There are times in the medical field, especially in the research-based fitness industry, when a certain study makes a bold claim of a certain legal drug or compound proving it to be the magical solution that was under our noses all along!

Such a study has recently come to the surface where it explains that Sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) is potentially as effective as Testosterone for muscle building. The following is a detailed report of the study and findings.

ED Medication and Muscle Growth

Erectile Dysfunction medications such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis, are prescribed for treating performance issues where a man is unable to attain and maintain an erection. These pills increase the amount of blood flowing to the penis by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide released naturally when one is aroused.

But as it turns out, there are other reasons men of different ages might be using these drugs for. Viagra contains nitric oxide, a gas produced naturally by the body that helps increase blood flow. The increased blood flow effect is not limited to the penile tissue. Muscles all over the body are also capable of attaining increased blood supply so long as they have the ability to produce nitric oxide.

Based on that concept, some studies suggest that there may be sufficient evidence to support the claim that a daily dosage of ED medications can potentially lead to increased muscle mass. One study suggested that taking Sildenafil can help athletes deliver more oxygen to the muscles, resulting in muscle growth.

The Study

In 2013, a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science suggested that Sildenafil could increase muscle protein synthesis, reduce muscle fatigue and potentially improve muscle function.

The participating subjects were 11 middle-aged, mostly overweight men who were to take daily low doses of Viagra for eight days while experts analyzed the effect on muscle protein synthesis and muscle function compared to a placebo.

The study showed that increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body through short‐term daily administration of the ED medication, alters the protein distribution and can eventually lead to muscle growth.

Experts, however, aren’t necessarily convinced by these findings. They explain that there were serious limitations to this study, claiming that the findings aren’t valid because the study was flawed by its small sample size and duration and doesn’t provide solid evidence, revealing that actually, those results aren’t as impressive as they sound.

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The average age difference between the Sildenafil group and the placebo group was too big to draw solid proof. In addition to that, the participants’ body mass index and body fat levels were higher than average. Another major flaw that invalidates the study’s claims is that the experiment only observed mixed muscle protein synthesis as opposed to myofibril muscle protein synthesis which is the actual process of building muscles.

Experts also note that even if the results claiming that Viagra does have any benefits in terms of muscle building were to be taken into consideration, they wouldn’t actually be that significant because you can also see similar increases in muscle protein synthesis when consuming adequate amounts of protein. 

ED Medication As a Pre Workout Supplement

Even though the jury’s still out on whether or not ED medications do increase muscle growth, many men choose to take them before the workout to boost performance and improve muscle function.

If you’re considering testing the theory yourself, make sure it’s under professional medical supervision. Do your research and look for detailed reviews on to make a well-informed decision and avoid knockoff pills. Every ED medication has its own side effects and unique drug interactions that you should be aware of when choosing the right treatment.

Regardless of the effectiveness of ED pills as a pre-workout supplement (or lack thereof), whatever you decide to do, do not exceed the suggested dosage, and keep an eye out for any adverse effects. Observe your blood pressure; low blood pressure is one of the most critical side effects of ED medications and it isn’t something you’d want to risk when you’re exerting physical effort.

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Although the study shows some promising data and opens the doors for more controlled studies to be done in this area, the currently available evidence doesn’t point towards benefits in terms of muscle growth.

The claims are mostly based on the assumption that because nitric oxide improves blood flow, it can improve muscle functions and increase muscle growth. However, there’s no sufficient evidence to support these claims. If you are looking to increase your muscle mass, it’s advised to do so the traditional way with the help of a professional trainer and a well-balanced diet.


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