What is Ecdysterone? | Uses, Side Effects, and Benefits

Dr. Mike Jansen

Last Updated December 18, 2022

Dr. Mike Jansen

 December 18, 2022

Curious… what is ecdysterone?

Do you wonder if ecdysterone really is the next big bodybuilding supplement, or if it’s just another scam?

Then you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we detail everything you need to know about ecdysterone, including whether or not this “legal steroid alternative” is as good as people claim it is.

We also answer your most important questions, including:

  • Is ecdysterone a steroid?
  • What’s the best ecdysterone dosage?
  • Do I have to cycle ecdysterone?
  • Does ecdysterone have any side effects?

…And much more!

If you’ve been wondering about all this, then you’ve come to the right place, as we detail exactly what this over-the-counter supplement is, and why bodybuilders love it so much.

We’ll be giving you a thorough rundown on the history of ecdysterone, how people use it, and more importantly, why you should probably get it now before it’s banned for good.

Now let’s get started!

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What is Ecdysterone?

You might have heard rumors circulating in the fitness and bodybuilding community about a potent, naturally occurring compound providing steroid-like results and minimal side effects.

Ecdysterone, otherwise known as 20-beta-hydroxyecdysterone, is a naturally-occurring group of plant hormones called phytoecdysteroids [1].

They’re found in plants such as quinoa and spinach, as well as certain fungi.

Arthropod insects such as scorpions and butterflies also produce phytoecdysteroids in order to facilitate molting. In fact, more than 300 different ecdysteroids have been isolated from animal and plant sources [2]. Ecdysterone is structurally almost the same as testosterone [3].

Ecdysterone Vs Steroids

Now, you might be wondering… is ecdysterone a steroid? Not exactly.

Ecdysterone is not like the anabolic androgenic steroids normally used in bodybuilding, such as dianabol or trenbolone, because it doesn’t actually raise your hormone levels [3]. However, ecdysterone does have powerful muscle-building properties.

Russian scientists conducted numerous tests in the 1970s to determine its effects… and the results were shocking.

They found that ecdysterone has anabolic properties comparable to the potency of the commonly used and powerful oral steroid, dianabol [4, 5]. Since it’s a substance that occurs naturally, ecdysterone has been marketed as a safe alternative to synthetic steroids [2].

In fact, a study even showed that the gains from taking ecdysterone were even greater than those acquired from commonly used synthetic steroids [4].

In light of the coverage ecdysterone has received lately, such as a report on CNN, a lot of people both in the fitness community and in the public at large are curious as to what benefits ecdysterone can have for humans [6].

Ecdysterone And Bodybuilding

Typically, ecdysterone is taken by athletes or bodybuilders who want to enhance their physical performance without having to worry about the harmful side effects associated with anabolic steroids.

For this reason, ecdysterone is considered a ‘natural’ alternative to steroids, and is often marketed as such.

When people take ecdysterone, they can expect to see several benefits that have been proven to exist according to multiple studies. These benefits include increased muscle mass, greater strength, faster recovery times, and enhanced endurance and stamina [4].

Ecdysterone Studies

In terms of its history, ecdysterone has actually been around for quite a while.

The first pharmacological tests related to it were done on rats and mice in the 1960s, with the intention of monitoring possible adverse effects of ecdysteroids on vertebrate organisms. Studies such as these have led to more and more research into how ecdysterone and other ecdysteroids, like turkesterone, could be used to enhance athletic performance [3].

One important thing to note about ecdysterone is that it might not be available to buy for very long. This substance came under major scrutiny as the result of a German study in 2019, which was funded by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency).

Researchers found that the performance enhancing effects of ecdysterone were so substantial, that they recommended it be added to WADA’s list of banned substances [7].

Although that hasn’t happened yet, it was added to the WADA Monitoring Program in 2020. This that it may be banned from professional sports in the future, or even registered by government agencies as a controlled substance.

Ultimately, there remains little doubt that ecdysteroids like ecdysterone do have anabolic effects in humans [3].


What are the Benefits of Ecdysterone?

Over the past few years, a growing number of voices in the fitness community has praised the benefits of taking ecdysterone.

But is this natural substance just another short-lived trend in the supplement industry? Or is ecdysterone truly a naturally occurring substance that can actually produce the same, or even greater anabolic benefits of normal steroids?

One of the main benefits of ecdysterone is an increase in lean muscle mass and strength [3, 8].

This occurs in part because ecdysterone stimulates an increase in protein synthesis in skeletal muscle tissue. In fact, studies show that ecdysterone can increase protein synthesis as much as 20%!

Studies performed on non-human mammals have produced even more spectacular results.

One study in particular showed that ecdysterone supplementation resulted in a stunnig 115% increase in lean body mass. Ecdysterone has also been found to cause increases in both skeletal muscle mass and muscle protein [3, 9].

Ecdysterone has also been shown to help with fat loss and weight loss in humans. This is good news if you are on a diet and looking for something to give you an extra edge.

A Russian study found that while subjects did both resistance and endurance training for three weeks, their body fat levels fell drastically, with an average reduction of up to 14% [3].

Increased stamina and endurance are also a major benefit of taking ecdysterone.

Research has shown that ecdysterone has apoptogenic properties, particularly in swimmers. One study showed that ecdysterone supplementation increased the amount of time they could stay swimming by up to 22%.

It was also found to improve the ability of mice to run for up to 32% longer before reaching a point of fatigue [3].

Finally, ecdysterone usage can also benefit people by quickening recovery from intense exercise. Studies have shown that an improvement in appetite, sleep, and the general physical and mental state of human subjects have been recorded, without adverse side effects [3, 8, 9].

Is Ecdysterone a Steroid?

If you hear about a bodybuilding supplement being discussed in the mainstream news, then it’s critical to look at the facts and understand what the supplement actually is.

After all, there are a lot of myths surrounding other popular sports supplements like creatine.

This is certainly true in the case of ecdysterone. While marketers may exaggerate certain claims, it needs to be pointed out that ecdysterone isn’t legally considered an anabolic steroid. It may marketed as a ‘legal steroid alternative’ or a ‘natural steroid,’ but its effects on hormones are completely different from traditional anabolic steroids.

The confusion is understandable, considering that several studies have proven that ecdysterone induces anabolic effects in human subjects, such as improved strength, increases in muscle mass, heightened stamina, and rapid recovery.

These benefits come about as a result of increasing the activity of polyribosomes – the cytoplasmic parts in cells where protein synthesis occurs [5].

Also, unlike steroids, ecdysterone isn’t toxic to the liver [3, 8].

This is because, while the structure of Ecdysterone is similar to other anabolic compounds, it does not bind to vertebrate steroid receptors.


Is Ecdysterone Safe?

The choice to start taking any sort of bodybuilding supplement often comes with many factors to consider. Namely, is this compound safe to take?

When it comes to commonly used anabolic steroids, reports of adverse side effects are extremely common.

They can bring about a variety of unpleasant conditions, depending on what kind of steroid is used, for how long, and what the dosage is. Irritability, skin rashes, or an increased appetite are some of the less harmful effects.

Shrinking of the gonads, high blood pressure, and excessive organ growth are some of the more severe effects that users may experience [10, 11].

On the other hand, the majority of studies have reported data showing that ecdysterone is not toxic to humans and is generally safe to use [3].

For instance, in 2006 researchers sought to analyze the effects of ecdysterone and select other compounds on training adaptations. 45 fairly active and athletic male participants were selected to take part.

One of those groups took just 30 milligrams of ecdysterone once per day.

In the end, the data showed that the men were significantly stronger on mainly two lifts – the bench press, and the leg press, while no adverse side effects were reported [4].

Is Ecdysterone Legal?

Considering all the hype around ecdysterone’s efficacy, there are plenty of people who are unsure as to the legal status of this controversial supplement.

As of early 2022, when this article was written, ecdysterone is completely legal and available to buy as an over-the-counter supplement. This is a crucial difference to take into account between ecdysterone and traditional anabolic and androgenic steroids.

As mentioned in this guide, ecdysterone is not classified as an anabolic steroid, and is therefore completely legal to purchase, possess, or consume in the United States [12].

What happens if ecdysterone is added to the list of banned substances by WADA?

In that case only athletes competing in professional sports would be prohibited from using ecdysterone or beta-ecdysterone.

If used for any other purpose, arrest or legal prosecution would not be warranted if someone is found selling, buying, possessing, or consuming ecdysterone, since WADA’s ruling would not directly result in ecdysterone being added to the list of controlled substances in the United States.


Is Ecdysterone a Banned Substance?

There are studies claiming ecdysterone can produce anabolic effects similar to popular steroids like dianabol. However, it’s not banned for use in professional sports, nor it is illegal to buy over the counter at multiple online retailers.

This is good news for competitive athletes who are looking to gain an edge over their competition in a manner that’s both legal and totally permitted by major governing bodies for professional sports.

Even though ecdysterone isn’t on the Controlled Drugs and Substances List, you shouldn’t get too excited.

While the authorities may be impartial to fitness fanatics buying ecdysterone capsules online, WADA isn’t. Known as the World Anti Doping Agency, WADA is the governing body responsible for deciding which substances can be allowed to be consumed and used in professional competitive sports, from powerlifting to Olympic swimming.

They actually sponsored a German study in 2019 on how ecdysterone affects athletic performance.

The researchers concluded that ecdysterone was far too potent to be used freely by athletes, and ought to be placed on the list of prohibited substances [7]. If that were to come about, ecdysterone would join a number of other banned substances, like beta-blockers, narcotics, stimulants, diuretics, and of course, anabolic steroids.

While that hasn’t yet become a reality, they did, however, decide to put it on their watchlist of monitored substances.

Whether they’ll actually ban it or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, rest assured that ecdysterone is completely legal. You may want to consider taking advantage of the opportunity to try it out while you still can.

It’s important to note that many bodybuilding supplements have been deemed illegal sooner or later.

For example, superdrol, one of the many pro-hormones that has been advertised as a ‘legal steroid’, was made illegal according to both the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 and Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2012 [10, 11, 12].

It’s hard to predict the future.

However, as of 2022 ecdysterone is 100% legal to purchase, own and consume for recreational use and in professional sports.

Ecdysterone and Bodybuilding

In bodybuilding, ecdysterone is looked at as a convenient alternative to traditional anabolic steroids, pro-hormones, or SARMS, especially due its low risk profile.

Another reason ecdysterone has grown in popularity in the bodybuilding community, is because it’s ingested orally in both capsule and powder form, so there’s no need to worry about using a syringe, which is typical for anabolic steroids.

There are some steroids, such as the oral steroid dianabol, which does not require the use of a syringe. However, most anabolic steroids need to be injected to work properly.

Ecdysterone may be a good alternative for athletes who are looking to enhance their physique, without having to inject a foreign substance into their bodies.

There isn’t a lot of data covering the optimal or recommended dosage for ecdysterone. Most of the studies on ecdysterone have focused on 8-12 week cycles, with no adverse effects being noticed.

We also recommend users keep their cycles within this range, and to not exceed two cycles per year. This will ensure that you get the maximum results from this supplement, with no unwanted side effects.

We recommend waiting for more research showing it is safe to use ecdysterone year-round before attempting this yourself.

The studies referenced here also have analyzed the effects of daily Ecdysterone dosages ranging from 30 milligrams per day, up to 2 grams per day [3, 8]. Since most Ecdysterone supplements for bodybuilding are dosed at 500 milligrams per capsule, we would suggest not exceeding 1000 milligrams per day.

In any case, new research is always being carried out, and so experimenting with a relatively new supplement like Ecdysterone should be done responsibly.

Best Ecdysterone Supplements | 2023 Edition

With the wide selection of ecdysterone supplements on the market, it can be difficult to determine which vendor to trust when it comes to making a purchase. Hence, we set about researching the myriad of ecdysterone supplements available online.

Ultimately, our team discovered two online vendors selling superior ecdysterone capsules, according to some strict criteria.

Here are some of the questions we sought out to answer:

  • How’s their shipping?
  • What is their manufacturing process like?
  • Do their products have decent reviews?

We’ve answered all these questions and more.

Huge Supplements is our number 1 recommendation for a vetted and reputable source to buy ecdysterone capsules from. Here’s why:

  • High-quality products. Their products are made in an FDA-approved facility in the United States, as opposed to in a location overseas, where manufacturing practices can be considered questionable.
  • Fast shipping. Their shipping is also world class, as they can send your purchase to any country – except for those in the European Union. You can even enjoy free shipping if your order exceeds $100 and you are purchasing from within the United States.
  • Superior customer service. Should you need to speak to someone at Huge Supplements, you’ll be happy to hear that their customer service is top-notch. Their customer service representatives are very knowledgeable and their wait times are minimal.
  • Enhanced absorption. Another advantage of Huge Supplements’ ecdysterone product is that it includes cyclodextrin – a polysaccharide that quickens absorption of ecdysterone into the body.

As you can see, there’s a number of reasons why Huge Supplements is our #1 recommended source for buying quality Ecdysterone.

You can learn more and buy 98% pure Ecdysterone capsules here:

Order the best Ecdysterone from Huge Supplements...

An alternative vendor we recommend is Intelligent Elephant. Not only do they have competitive prices for their products, but they also provide the option to pay for your order via cryptocurrency, like Ethereum or Bitcoin.

You can learn more about Intelligent Ecdysterone and make your purchase here:

Order the best Ecdysterone from Intelligent Elephant...

What is Beta-Ecdysterone? | Verdict

In conclusion…

In this in-depth guide we took a deep look at ecdysterone, including what it is, its history, and why it’s being so sought after nowadays.

Ecdysterone is not technically a steroid, even though it’s been proven in multiple research studies to have anabolic and androgenic effects equal to or even greater than some steroids, such as dianabol or trenbolone.

In terms of its biology, ecdysterone is a naturally-occurring plant and insect hormones called phytoecdysteroids. Ultimately, ecdysterone is a generally safe supplement to use, with a whole host of proven benefits.

Ecdysterone is also legal to buy, sell, possess, and consume, while traditional anabolic steroids are regulated as part of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

It’s easy to understand why there would be confusion about whether ecdysterone is a steroid or not, based on the name of the class of substances it’s a part of, as well as the overwhelming amount of steroid-like effects it has.

Interested in trying ecdysterone for yourself?

If you’re on the fence about trying ecdysterone capsules, then we suggest picking up a bottle of ecdysterone from Huge Supplements, our #1 ecdysterone vendor.

We like Huge Supplements because they have extremely high-quality products, as well as excellent customer reviews, fast shipping, and superior customer service.

So what are you waiting for?

Pick up a bottle of Huge Supplements’ ecdysterone today and take your fitness game to the next level!


  1. Phytoecdysteroid. Phytoecdysteroid – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/phytoecdysteroid
  2. SLAMA, K., & LAFONT, R. (1995). Insect hormones – ecdysteroids: their presence and actions in vertebrates. Eur. J. Entomol., 92(1), 355-377
  3. 20-Hydroxyecdysone: The pro-anabolic, plant steroid. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.huhs.edu/literature/20-Hyroxyecdysone.pdf
  4. Wilborn, C.D., Taylor, L.W., Campbell, B.I. et al. Effects of Methoxyisoflavone, Ecdysterone, and Sulfo-Polysaccharide Supplementation on Training Adaptations in Resistance-Trained Males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 3, 19 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-3-2-19
  5. Dinan, L., & Lafont, R. (2006). Effects and applications of arthropod steroid hormones (ecdysteroids) in mammals, Journal of Endocrinology, 191(1), 1-8. Retrieved Feb 15, 2022, from https://joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/191/1/1910001.xml
  6. Spinach chemical should be put on doping ban list, say researchers. By Jack Guy and Stephanie Halasz, CNN. Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT) June 25, 2019.
  7. Isenmann, E., Ambrosio, G., Joseph, J.F. et al. Ecdysteroids as non-conventional anabolic agent: performance enhancement by ecdysterone supplementation in humans. Arch Toxicol 93, 1807–1816 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-019-02490-x
  8. R. Lafont, L. Dinan, Practical uses for ecdysteroids in mammals including humans: and update, Journal of Insect Science, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2003, 7, https://doi.org/10.1093/jis/3.1.7
  9. Simakin SY: The Combined Use of Ecdisten and the Product ‘Bodrost’ during Training in Cyclical Types of Sport. Scientific Sports Bulletin. 1988, 2:
  10. Anabolic steroids. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2022, from / https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/brochures/steroids/public
  11. Steroids. DEA. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/steroids
  12. Rules – 2011. 2011 – Proposed Rule: Classification of Two Steroids, Prostanozol and Methasterone, as Schedule III Anabolic Steroids Under the Controlled Substances Act. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2011/fr1123.htm
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