Testosterone is what makes men, well men. It gives us the power to build muscle and the aggression to be competitive. Testosterone has many other benefits as it can keep you in a good mood, deter depression, make you a stallion in bed and provide overall well being.
Men begin seeing their testosterone levels drop slowly after age 25 and see bigger drops after age 34. When testosterone drops men may see a drop off in libido, more difficulty building muscle mass, and changes in mood.
Testosterone Boosters are supposed to be designed to boost free testosterone in men that are deficient. The idea is that it can assist in returning your testosterone levels back up to a healthy level and eliminating the symptoms of low test.
Are they legit?
The short answer is, no, not really. Most over the counter products out on the market that claim to boost testosterone are over-hyped B.S., typically it’s some type of proprietary blend that they claim will boost free testosterone. There are some ingredients in these products that do have benefits to boosting testosterone but typically they are at small dosages that will have little effect on your test levels.
What testosterone supplements work?
D-Aspartic Acid– DAA has been shown in studies to increase testosterone slightly in men over a short period of time, 12 days, and has shown to increase testosterone in infertile men by 30 to 60%. Continued use shows testosterone numbers eventually return to baseline. 1
Zinc – Studies have shown that men who are deficient in zinc have been able to boost their testosterone levels with supplementation. 2
Vitamin D – One study has shown that men who took 3,332 IU of Vitamin D daily for the course of the year saw a boost in testosterone. 3
Mucana – Has shown to increase testosterone levels significantly in infertile men, no studies have been performed on fertile men. 45
Fenugreek– There is one study that shows a slight increase in testosterone but significant increase in libido.6
DHEA – There is one study that shows an increase in testosterone in young athletes, age 19-22.7
Creatine – Studies have shown an increase of test levels up to 15% during supplementation. 8
(I only provided supplements that have evidence of success from human studies. There are many supplements with studies on mice that show increases in testosterone but I feel they are worthless to have listed here.)
There are many other health benefits that come with taking some of the supplements that are noted above. If you are infertile there are many options available to assist in boosting fertility and testosterone. If you have had blood work performed and are shown to have have low testosterone levels it could be a good first step to see if you are deficient in zinc and vitamin D.
The Only Proven Way to Boost Testosterone
There isn’t a supplement on the market that will significantly boost your testosterone levels unless you are infertile or deficient in certain vitamins or minerals. Most of the products out there are scams and typically contain the ingredients listed above. Some of the supplements are great for boosting libido or increasing fertility, but do little in the form of boosting test levels. The only real way to boost testosterone levels high enough to build muscle is either through steroids or TRT, testosterone replacement therapy.
The pros and cons of steroids I will save for another day but if you feel that your testosterone levels are low, you can find a chart of normal test levels here, then contact your doctor and see if TRT is an option for you.
Topo E, Soricelli A, D’aniello A, Ronsini S, D’aniello G. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009;7:120. ↩
Jalali GR, Roozbeh J, Mohammadzadeh A, et al. Impact of oral zinc therapy on the level of sex hormones in male patients on hemodialysis. Ren Fail. 2010;32(4):417-9. ↩
Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011;43(3):223-5. ↩
Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, Shankhwar SN, Rajender S, Jaiswar SP. Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertil Steril. 2009;92(6):1934-40. ↩
Gupta A, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, et al. A proton NMR study of the effect of Mucuna pruriens on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2011;55(5):1060-6. ↩
Wilborn C, Taylor L, Poole C, Foster C, Willoughby D, Kreider R. Effects of a purported aromatase and 5α-reductase inhibitor on hormone profiles in college-age men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010;20(6):457-65. ↩
Ostojic SM, Calleja J, Jourkesh M. Effects of short-term dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation on body composition in young athletes. Chin J Physiol. 2010;53(1):19-25. ↩
Volek JS, Ratamess NA, Rubin MR, et al. The effects of creatine supplementation on muscular performance and body composition responses to short-term resistance training overreaching. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004;91(5-6):628-37. ↩
Sellandi TM, Thakar AB, Baghel MS. Clinical study of Tribulus terrestris Linn. in Oligozoospermia: A double blind study. Ayu. 2012;33(3):356-64. ↩