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April 24, 2023
Testosterone is crucial for optimizing muscle growth, strength, mood, and energy levels. And in today's world, there's constant pressure to be at our best - whether at work, in the gym, or in the bedroom.
For many men, this leads to finding ways to get an edge.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder test boosters are some of the most popular products available. These supplements promise to enhance the body's natural testosterone production, leading to a multitude of physical and mental benefits.
But what exactly are over-the-counter testosterone boosters? And once you take one, what does it actually do?
We're about to explore the ins and outs of testosterone boosters, explaining what they are, common ingredients found in them, and how they impact your body. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast or curious about testosterone optimization, read on to learn more.
**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.**
Testosterone is men's primary sex hormone, which is produced in the gonads (testicles).
While women also produce testosterone in the ovaries, most of it is converted to estrogen, meaning it plays a vastly different role for men than it does for women.
For guys, testosterone plays an essential part in producing the male reproductive organs and is significant to a man's overall health and well-being.
In fact, testosterone is crucial to maintaining and building muscle mass and strength, as well as bone mass, and regulating sex drive, mood, and fat distribution.
Testosterone boosters are dietary supplements that contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, which we discuss in depth in our article on the 8 Best Supplements to Increase Testosterone Naturally. They're designed to naturally increase testosterone levels in the body.
It's crucial to note testosterone boosters are not anabolic steroids or testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Unlike steroids or TRT, test boosters won't raise testosterone levels beyond what is possible naturally. You can learn more about this in our article: Is Testosterone A Steroid?
Additionally, test boosters only contain ingredients that are sold over the counter. No prescription is required.
Although TRT is a well-established option for males with low T, and has been made more convenient thanks to online TRT clinics, many people opt for alternative solutions. Starting hormone replacement is a big decision, as it often requires a weekly or biweekly injection of testosterone.
Along with improving lifestyle factors, over-the-counter test boosters offer an alternative to getting you back to normal testosterone levels before going with pharmaceuticals.
A key component of understanding what testosterone boosters are and how they work is understanding some of the ingredients that go into them.
Here are six ingredients with the most evidence supporting their effectiveness.
You'll find many of these ingredients, and some other great ones, featured in these 7 Best Testosterone Booster Supplements.
As the name suggests, testosterone booster supplements support your body's natural testosterone and hormone production.
As men age, their testosterone levels decline, resulting in symptoms such as decreased sexual function and drive, erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass, and fatigue. Men are estimated to see up to a 2% decrease in testosterone annually after turning 306.
If you are encountering symptoms of low testosterone, it makes sense to consider testosterone treatment using natural test-boosting supplements to help reverse some of the issues.
The specific mechanism of action depends on the ingredients in the product. However, most test boosters work by restoring micronutrient deficiencies. This is true for products that contain Vitamin D, Zinc, and Magnesium.
For some of the more exotic ingredients, it has been hypothesized they can boost testosterone through antioxidant properties, impacting cortisol or influencing enzymes involved in testosterone production7.
But the truth is that there is no magic pill or quick fix when it comes to testosterone levels. At least none that are legal.
While a testosterone supplement can certainly support healthy testosterone levels, the most critical factors are often overlooked. Don’t rely on only supplements to improve your testosterone levels. It is important to improve lifestyle habits as well.
Often, if you're experiencing the symptoms we discussed above, including poor sexual function, reduced muscle mass, fatigue, depression, and issues with body composition, it can indicate your T is low.
You should then confirm this, either through your doctor or a TRT clinic. A blood test will confirm your testosterone is low.
A sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) test is an example of a test that can confirm you have low T and may need testosterone therapy.
Although this article is about testosterone boosters, several other ways exist to boost testosterone levels. Pay attention to these in your quest to optimize testosterone, making sure that you're exercising, eating well, and prioritizing sleep while taking T boosters.
Regular exercise, particularly strength training, can help boost testosterone levels. Lift weights 3-6 days per week, focusing on progressive overload and getting stronger. However, it's essential to not do too much.
Overtraining is associated with low testosterone levels, particularly when endurance exercise is involved8.
To learn more about this, check out our article: Does working out increase testosterone?
A balanced diet with plenty of protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables can help support optimal testosterone levels. In addition to ensuring you hit all your micronutrients, consume at least 20% of your calories from fat.
Research shows low-fat diets decrease testosterone levels in men9.
Sleeping is essential for many bodily functions, including maintaining healthy hormone levels. Even just one week of poor sleep has been shown to decrease testosterone in healthy young men10.
Aim to sleep at least 8 hours per night.
Maintaining a healthy body composition through regular exercise and diet can help support healthy testosterone levels.
In fact, being overweight is the most substantial risk factor associated with low testosterone levels, particularly in middle-aged and older men11,
Another option besides using a test booster is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). As mentioned, TRT is a medical treatment involving supplementing the body with synthetic testosterone to treat low testosterone levels or symptoms of testosterone deficiency.
TRT will be more effective at correcting low testosterone than a supplement, but it has more downsides.
If you are over fifty years old and suspect you might have low testosterone levels, talk to a healthcare provider to see if TRT might be a good option.
Here are some situations where you might consider taking testosterone boosters.
Some legal testosterone-boosting supplements are overhyped; however, others are worth your time.
When buying a testosterone booster, look for a product with scientifically validated ingredients to impact testosterone. Examples include Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, Forskolin, Ashwagandha, and Fenugreek.
Here are a couple of products worth checking out.
TestoPrime is a testosterone booster that has a solid ingredient profile. Amongst other things, it includes Ashwagandha, Fenugreek, Vitamin D, and Zinc.
Plus, it has a 100% money-back guarantee, so you can get your money back if you are unhappy.
Similarly to TestoPrime, Hunter Test is one of the best natural testosterone boosters with a potent ingredient profile of Ashwagandha, Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, and Boron.
Hunter Test has a lot of positive reviews, so if you are in the market for a test booster, it is one of the best options.
The goal of this article was to highlight how testosterone supplements can enhance your health and fitness game. One of your takeaways should be that while testosterone boosters can be a great addition to your routine, they're not a shortcut to success.
A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, quality sleep, and a balanced diet is still the key to long-term progress.
That said, if you are struggling with low T and already have quality lifestyle habits, picking up a high-quality test booster might be just what you need to restore and maintain healthy testosterone levels.
Ready to find a testosterone booster that works best for you? Check out our article on the 7 Best Testosterone Booster Supplements!
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