Tribulus terrestris first became popular in the 1990s but seemed to have fallen off a cliff until a few years ago when people started asking me about it again. While I admit to being a tribulus skeptic – because of what the research says and doesn't say – I was intrigued by the people who commented on my review of tribulus and testosterone that tribulus territus was working for them. Specifically, people told me that tribulus was not only helping to improve muscle mass but also that it increased their sex drive and erections!
If tribulus really was doing all this, then it could be a pretty cheap and effective way to help a lot of men. So, I decided to test tribulus on myself – a 47 year old apparently healthy guy who eats fairly well and goes to the gym 3-4 per week on average. I have no heart problems in my family – in fact I think my genes are pretty good since my grandmother lived to be 104! I'm telling you this for a reason. Keep reading…
So, I went to Vitamin Shoppe and bought some Tribulus for my personal experiment. The brand of tribulus I used was Ultimate Nutrition Bulgarian Tribulus. Each capsule had 750 mg of tribulus (extract and aerial portions of the plant) and the bottle said that it contained “over 45% steroidal saponins”.
This was similar to what a commenter of my tribulus and testosterone review said worked for him. I did my experiment for about 2 weeks.
At the start of my experiment I took 1 capsule of Bulgarian tribulus a day and then after a few days or so I took 2 capsules per day.
I took both capsules of Bulgarian tribulus either together or separated by several hours to see if taking them at the same time gave me more effects.
Likewise, I took tribulus on both an empty stomach and with food to see if either of these mattered.
I did not measure my testosterone level before I started taking Tribulus terrestris. I figured that if tribulus did work, that I would notice the more obvious signs – energy, erection frequency, sex drive ect. – pretty fast.
Did Tribulus Work?
At the end of my 2 week experiment, these are the results I observed from Tribulus terrestris:
- Energy in the gym: Tribulus terrestris had no noticeable effects
- Muscle strength: Tribulus terrestris had no noticeable effects
- Erections: Tribulus terrestris had no noticeable effects
- Sex drive: Tribulus terrestris had no noticeable effects
Honestly, I didn't notice any difference at all while I was taking tribulus. That's actually why I quit taking it after 2 weeks – and that's when something did happen….
Tribulus Terrestris Side Effects
A few days after I stopped taking tribulus, I noticed that my heart started skipping beats.
Skipped heart beats and normal and we all get them from time to time. You may have heard them called PVCs – pre-ventricular contractions or PACs – premature atrial contractions.
What I experienced was NOT normal. Just while sitting, watching TV, I counted several skipped heart beats in a minute. That's NOT normal!
We take our heart beating for granted but when you can actually feel your heart stop beating for an instant, it's very scary.I searched online and while I saw people saying that tribulus might case a faster heart rate, I could not find anyone saying that tribulus caused skipped heart beats.
I never experienced any chest pain either at rest or with exercise. I even biked to the gym and didn't notice any problems. Likewise I never felt dizzy or lightheaded or had a lack of energy. Still, the skipped heart beats persisted. After about 3 or 4 days, I went to see my doctor. My blood pressure and the resting EKG test were normal. It was only after speaking to the physician's assistant in my doctors office did the idea of a “tribulus withdrawal” effect came up.
In other words, was it possible that tribulus territis was doing something in me even though I didn't notice it? And when I stopped taking tribulus, was it possible that my body reacted, which was manifested in my heart skipping beats? This is an interesting theory and I don't know if it's true or not. I know I've never had a problem with persistent skipping heart beats before. After about 5 days or so, the skipped heart beats went away and as of today have not returned.
I still think most of the effects people describe with tribulus territis are due to a placebo effect but I admit, it's possible I did not take tribulus long enough for it to work. Even if that is true, if tribulus really was connected to my heart skipping beats, I don't think it's worth it.
What do you think?