No matter if you’re looking to increase your testosterone for reasons such as muscle growth, bone strength, or even fat loss, there are many supplements and methods available to do just that.
In men, testosterone levels decrease naturally with age. It also may decrease due to poor diet and inactivity. But there are plenty of ways to bring those levels back up to normal.
There are many testosterone boosters available on the market today, making it a bit confusing to decide which one is right for you. So, let’s go over everything you need to know about testosterone boosters in order to make the right choice.
Prescription Treatments/ Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Normally, the first thing men do when they realize they’re low on Testosterone is visit the doctor.
The doctor will briefly go over your medical history, ask you a lot of questions such as “have you gained weight, noticed a decrease in muscle, and do you find yourself to be irritable or moody?”. These are typical questions that can help the doctor determine if you have any signs of low testosterone .
Afterwards, the doctor will perform some physical tests and send your blood to a lab and have your testosterone levels measured through that blood work.
If your doctor finds that your testosterone levels are low, he/she will either tell you how to boost your levels naturally, or they will provide you with an injection which is normally given every 2-4 weeks depending on how low the levels are.
Other prescribed methods include an oral testosterone and even a patch that needs to be replaced monthly.
Are There Any Side Effects With A Medically Prescribed Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Sadly, the short answer to this question is, yes. Thought these methods are effective in boosting the testosterone levels, they can come with many uncomfortable, harmful, and even life-threatening side effects such as:
- Acne or oily skin
- Fluid retention
- Stimulation of prostate tissue, which increases the urge to urinate
- Increased risk of prostate cancer
- Breast enlargement
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Worsening of sleep apnea
- Shrinkage in the testicles
- Increased aggression and mood swings
- May increase risk of heart attack and stroke
- Changes in cholesterol
- Decreased sperm count
This kind of therapy requires a close evaluation by your doctor as it has many side effects.
Vitamin And Mineral Supplements That Boost Testosterone
There are a few vitamin and mineral supplements that can be taken to boost testosterone levels safely and naturally. Though the levels do not increase significantly, they are still effective and will make a difference.
- Vitamin D– Many studies have proven Vitamin D to naturally increase the production of testosterone in men. Though Vitamin D plays an important role in our health, more than half of the U.S. is deficient in it. A 12 month study published by The National Institute of Health found that men who supplemented with 3,000 IU of Vitamin D3 Daily, had increased their testosterone levels by an impressive 25 percent.
- Zinc– Zinc plays an important role in the production of Testosterone. A 20 year old study had shown that it’s male subjects who failed to get enough Zinc in their diets had a 50 percent decrease in their testosterone levels over the course of 5 month. The study also went on to give a group of older men a daily Zinc supplement for the same period of time and their Testosterone levels had nearly doubled.
- Magnesium- Magnesium improves the body’s ability to release Testosterone. In fact, a study performed on a group of martial arts students showed that by giving them 750 mg of magnesium per day for a total of 4 weeks, raised their free Testosterone levels by 26 percent at rest and 18 percent during drills.
- Vitamin B-6- This vitamin will work to suppress the estrogen in the body, which in turn will help the testosterone levels rise. Vitamin B6 is also essential for the transportation of red blood cells.
- ZMA- This is a combination supplement that has been around for over a decade. It combines zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6, which can increase the total free testosterone by up to 30 percent.
Herbal Testosterone Boosters
You can also take a few herbal supplements that have been proven to effectively raise the levels of Testosterone in the body.
Herbal supplements are typically safe to take, but you should always check with your doctor if you are unsure of anything and some cannot be mixed with certain prescription medications.
- Ashwagandha- This herb is one with the most research behind it. That’s a positive note because it’s been studied and proven to not only boost the Testosterone levels in men, but it can also raise sperm count up to 160 percent. Studies also found that this herb lowers the body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” which can increase the body’s fat percentage when levels are high. By lowering the cortisol levels, this naturally increases Testosterone production as well.
- Ginger Extract- This is a common household ingredient that’s also been studied for years and even utilized in alternative medicine for centuries. One study showed that ginger can boost the testosterone levels by up to 16 percent, while another study (performed on rats) showed a rise in other sex hormones.
- Fenugreek- This popular herb that benefits the levels of Testosterone in a positive way possibly by limiting the enzymes that convert testosterone into estrogen. In one study, Two groups of men did 4 weeks of strength training. The first group was given Fenugreek, and the second group was not. The result for the first group showed a rise in free and total levels of testosterone and a reduction in body fat, while the second group showed a slight decrease in testosterone levels.
- Tribulus Terrestris- An herb that has been used in alternative medicine for a very long time but has recently been studied for it’s effects on testosterone levels. Though research was done on men with E.D. , and not athletes or older men, it showed a rise in testosterone levels by 16 percent in a matter of 90 days.
- Ginseng- A popular root that has been used for ages in Chinese medicine. It has many benefits and can come in many forms such as teas and powders. In one study, it showed that it can help the testosterone levels rise which, in turn, increased libido.
- Mucuna Pruriens- This Indian herb comes from a climbing bean plant that can grow as high as 15 feet. It contains levodopa which is known to be a precursor for dopamine in the body. When dopamine levels rise, they increase the levels of testosterone. Both dopamine and testosterone influence each other. If there are low levels of testosterone in the body, dopamine is automatically decreased.
A Few Other Popular Testosterone Boosters
We’ve covered medically prescribed treatments, vitamins & minerals, and some herbal treatments, now let’s go over the rest.
- DHEA- Also known as dehydroepiandrosterone, this steroid hormone is the most abundant in circulation within the body. DHEA, when produced naturally in the body, is a hormone precursor for testosterone and estrogen. There is a supplement form of DHEA that claims to be able to raise the testosterone levels just the same, but many studies have shown that it can only boost the levels by a small percentage and mostly in women., which isn’t much, but it’s enough to be sold as a testosterone booster.
- BCAA’s- BCAA’s or, branched chain amino acids, have been proven in studies to increase the levels of testosterone, especially when taken along with doing a resistance training program. You can find these amino acids in high concentrates in dairy products like cheese and whey protein, or you can take them as a supplement.
- D-Aspartic Acid- Recent studies have found that this natural amino acid can raise the testosterone levels by increasing luteinizing hormones (hormones produced in the pituitary glands and stimulate the production of testosterone) in as little as 12 days.
- EPA/DHA- These essential fats are directly connected to the production of hormones, including testosterone. If you are lacking the proper amount of fat in your diet, your body will not be able to produce enough hormones.
- Estrogen Blockers- As stated before, keeping estrogen under control can help the testosterone levels rise One estrogen blocker called Chryslin, has been said to do just that in two studies performed.
- Boron- This mineral isn’t the most popular, but it’s been proven effective in a study that showed a 28 percent rise in free testosterone in the subjects who took for just 7 days.
As you can see, you have many options when it comes to giving your testosterone a kick start. Be sure to read up on all the options and even do a little research of your own in order to make an informed decision.
Boosting the testosterone levels, when they have decreased, can benefit the body in many different ways. If you feel you have low levels and are showing signs of this, be sure to check with your doctor.