Cistanche Deserticola extract has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to its muscle-building properties. Research has shown that it can improve muscle recovery, mass, and endurance, making it an ideal aid for athletes and recreational exercisers alike. But when it comes to sports supplements, there’s a lot of conflicting information available. So, we put together this essential guide to Cistanche Deserticola extract and muscle function. In it you’ll learn exactly what it is and how it works, so you can decide if it’s something to include in your diet.
What is Cistanche Deserticola Extract?
The Cistanche Deserticola is native to deserts in China which is why it’s long been used in traditional herbal medicine. In recent years there’s been increasing interest in its sports and exercise-related benefits, with numerous scientific studies exploring its effects.
The plant is initially dried out which reduces the water content and concentrates the active nutrients. It’s then processed into a powder form which is used in Cistanche Deserticola supplements or combined with other ingredients for pharmaceutical use.
The extract has been linked to numerous health benefits as it has antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. However, it’s the sports and exercise benefits of Cistanche Deserticola that we’re really excited about…
Sports & Exercise Benefits of Cistanche Deserticola
There are three main muscular benefits that have been associated with Cistanche Deserticola extract: increased mass, enhanced recovery, and improved endurance. In this section, we dive into these areas in more detail.
How Cistanche Increases Muscle Mass
One of the key Cistanche Deserticola benefits is increased muscle hypertrophy. It’s been found to increase muscle mass by stimulating growth and inhibiting breakdown. Scientific studies have found that it can promote protein synthesis which is the process that creates muscle. It also reduces amino acid and protein degradation after exercise.
Enhancing Muscle Recovery After Exercise
Recovery is crucial for improving strength and increasing muscle mass. It’s during the recovery period that muscle fibers damaged through exercise or weight training are repaired and enlarged. Research has shown that Cistanche Deserticola consumption decreased muscle damage, delayed the accumulation of lactic acid, and improved energy. Studies have found that key enzymes involved in lactic acid production (which can cause muscle soreness and inhibit recovery) were decreased.
Cistanche Deserticola extract also increases the amount of glycogen that gets stored in the muscle after exercise. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose and an essential source of energy for our cells. Having more of it available in the muscles allows for expedited recovery and reduced soreness. This means you see greater gains as a result of your workouts and can put even more effort into the next one.
Improves Endurance During Exercise
There’s also plenty of evidence to show that consuming a Cistanche Deserticola supplement can improve endurance during exercise. Several studies have shown that it prolongs exercise duration, making it possible to work harder for longer and get even better results. It appears to do this in several ways, by increasing energy metabolism, maximizing available stores, and delaying fatigue through antioxidants.
The mitochondria are the part of the cell where energy is manufactured. One study explored the effect of Cistanche on heart muscle and found that it can increase energy generation. This is one way that it’s thought to boost endurance capacity as it extends energy reserves so that people can train for longer. The increased glycogen storage discussed in the previous section can also support endurance, allowing more intense and longer duration workouts.
Another scientific study found that Cistanche’s antioxidant properties can also improve exercise capacity. Exercise causes cellular stress and free radicals which lead to fatigue when allowed to build up. However, antioxidants in Cistanche Deserticola have been shown to reduce free radicals and delay the onset of fatigue.
The Link Between Cistanche & Testosterone
Testosterone is known to increase muscle mass and enhance fat loss, contributing to a leaner physique. Some research studies have suggested that Cistanche Deserticola extract can boost testosterone levels, which may further aid strength gains. However, the studies were relatively low quality with small sample sizes so more research is needed to establish a definitive link. This is why we also include Paederia Foetida in our Magnitropin™ complex which is proven to increase testosterone. Combined with other scientifically-tested ingredients, it makes for a complete high-quality myotropic agent and testosterone booster.
Cistanche Deserticola vs Tubulosa – Which Is Better?
Cistanche Tubulosa is another form of the desert plant which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. It grows and is processed in the same way but contains different levels of active ingredients. It’s been shown to reduce cholesterol and increase fat metabolism in animal studies. However, for muscle enhancement and sporting purposes, the Deserticola version is preferred. This is because it has higher levels of key ingredients and has been shown to have beneficial effects on muscle mass, recovery, and endurance.
Cistanche Deserticola Extract & Muscle Function – Summary
It’s clear why there is so much interest around Cistanche Deserticola extract in the strength training community. Research has consistently shown that supplementation can increase muscle mass, aid recovery, and improve endurance. It’s ability to increase protein synthesis and reduce breakdown make it an ideal aid for people looking to maximize their strength gains.
To get the most out of your workouts it’s also important to recover efficiently. Cistanche Deserticola extract supports this element of your training too, by reducing lactic acid production and delaying its accumulation. Its glycogen storage capabilities also ensure that your muscles have all the fuel they need to recover quickly.
Improving endurance is the final piece of the Cistanche Deserticola puzzle. By increasing energy metabolism, maximizing available stores, and delaying fatigue, it can enable you to train harder for longer. This allows you to get the maximum results from every workout and achieve your goals faster than planned.
Magnitropin™ – Advanced Lean Muscle Amplification Complex
Magnitropin is a high-quality myotropic agent and testosterone booster that includes 300mg of Cistanche Deserticola. Developed over years of careful research and clinical trials, it helps you to build lean muscle mass, increase your endurance and appetite, boost your strength, and improve your overall athletic performance. The advanced formula combines scientifically proven ingredients that enable you to build healthy, toned muscle mass safely and efficiently. Learn more here.
Caroline has a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science. She has an in-depth understanding of sports nutrition and wrote her Master’s thesis on protein supplementation. After graduating she also qualified as a Personal Trainer and loves to combine her knowledge of exercise, nutrition, and science to help people achieve their health goals. For over 10 years she has worked with leading fitness and nutrition companies all over the world. She also loves functional training, practising yoga, and exploring different countries in her spare time.