Herbs for Athletic Performance & Building Lean Muscle

When many of us hear about an herb or supplement that will boost our performance at the gym our ears perk up, while simultaneously does our guard and concern for our wallet. So, I'm going to share with you the herbs and formulas which I have found super effective while not costing an arm and a leg.

I take the following before every workout to enhance performance and speed recovery and support building lean muscle mass. These herbs offer an effective boost to help hit it hard whether at the gym, out for a run, rock climbing, or punching the bag. They are rich in critical adaptogens and antioxidants and have been proven effective in a great many areas of health, vitality and wellness. Without going to go into tremendous detail about all of the benefits proven by research clinical studies, we will just hit the highlights of each.

The first, and perhaps most important in my opinion, is the single herb Cordyceps Mushroom Extract (also known and Dong Chong Xia Cao in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine). This powerfully tonifying herb has historically been used by Chinese olympic athletes without containing any constituents deemed as banned substances. It's also a terrific herb for strengthening (specifically the yin) and detoxifying the lungs. Rich in antioxidants, it has also been shown to be good for the heart with adaptogenic qualities to help with stress. The Cordyceps mushroom is actually a parasitic fungi that grows on the head of caterpillars in nature. The herb, however, is grown in a rice biomass for our consumption, proven as effective as what has traditionally been harvested in the wild.

Second up, Eleuthero (also known as Siberian Ginseng). Also an adaptogen and rich in antioxidants, this powerful herb gives a boost of clean energy, without being overly stimulating, and helps the body heal from injury and wounds. It has been shown to improve athletic performance, alertness and endurance.

Next, Maca Tribulus Fenugreek by Natural Sport. The marketing behind this and other similar products touts that it will naturally increase ones testosterone levels. I really don't know about that, but adding this to my pre-workout herbal cocktail proved a significant contribution to providing a powerful and noticeable boost at the gym. Whether it has has had any affect on my T levels is up for debate. This formula also contains some Cordyceps, which reinforces the importance and power of this little herb.

The Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha has long been touted a power tonic and adaptogen, reducing stress, speeding recovery, general vitality and increased stamina.

Last up, Horny Goat Weed, and not just because the name is rad. This peculiar herb, also known as Epidemium, is said to have been named after herders observed their goats eating the weed growing in their fields and then, shortly after,  engaging in enthusiastic mating. Studies in mice have shown it to dramatically increase their testosterone levels, and it is thus assumed to have the same effect in humans. Again, I don't know about that but it does give a nice boost to physical energy, wards off fatigue, and improved the circulation of blood. As far as its effects on a boner... we'll be taking that up in a future article.

I take three of each of the above Natural Sport formula, two Cordyceps caps and one Eleuthero, one Ashwagandha and one Horny Goat Weed about thirty minutes prior to any workout with a large glass of water. And I often slug a small, yet strong, cup of coffee before the gym as well, so long as I am getting there before 1 or 2 pm.

Hope y'all find this informative, interesting and effective. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out or leave comment below.


This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatment. You should always consult your doctor or qualified health care practitioner before taking new herbal or nutritional supplements.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published