Testosterone and how to boost it naturally

If you’re reading this article then you’ve probably began to realise how important testosterone is within the human body.  If you’re looking to increase the size of your muscles, or to get stronger or leaner and more defined, then testosterone is the hormone that will get you these results.

In this article we’re going to be discussing everything you need to know about testosterone and testosterone boosters: do they work?  How do they work?  How you can use them?  Which ones should you use and much more.  So sit back, grab a drink, and prepare to read your way to massive gains.

How do testosterone boosters work- Finding the best testosterone booster

To find the best testosterone booster, we should first understand what testosterone is.  In short, testosterone is a hormone, and it belongs to the ‘androgen’ class of hormones found within the human body.  Men typically have 300-1000ng/dL of testosterone in their blood stream, whereas women have 25-90ng/dL.  The majority of testosterone produced (96-98%) binds with plasma proteins, and the remaining 2-4% is known as ‘free testosterone,’ and is most associated with bodily change, particularly the growth of muscle.  Testosterone boosters aim to increase the amount of this ‘free testosterone,’ usually by reducing the binding ability of the plasma proteins mentioned earlier.  Some testosterone boosters also aim to inhibit aromatize enzymes, which are responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen.  In short, test boosters work by increasing the amount of free testosterone produced and by decreasing the amount of testosterone converted into other products.

*An important distinction: Most testosterone ‘boosters’ are not really boosters in the common sense of the word.  They don’t usually raise your testosterone levels beyond the normal human amount.  Instead, most testosterone boosters aim to restore your test levels to where they should naturally be.  The reason our test levels need restoring at all is that we live in a high stress world and don’t really live like we’re build to any more. So remember, most products claiming to ‘boost’ your testosterone levels don’t mean exactly what you might think.

Who should use them?

body transformation [Converted]The short answer is only those who need to.  The order of importance when it comes to building muscle and strength is nutrition, lifestyle, programming and then supplements.  This means that you should have a perfect diet, an ideal lifestyle and a top quality programme before you even consider testosterone level supplementation.  The reason for this is simple; testosterone is NOT a magic cure for lagging progress.  For the majority of people, plateaus are due to poor eating habits, unhealthy lifestyles and inefficient or stale training programmes.  Don’t be that guy who’s stuck under 180lb and complains about his test levels.  That guy trains inconsistently.  That guy doesn’t eat anything like the amount he needs to.  That guy is not you.

Similarly if you’re between the ages of 16-29 then testosterone boosters are probably not for you.  During these years of your life your testosterone levels should be through the roof without any assistance in the form of supplements.  Testosterone boosters are for you if you’re in your thirties or above and are struggling to make gains.

As with any rule there are exceptions.  Some 16-25 year olds will have lower than average testosterone levels. For these individuals testosterone boosters may be useful.  With that said, if you actually have hypogonadism (abnormally low test levels), then you’ll usually be prescribed testosterone boosters by your doctor, and these will be much stronger than the ones you could buy from bodybuilding websites.

Signs of low testosterone include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Difficulty achieving erection
  • Balding
  • Lack of energy
  • Mood changes (lack of focus, irritability and even depression)
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Increases in body fat

How to Save money when you find best Testosterone Booster for your needs

Supplement based testosterone boosters don’t come cheap, with prices on bodybuilding.com ranging from $25 to $60 for a month’s supply.  You can keep these costs down by buying in bulk but make sure you try to product in a much smaller quantity before you commit to purchasing six months’ worth.  There’s nothing worse than parting with your hard earned cash only to discover that the product just doesn’t sit right with you.

Even better, don’t part with your cash at all unless you absolutely have to.  There are plenty of scientifically proven natural testosterone boosters available to you that cost close to nothing.  Here are three of the most important examples.

Nutrition: Make sure your diet consists of leafy greens, proteins, healthy fats.  A good diet can help keep your zinc and magnesium levels up, which will help you reach your full testosterone potential.   Plus eating foods like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage can help remove estrogen (which lowers testosterone) from our body.  As if that wasn’t enough, eating better food will help you to shed body fat, and lower body fat percentages have been shown to increase testosterone.  So you get to look good and increase your test levels, that’s a no brainer in my book!

Sun: We spend more time indoors today than ever before in human history.  The result of this (other than a range of postural issues) is that we tend to be deficient in vitamin D.  Get out in the sun more to increase your vitamin D levels and in turn get closer to your natural testosterone potential.

Sleep: Almost nothing will hit your testosterone levels worse than bad sleeping habits.  Your body needs time asleep to rest, repair and rebuild itself.  This is even more important if you’re consistently lifting heavy weights (which you should be if you’re trying to build muscle or get stronger!)  Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night in order to keep your natural testosterone levels as high as possible.

Many expensive supplements work simply by providing your body with vitamin D, zinc and magnesium.  Others work by encouraging good quality sleep.  You can do all of this for much less money just by looking at your eating and sleeping habits!

For more info on applying all of this go and check out:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/01/18/how-to-increase-testosterone-naturally/

Testosterone Boosting Supplements

Okay, this is all well and good but you probably still have some questions.  What if I work nights and my sleep pattern is all messed up? What if I can’t afford all this healthy food? What if I live in the Alaskan town of Barrow and there’s no sun from November to January? (Seriously, look it up!)  In other words, if you are unable or unwilling to change your testosterone levels through your lifestyle, you still want the options of being a muscle building beast!  Natural testosterone boosting supplements are the place you’ll look.  Lucky for you, the following five product reviews will help you sort the men from the boys and guide you in the right direction.

Alpha Jym:

Alpha Jym is a testosterone booster promoted by bodybuilder and bodybuilding.com golden boy Jim Stoppani.  According to its sales page it contains six active ingredients in doses much higher than its competitors.  On the good news front, one of these ingredients is fenugreek, which has been linked to small increases in testosterone.  The product also contains Eurycoma Longifolia extract, otherwise known as Tongkat Ali, a Malaysian herb traditionally used as an aphrodisiac.  Whilst high test levels do equal higher libido, a higher level does not necessary mean higher test levels.  Two more key ingredients are Diindolymethane and Quercetin.  Whilst (to keep this review short) I would agree that both ingredients will indirectly benefit testosterone levels, they could also easily be acquired by eating some combination of onions, apples, broccoli, citrus fruits, and grapes.  Overall, if you’re going to buy a testosterone booster then this is a good bet.  It has a fair mix of active ingredients, its’ customer reviews are largely positive and it retails between $30 and $50 for 180 tablets, a.k.a. one month’s supply.

Iforce Nutrition ZMA:

best testosterone boosterThis supplement claims to increase deep sleep.  It primarily contains Zinc and Magnesium, hence the Z and the M in the product title.  If you are deficient in zinc and magnesium then this may help to bring your testosterone levels back to normal, but if your zinc and magnesium levels are normal then this won’t really do anything for you with regards to testosterone levels.  Plenty of customers’ reviews do suggest that it aids sleep though.  One month’s worth of capsules will cost you around $20.

Universal Nutrition Animal Test Packs

best testosterone boosterUniversal Nutrition has been around since 1977, and its test packs have been used by plenty of happy customers.  Its animal test product claims to increase test levels whilst maintaining a healthy estrogen balance.  The prime ingredient in the pack is arachidonic acid, an essential fatty acid that increases androgen receptor sensitivity; so far so good.  The main downside of the product is its massive cost.  It retails at no less than $60 for 21 packs.  You’d also be correct in thinking that 21 packs isn’t a full month’s supply.  This means that an average month’s supply of 30 packs will set you back around $90.  Just imagine all the top quality whey protein, creatine, steak, chicken and brown rice you could get for that!

best testosterone boosterTest booster 1.0

This product, designed by Blade Nutrition claims to boost the production of free testosterone.  It seems to be made up of four key ingredients.  Diindolylmethane (which we discussed earlier in the Alpha Jym review) Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), Tribulus Terresteris, and D-Aspartic Acid.   Without getting overly bogged down in the science, ‘Trib’ is an aphrodisiac but has not been shown to have an significant effect on testosterone.  D-Aspartic Acid is a more mixed bag, with some short term studies showing reasonable increases and other longer term studies showing test levels returning to normal after one month regardless of continued usage.  The product retails at $40 for a month’s supply of capsules, but there are few too many uncertainties for my liking.

 S.A.N Tribuvar 1000the best testosterone booster

The cheapest of the products reviewed here at only $15 for a month’s supply of capsules.  Its’ main ingredient is Tribulus Terresteris, a fruit producing Mediterranean plant.  There’s not much evidence to go with regards to whether or not ‘trib’ will aid performance, and no peer reviewed studies have shown any significant effect on testosterone.  To be honest, this product is cheap for a reason, it has only one active ingredient that may not even work.  Unless you’re absolutely strapped for cash, my advice is to save up for another couple of weeks and buy another product.

 

My recommendation

Studies on testosterone boosters are limited, so you’re better going for a well-known brand with good customer reviews that uses multiple active ingredients at a reasonable price.  In my opinion you’re best shout would be Jim Stoppani’s Alpha Jym.

Realistic expectations

Remember, natural testosterone boosters are not a magic solution.  After using for a few months you may be able to expect a 20-50% increase in test levels.  Don’t be expecting to end up with an extra 30lb of lean muscle.  And if you have a poor diet, poor lifestyle or a poor training programme you need to get that sorted first.

Wrapping it up

That’s it then, don’t pay for test boosters unless you absolutely have to.  And when you do, make sure you don’t get pulled in by shiny adverts and ridiculous claims.  Do your research to make sure you’re getting what you pay for.  Have you had any personal experience with testosterone boosters, or maybe some other advice for increasing testosterone levels? Let me know in the comments section.