Viagra and muscle? Does Viagra, or Cialis help build muscle? Athletes from body builders to football players to mountain climbers use these PDE inhibitor drugs. Why? In this vid I cover the facts behind their use.

Sildenafil Increases Muscle Protein Synthesis and Reduces Muscle Fatigue
Clinical and Translational Science
Volume 6, Issue 6, pages 463–468, December 2013

Abstract

Reductions in skeletal muscle function occur during the course of healthy aging as well as with bed rest or diverse diseases such as cancer, muscular dystrophy, and heart failure. However, there are no accepted pharmacologic therapies to improve impaired skeletal muscle function. Nitric oxide may influence skeletal muscle function through effects on excitation-contraction coupling, myofibrillar function, perfusion, and metabolism. Here we show that augmentation of nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate signaling by short-term daily administration of the phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor sildenafil increases protein synthesis, alters protein expression and nitrosylation, and reduces fatigue in human skeletal muscle. These findings suggest that phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors represent viable pharmacologic interventions to improve muscle function.

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5 Comments
  1. Alex 6 years ago

    thanks for discussing this issue Will. I don’t use any of the prescription meds you mention, preferring to use sparingly the ED concoctions at the health food stores instead. I cant say they build muscle but when I am feeling a low ebb of energy, from time to time I will take one or two of my ED pills. They not only do what they intend but they make me FEEL better. In addition to feeling my ‘oats’ again, I have noticed that if taken an hour or two before a WO, I workout much longer and with more enthusiasm than without them. I don’t care for Viagra and its kind, they WORK but they make me feel gittery and uncomfortable which I don’t want. The health store varieties are more smooth and workable for me.

    • Rich 5 years ago

      I don’t get that Will is saying that any “ED concoction” is good for muscle mass. He is specifically talking about phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor. And with respect to those, he seems to be saying the studies are “all over the place,” and that the studies he found do not support any claims that it will work. But hey, if it makes you enthusiastic and lets you work out longer and you want those things, great. Personally, I want to work out less or the same and get better results. 🙂 Avoiding anecdotal evidence is exactly the reason studies are done in the first place, but sports medicine has so many variables!

      • Author
        Will Brink 5 years ago

        Yes, studies are far from conclusive legit phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors will help in the gym
        (much less some OTC ED supplement…) but some studies (per above) suggest possible
        benefit. This one comes under “more data needed” but it seems to be pointing toward a
        benefit. I tried 25mg of Viagra 30 mins before the gym until the samples I was given
        by my friend the pharma rep ran out, and I can’t report anything of benefit. Maybe a slightly
        better pump (insert joke here) at the gym, but no increase in strength or LBM.

  2. Jay 5 years ago

    I currently take 5mg of Cialis(tadalafil) prior to my workouts. I am a healthy 42 yr old male. I definitely can feel a difference when taking this. As you mentioned in your video the Pump is there be-it short lived but also the vascularity it helps with is tremendous. It was explained to me because the cialis helps with Blood flow this allows whatever pre-workout, supplements you have take to be able to get crammed into the muscle. Things like Creatine, Protein and BCAA have a better chance at transport to your muscle. It also helps with more oxygen to the muscle. Yes one of the side effects I do encounter is an erection that can get daunting at 3 – 4 in the morning but for the most part I have seen nothing but positives for this. Anyone with Prostate issues can greatly benefit from this as well as it increases the blood flow to your prostate and helps alleviate any problems going on there.

  3. Richard 4 years ago

    Wow, I seriously cannot believe that people actually use these type of meds/drugs to build muscle. I think the main correlation with these drugs and muscle building is the increase in testosterone. But there are many ways of increasing testosterone without the use of viagra and such.
    Pretty surprising that many athletes do this, though. Guess they don’t want to get caught with the old steroids lol.

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