DHEA Benefits for Bodybuilding

DHEA (short for dehydroepiandrosterone) is a supplement that has been around for some time but many people are still largely unaware of it. What is it? DHEA is a hormone that your body's adrenal glands produce. The supplement form comes from soy or yam sources.

DHEA acts as a precursor for testosterone. It is a "prohormone" that ties into testosterone. A precursor is an element that the body converts into a hormone - in this case, testosterone.

So if your body makes it, why do you want to supplement for it? Unfortunately the body's creation of DHEA tops out when you are young. As you move beyond your early 20's your DHEA tapers off, hence the need for specific supplementation to help keep testosterone levels up.

Boosting testosterone is not the only reason why you might be interested in DHEA. As you get older the body's DHEA levels drop off. By boosting those levels back up you may be able to stiff-arm the aging process. In fact some studies have indicated that there are positive anti-aging effects from the use of DHEA supplementation. Researchers also note some studies have not supported this factor and go on to point out that little is known about the long term effects of DHEA intake on the body.

DHEA is known to help fight depression. Studies cited in the National Institute of Mental Health have indicated that DHEA supplements helped relieve mild to moderate depression that occurs in some middle-aged people. So in addition to physical benefits, DHEA supplementation has the ability to boost both physical and mental aspects.

For bodybuilders the main concern is not mental but the physical, where the biggest benefit is the elevation of testosterone and the related increase in muscle growth that results from elevated testosterone in the body. But if you want to boost your body's precursor development of DHEA, why not simply eat soy or yams? Although these are some of the top natural sources for DHEA, you have to aggregate quite a bit of the DHEA in a single source, and that is what the supplement allows. It provides a higher concentrated amount of DHEA.

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