Full disclosure: According to the studies, these things don’t actually do any boosting. But, zinc, maca, and some other herbs and vitamins can improve performance of all types. Amid a sea of acronyms, ingredients like deer antler velvet and horny goat weed, and sensationalist promises to pump up both your muscles and your sex life, T-boosters can feel as much magic potion as dietary supplement.
These over-the-counter pills and powders promise to help increase testosterone production in the body and abracadabra: greater muscle mass and power output, improved athletic performance, and elevated mood and libido. Tenuous projections of vigor and virility aside, the actual contents of many of these supplements pose some health and safety concerns. But the reality is: Testosterone boosters are legal, accessible, and in demand. These supplements are marketed almost exclusively to men looking for that extra edge in the weight room, the bedroom, and the mirror.
One problem: A big chunk of those on the hunt for the best testosterone supplements are looking to compensate for a more serious condition. Mehran Movassaghidirector of the Providence St. Testosterone boosters typically pack in a whole mess of ingredients. We wanted evidence that at least one of them can actually boost T — and frankly, we found very little confirming that any do. A Closer Look at Ingredients. Herbs like Tribulus terrestris and stinging nettle have cool-sounding names, and there are a handful of studies that show longjack and maca can improve libido and erectile dysfunction, but they are all about as useful as water when it comes to increasing testosterone levels.
Horny goat weed, the ole devil, has boosted testosterone — but only in rats. N-Methyl-D-aspartate NMDAa synthetic amino acid derivative, failed to make any impact. The only agents clinically proven to increase testosterone in healthy men at all are the amino acid D-aspartic acid DAA and the herb fenugreek. Darryn Willoughbya professor of health, human performance and recreation and the director of the Exercise and Biochemical Nutrition Laboratory at Baylor University, has conducted some of the most commonly cited studies on agents in testosterone supplements, including the fenugreek study showing a boost and the DAA study showing none.
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These are not exactly inspiring results, but compared to the rest of the bunch, a couple of positive clinical studies went a long way. As such, the FDA advises you consult with a doctor before taking any given dietary supplement, and warns of potential risks associated with taking them improperly, in combination with other medicines, or if you have certain medical conditions.
With this disclaimer in mind, we looked for any red flags. We cut formulas containing caffeine anhydrous pure caffeine powder after news came out that it can be lethal even in small doses.
We also flagged substances banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA and the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA. Granted, these agencies are notoriously hard-nosed when it comes to supplements.
FREE-T Posing as a trade secret, proprietary blends can act as a ruse for manufacturers to bulk up their products with cheap, unsafe, or ineffective junk.
This is also thanks to a protection established under the DSHEA, which only requires manufacturers to list the total mass amount of the proprietary blend and its ingredients in descending mass order, but not the individual amounts of each ingredient.
At left, one of the contenders we cut features a proprietary blend that lists included ingredients, but not their respective amounts. In contrast, our top pick, Hypertest XTR, offers detailed amount info.
There you have it: These do not work. So to make our top picks, we looked for the best balance of other vitamins, herbs, and minerals that have proven results: zinc and vitamin D, for example, which can help replenish a dip in T levels, and maca and longjack, which are reported to amplify libidos.
Axis Labs Hypertest XTR. Our top pick packs a wide variety of vitamins, herbs, and minerals into its bright-orange capsules. Zinc is the cornerstone of that trio. One serving of Axis Labs Hypertest XTS is spread across six distinctly colored capsules.
Also beneficial, particularly for athletes: The herb ashwagandha can increase muscle strength and aid in recovery, while stinging nettle serves as an anti-inflammatory. Look past the gimmicky name and you’ll find solid ingredients like D-aspartic acid and fenugreek. If we were judging by name alone, TestoFuel would get nothing more than an eye roll. Panax ginseng has immune-boosting and antioxidant properties.
Important to note: As with zinc, deficiency in vitamin D can cause low testosterone, and supplements can help restore it to normal levels. Athletic Edge APE Libido. APE Libido’s ingredients could improve not only athletic performance, but also, yes, libido. It may be the least flashy capsule among our top picks, but Athletic Edge APE Libido does manage to pack a full serving into just two pills.
Pure DAA and fenugreek — Vitamins and minerals are typically a welcome addition to any fitness supplement, but just like you might prefer taking a wheatgrass shot over mixing it into a smoothie, you might be looking for a pure T-booster to fuel your workout. The DAA options should be, essentially, the exact same product, so we say shop by value.
AI Sports Nutrition also offers its D-Aspartic Acid line in capsule form. Keep in mind, though, any results you might get are minimal — and temporary. You seemed taller for a little bit during dinner, but once the booster seat went away, you were right back where you started. While that gradual decline is a natural part of aging, there are a slew of medical conditions that can cause low testosterone in men of any age.
Obesity, diabetes, and prostate cancer are a few culprits. Alcoholism and thyroid disorders can also contribute to low levels. If your libido is low and you feel tired all the time, you could be suffering from depression. Or your body could be failing to produce sufficient amounts of testosterone hypogonadism.
Or something else entirely! Either way, no amount of boosting will be a cure. Only a blood test can determine your actual levels of testosterone.
From there, your doctor can help figure out the right next steps. Resistance-training workouts, specifically, have more of an impact on testosterone when completed in the evening. Overtraining can have the opposite effect: drops in testosterone. High levels of stress are also known to have a negative physiological impact on the body, causing many of the same symptoms as low testosterone, such as decreased energy and libido.
Keeping your stress levels in check, and not undersleeping or overtraining, might kill two birds with one stone. While they do increase strength and muscle mass, they also cause a whole mess of puzzling, dangerous side effects. Men grow breasts and their testicles shrink. Steroids are also known to increase blood pressure, create tumors, and cause liver disease and heart attacks.
In short: stay far, far away. DAA and fenugreek are the only agents that have shown any impact on T levels. Our top pick offers a solid mix of beneficial ingredients, including zinc and magnesium.
Even if T-boosters seem like a quick way to get to beast mode, managing your stress, getting enough sleep, and not overtraining are the real first steps to improving your athletic performance. If you start playing with powders and pills, make sure your doctor is in the loop. We find the best of everything. We start with the world. We narrow down our list with expert insight and cut anything that doesn’t meet our standards.
We hand-test the finalists. Then, we name our top picks. Advertiser Disclosure : www.florencecardinal.com has an advertising relationship with some of the offers included on this page.
However, the rankings and listings of our reviews, tools and all other content are based on objective analysis. For more information and a complete list of our advertising partners, please check out our full Advertiser Disclosure. The information in our reviews could be different from what you find when visiting a financial institution, service provider or a specific product’s website. All products are presented without warranty. The big question: Do they actually boost? How We Found the Best Testosterone Booster.
At the very least, any products we recommended had to include fenugreek or D-aspartic acid. We cut formulas containing harmful, counterproductive, or banned substances. Testosterone boosters, like all dietary supplements, are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration prior to marketing.
We cut all proprietary blends. Posing as a trade secret, proprietary blends can act as a ruse for manufacturers to bulk up their products with cheap, unsafe, or ineffective junk. Ultimately, the T-boost industry has more false promises than actual results. Our Picks for the Best Testosterone Booster. Product Price Unit DAA Fenugreek Buy Now. There are ways to increase testosterone naturally. Want to be the first to know everything?
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