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Fact checked by Andrew Lenau, ISSA CPT & Sports NutritionistFACT CHECKED
April 27, 2023
Testosterone is the hormone that turns boys into men. And many guys have fallen in line with the thinking that since we know testosterone causes our muscles to grow bigger and stronger, we should take as much as possible. Right?
Definitely not right. Don't get us wrong. Testosterone is essential. But too much isn't a good thing, and neither is taking testosterone supplements at too young of an age.
Testosterone boosters are highly effective for older people who have low T, but they can have severe side effects, such as hormone imbalances, if taken too young.
So, how young is too young to take a testosterone booster?
In this article, we're about to explore whether it's safe to take testosterone boosters at age 20 and safe ways to raise your testosterone levels if you are young.
**For full transparency, this post may contain affiliate links where we could earn a commission on a purchase you make at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products that we have thoroughly researched and think you will find valuable.**
Yes, it is bad to take testosterone supplements at age 20. The reason you shouldn't take testosterone supplements at age 20, or younger, is that your body is still developing, specifically the endocrine system.
When you think of the worst side effects associated with male puberty, including acne, swelling of the breasts, and mood swings, they are all caused by the fluctuations of your hormones, specifically testosterone.
Increasing testosterone levels with supplementation would cause similar side effects as puberty-driven ones. Studies have shown that testosterone levels typically rise throughout your late teens to early twenties until peaking around 25 before steadily declining into old age.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a natural hormone in the adrenal gland that makes androgens and estrogens. DHEA, which is in many OTC testosterone supplements, has also been shown to peak at age 25 before steadily declining1,2.
Taking a testosterone booster too young can have damaging side effects, including stunted growth, acne, enlarged breast tissue (gynecomastia), and several others due to hormonal imbalances.
One study found that 50% of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) users will experience acne, which is even higher in young adults3. The reasoning behind this is that an increase in testosterone causes an increase in the production of sebum, an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous gland that causes acne. While OTC testosterone boosters are not anabolic steroids, the side effects of elevated testosterone levels still apply.
Regarding height, studies have proven that gonadal androgens regulate height growth4. When testosterone levels are artificially elevated through a supplement, it can cause the bones to stop growing.
One of the most common side effects that male teenagers might suffer from during puberty is gynecomastia or enlarged breast tissue. This happens due to hormone fluctuations and imbalances, either naturally or in reaction to the presence of testosterone.
A testosterone booster will raise testosterone levels in the body, which can cause excess testosterone to convert to estrogen.
It can also cause the body to shut down its natural testosterone production, causing levels to plummet once the supplement is stopped. The body becomes dependent on the supplement to produce its testosterone. Once the supplement is stopped, testosterone production stops as well
The takeaway here? There are safe, natural ways to increase testosterone levels in your late teens and early twenties rather than taking testosterone boosters. When you're in your late teens and early 20s, finding ways to boost testosterone naturally is the best idea.
Testosterone is a sex hormone that is produced in the gonads, either in the testes in men or the ovaries in women. Testosterone is the primary and most significant androgen, which is responsible for the growth of male characteristics.
While testosterone is a male hormone, it is also vital for women. In addition, testosterone determines the sex of a baby in fetal development by triggering the development of internal and external male reproductive organs.
During puberty, testosterone is responsible for the bodily changes young men experience, including increased height, body hair growth, deepening of the voice, and increased libido and sperm production.
During adulthood, testosterone is vital for sexual health and reproduction, as well as for keeping muscles and bones strong.
In addition, testosterone causes an increase in:
These attributes make T boosters desirable for male athletes and gym-goers. In women, the majority of testosterone is naturally converted to estradiol, the female sex hormone.
However, testosterone plays a significant role in libido, balancing other hormones, red blood cell production, and correcting the menstrual cycle5.
Testosterone boosters are supplements that can raise your testosterone levels in the blood, either naturally or synthetically. A typical testosterone booster either increases testosterone production or reduces the rate at which testosterone is broken down.
Boosting testosterone can be done using safe, effective, and scientifically-proven products, such as natural plants, herbs, and vitamins.
For example, D-aspartic acid is an amino acid involved in testosterone production and releasing hormones. It triggers the release of a hormone in the brain that stimulates testosterone production6.
There are other types of products, like DHEA, that target secondary hormones to indirectly increase testosterone production. These types of products are better for older men, typically over 40. And men with cardiovascular disease or an increased prostate cancer risk should speak to a doctor first.
Testosterone boosters have many benefits when used properly, including:
If you fall into the correct age demographic (25+), are healthy, and are interested in testosterone-boosting benefits, these 7 Best Testosterone Booster Supplements may be just what you're looking for!
When males are in their late teens, their testosterone levels fluctuate, ranging anywhere from 100-1,000 ng/dL. A study conducted at the University of Michigan found males aged 20-24 to have a total average testosterone of 501 ng/dL, while males aged 25-29 were slightly higher at 514 ng/dL.
Other studies have similar results and concluded that male testosterone levels are typically highest around age 25. By the time men reach age 30, their testosterone levels decline by an average of 1% per year7.
While it is uncommon, it is possible to have low testosterone in your 20s. Low testosterone naturally happens with old age, but in younger people, it is typically caused by congenital or acquired conditions that damage testis production or hormonal signaling from the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPGA).
In these instances, you will likely need to work with a doctor and potentially undergo testosterone replacement therapy. Aside from an underlying genetic condition or a problem with the HPGA, low testosterone levels can also be caused by environmental factors or a past injury to the testes.
While low T is most commonly caused by a congenital condition, it can also result from an acquired condition like obesity, diabetes, or illegal drug use, such as opioids or anabolic steroids.
Other factors that can contribute to low testosterone levels in your 20s include:
The most common reason for low testosterone in young men that can be prevented is obesity. The European Male Aging Study showed that 73% of men with reduced testosterone were overweight or obese. While it can be much more challenging to spot due to the lack of sexual symptoms, it is possible to have low testosterone in your early 20s8.
If you're concerned about low T and are in your early 20s, speak to your doctor.
As you age, the signs of low testosterone can be evident and noticeable due to physical changes. This can be more difficult to identify in your 20s, primarily because common side effects like decreased libido or erectile dysfunction (ED) are not usually present.
If you are in your late teens and early 20s, here's what to look for.
The most common sign your testosterone is low in younger males is fatigue and low energy levels. A recent study featuring men under 40 found low energy levels were associated with testosterone levels under 400 ng/dL.
Hypogonadism, which is the decrease in testosterone production, is defined by testosterone levels under 300 ng/dL.
Aside from the decrease in energy, other signs of low testosterone in young males include:
If your energy levels are consistently low, it is a smart idea to have your testosterone levels checked, which can be done by a blood test. Your doctor can do this, or you may even want to explore getting tested through an online TRT clinic.
The safest testosterone boosters are ones that contain all-natural ingredients, and this is especially true for men in their 20s. Products like DHEA are meant for men over the age of 40, while other prohormone products should be used over the age of 25.
To reiterate the message of this article, if you are not at least 25, you should not take a T booster of any kind!
If you are 25 or older, we recommend using products that are third-party tested and contain all-natural ingredients. The two best overall testosterone boosters, TestoPrime and TestoFuel, would both be good products to use when first starting.
Another great product called TestoGen contains all-natural ingredients, including D-aspartic acid, magnesium, and vitamin D.
TestoPrime is an all-natural testosterone support that can help any man take control of his youthful vitality with a flood of new and natural testosterone...
Still unclear about whether it's bad to use a testosterone booster at the age of 20? These frequently asked questions and answers will clear things up.
The safest and best ways a 20-year-old can naturally increase testosterone levels is by maintaining a proper diet, exercising regularly, and having a healthy sleep schedule. There are also foods that can increase levels, such as leafy green vegetables, eggs, and beef.
If you are under the age of 25, yes, it is bad to take testosterone boosters. Taking a testosterone booster too young can have side effects such as acne, stunted growth, growth of breast tissue, and mood swings, among others.
The endocrine system is fully developed by age 25 when testosterone levels slowly decline. Therefore, anytime after the age of 25 is a good age to start taking a testosterone booster if you suffer from low T.
It is not a good idea to take testosterone boosters under 18. Testosterone levels are naturally high and constantly fluctuate during the teenage years. All hormonal products should be avoided, as the body is still developing.
Testosterone boosters can be beneficial supplements, but they should only be taken by those over 25. By 25, the endocrine system is fully developed, and testosterone levels have reached their peak before slowly declining.
For those aged 24 or under, testosterone boosters are not necessary because the body is rapidly producing testosterone at high levels. Using a testosterone booster at too young of an age can cause fluctuations in hormone levels, leading to nasty side effects.
If you are under 25 and concerned you have low T, it's best to simply talk to your doctor about it.
Potential side effects of taking testosterone supplementation at 20 include acne, stunted growth, gynecomastia, mood swings, and other diseases. Unless you suffer from low testosterone, it is safest to wait until at least 25 years old and use all-natural products that are third-party tested.
If you are 25 or older and interested in natural testosterone boosters, check out our article on the 7 Best Testosterone Booster Supplements!
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