Boron is often taken as a supplement to support bone health, but it is also claimed to increase muscle and strength gains from training. A study performed on 19 young, trained males revealed that boron actually does not appear to increase muscle mass or strength or influence testosterone levels to any significant degree.
For 7 weeks, 10 subjects were given 2.5 mg boron daily and the other 9 subjects were given a placebo. As expected, plasma boron levels rose significantly in the group supplementing with boron. During 7 weeks of training and supplementation, both groups increased their 1 rep maximum weight for the squat and bench press, and both groups showed an increase in total testosterone and muscle mass. However, there did not appear to be any significant difference between the two groups.
One potential weakness of this study is the small sample size. It does help that the subjects were previously trained, but more research than just this study would be needed to reach a solid conclusion. Boron isn’t a very popular supplement for muscle and strength gains, because perhaps anecdotal evidence has shown it to be ineffective as well as the evidence presented here. Boron may help maintain healthy bones, but it looks like it may be a flop as a sports supplement.
Ferrando AA, & Green NR. (1993). The effect of boron supplementation on lean body mass, plasma testosterone levels, and strength in male bodybuilders. International Journal of Sport Nutrition. 3(2), 140-9.
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