Testosterone is a hormone that supports muscle functioning, strength, as well as sex drive among men. It’s known to speed up fat loss and promote lean muscle gains, which is great for improving your training performance. While your body produces it naturally, free testosterone levels may decrease with age, stress, lack of movement, or if you have specific health conditions like hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency).
The good news is that you still have ways and strategies to stay on top of your game and avoid the effects that come with low testosterone levels. This includes taking testosterone boosting supplements. You’ve probably thought, do testosterone boosters work?
Navigating the supplement market can be tricky, since you’ll want to avoid products that aim to sell no matter what, even at the cost of making exaggerated claims and giving you unrealistic expectations. So, we’re here to help you learn whether testosterone boosters really work and which testosterone boosters are the real deal. Now let’s find out.
How Do Testosterone Boosters Work?
In short, testosterone boosters work by enhancing your body’s own production of testosterone with each natural ingredient. If you’ve done some of your own research beforehand you’ve probably heard of the term “free testosterone”. The basics are that the testosterone in your blood comes in two forms:
- attached to the hormone albumin and the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG),
- or unattached as free testosterone.
Unattached testosterone is easily used by your body, which is exactly what you’re going for. That’s why testosterone boosters work to increase the amount of free testosterone in your blood. This is when you start noticing the effects.
But that’s not the whole story! The fact that testosterone boosters contain a variety of ingredients means that your body gets all the additional benefits from each ingredient that might not be related to the increase of testosterone. This will decrease the chances of you having a vitamin or a mineral deficiency. Keep in mind, you won’t notice the effects of a testosterone booster supplement if you don’t have a consistent resistance training regimen, eat a nutrient-rich diet, hydrate, and are mindful of your sleeping patterns.
You can think of booster supplements as natural enhancers to an already healthy lifestyle.
How Fast Do Testosterone Boosters Work?
This question naturally comes to mind after “do testosterone boosters work?”. Let’s say that you’ve started taking a testosterone booster and now you’re eager to see results. Fair enough! Typically, it takes between 2 and 8 weeks to see results. But the answer is more complex than that.
First, let’s clarify what we mean by results. It’s when your body has digested and absorbed the ingredients from the supplement and all the nutrients it contains start influencing your body’s functions and processes. You’ll know this is happening when you start to feel stronger, notice improved training performance, and experience muscle gains.
The amount of time it’ll take for you to see results depends on two factors:
- how quickly your body can absorb nutrients
- the supplement manufacturing and dosage.
So, it depends on you and the supplement you go for.
Diet and Individual Absorption
The time it takes for you to see the effects depends on the individual level of supplement absorption, or how easy it is for your body to digest and use the nutrients from the ingredients the supplement contains.
What makes it easier or harder for your body to absorb the supplement?
It’s all up to your diet and lifestyle. Fortunately, you can increase your absorption by doing your research and choosing the right foods and changing some daily habits. For example, a study investigating the micronutrients obtained from supplements and food published in the Toxicology Research and Application Journal in 2017 found that vitamin D improves the absorption of magnesium, a mineral that is important for testosterone production. This means that spending time in the sun, taking vitamin D supplements, or making sure that you’re eating fatty fish like mackerel and salmon will help your body absorb nutrients that increase your testosterone levels more easily.
Dosage and Supplement Manufacturing
Secondly, the same study showed that nutrient absorption is influenced by the dosage of each nutrient in the supplement and the way that a supplement is manufactured. For some nutrients, smaller doses increase the amount being absorbed. This may not be the case for others. For example, the body requires higher doses of vitamin C for effective absorption. It’s important to ingest the optimal dosage of each nutrient to reap the most benefits. However, the optimal dosage can be different for individuals who have a nutrient deficiency. For example, if someone is deficient in iron, it’s expected that they will need a higher dosage than someone who is not. The nutritional status of the individual is important to see what the best dosage for someone is.
The way in which the supplement is manufactured and the design of the capsule is also important for effective nutrient absorption. If you want to increase your nutrient absorption, you may want to try Testodrine, a test booster supplement by Growth Labs Australia that’s manufactured as a capsule that has a slightly thinner wall with a larger internal cavity which enables an optimal dosage of all ingredients. This can speed up absorption and prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies at the same time.
Do Testosterone Boosters Influence Libido?
After all, testosterone is primarily known as a sex hormone. A study published by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2006 claims that reduced libido is considered to be the most prominent symptom of low free testosterone levels in men.
So, would testosterone boosters influence libido?
You’ve probably seen it, companies often market their test booster supplements as the magic formula for everything, including increased libido or sexual function. The truth is, there’s just not enough research to prove that testosterone boosters increase libido.
While there are not enough studies showing that testosterone booster supplements lead to increased libido, there are studies like one published by the Current Opinion in Urology Journal in 2017 proving that testosterone replacement therapy improves sex drive as well as erectile function among men. They are not the same thing, though, so it’s important not to mix them up.
Testosterone replacement therapy often comes in the form of an injection that’s given for medical purposes only to men who are diagnosed with hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency). According to Health Engine, a man must have clinical symptoms of deficiency such as lack of body hair or breast growth in order to be diagnosed and approved for therapy.
It’s also known that most of the causes of testosterone deficiency are untreatable, so patients who receive testosterone replacement therapy take it permanently.
On the other hand, testosterone boosters are compounds of natural ingredients that support the body to produce testosterone on its own. They are mainly used by healthy men who do not have a testosterone deficiency, but who want to support training performance to build lean muscle mass and increase fat loss.
In short, due to the lack of sufficient research, no claims can be made about whether testosterone boosters influence the libido.
A Breakdown of the Most Common Testosterone Boosters
In order to help you understand how a testosterone booster actually works, we’ll break down the most common ingredients found in the testosterone boosters available on the market and show you the science behind them.
Also known as D-Aspartate, D-Aspartic acid is an amino acid that plays an important role in the body’s release of testosterone.
In a study published in the Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology Journal in 2009, 23 male participants took an oral dose of D-aspartic acid for 12 consecutive days, while 20 participants took an oral dose of placebo. After 12 days of treatment, the testosterone levels of 20 out of the 23 participants who ingested D-Aspartic acid notably increased.
Apart from ingesting D-aspartic acid in supplement form, you may also find it in protein-rich foods like poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Plants have been used to stimulate sex hormones for centuries in native communities across the world. The point is, they shouldn’t be underestimated.
Like Eurycoma Longifolia, a traditional herbal testosterone booster, Tribulus Terrestris also presents a plant with testosterone-increasing properties.
It has its origins in Ayurveda, an alternative system of medicine that originated in India. The plant belongs to the caltrop family and is found in warm climates like those in African and South Eurasian countries.
It’s also known as goat’s head, bullhead, devil’s eyelashes or devil’s weed, which is indicative of its powerful properties.
In a study published by the Endocrinology and Metabolic Research Journal in 2019, after a testing period of four months, a botanical combination of Tribulus Terrestris, Eurycoma Longifolia, and other natural ingredients led to a total increase of testosterone production by 52% among male participants.
The same study also suggests that further research is needed on the topic, however, the results show that botanical ingredients have a significant potential to stimulate an increase in testosterone levels.
Found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes, magnesium is a mineral that is important for many different processes in the body. This includes regulating muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, and making protein and DNA.
In a study published by the International Journal of Endocrinology in 2014 investigating the link between magnesium and testosterone levels in modulating physical function in men, the highest levels of testosterone were found in those athletes who were both exercising and receiving supplements containing magnesium. Why so?
As explained in an article from the same journal, magnesium binds with SHBG (the sex hormone-binding globulin), which restricts testosterone binding with SHBG. The result? More unattached free testosterone in the blood that doesn’t need to be broken down!
In short, increased magnesium intake results in a higher amount of testosterone that’s ready to be used by the body.
Apart from increasing testosterone levels for muscle mass and strength, magnesium is also great for post-workout recovery. This is how individual ingredients from testosterone boosters can lead to additional benefits for someone that does resistance training on a regular basis.
Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in metabolic functioning. Even moderate zinc deficiency is connected to testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism), a dysfunction of the testes that results in a decrease of sperm count that may lead to infertility in men.
A study published by the Biological Trace Element Research Journal in 2011 found that male participants with higher testosterone levels had a significantly higher zinc level than the participants with lower testosterone levels. Based on this, the study showed that zinc influences testosterone synthesis. This is why this mineral is such an important ingredient in testosterone boosting supplements.
The body does not produce zinc on its own, so it’s important to supplement and make sure that you’re getting the recommended daily amount. Make sure that you’re including foods that are rich in zinc in your diet, like oysters, beef, seeds, and nuts.
Vitamin B6 is a vitamin that is present in more than 100 enzyme reactions connected to metabolism. Apart from getting it in supplement form, you can also ingest this vitamin by eating the right foods, which include poultry, fish, potatoes, and others.
According to the Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University, vitamin B6 is able to inhibit the steroid-binding receptors to which testosterone binds, leading to the availability of more free testosterone that can be easily used by the body.
This is similar to the effect of magnesium on the levels of free testosterone in the blood described above. Both magnesium and vitamin B6 play a role in decreasing the amount of testosterone that binds with steroid receptors, which leads to a higher level of unattached free testosterone.
In the case of vitamin B6, it is also stated that this vitamin may prevent potential steroid-driven diseases such as prostate cancer.
If you want to support your body with the benefits all these ingredients offer, Growth Labs Australia’s Testodrine includes an optimal selection of each in its formula created to support muscle gain, strength, endurance, and recovery, while ensuring that you’re getting the essential vitamins and minerals that all high functioning healthy men need.
The Verdict: Do Testosterone Boosters Really Work?
To sum it up, yes. Testosterone boosters work by increasing the release of free testosterone in your blood leading to lean muscle gains, strength, and endurance. That being said, they won’t work and you won’t feel the maximal effects if you don’t adjust other areas of your life to work with them.
Combine testosterone boosters with a steady training regime, a nutritionally varied diet, proper sleep, and decreased stress levels and you will notice how they will enhance your muscle mass and boost your strength and training performance.