleep, and stress management.

However, a few amateur and professional athletes seek to maximize their results with supplementation.

Thus, many opt for legal and illegal options, such as anabolic steroids. These medications offer potential benefits. However, they often come with side effects.

On the other hand, Ecdysterone is a naturally occurring hormone found in animals and plants. It is a popular choice for its potential muscle-building benefits.

Moreover, some believe it is a potent anabolic agent with no negative side effects. However, many are skeptical due to its lack of research in humans and substandard quality of studies.

The limited research on ecdysterone’s effects in humans should not be taken at face value.

In this post, we will delve deeper into the uses of ecdysterone and its origin in helping sports enthusiasts make informed decisions.

The Origin Controversy Of Ecdysterone

The Origin Controversy Of

During the Cold War in the USSR, the government focused on funding the development of new substances to enhance the battlefield performance of soldiers in the Red Army.

Soviet scientists stumbled upon a plant called Rhaponicum Carthaamoides. Consequently, they used this century-old traditional medicine to boost vitality, strength, and resistance.

Moreover, they developed a highly concentrated extract that effectively boosted the physical strength of soldiers. It helped them train new troops faster.

However, this information was kept confidential. In the 80s, Russia’s Olympic weightlifting team defeated their opponents. This is when the rumors about a special substance started circulating. Nevertheless, there was no proof to validate the rumors.

Understanding Ecdysterone



Ecdysteroids are a chemical that resemble androgens. These androgens are hormones that enhance male characteristics such as muscular growth, hair, deepening of the voice, and strength.

Ecdysterone is a naturally occurring ecdysteroid hormone that affects molting and metamorphosis in arthropods such as insects and crabs.

This helps the exoskeleton to shed from the animal, allowing it to grow a new one.

Moreover, ecdysterone is produced by various plants. Researchers believe that it defends against insect pests by disrupting their development and reproduction.

In the fitness world, ecdysteroids have gained popularity and a marketing edge to athletes as dietary supplements that can boost strength and muscle mass, reduce fatigue, and aid recovery.

The Natural Elements In Ecdysterone

Ecdysterone, extracted from Leuzea, is known for its ability to increase protein synthesis, muscle growth, strength, and endurance.

Although the high-quality extract from Leuzea is more expensive, it provides a complete set of beneficial effects of Ecdysterone.

In contrast, the extract from Spinach is often used as a cheaper substitute, but it cannot provide the same benefits as the original extract from Leuzea.

This is because the extracts from spinach are different. After all, it is a different plant.

Extracts from spinach standardized to ecdysteroids are considered lower quality and provide less beneficial effects when compared to the original extract from Leuzea in ecdysterone.

Benefits In Sports

Given below are the benefits of ecdysterone supplements that help sports enthusiasts:

Muscle Building

Ecdysterone is a hormone that can increase protein synthesis. Therefore, it makes it easier to gain muscle mass through strength-training exercises.

Its high “anabolic ratio” suggests it can stimulate muscle cell formation, protein synthesis from amino acids, red blood cell production, and bone remodeling.

Furthermore, estrogen receptor binding is how ecdysterone mediates its anabolic effects. This modulates immunological response, skeletal muscle growth, and regeneration.

Altering the PI3K/Akt signaling pathways also promotes the synthesis of muscle proteins. A 2015 study on rats found that ecdysterone had a strong hypertrophic effect on the fiber size of certain muscles, even stronger than other steroid compounds.

Boosts Athletic Performances

Ecdysteroid supplements are popular among athletes and bodybuilders because they build muscle, reduce fatigue, and aid recovery.

In 2019, researchers from Freie Universität in Berlin found that ecdysterone contributes to greater muscle strength and recovery in young men who exercise.

The study included 46 participants. Each of these participants received various doses of the supplement that contained ecdysterone. Next, another group of participants received supplements without ecdysterone.

Consequently, participants who took ecdysterone showed significantly higher increases in muscle mass and one-repetition bench press performance.

Therefore, researchers recommended adding ecdysterone to prohibited steroid compounds lists among competitive athletes.

The Negatives Of Ecdysterone

It’s important to note that ecdysterone is generally safe when used appropriately and not overused.

It’s not banned in the U.S., but it is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2021 Monitoring Program list.

Research has shown that supplementation doesn’t cause liver or kidney toxicity and has fewer side effects compared to other steroid drugs.

However, purchasing a high-quality ecdysterone supplement from a reputable seller is recommended to avoid potential side effects or waste of money.

Moreover, some studies suggest that combining ecdysterone with cyclodextrin can improve absorption, so you may want to consider a supplement that “stacks” these ingredients.

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