Turkesterone is an herbal extract from the Ajuga Turkestanica plan that’s got some incredible promise as a natural way to boost muscle size and strength.
It’s got many of the benefits of anabolic steroids without the same risks, since it stimulates muscle gains through a non-androgen pathway.
Turkesterone is the most prominent of a category of compounds called phytoecdysteroids (sometimes also called ecdysteroids) that are found in the Ajuga Turkestanica plan (note the -steroid ending to that compound category–it will come up later!).
Turkesterone and other A. Turkestanica extracts, like 20-hydroxyecdysone, have shown powerful strength-promoting effects in scientific research, so they’re an incredibly promising category of supplement to consider if you’re looking to get an edge at the gym.
Our research team has tracked science on turkesterone and ranked the best products currently on the market in this fast-growing category of strength enhancement supplement. We’ve also dug into the scientific research to find out who should use turkesterone and what turkesterone supplement is best for all of its major applications.
Last updated: January 13, 2023
Turkesterone supplements considered: 19
Hours of research: 16
Experts reviewed: 5
Scientific papers referenced: 14
1. Toniq Turkesterone
Toniq provides a hyper-concentrated turkesterone supplement that delivers 300 mg of Ajuga Turkestanica per capsule, standardized to 20% turkesterone by weight.
That means it delivers 60 mg of pure turkesterone per capsule, a full 20% increase over much of the competition.
The capsule design is pretty clean, and the cellulose-based capsules are vegan-friendly too, making this an excellent pick for bodybuilders, strength athletes, and others who want to take advantage of a highly concentrated turkesterone supplement.
2. Double Wood Supplements Turkesterone
Double Wood makes a solid turkesterone supplement that delivers 500 mg of Ajuga Turkestanica extract per capsule, standardized to 10% turkesterone.
The capsule is super simple, making this supplement a great pick for reliable turkesterone levels and the additional benefits of the other ecdysteroids found alongside it.
3. Benevolent Nourishment Turkesterone with Tongkat Ali
Benevolent Nourishment provides a solid 400 mg dose of Ajuga Turkestanica extract, and uniquely packages it alongside 200 mg of tongkat ali extract.
This is a potentially useful combo because of tongkat ali’s testosterone-boosting potential: this supplement lets you stimulate muscle growth from two directions at once: the androgen pathway via testosterone, and the non-androgenic pathway via turkesterone
4. Dorado Nutrition Turkesterone
Dorado Nutrition Turkesterone is a pretty middle-of-the-road formulation: 250 mg of Ajuga Turkestanica extract per capsule, standardized to 10% turkesterone. The capsules are vegan-friendly, and you get 120 capsules per bottle, making it a decent option if you need a moderate dosage and nothing special when it comes to extra ingredients.
5. Naturebell Turkesterone Beta-ecdysterone
Naturebell makes a turkesterone supplement that blends Ajuga Turkestanica extract with beta-ecdysterone extract, which is a source of 20-hydroxyecdysone (another potential muscle strength booster found in the same plant).
While there’s less research on combining both of these ecdysteroids, this supplement is the way to go if you want to maximize combined ecdysteroid dosage.
6. aSquared Nutrition Turkesterone
aSquared makes a turkesterone supplement with a super-pure formulation (the only ingredient aside from Ajuga Turkestanica extract is the vegan-friendly cellulose that makes up the capsule).
However, its dosage is only middling: 300 mg per capsule at a 10% turkesterone concentration. That lands it further down in our rankings.
7. Black Forest Turkesterone
Black Forest Turkesterone is a hugely popular turkesterone supplement, and looks to be a pretty solid choice with 500 mg of Ajuga Turkestanica per capsule and a super clean supplement design.
The only problem, and the reason it’s not ranked higher in our rankings, is that the Ajuga Turkestanica content isn’t explicitly standardized like it is in some of the competition.
8. Codeage Liposomal Turkesterone
Codeage puts a unique spin on turkesterone by delivering it in a lipid-based liposomal capsule, using non-GMO sunflower oil and lecithin to dissolve the turkesterone.
Though we often reward brands for effective delivery mechanisms, there isn’t enough research yet to know whether a liposomal formulation would help or hinder the bioavailability of turkesterone.
Because of the uncertainty over bioavailability, and because the turkesterone concentration and dosage are pretty standard, this supplement ends up further down in the rankings
9. Gorilla Mind Turkesterone
Gorilla Mind delivers a pretty standard 500 mg / 10% turkesterone dose, though this dosage is mixed with a hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin complex to enhance bioavailability.
Like with other competitors that have nonstandard delivery mechanisms, we rated this supplement lower because there’s too much uncertainty right now over whether nonstandard complexes will help or hurt turkesterone absorption.
Moreover, the capsule is gelatin-based, and each bottle only delivers 60 capsules, which makes this supplement poorly-suited for high dosage or long-term use.
10. Thor Ecdysterone + Turkesterone
Thor combines turkesterone with beta-ecdysterone and the same beta-cyclodextrin complex used for supplement delivery in other competitors, with the goal of boosting muscle growth beyond what you’d get with turkesterone alone.
The biggest downside with this strategy is that it cuts the effective dosage significantly: each capsule in Thor only has 250 mg of turkesterone (at 10% concentration) compared to 500 mg in most of the competition.
That combined with only getting 60 capsules in a bottle means this supplement won’t last you very long, and makes it wind up at the bottom of our rankings.
Best turkesterone overall: Toniq Turkesterone
Toniq takes our top spot thanks to their market-leading concentration: double the standardized turkesterone content of the competition, meaning you get a more potent dose from every capsule.
We also loved the clean and simple supplement design and the ample supply in each bottle. This turkesterone supplement is well-suited for anyone looking to leverage turkesterone’s benefits for strength and muscle mass.
Best turkesterone for athletes: Toniq Turkesterone
The clean, high-dosage, high-concentration formula from Toniq makes it a clear winner for athletes, who need to prioritize supplement purity and efficacy over everything else. For people in strength and power sports, Toniq is a great call.
Best Turkesterone for gaining muscle mass: Benevolent Nourishment Turkesterone
If you want to pack on muscle as quickly as possible, the combined effects of turkesterone and testosterone are a great way to do it.
That’s why we recommend Benevolent Nutrition for this use case, with its combo of turkesterone and the potent testosterone modulator tongkat ali. Aside from these two ingredients, the ingredients list is super clean, so it will integrate well with the other supplements in your stack.
Best Turkesterone for bodybuilders: Toniq Turkesterone
For bodybuilders, the high concentration of Toniq makes it an obvious choice. At double the concentration of most of its competition, Toniq Turkesterone is well-suited for people pushing their limits with high doses of turkesterone for bigger muscle gains.
Best Turkesterone for cutting: Benevolent Nourishment Turkesterone
The turkesterone/tongkat ali combo found in this supplement is a great choice for cutting, since you get the muscle size and strength benefits of turkesterone plus the fat-shedding effects of testosterone, which is boosted by tongkat ali.
Best Turkesterone for women: Double Wood Supplements Turkesterone
Double Wood Supplements is the perfect choice for women, since it’s got a focused formulation that’s not bloated with androgen precursors targeted at men, and the dosage is solid, but not excessive, at 500 mg per capsule, standardized to 10% turkesterone. For female power athletes and bodybuilders, it’s our recommendation.
How we ranked
Since turkesterone is such a new supplement, we formulated our ranking criteria based around purity and quality of turkesterone. Here’s how we rated these characteristics:
Standardized turkesterone content. Though dosage guidelines are still developing when it comes to optimal turkesterone intake, one thing that won’t change is the fact that you want to know exactly how much turkesterone you’re taking.
We prioritized supplements that used a standardized turkesterone concentration–like many herbal extracts, different Ajuga Turkestanica plants can have different concentrations of turkesterone.
So, to get accurate dosing, you want a supplement that’s got turkesterone at a standardized concentration (typically 10%, though our top-rated product, Toniq Turkesterone, delivers a more concentrated 20%).
A focus on delivering turkesterone. Turkesterone has become a popular compound for manufacturers to add to multi-ingredient supplements geared towards boosting strength or enhancing muscle size.
Most multi-ingredient supplements like Sotalix Turkesterone got cut from our rankings because they were bloated with too many other ingredients.
Often these were solid supplements in their own right, such as maca root or tribulus terrestris, but their effectiveness in combination with turkesterone hasn’t been quantified.
We made exceptions for super-focused formulations, like the turkesterone + tongkat ali combo seen in Benevolent Nourishment, since these two supplements have complementary effects, stimulating muscle growth through two different pathways at once.
Solid dosage and capsule counts. If you’re targeting a higher turkesterone dosage, like 750 or 1000 mg per day, you’ll blow through products that deliver low doses and small capsule counts.
Some products only deliver 250 mg per capsule and 60 capsules per bottle–that’s not going to cut it for a serious athlete.
We gave extra points to products with a solid dosage (after considering the turkesterone concentration of course) and products that came with a lot of capsules per bottle.
No unnecessary ingredients. As always, we eliminated products that were bloated with binders, stabilizers, or fillers, leaving only the clean, well-formulated turkesterone products.
Who should buy turkesterone?
Turkesterone has shown some pretty impressive results in early research when it comes to stimulating muscle growth . This great potential to boost muscle strength and size dictate its three primary applications:
People in strength-based sports looking to improve their muscular power and maximum force output. If you’re in a sport where strength dominates, like competitive lifting, football, or rugby, turkesterone might give you the edge you need to achieve new heights when it comes to muscle strength.
There are few non-androgen-based supplements out there with this ability, but based on the research so far, turkesterone seems to be one of them.
Bodybuilders who want to increase muscle size. Turkesterone has been shown to boost both muscle strength and muscle size, making it an excellent addition to your bodybuilding supplement stack.
It’s especially good for natural bodybuilders, since it stimulates muscle size increases through a non-androgne-based pathway, avoiding prohibitions around certain steroid and androgen hormone precursors, like DHEA .
Athletes looking to gain muscle while shedding fat. Dropping fat mass while building muscle is incredibly tough–many of the usual strategies, like running a caloric deficit, have inhibitory effects on muscle gains.
The converse is also true: bulking supplements help increase muscle size, but also make you put on body fat. Turkesterone is great for gaining muscle while cutting, since muscle synthesis is directly stimulated through a cell signaling pathway.
Q: Where does turkesterone come from?
A: Turkesterone is the most prominent of the compounds found in the extract of the Ajuga Turkestanica plant, which grows in mountainous regions in Uzbekistan.
It’s long been used in that region as a folk remedy for boosting strength and treating chronic illness, but it’s recently gained traction among athletes thanks to emerging evidence that turkesterone and other compounds in A. Turkestanica are able to stimulate muscle strength gains without relying on androgen steroid pathways.
Q: How is turkesterone different from 20-hydroxyecdysone?
A: Turkesterone and 20-hydroxyecdysone are both examples of phytoecdysteroids, which are a category of plant compounds that are used as an anti-insect defense by the A. Turkestanica plant.
The biochemistry of these compounds happens to stimulate cellular signaling pathways in mammals that control muscle growth and synthesis.
Most research so far has focused either on raw Ajuga Turkestanica extract, which contains both, or purified turkesterone.
But the ratio of turkesterone to 20-hydroxyecdysone in most supplements is nearly 1:1 anyways, since turkesterone is usually delivered as a raw A. Turkestanica extract, so unless you go with a turkesterone-only supplement, you’ll be getting both of these compounds in your supplement .
Q: Is turkesterone the best phytoecdysteroid?
A: Turkesterone is certainly the most promising phytoecdysteroid, based on preliminary research, but there’s good reason to believe that other compounds found in Ajuga Turkestanica are active in stimulating muscle synthesis as well.
One scientific article found over a dozen different minor phytoecdysteroids in the A. Turkestanica plant, each of which could have supplemental benefits .
The good news is that if you get an Ajuga Turkestanica-based turkesterone supplement, it’s going to have the other trace ecdysteroids as well, so you should get their ancillary benefits too.
Q: Is turkesterone a steroid?
A: Though the category of compounds that turkesterone belongs to is called “phytoecdysteroids,” turkesterone does not stimulate muscle growth through the same cellular signaling pathways as traditional anabolic steroids.
Instead, research indicates that it potentiates a strong increase in muscle size, while having no effect on androgen activity in the body .
Q: Is turkesterone useful for anything other than muscle gains?
A: Turkesterone has a long history of application in herbal medicine, and though improving muscle strength is one of these applications, it’s far from the only one.
Turkesterone has also been used for its antioxidant, immunity-boosting, and blood sugar controlling properties, according to one scientific article .
Our research team is on the lookout for new studies on the horizon that further investigate the potential to use turkesterone for controlling blood sugar, reducing inflammation in the body, and increasing levels of antioxidants in the body.
Q: When should you take turkesterone?
A: Based on very early research, it appears that it’s best to take turkesterone twice per day (morning and evening) to maintain optimal levels of turkesterone in your body.
Here’s why: Direct studies comparing turkesterone dosing strategies are still forthcoming, but it’s possible to get some idea of the optimal strategy by looking at the rate of elimination of turkesterone and other ecdysteroids in the body.
One study pegged the elimination half-life of 20-hydroxyecdysone at nine hours, meaning if you take a 500 mg dose of A. Turkestanica in the morning, only 25% of it remains in your body 18 hours later .
These numbers suggest once per day would not be optimal, as your body would quickly eliminate the ecdysteroids from your body. A twice-daily dose should ensure that your body has high levels of turkesterone around the clock to stimulate muscle growth.
Q: What is turkesterone made of?
A: Turkesterone itself is a single molecule—it’s synthesized in the Ajuga Turkestanica plant to ward off insects, and belongs to a category of related herbal compounds called ecdysteroids (or phytoecdysteroids) that appear to have muscle-building effects in humans.
Most turkesterone supplements are made from extracts of the A. Turkestanica plant itself–the whole plant is ground up and soaked in hot water, alcohol, or another solvent, which is later evaporated.
High-quality turkesterone supplements, like the ones in our rankings, then standardized this extract so it contains a known concentration of turkesterone, since different plants can contain different amounts of turkesterone.
Turkesterone is one of the most exciting new supplements for strength and muscle size gains. It’s shown some impressive results in preliminary scientific research–especially because it acts on a different cellular signaling pathway than traditional anabolic steroids.
These findings suggest that turkesterone could be an excellent supplement for increasing muscle strength and size, without the adverse effects that can come from anabolic steroids or their supplement precursors.
For BodyNutrition’s #1 turkesterone recommendation, click here.