Bodybuilder Doing Barbell Shoulder Press at a Gym

Yohimbine for Bodybuilding: Dose, Benefits & Side Effects

Yohimbine is an alkaloid commonly derived from the African evergreen tree Pausinystalia johimbe. It is often taken as a stimulant and fat-loss aid and is an ingredient in many pre-workouts and fitness supplements. Yohimbine was originally marketed as an erectile dysfunction cure but is now mostly taken for athletic, cognitive, and bodybuilding use.

The three proven benefits of yohimbine for bodybuilding are fat loss, better circulation, and improved performance.

Yohimbine For Fat-Loss

The most effective use of yohimbine is for fat loss. Yohimbine can help you lose fat through several mechanisms. Yohimbine increases the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, boosts thermogenesis, increases dopamine, suppresses the appetite, and binds to the alpha-receptors in fat cells.

Alpha and Beta Receptors

By binding to the alpha-receptors in fat cells, yohimbine is able to essentially deactivate them which then allows the beta-receptors in the fat cell to be bound to by epinephrine and norepinephrine.

This study found that yohimbine is the most potent alpha 2-antagonist in human fat cells when compared to 2 other alpha 2-antagonist compounds, it also found yohimbine to be able to elevate norepinephrine levels by 40-50%.

When epinephrine and norepinephrine bind to beta-receptors, the fatty acid molecule is released and can be metabolized. If epinephrine and norepinephrine can not bind to the beta-receptor, and instead bind to the alpha-receptor, the fatty acid is not able to be released for metabolization. Because yohimbine binds to alpha-receptors in fat cells while also causing the sympathetic nervous system to release more epinephrine and norepinephrine, the combination of these two effects together make it very effective for burning fat.


Yohimbine can also help with fat loss by boosting thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the production of heat, in order for the body to produce heat it requires calories. Yohimbine increases thermogenesis by elevating levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

This study found that yohimbine increased oxygen consumption, CO2 consumption, and heat production after taking it.

Appetite Suppression

Another way that yohimbine can help burn fat is by suppressing your appetite, making it easier to stay in a calorie deficit.

The hardest part about cutting for most people is avoiding going over their calories. If you can master dieting, you can successfully lose fat. Yohimbine helps you master this skill by decreasing your desire for food.

Best Time To Take Yohimbine For Fat Loss

The best time to take yohimbine for burning fat is before eating food. If you do cardio, exercising in the morning before your first meal with yohimbine will boost your results. Yohimbine works best when fasted due to insulin disrupting the effects of yohimbine on fat cells. Combining intermittent fasting, cardio in the morning, and yohimbine all together is the most effective way to lose fat when supplementing yohimbine.

Yohimbine For Circulation

Taking yohimbine is also able to improve blood flow and circulation.

Yohimbine can improve blood flow through vasodilation. This study on yohimbine and noradrenaline-induced vasoconstriction discovered that supplementing yohimbine resulted in vasodilation and inhibited noradrenaline constriction.

Vasodilation is the widening of blood vessels. This leads to more oxygen to the muscles and the brain, better pumps, better recovery, and more. By widening blood vessels, yohimbine can help oxygen, nutrients, and amino acids reach the muscles which need them during and after training.

Yohimbine For Performance

A third major benefit of taking yohimbine is improved performance.

Yohimbine improves performance by boosting energy, increasing dopamine, increasing levels of nitric oxide, and boosting adrenaline and noradrenaline. All these benefits of yohimbine help performance during training by increasing energy, focus, and blood flow to the muscles.

What Is the Best Dose of Yohimbine To Take?

The best dose of yohimbine to take is within the range of 10-20mg. It is recommended to take around .1mg of yohimbine per pound of bodyweight (.2mg per kilogram of bodyweight) for maximum effectiveness without severe side effects.

Since yohimbine does have some side effects that come with higher doses, be sure to start at a lower amount to test your body’s reaction before taking a full dose.

What Is the Best Yohimbine Supplement To Buy?

When buying a supplement, it’s generally best to go with sources that do not contain fillers, sugar, and added chemicals. To fulfill these requirements, the best yohimbine supplement to buy is 500g of yohimbine extract through Bulk Supplements. This is the best and most pure supplement for yohimbine without a large price tag attached to it.

What Are the Side Effects of Yohimbine?

The side effects of yohimbine are mainly anxiety, impulsiveness, cold sweats, jitteriness, and nausea.

This study which examined the effects of yohimbine on impulsive behavior concluded that yohimbine supplementation increases rapid-response impulsivity through its effect on norepinephrine.

If you are prone to anxiety or have problems relating to the heart, it is better to stay away from yohimbine just as you would for other stimulants like caffeine or ginseng.

This study did note that moderate doses of yohimbine does not induce high blood pressure and anxiety to the extent that stimulants like ephedrine do however it still potentially could cause problems in high doses beyond the .1mg per pound of bodyweight recommendation.


The three primary benefits of yohimbine for bodybuilders are boosted fat loss, better blood flow, and improved performance.

Yohimbine boosts fat loss by binding to alpha receptors in fat cells, increasing thermogenesis, increasing levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine, and suppressing the appetite.

Yohimbine also improves blood flow by acting as a vasodilator, widening the blood vessels so more nutrients and oxygen can be sent to muscles and organs that need them.

Thirdly, yohimbine can improve training performance by increasing energy levels, blood to the muscles, and focus, through elevated levels of dopamine, nitric oxide, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

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