I3C As A Fitness Supplement: Why It’s Good for Bodybuilders

What is it?

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) comes from glucobrassicin, which in turn comes from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. I3C comes out when these vegetables are cut, chewed, or cooked. 

According to WebMD, many people use I3C for cancer prevention, liver disease, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. However, it’s also used as a supplement by those who want to stay fit and grow muscles. 

Speaking of physical fitness and bodybuilding…

Hormone Balance: Why It’s Important in Fitness and Bodybuilding 

Bodybuilder doing bicep curls

Hormones are bodily chemicals that regulate your metabolism. And if you’re a fitness buff, you might already know what metabolism is — it’s your body’s internal process of using and processing energy and food intake. 

Many types of hormones exist in your body, but the most important ones in terms of bodybuilding are anabolic hormones. These are hormones that use energy, and they include: 

  • Testosterone 
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs)

These hormones allow your muscles to grow by using energy to build molecules from smaller units. Regular exercise and focus on strength training stimulate the release of these growth-promoting hormones, leading to increased muscle mass, strength, and fitness. 

Balancing testosterone and other growth-promoting hormones improves your physical performance and supports your mental well-being. 

I3C and Estrogen: How They Work Together 

Another hormone you have to look out for is estrogen. While estrogen is largely associated with females, it’s also found among males. 

Estrogen is largely associated (alongside progesterone) with female reproductive health. However, it also contributes to cognitive health, bone health, cardiovascular health, and other bodily processes. 

Meanwhile, I3C processes estrogen in a way that promotes estrogen metabolite production. At the same time, it reduces the production of harmful ones. As a result, I3C becomes an ideal deterrent to illnesses caused by or associated with estrogen, such as breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and cervical cancer.

In other words, I3C is a negative regulator of estrogen. 

female bodybuilder training at the gym

Testosterone and Muscle Growth 

Circling back to another growth hormone: testosterone. 

Most people associate testosterone as a hormone for males. However, it’s also produced by females through their ovaries, just in a lower amount. Testosterone is essential for the development of male growth and masculine characteristics. 

Testosterone is essential for muscle mass and bones. If you have low testosterone, you might experience decreased muscle mass and increased fat. Erectile dysfunction is also a sign of low testosterone, as well as depressive episodes. 

You can naturally increase your testosterone levels through some foods, herbs, and vitamins. Common examples of foods that can increase your testosterone levels are: 

  • Yohimbe
  • Malaysian ginseng 
  • Pine bark extract
  • Garlic
  • Tuna
  • Egg yolks 
  • Oysters 

You can also try hormone replacement treatments

I3C As A Bodybuilding Supplement 

Based on the above information, I3C should be a great bodybuilding supplement. It metabolizes estrogen in a way that balances it with your testosterone level. This balance subsequently leads to faster recovery and muscle growth. 

You can increase the amount of I3C in your body by eating the above-mentioned food. However, I3C is also available in supplement form. Apart from fitness and bodybuilding benefits, I3C is also great against viral infections. 

But are I3C supplements safe? 

There aren’t many studies specific to I3C side effects on humans. However, some lab studies show that it might interact with certain drugs. While most people tolerate I3C supplements well, some studies suggest it might cause skin irritation in some people. 

If you’re planning to take I3C supplements, the recommended dosage is between 200 mg to 400 mg per day. When shopping for I3C supplements, look for reputable brands — such as Theranaturals. 

Female bodybuilder doing fitness squats

Final Thoughts 

Overall, I3C is a great fitness supplement especially for bodybuilders because of its unique ability to metabolize estrogen and improve testosterone balance. This in turn boosts your muscle growth and recovery. If you’re looking for a good source of your I3C supplements, try Theranaturals today. 


  1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1027/indole-3-carbinol
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002231662216102X
  3.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24016385/
  4.  https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/indole-3-carbinol
  5.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16211236/
  6.  https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/indole-3-carbinol
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop