Natural Testosterone Boosters | Guide To Choosing the Best Booster For You
What Are Natural Testosterone Boosters | Are They Legal | How Does It Work | Testosterone Booster VS Pro Hormone | Testosterone Boosters Vs Ecdysterones | Natural Testosterone Booster Ingredients | Natural Testosterone Booster Products | Warnings And Side Effects | Disclaimer
When it comes to working out and getting results, we’re all looking for an edge to take ourselves further. But outside of the gym there are always ways we can naturally improve our day-to-day lives. One of those ways is through improving our hormone function. In this guide we’re going through the basics of supplementing with natural testosterone boosters!
While we will attempt to answer general questions regarding this subject and about specific compounds/products, its important to save your medical questions for your physician. We are happy to provide guidance on dietary supplements, but your we cannot provide specific advice for your individual health inquiries.
Why Do Testosterone Levels Matter?
Testosterone is commonly referred to as the “male sex hormone”, but it is much more than that. For starters, it plays a key role in metabolism and functioning of multiple bodily systems. This includes bone health, pain, well-being, cardiovascular function, cognitive health, as well as the musculoskeletal system and endocrine system. And that isn’t exclusive to men. Testosterone plays an important role in women as well. (1,2,3)
Testosterone is synthesized in the body from cholesterol. However, your testosterone levels are regulated by the pituitary gland in the brain. So having high cholesterol won’t influence your testosterone levels to be high. (4)
In men, testosterone levels tend to drop gradually each year as they age. During which, the testes produce less testosterone due to fewer signals from the pituitary gland. Additionally, protein SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) increases with age. The combination of these reduces the active form of testosterone (free testosterone).
Symptoms of testosterone deficiency in adult men include:
- Reduced body and facial hair
- Loss of muscle mass
- Low libido, impotence, small testicles, reduced sperm count and infertility
- Increased breast size (gynecomastia)
- Hot flashes
- Irritability, poor concentration and depression
- Loss of body hair
- Brittle bones and an increased risk of fracture
- Decreased energy
- Increased body fat
Women can also struggle with low testosterone and experience similar symptoms. Including low libido, reduced bone strength, poor concentration or depression.
If you feel you might be struggling with low testosterone, your first step should be to make an appointment with your doctor and get blood work done.
There isn’t a standardized range for testosterone, but your total testosterone can be divided into 3 categories.
- Tightly bound testosterone
- Loosely bound testosterone
- Free testosterone
The combination of your loosely bound and free testosterone make up the available testosterone in your body. Unfortunately, because there isn’t a standardized range for testosterone, different labs can list different ranges. Its important to consider how you feel and get rechecked when appropriate.
According to the Endocrine Society clinical practice guidelines, normal range T in men is generally between 300 and 1,000 ng/dl and hypogonadism has been defined as total T < 300 ng/dL.
What Are Testosterone Boosters:
Testosterone boosters generally refer to herbal supplements and compound that aim to elevate testosterone levels and reduce symptoms of low testosterone. A natural testosterone booster is not a steroid or the same as testosterone replacement therapy. Instead, natural testosterone boosters can be a combination of dietary supplements and lifestyles changes to support your body’s ability to produce testosterone.
Are They Legal?
Yes! Natural testosterone boosters often feature a combination of herbal extracts and amino acids. However, if you’re an athlete or if your profession limits what kind of supplements you can take; we would advise you to speak to your governing body or with your doctor before taking any supplements.
When it comes to sports, the USDA states, “If an ingredient causes an increase in testosterone levels, then it would have similar biological effects on the body as listed Anabolic Agents and would therefore be prohibited.“(11)
How Does It Work?
Natural testosterone boosters can have a variety of pathways depending on the specific compounds in the formula. But there are other ways to naturally improve your testosterone levels without taking a dietary supplement.
Natural Testosterone Booster VS Pro Hormones:
When it comes to searching for the right supplement for you, you may be confronted with confusing options. A pro hormone is a precursor for specific target hormone. The main difference between a natural testosterone booster and a pro hormone is the how the body metabolizes it. For example, many androgenic pro hormones are derived from dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is a naturally occurring steroidal hormone produced by men and women. DHEA is converted into androstenedione in the adrenal cortex, where it can convert in the liver to testosterone. (18)
A natural testosterone booster comprising of herbal extract will not convert to testosterone. However, the phytochemicals and secondary metabolites such as saponins, polyphenolic compounds, and alkaloids may support functions of testosterone. So a natural testosterone booster may not directly increase testosterone levels, but may assist with alleviating symptoms of low testosterone. But, there are studies that look indicate the combination of resistance training and some herbal testosterone booster may increase testosterone levels. (19,20,21)
So why take a natural testosterone booster?
Because testosterone levels can be influenced by several factors, a natural testosterone booster may be beneficial for individuals looking for testosterone support. For example, zinc is a common in testosterone booster. In one study, men with a deficiency in zinc supplemented this mineral for six months and found an increase in serum testosterone. (22) However, a separate study did not find these results when the men were not deficient. (23)
This provides further evidence speaking with a physician and getting blood work should be a priority when considering testosterone boosters.
Natural Testosterone Boosters Vs Ecdysterones
Outside of natural testosterone boosters, herbal compounds and alkaloids are common for promoting exercise performance. This can include plant hormones/steroids like laxogenin or ecdysterones like turkesterone.
These types of compounds are popular for the androgenic-like effects without side effects common to steroids/prohormones. In fact one study found ecdysterone induces hypertrophy of muscles with a comparable or even higher potency than anabolic androgenic steroids, SARMs or IGF-1. (24) Unlike in anabolic androgenic steroids and some pro hormones, ecdysterones are mediated by estrogen receptors not androgen receptors. (25)
However, despite how ecdysterones may stimulant protein synthesis and promote muscle growth, it does not increase testosterone. This means products like turkesterone are better suited for individuals looking for muscle growth, improving recovery, or boosting endurance. Additionally, it can be take by men and women due to its lack of hormonal effects in humans. (26)
Again that means for testosterone support, a natural testosterone booster may be a better option. And often natural testosterone boosters feature blends and may include plant steroids.
For more information on laxogenin, click HERE.
Natural Testosterone Booster Ingredients: (27)
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s dive into researched backed natural testosterone booster ingredients.
A study done in 2020 did a survey of natural testosterone booster ingredient commonly in formulas and cross referenced those ingredients with research on their influence on testosterone. Below is a list of supplements this study identifies may assist with increasing testosterone.
Unfortunately, not all the current research aligns with this list. In fact, many studies only worked with animal models making it difficult to assume if the results would apply to us or at what dosage. But, while reviewing the list and cross referencing it with other articles, we found some great studies on ingredients that may be worthwhile.
Anacyclus pyrthrum (Akarkara) was traditionally used in medicine for the treatment of several diseases such as cancer, rheumatism, epilepsy, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, research also indicates other biologic properties from this herb, including aphrodisiac properties. (28,29) However, more human research will be need to assess for clinical dosing.
Similarly, Bulbine Natalensis has been researched for its medicinal properties, but is often used for it’s aphrodisiac properties to treat sexual dysfunctions. However, research on this plant does appear to be limited to animal models. (30)
Horney Goat Weed Extract
While Horney Goat Weed aka epimedium extract has aphrodisiac properties, research on how it effects testosterone are lacking. (31)
- Horney Goat Weed Extract By Now Foods
- Horney Goat Weed Gummies By Force Factor
- (Capsules) Horney Goat Weed By Force Factor
While these ingredients may be beneficial for improving libido, there will need to be more research on whether they can also boost testosterone.
This ingredient got some mixed feedback from many articles. While some suggest it may be beneficial for improve muscle growth factors through decreasing myostatin and β-galactosidase. (32) But the research for increasing testosterone is lacking. However, other flavonoids such as chrysin and apigenin may increase androgen production and inhibit of the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estradiol. Similarly, EGCG, isolated from green tea, may inhibit estradiol and progesterone production. (33)
- EpiCat By Blackstone Labs