Testosterone is widely considered the quintessential hormone for every macho-man, the holy grail of muscle-building. The biologically active form, free testosterone, interacts with muscle cells within the body and is vital for protein synthesis and subsequent muscle growth. As such, testosterone boosters have experienced exponential growth in the supplement industry in recent years; along with Google searches for “how to boost testosterone naturally“, and it is no surprise why.
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, it serves many functions in the body, including the development and maintenance of male attributes, sperm production, libido, muscle mass, and bone density. Women also have testosterone, but in much lesser amounts. Typically, men’s testosterone levels peak at around the age of 20.
Testosterone also plays a key role in our:
- Muscle mass and bone strength
- The body’s development of deeper voices
- Sex drive
- Facial and pubic hair
- Thinking ability and memory
- Mood and quality of life
Unfortunately, for most of us guys, once we pass the age of 25-30 years old the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism also found that testosterone levels drop by one per cent per year from the age of 40.. This is caused by numerous factors such as weight gain and obesity, lack of sleep, high levels of stress, and poor dietary and lifestyle choices. Because the hormone is associated with young, it is little wonder why many guys are interested in boosting their testosterone and avoiding the pitfalls that come with declining levels of this vital, and potent androgenic hormone.
Fortunately, studies prove that men do have the power to influence their testosterone production. It has even been suggested that testosterone production and ageing have little correlation and could explain why you may see “Low T” (Low Testosterone) in a 30-year-old couch potato, and a shredded, buff 60-year-old who has seemingly found the fountain of youth. There are plenty of strategies and natural testosterone boosters that can help you preserve your manliness.
We have provided you with a guide to testosterone boosters and explain how they can be utilised to safely optimise your testosterone production and reap the many benefits. As seven-time Mr Olympia winner, Arnold Schwarzenegger says, “don’t be a girlie man”.
What are Testosterone Boosters?
Testosterone boosters are fairly self-explanatory. They are natural supplements, available in either formulations or individual ingredients. Testosterone boosters are popular supplements for men, particularly man who are involved in body-building, fitness, competitive sport or individuals who maybe have testosterone levels that are lower than what is needed to function at optimal performance.
Because of this, they have been adopted by many athletes as a healthy and legal substitute for anabolic steroids; you know gym candy, juice, pumpers, andro, stackers.
In addition to helping users gain muscle mass and strength, testosterone boosters are also used to increase in sexual drive. Furthermore, herbal testosterone boosters have been used for centuries as a way to improve athletic performance, endurance, and stamina.
How Do Testosterone Boosters Work?
Testosterone booster formulations often contain a variety of ingredients that have both been clinically proven to assist in testosterone boosting. They may also contain ingredients with limited research on testosterone boosting but may be shown to reduce cortisol – the stress hormone known to disrupt testosterone production, or benefit sleep, another important factor for optimizing testosterone production.
The Role of Estrogen on Testosterone Levels
Other classes of Testosterone supplements are available as well. One type of booster, in fact, reduces the amount of estrogen in the body. Yes, men also produce estrogen, how do you think man boobs occur? High estrogen levels also correlate to low testosterone in males. Elevated estrogen levels can also cause many other undesirable effects in men in addition to diminished testosterone.
Saw Palmetto’s Effect on Testosterone
The other class of booster taken into consideration is one that uses saw palmetto. Saw Palmetto extract is linked to testosterone levels. Scientists have discovered that Saw Palmetto slows down 5-alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). Saw Palmetto is widely used in men’s supplements, particularly concerning prostate health. In addition to benefits to the prostate, reducing DHT is thought to prevent – or at least slow – male pattern baldness.
Common Testosterone Boosting Formulations
Boosters generally contain the following:
- Tribulus Terrestris;
- D-aspartic Acid; and
D-aspartic Acid and ZMA having the most research-backed benefits. D-aspartic acid was found by a study in the Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology Journal to increase testosterone by 42% when taken in three-gram-per-day doses.
ZMA contains a combination of Zinc, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium, all of which are desirable for increasing your testosterone. ZMA is also a supplement that can boost the quality of sleep. Adequate sleep is one of the simplest lifestyle adjustments that individuals can make to increase many beneficial hormones, including testosterone, and reduce detrimental hormones. The Journal of Exercise Physiology found that when college American football players took ZMA at night they increased testosterone by 30% and experienced an 11.6% increase in strength. Inadequate sleep is known to raise stress – cortisol – levels and spike the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin; both of which are undesirable hormones shown to impede testosterone production.
Best Time of Day to Take a Testosterone Booster?
As always, users should consult the product packaging as to when you should use the booster to obtain the full benefits. Many products recommend taking testosterone boosting supplements first thing in the morning and last thing at night to get the best results. Many products that contain ZMA suggest a nightly dose to help with sleep, with backing from the American Journal of Exercise Physiology to boot.
We also recommend that if you do decide to use testosterone supplements or tablets, you should develop a cycle as to when you take it. Meaning, that if you use the product for 3-4 weeks, give your body a break of up to 2 weeks without it. This is all so your body doesn’t become used to the boosters and ultimately become dependent on them.
Now, this is important, we recommend that testosterone boosters should not be used by either teenagers or individuals who have been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. Although many of these boosters contain natural ingredients, we still encourage you to speak to a doctor before-hand.
What are the Side Effects of Testosterone Boosters?
Even though many testosterone supplements on the market in Australia are manufactured using all-natural ingredients, there will be some side effects. Perhaps the most obvious one is that the hormone of, you guessed it, testosterone will be increased.
You might be thinking “No shit Sherlock”, but hear us out. Think about what testosterone is and does. It is the primary sex hormone for males; making men more aggressive and increases their sex drive. Testosterone can ultimately lead to significant gains in muscle mass and strength, but it can also cause severe behavioural changes.
Possible side effects of testosterone boosters include:
- Increased acne
- Higher fluid retention
- Increased urination
- Decreased testicular size
- Breast enlargement or Man Boobs
- Decreased sperm count
- Increased aggressive behaviours
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Since your body should be producing testosterone that does not significantly exceed normal levels, it’s unlikely that you will experience any of the negative side-effects associated with anabolic steroids. These being horrible acne, testicular shrinkage, infertility and roid rage.
7 Benefits of Increasing Your Testosterone Levels
It’s important to note that if you have normal testosterone levels already, further increasing or boosting your testosterone levels may not give you any additional benefits. The list of 7 benefits of increasing your testosterone may only be applicable to people with low testosterone levels:
- Healthier heart and blood
- Less fat, more muscle
- Stronger bones
- Better verbal memory
- Improved thinking ability including spatial abilities and mathematical reasoning
- Improved sex drive and better libido
- Improved mood
7 Ways to Boost Your Testosterone Naturally
Testosterone peaks during puberty in men and then begins to gradually decline once you have hit the ages of 25 to 30. A reduction in Testosterone can cause men to lose muscle mass, increase in body fat, affect bone density and the density to which you can bone (sex drive). Our list of the 7 ways to boost testosterone naturally will help curb the effects and provide you with ways to boost your low testosterone naturally.
1. Boost Your Testosterone While You Sleep
Who doesn’t enjoy a good night’s sleep? Other than our night owl inclined brothers many people feel a sufficient amount of sleep is an ideal way to start the day. It would appear also that your testosterone would agree with that statement. While the number of hours of sleep needed for an individual varies, a study conducted in the US found that sleeping just 5 hours per night was linked to a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. The study recommended that the optimal amount of sleep per night is from 7 to 10 hours.
2. Exercise to Improve Your Testosterone
Oh, you knew this was coming, Exercise has been proven time and time again to not only boost testosterone levels, but it also helped in the aiding of mental health issues as well as other long term health risks like some cancers, diabetes and heart disease. The European Journal of Applied Psychology found that resistance training, such as weightlifting, was the best way to boost your low testosterone in both the short-term and long-term. Of course, all exercise is beneficial to a happier, healthier you.
3. Improve Your Diet
As with most health dilemmas or issues, diet plays a major role in the recovery or decline of an individual. Studies suggest that individuals who are suffering from low Testosterone levels should switch to diets with higher amounts of monosaturated and saturated fats. Monosaturated diets consist mainly of items typically associated with a Mediterranean diet, such as olive oil, almonds and white fish. Saturated fats are on offer in foods such as red meat, cheese, egg yolks and dark chocolate. Balance is the key as well as moderation.
4. Consume Lots of Testosterone Boosting Zinc & Vitamin D
Zinc, a mineral commonly found in foods such as legumes, red meat and some seafood, is widely regarded as a natural testosterone booster. Studies in the US have shown that with both a diet containing higher quantities of zinc and supplemental zinc intake had a 93% increase in Testosterone in some men. Furthermore, Vitamin D has been shown to increase the levels of Testosterone in some recipients significantly compared to other participants in the study who were supplemented with a placebo.
5. Limit Your Booze Intake
Yes, grog has been shown to reduce levels of testosterone in men. It would appear that the amber gold can wreak havoc on your hormones. In a recent Dutch study, participants who drank a moderate amount of alcohol per day for 3 weeks were shown to have a 7% reduction in Testosterone. It’s not all bad though, with many medical professionals stating that moderating to the standard 2 drink a day rule will be just fine, further recommending you give at least 2 days without booze for your liver to recover and Testosterone to bounce back.
6. Stop Stressing Out Bra
Stress has been shown to have a mammoth amount of both short-term and long-term negative health effects. When stress is induced, the hormone cortisol is elevated. Many studies have concluded that abnormal increases in cortisol can quickly reduce testosterone. These hormones work in a seesaw-like manner: as one goes up, the other comes down. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in food intake, which can lead to higher body fat, which then leads to further reductions in Testosterone levels like some sort of vicious snowball.
7. Talk to Your Doctor About Your Testosterone Levels
Finally, if all of the above-mentioned tips and suggestions aren’t for you, or if you just want a second opinion, always consult a Doctor. We suggest either speaking to your local GP or an endocrinologist and have them take a look at your Testosterone levels. Within the medical community andropause (known colloquially as menopause) is indeed a real condition, however, it is often over-diagnosed and is usually overtreated. The option of Testosterone Replacement Therapy or TRT for short is there, but it does come with significant health risk.
Closing Thoughts on Testosterone Boosters
We are going to sound like a broken record here, but we encourage you to seek the opinion of a medical professional before beginning a regime of testosterone boosters. Once you have been given the all-clear and would like to commence, opt for products that contain natural ingredients. That way, your gains in the gym do not come at a loss.
Also, consider how to reduce your cortisol levels. Many men do not consider the relationship between circulating cortisol and testosterone. All of the testosterone boosting supplements in the world cannot help you if you have elevated levels of this testosterone inhibiting hormone. Cortisol has been shown in many studies to significantly have a negative effect on circulating testosterone levels. So, before you start forking out your hard-earned cash on the next miracle testosterone boosting formulation, take a holistic view. You may get similar, or better results, from just going to bed an hour earlier or incorporating daily meditation.
Legitimate, working testosterone boosters do exist, but they’re not very exciting. They’re not life-changing because, at most, they’ll increase testosterone levels by 20-50%. … Bottom line: it’s easy to promise a testosterone boost when very few people are actually checking their testosterone levels.
Increases in aggressive behaviour, oily skin, acne, increased risk of problems associated with the prostate, breast enlargement, increased risk of blood clots.
Youthfulness, vitality, healthy heart and blood, lean muscle gains, fat loss, stronger bones, increases in strength, athletic performance, endurance and stamina, better libido, improved mental state.
Disclosure: We are not doctors and this is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before taking any medication mentioned in this article.