Last Updated: Aug 25, 2021
SteroidCycle.org is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of professional medical advice.

Cialis is a well known medication designed to assist men with erectile difficulties and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is most well known as a treatment for ED where Cialis promotes increased blood flow to the penis.

Cialis for Bodybuilding
Cialis for Bodybuilding

This increase in blood flow raised the interest of bodybuilders: if Cialis is so great at increase blood flow, could it benefit the muscle as well? This is where the idea of Cialis for bodybuilding was born.

Cialis can potentially have many lesser known and as yet lesser studied benefits particularly for aging men, in many areas of health.

Cialis is not going to have the potency of anabolic steroids – that’s not what it’s designed to do. But for bodybuilders willing to give this famous drug a go, the advantages soon become clear. In particular it’s Cialis’ positive effect on blood vessels that holds the most benefit for bodybuilders.

So while Cialis won’t be helping you get massive gains, more than a few bodybuilders have caught on to the additional benefits that Tadalafil can provide; particularly when it comes to using it pre-workout.

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Since one of the big aims of bodybuilders is to increase flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles so workouts can be enhanced, pumps boosted and ultimately more gains made, Cialis could tick many of the boxes you’re looking for in this area whether or not you’re going to use steroids.

What is Cialis (Tadalafil)?

Tadalafil, or Cialis as its brand name, is used medically to treat men with serious health conditions. These include erectile dysfunction (ED) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Cialis Bodybuilding
Cialis (Tadalafil)

Cialis is in the class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. Another well known drug in this category is Viagra.

PDE5 inhibitors were not originally researched as ED drugs: scientists accidentally stumbled upon this unexpected effect when researching how PDE5 inhibitors might help with angina and high blood pressure.

Cialis was then later approved as an oral medication for enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) where it can effectively reduce the symptoms of the lower urinary tract in men with BPH.

It starts working quickly – within just 30 minutes – and remains effective for up to 36 hours. It’s main function is to improve blood flow and it does this by helping the blood vessels to dilate, so that more blood is able to circulate more efficiently.

Cialis Benefits for Bodybuilding

Most formal scientific studies have understandably focused on what Cialis can do for erectile dysfunction; after all, that’s what the medication is made to do. But additional studies have also been carried out to focus on other areas of health, and it’s here that some interesting discoveries have been made about the more unexpected positive effects that Cialis may have in some users. Some of these positive Cialis benefits are of interest to bodybuilders.

Using Cialis pre-workout is the single main use that guys have for this drug and it’s where it provides maximum advantages. Because Cialis starts working within about 30 minutes, and reaches its peak effectiveness at about 2 hours, it’s easy to add to a pre-workout protocol whether or not you’re going to use steroids.

So what specific benefits and effects could Cialis have when used for bodybuilding? Below are some of the important findings that bodybuilders may find attractive. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that you will see any of these benefits when using Cialis, and there is still much to learn about exactly what this drug can do in multiple areas of health.

  • Increased blood flow – This is the main effect of Cialis and it’s simple: get the blood flowing more efficiently by relaxing the blood vessels. More blood going to the muscles and even the brain means a total overhaul of how you feel. Many users of Cialis report increased mental energy and clarity due to this enhanced blood circulation. Needless to say, increased blood and nutrients going to the muscles can really boost your pumps during workouts.
  • Fat loss – At least one study focusing on type 2 diabetes found that Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor drugs, which Cialis is one of, tadalafil brought about a reduction in total fat mass and abdominal fat in rats. Whether this same fat reduction potential can exist in those without type 2 diabetes is yet to be proven.
  • Better testosterone/estrogen ratio – Cialis has shown to improve the balance of testosterone and estradiol. Men need small amounts of estrogen, but bodybuilders are familiar with what happens when this hormone balance turns in the favor of estrogen: fat gain and muscle loss to name a few problems. Studies show that 12 months of Cialis use resulted in decreased estrogen levels and the potential inhibition of aromatase activity.
  • Reduced inflammation – Inflammation causes countless health problems, and Cialis has shown in studies to have an anti-inflammatory effect. One study on men with benign prostatic hyperplasia found that Cialis has clear anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Improved cognitive function – The same study found that Cialis can improve symptoms of depression and boost cognitive function. As a drug used to treat ED, sufferers of that condition often suffer with depression, but Cialis can potentially have benefits for mental health that boosts cognitive ability and function – and the better your brain is working, the more motivation and energy you’ll have for workouts. Studies show that low daily doses of Cialis significantly improved cognitive function after the administration of tadalafil for 8 weeks in men with ED or with existing mild cognitive impairment. It is not clear if this substantial improvement would be seen in healthy men.
  • Reduced prostate problems – Older men can commonly suffer with Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and Cialis has become a prescribed drug used to treat the condition because the drug was found to relax muscles in the prostate and bladder, this relieving the symptoms of increased urinary urges that come with BPH.

As we can see, Cialis has some extensive health benefits well beyond its original intention of simply being a treatment for erectile dysfunction. While not all of the above benefits and effects might seem on the surface to have benefits for bodybuilding, they can all relate back to how you’ll perform as a bodybuilder. This is particularly true for older men who are determined to keep building and maintaining muscle, but who may suffer with common health issues.

If Cialis can help reduce inflammation and keep problems like BPH at bay, you as an older bodybuilder are going to see significant benefits – essentially allowing you to perform at a level that may not be otherwise possible.

Cialis vs Viagra for Bodybuilding

Viagra is a world famous drug for ED and like Cialis, it is extremely effective in supporting men with erectile dysfunction. But can it also be used for bodybuilding? Viagra is a legitimate competitor with Cialis when it comes to bodybuilding.

If you have to choose between these two, is Cialis or Viagra better for bodybuilding? Is there much difference between the two?

Both Cialis and Viagra are in a category of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors. This impacts blood flow and causes relaxation of the blood vessel walls. While originally and medically intended to assist with penile blood flow, Cialis and Viagra can also optimize blood flow to the muscle tissue in other parts of the body, increasing nutrient delivery and enhancing pumps.

Just like Cialis, Viagra has also shown to provide a mild boost to testosterone in older men. This is unlikely to be a benefit to younger men. Cialis has the additional benefit of improving the balance of testosterone to estrogen, and this is a critical factor for bodybuilders who need to keep estrogen levels under control (especially when using steroids). For many guys this benefit alone will be enough to select Cialis over Viagra.

When it comes to side effects, both drugs are in the same class so side effects are quite similar and unlikely to be a factor in your decision. As with any medication, individual reactions differ and you might find that one or the other is a better tolerated by your body.

Viagra is often thought to work faster than Cialis, but both of these drugs have a similar acting time and both can begin kicking in as soon as 30 minutes after taking your dose. Some men will find it takes a little longer – but Cialis reaches its peak levels in the body around the 2 hour mark so there’s plenty of time to enjoy its effects during your workout.

Viagra also leaves the body much quicker – just 12 hours compared with 36 to 48 hours for Cialis because Viagra has a half life of just 4 hours, while 17.5 hours is the half life of Cialis. For most bodybuilding use, this difference will be of little concern as both drugs have considerably shorter half lives than most steroids you may be accustomed to using.

Both Cialis and Viagra have potential benefits for bodybuilders and athletes with each coming with their own small number of advantages. The one you select will likely depend on availability and any side effects that present to you as an individual.

Cialis Dosage for Bodybuilding

Cialis is available in four different dosages: 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg. Medically the drug is prescribed at anywhere from 2.5mg daily up to 20mg daily. Viagra is often not recommended to be taken daily, however Cialis is often prescribed on a daily basis.

You might think Cialis dosages for bodybuilding would need to be in excess of those used for medical reasons, but even when using Cialis for bodybuilding purposes there is no need to go above the maximum dose of 20mg daily. Even 10mg would be considered a high dose and it’s generally not recommended to even go to that level.

Most users will find that no more than 7.5mg is satisfactory for a noticeable performance boost.

Ideally, new Cialis users should start a lower dose to monitor the effects of the drug. As little as 2.5mg to 5mg daily is enough to give you an indication of Cialis’ effects.

For maximum benefit, most bodybuilders will take Cialis between 30 minutes to an hour before a workout as the drug is going to start working quickly, and it’s going to start relaxing the blood vessels and give you a noticeable boost to your pumps and cognitive function.

What about cycles? Do you need to cycle with Cialis like you would with steroids? No, this is a completely different type of substance. Most users won’t even want to use it daily because the goal of using Cialis is to get its pre-workout benefits that help boost your pumps. So just taking it on your workout days is the best strategy.

Cialis Side Effects

Like all medications, Cialis does come with its fair share of possible side effects and these are something that any potential users will want to be aware of. Most side effects are considered relatively mild and short term, and even the reported common side effects have shown to only affect a small percentage of users. Possible serious side effects, while very rare, should not deter potential Cialis use for bodybuilding as long as you are aware of them.

There are some well known and relatively common side effects with Cialis that are mostly mild and short lived. These include:

  • Headaches – Cialis causes some drastic blood flow changes and this can bring on headaches. Headaches are one of the most common issues Cialis users will experience with any erectile dysfunction medication. This is usually a short term effect which subsides on its own.
  • Blocked nose – Nasal congestion can happen because of the blood vessel dilation that Cialis causes. This isn’t a harmful side effect for most people and usually goes away on its own within a short time. The opposite can also develop: some users report a runny nose after taking Cialis. Those with existing breathing issues might need to see a doctor to develop ways to minimize this side effect.
  • Facial flushing – The increased blood flow and blood vessel dilation can affect the small blood vessels in the face, leading to redness of the face similar to if you were blushing or strenuously exercising. The chest and neck could also be affected this way. Only a small percentage of Cialis users have reported flushing as a side effect. It usually subsides in a short time. If you are prone to flushing, reduce the risk by avoiding alcohol, spicy food, and caffeine,
  • Muscle and back pain – Studies show that up to 10% of Cialis users will experience back pain, while muscular pain is also experienced by a small percentage of users including in the back and legs. Severe back pain was showed in the above study to impact less than 5% of users. The exact cause of this pain is unknown and is thought to be an effect of all PDE5 inhibitors. Reducing your dosage may assist in minimizing these side effects.
  • Indigestion – All erectile dysfunction drugs can cause indigestion and heartburn due to the impacts on the muscle tissue. Stomach discomfort or stomach pain may also occur but usually subsides within a short time.

Some of the more concerning or serious side effects you might face when using Cialis include:

  • Vision changes – Blurred vision, vision with a blue tinge and increased sensitivity to light are some of the vision-related side effects that have been reported with Cialis. In most people these are temporary. If you already suffer from disorders of the eye your doctor might recommend not using Cialis at all.
  • Hearing problems – A rare reported side effect is a sudden decrease in hearing or ringing in the ears. If this occurs, stop using Cialis right away and seek medical advice.
  • Prolonged erections – Cialis is an ED drug but its effects should be short term. If you notice painful or prolonged erections, stop using the drug.

Most mild and common side effects will subside on their own as Cialis has only a 17.5-hour half-life so is mostly gone from the system within 36 hours. If symptoms persist or if you experience more severe and uncommon symptoms, discontinue use immediately. If you are experiencing unwanted side effects but still wish to use Cialis for bodybuilding purposes, lower the dosage and avoid any dosage about 7.5mg per 24 hour period.

FAQs

What Cialis dosage is best for bodybuilding?

There is no one best dosage, but there is a limited range of dosages of Cialis that are considered both safe and effective. Your dosage for bodybuilding will be no different to that often prescribed when Cialis is used medically. New users can start as little as 2.5mg before a workout. Most users will see no reason or benefit in using any more than 7.5mg. 5mg to 7.5mg is considered by most users to be the optimal dosage when using Cialis for bodybuilding.

Does Cialis raise testosterone?

While the purpose of Cialis is not to raise testosterone, but instead to promote blood flow and blood vessel dilation, studies have shown that this medication can increase testosterone, and improve the testosterone and estradiol (an estrogen hormone) ratio in men with low testosterone disorders and type 2 diabetes.

Is Cialis good for pre-workout?

This is the main – and only – real use for Cialis for bodybuilding. It is a fast acting drug that soon after taking begins to cause the blood vessels to relax and dilate, so increased blood circulation occurs. This leads to more nutrients and blood going to the muscles, ultimately helping you achieve more powerful pumps during a workout. For this reason Cialis is always taken before a workout.

Cialis will start having a noticeable effect as quickly as 30 minutes after taking it, although it takes between one and two hours for Cialis to take full effect in the body. Most users will take their dosage around 30 minutes to an hour before working out.

Does Cialis lower blood pressure?

We know that some anabolic steroids can bring about an increase in blood pressure, so some guys might consider if Cialis is an option for reducing blood pressure when using steroids. Studies show the drug only has a small effect on lowering blood pressure in some people due to the relaxation of blood vessels. However it’s not considered a common solution for steroid using bodybuilders to use Cialis for blood pressure – instead you should focus on minimizing blood pressure by controlling water retention.

Can Cialis improve lean mass?

Some studies have shown that Cialis may contribute to mild lean muscle gains indirectly. It can enhance secretion of insulin, and help lower estrogen. Since Cialis is used for pre-workout to boost pumps, your increased ability to lift weights is going to help improve muscle gains. So while Cialis is not a muscle growth drug by any means, it can have some indirect effects on helping with lean gains.

Can Cialis help decrease body fat?

Some studies have shown that Cialis may help with fat loss in type 2 diabetics. It’s not considered a drug that can substantially aid with fat loss, and this is not a reason that bodybuilders will use Cialis. As a pre-workout drug, Cialis can enhance your physical performance so you improve your ability and capacity to lose fat. The ability of Cialis to improve testosterone to estradiol ratios may assist in some way with reducing estrogen’s ability to increase body fat.

Does Cialis help depression?

Some users of Cialis for bodybuilding might feel their mood lift. The extra blood flow to the brain may assist with improving mental clarity, mood and concentration. Studies on men suffering with ED who also had depression showed that Cialis improved symptoms of depression. However it’s not known whether Cialis’ ability to address erectile dysfunction is the main reason these men saw their depressive mood lift. Bodybuilding users of Cialis have spoken of the extra energizing and mental boost the drug can provide before a workout.

My Conclusion and Recommendation

I just feel better when I’m on Cialis and before I read about this benefit I was questioning it myself, because it seemed like I was always in a better mood when I was using Cialis.

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  • Improves sexual performance
  • Promotes powerful, rock hard, lasting erections
  • Shown to increase sexual desire & confidence

There are 4 primary ways that Cialis helps for bodybuilding:

  • Cialis improves blood flow throughout the body.
  • Cialis reduces inflammation in the body.
  • Cialis improves testosterone:estrogen ratio.
  • It’s good for blood pressure, improved mood, increased pumps in the gym, and prostate health to name a few.

So as you see, Cialis is so much more than just a sexual performance drug!! When I got on it daily the first thing I thought was “holy shit, why aren’t more bodybuilders talking about Cialis in their cycles?”

I mean, it’s a relatively inexpensive addition to any cycle and it’s too cheap not to use it alongside hormone replacement!!