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.
Unfortunately, for most of us guys, once we pass the age of 25-30 years old our testosterone levels decrease by up to 1% per year. 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 may be 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.
Common Testosterone Boosting Formulations
Boosters generally contain the following: Longjack, Tribulus Territris, Fenugreek, Shilajit, D-aspartic Acid and ZMA; with D-aspartic Acid and ZMA having the most research-backed benefits.
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. 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.
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 correlates 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.
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.
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.
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.
Do testosterone boosters really work?
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.
What are the side effects of taking testosterone boosters?
Increases in aggressive behaviour, oily skin, acne, increased risk of problems associated with the prostate, breast enlargement, increased risk of blood clots.
What are the benefits of taking testosterone boosting supplements?
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.