Testosterone is a sex hormone that can help increase muscle gains, boost sexual performance and libido, and improve body composition.
As you age, your body naturally produces less testosterone. To boost testosterone levels (and perhaps gains made at the gym), many men turn to natural testosterone boosters.
As the phrase implies, testosterone boosters are dietary supplements used to — you guessed it — boost testosterone levels. But do testosterone boosters really work?
Of the many testosterone boosting supplements on the market, an NIH (National Institutes of Health) study found only 10.1% of products had data supporting their clever marketing claims.
Below, we'll answer the question, "What is the best testosterone booster?" Plus, we'll show you which natural ingredients are scientifically proven to increase testosterone levels so you can make an educated decision when purchasing a product online.
Please note: This post is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you experience symptoms of low testosterone, please speak with your physician about finding a supplement that works well for you.
To understand testosterone boosters, you must first understand testosterone.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, being an anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS). However, both men and women need testosterone for proper health and longevity.
Adequate testosterone levels are linked to a number of health benefits, including fat loss, weight loss, greater sex drive, improved blood flow, increased muscle mass, and improvements in bone density.
Testosterone supplements are popular amongst bodybuilders because they stimulate protein synthesis, particularly in skeletal muscle tissue. Therefore, higher testosterone levels (a.k.a. "T levels") can lead to more muscle growth following exercise.
Testosterone boosters (also called test boosters) are dietary supplements used to increase testosterone levels. According to the International Journal of Health Sciences, higher testosterone levels are associated with increased power and strength, better mood, and improved sexual function.
Your body naturally produces testosterone.
However, as you age your testosterone levels will gradually decline. According to Harvard Health, testosterone levels in men drop roughly 1-2% every year after age 30. This can lead to a loss of muscle mass, brittle bones, erectile dysfunction, decreased energy levels, reduced cognitive function, and an increase in body fat.
Recent studies show that men are losing testosterone at a more rapid rate than they were several decades ago. According to an article published by Forbes, men in the United States have seen a significant drop in testosterone levels since the 1980s, with an average decline of 1% per year.
To put things into perspective, a 45-year-old man in 2000 could have testosterone levels up to 20% lower than a 45-year-old from the 1980s.
So, what's causing this nation-wide decline?
The answer isn't so straight forward, although many experts believe it's related to how Americans work and live.
The decline in testosterone levels has been correlated with an incline in obesity rates (which suppress testosterone). Other experts believe it's related to an increase in environmental toxins and a rise in desk jobs over manual labor. Lastly, it could be due to genetic disorders, such as hypogonadism or hypopituitarism, where your body simply doesn't produce enough testosterone.
Natural testosterone boosters can come with some negative side effects, including liver damage. This means that it's imperative that you do your research and buy a high-quality product.
Even if you're taking the best testosterone booster on the market, it's important to keep your testosterone levels within a healthy range. Abnormally high levels of testosterone in men (which usually stem from taking anabolic steroids or growth hormones) can cause low sperm counts, heart damage, acne, liver disease, fluid retention, weight gain, headaches, irritability and mood swings, and an increased risk of blood clots.
When shopping for a testosterone booster on Amazon, don't purchase a product simply because it says "testosterone" on the label. Many testosterone boosters on the market are bunk, from a scientific standpoint.
Instead, educate yourself on the ingredients that have been scientifically proven to increase testosterone production. Let’s take a look at several ingredients linked to heightened testosterone levels and how you can get more of them in your diet.
According to studies conducted by the Journal of Reproduction and Infertility, zinc is considered an aphrodisiac and essential to male fertility. Zinc has been shown to increase testosterone production, and zinc deficiency has been connected to low testosterone levels.
Your body does not produce zinc on its own. Therefore, zinc is an essential dietary mineral that you must consume through food or supplement on a regular basis.
Transparent Labs ZMO combines zinc, magnesium, and oyster meat powder into one capsule. Linked to muscle recovery, better sleep, and higher energy levels, ZMO has been shown to produce higher testosterone levels in men.
In a study conducted by Hormone and Metabolic Research, supplementing with vitamin D was shown to increase testosterone production in men. After taking vitamin D daily for one year, participants had significantly higher testosterone levels than the placebo group.
Further research suggests that low vitamin D status is correlated with low testosterone levels in men.
It’s estimated that over 75% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D.
The RawSeries Vitamin D3 delivers bioavailable vitamin D3 to your body, which helps boost testosterone levels, increase strength and performance, and reduce the risk of bone fractures.
Boron is a trace mineral that plays an important role in metabolism, bone health, wound healing, and the body's use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D.
Studies show that supplementing with boron — for as little as one week — causes significant increases in the production of testosterone in men.
The Preseries Bulk Pre-Workout combines all three supplements mentioned thus far: vitamin D3, boron, and zinc. These three ingredients have all been shown to boost testosterone levels.
Bulk Pre-Workout also contains 70 mg of mucuna pruriens, which appears to improve semen quality, reduce stress, and increase testosterone levels in infertile men.
Tongkat ali is an herbal supplement from Southeast Asia, used to treat fevers, infections, and erectile dysfunction.
In a review of multiple studies, compounds within tongkat ali were shown to increase testosterone levels in men. In one study, supplementing with tongkat ali was shown to increase testosterone levels in both men and women, and could increase muscle strength.
Ashwagandha root is an adaptogenic herb used to promote healthy mood, cognitive function, and overall wellness. Recently, it’s been making a case as a testosterone booster, as well.
In a study published in the American Journal of Men's Health, researchers found that men ages 40-70 given an ashwagandha root supplement for 8 weeks had an average 14.7% increase in testosterone levels.
Since ashwagandha is rarely served as food, Transparent Labs offers two products to increase your intake of ashwagandha root.
Transparent Labs Multivitamin contains ashwagandha root extract and boron citrate, both of which are shown to boost testosterone levels. The PreSeries Lean Pre-Workout contains zinc and ashwagandha, helping to stimulate fat loss and testosterone production.
New research shows that BioPerine, when combined with other ingredients, can be used to increase testosterone levels in men. In a 12-week trial, 78 males took a capsule made from BioPerine, Tribulus terrestris, serenoa repens, crataegus rivularis, ginseng, and other ingredients.
The treatment helped raise testosterone concentrations and improve symptoms related to erectile dysfunction.
However, MindSeries Nootropics has an additional benefit: It’s made with BioPerine, which could help raise testosterone levels.
It also contains choline, an essential B vitamin. Some B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, have been shown to boost testosterone levels.
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, although both men and women need proper levels of testosterone.
Higher testosterone levels in men are linked to improved body composition, boosted metabolism, and increased muscle mass. Unfortunately, due to environmental and genetic factors, men are losing testosterone at a more rapid rate than generations prior.
There are plenty of supplements on the market that claim to boost testosterone levels, but lack any scientific evidence to support their claims. When looking for the best testosterone boosters, look for those containing zinc, vitamin D and B, ashwagandha, BioPerine, and boron. These vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts have multiple human studies showing they can boost testosterone production.
To boost testosterone levels with natural supplements, we recommend taking the PreSeries Bulk Pre-Workout and a daily multivitamin, to begin. As always, pay attention to how your body reacts to your new supplements and adjust as needed. It takes time and consistency to increase testosterone levels naturally, but stick with it - you will thank yourself in the long run.