It’s a simple yet fair assumption, that most men are mildly obsessed with testosterone boosters. Testosterone is a vital hormone that plays an imperative role in the proper function and regulation of hormones, muscular development, and sex drive. It also impacts everything from mood, memory, building muscle, and improving recovery. But when it comes to testosterone boosting supplements, the question is, do they really work?
As the idiom goes, not all supplements are created equal and when it comes to testosterone boosters, the phrase still applies. It’s true that testosterone boosting supplements can increase natural testosterone production, improve body composition, and enhance overall vitality. However, having the right ingredients at the correct doses, is what makes all the difference.
We’re going to discuss some of the best testosterone boosting ingredients you need, to increase your natural levels of testosterone so you can improve performance, in more ways than one.
What Is Testosterone
Testosterone is a primary androgenic and anabolic steroid naturally produced by your body. Testosterone plays a critical role in the development of muscle mass and contributes to the activation of the nervous system, resulting in more power and strength, better mood, and improved libido [R].
Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
Testosterone deficiency affects 10-40% of the world population and is known to increase with age, exponentially rising after age 30. Increasing testosterone levels has been shown to improve strength, reduce body fat, and increase muscle mass. No wonder we’re obsessed. The more testosterone, the more pronounced these effects become.
Low testosterone levels can have a dramatic impact on sex drive, physical appearance, and body composition. Some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone are
- Increased Body Fat
- Loss of Muscle Mass
- Hair Loss
- Reduced Sex Drive
- Chronic Fatigue
- Difficulty with Erection
Several factors can have a negative impact and lower testosterone levels such as sleep quality, alcohol consumption, micronutrient deficiencies, increased stress, and refined sugar.
Optimizing testosterone levels by first correcting a few of these factors and supplementing with a natural testosterone booster can increase testosterone production and also improve symptoms of low t.
RELATED ARTICLE Symptoms Of Low Testosterone In Men
It’s important to note, that despite the banality that testosterone is primarily a male dominant hormone, the truth is, it’s not.
Testosterone plays a pivotal role in women’s health and can affect mood and libido much the same as it does in men. Imbalances of testosterone, both high and low in women, can have serious and often damaging effects on a woman's overall health, including the ability to produce new blood cells, sex drive, athletic performance, muscle building, mood, and more. Testosterone is also a key component in the balance of estrogen.
Women who suffer from testosterone deficiency, are commonly misdiagnosed since the symptoms resemble those associated with stress, anxiety, and depression. Low testosterone is also associated with muscle weakness, especially in more athletically inclined women.
The number of estimated women with decreased libido and testosterone deficiency is between 10 and 15 million in the United States alone.
There are no clear guidelines for diagnosing women who might have low t, and only recently has there been an acknowledgment of the need for clear guidelines. However, women who suffer from a low-sexual desire or sexual appetite, may have normal estrogen levels, but decreased androgen levels and could benefit greatly from an increase in testosterone to create an optimized hormonal balance.
RELATED ARTICLE Symptoms Of Low Testosterone In Women
The Best Testosterone Boosting Ingredients
Researchers at the University of Southern California investigated the active ingredients and advertised claims of the first 50 testosterone boosting supplements, in a Google search. Researchers reviewed the published scientific literature on testosterone and the 109 components found in the supplements. Zinc, fenugreek, and vitamin B6 were three of the most common proven components in the supplements.
The team also compared the content for each supplement with the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) and the upper tolerable intake level (UL) as set by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.
Of the 50 supplements, researchers came across 16 general claims to benefit patients, including claims to "boost T or free T," "build body lean mass or muscle mass," or "increase sex drive or libido."
While 90% of the testosterone boosting supplements claimed to boost testosterone, researchers found that less than 25% of the supplements had data to support their claims. Many also contained high doses of vitamins and minerals, occasionally more than the tolerable limit [R].
Although this is alarming, I cannot say that it’s surprising. The takeaway here - do your research before investing and spending your money on a testosterone booster supplement. Make sure the supplement you purchase has clinical studies to back their claims, and that they include proven ingredients like zinc, fenugreek, DIM, and Tongkat Ali.
Swolverine products provide full transparency, access to certificates of analysis, and clinical studies of all ingredients. You can find those studies here
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning it increases your bodies resistance to physical and mental stress without interfering with normal physiology. It can both calm the body’s stress response as well as mitigate the damaging effects of stress. In so many words, adaptogens can help handle stress better. Researchers believe that adaptogens work by altering the reactivity of defense systems, such as the immune system, endocrine response, and central nervous system.
increased stress and anxiety can negatively effect hormonal levels and reduce natural testosterone production, contributing to gains in increased body fat, mental fogginess and reduced muscle gain.
Natural testosterone levels decline as you age. Low testosterone levels in men and women can cause significant adverse effects such as irritability, fatigue, loss of muscle mass, and tank your sex drive. Evidence suggests that ashwagandha may have a significant impact on naturally increasing testosterone levels
A study published in the American Journal Of Men’s Health, enrolled 50 healthy male participants in a 16-week double blind, randomized controlled trial, to investigate the effects of ashwagandha, testosterone, cortisol, and vitality markers. The results showed an 18% increase in DHEA levels as well as a 15% increase in testosterone levels compared to placebo [R]. Therefore supplementing with 300-600mg of ashwagandha per day, can result in elevated testosterone levels, improving overall vitality.
Zinc is the second most distributed trace element and essential micronutrient in the human body, behind iron. Zinc has many known benefits in cellular function, specifically human metabolism, regulating gene expression, and supporting healthy testosterone levels.
According to a study done at School of Physical Education and Sports in Selçuk, Turkey 10 male elite wrestlers were administered 3mg of zinc per day for four weeks.
The results indicated that total and free testosterone levels were significantly higher following zinc supplementation without preventing the inhibition of testosterone concentration, concluding that zinc may benefit athletic performance [R]
Evidence also suggests that zinc modulates the conversion of androstenedione, an androgen precursor, to testosterone [R].
A cross-sectional study published in the journal Nutrition, examined the relationship between zinc concentrations and testosterone concentration. The study found that study participants with zinc deficiency or that lacked zinc in their diet, were associated with a significant decrease in serum testosterone concentrations. Zinc supplementation resulted. After six months of treatment with 30mg of Zinc per day, serum testosterone concentration and levels significantly increased amongst all participants [R]
Zinc is easily one of the best testosterone boosting ingredients. When you’re purchasing a test booster, make sure zinc is one of its main ingredients.
RELATED ARTICLE The Health Benefits Of Zinc
Magnesium controls over 300 bodily functions and hundreds of enzymatic reactions. While, the biological functions of Magnesium are relatively broad, which include the production of nucleic acids, involvement in adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and helping muscle contraction magnesium’s most imperative function is to help regulate proper bone structure through mediating and coordinating calcium concentration, improving sleep quality, and increasing the bio-active free testosterone [R].
Research suggests that nearly 70% of Americans eat below the recommended daily amount of magnesium, with 19% eating less than half the recommended amount. Studies have shown that magnesium frees testosterone and makes it more bio-active. Research also suggests that one gram of magnesium combined with exercise can increase testosterone levels by 24%.
RELATED ARTICLE 6 Reasons Why You Should Take A Magnesium Supplement
Vitamin B6 also known as pyridoxine plays a direct role in cellular metabolism. It also stimulates testosterone production as it suppresses the synthesis of estrogen and affects enzyme induction through estrogen and androgen receptors.
Studies have shown that lower vitamin b6 is also correlated with reduced testosterone concentration, suggesting that vitamin B6 has a function in the action of testosterone (and other steroid hormones), possibly in the recycling of receptors from the nucleus back into the cytosol after initial translocation [R].
Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia), aka Ginseng
Tongkat Ali also known as Malaysian Ginseng, is a popular herb traditional used in Chinese medicine, due to its rich bioactive plant compounds. Studies have shown tongkat ali contains a variety of phytonutrients called quassinoids, most notably eurycomanone, which stimulate the release of free testosterone, improve sex drive, reduce fatigue, and improve well-being.
A study published in the Journal Of the International Society Of Sports Nutrition, examined the effects of tongkat ali on stress hormones balance specifically cortisol and testosterone. 64 subjects were randomized and received either 200mg of tongkat ali per day or placebo for 4-weeks.
Cortisol and testosterone levels were significantly improved by tongkat supplementation, with cortisol dropping by 16% and free testosterone increasing by 37% [R].
Research indicates that the effects of tongkat ali in restoring normal testosterone levels appears to be less due to actually “stimulating” testosterone synthesis, but rather by increasing the release rate of “free” testosterone from its binding hormone, sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG). Therefore, tongkat may be considered less of a “testosterone booster” but rather a way to maintain and restore normal testosterone levels.
DIM is a metabolite derived from a compound called indole-3-carbinol, found in cruciferous vegetables such as brussels sprouts, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, and kale.
Research indicates that DIM exhibits both selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) as well as selective androgen receptor modulators (SARM), regulating estrogen and testosterone balance. Studies have shown that, DIM stimulates progesterone and can eliminate high levels of estrogen. DIM also works to inhibit the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen. DIM contributes to a better metabolism naturally through the promotion of hormonal homeostasis and supports more efficient fat metabolism, which helps testosterone circulate more freely throughout the body. Free or non-protein bound testosterone adds to the structural proteins of muscles allowing for hypertrophy or muscle growth to occur [R].
RELATED ARTICLE The Ultimate Guide To Diindolylmethane DIM
Do Testosterone Boosting Supplements Work?
Men and women who want to improve their libido, build more mass and increase free testosterone levels, may benefit from using a high-quality testosterone boosting supplement. However, most testosterone boosting supplements do not contain high enough doses, or have the ingredients to support their claims, when compared to traditional testosterone replacement therapy.
Many supplements contain vitamin and minerals, or “ancient herbs” yet do not contain the actual testosterone boosting ingredients needed to simulate free testosterone production.
Unlike hormone replacement therapy (HRT), testosterone boosting supplements will not transform your physique and physical appearance. What they can do is help decrease stress levels, improve sleep quality and duration, improve body composition, and enhance overall vitality which will help restore testosterone levels back to normal.
People spend thousands of dollars on testosterone booster supplements, that use hype ingredients with no clinical evidence to support their claims. If a test booster is “pharmaceutical grade” or claims it can increase testosterone by 500%, be cautious. If that were true, it wouldn’t be sold as a supplement, but an actual anabolic steroid only prescribed by a physician. Testosterone boosting supplements do work, but if you can incorporate a well-balanced nutrition plan, and exercise program with it, they will work even better.
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