If you’ve been in the powerlifting/bodybuilding space for very long there are a few different supplements that you’ve probably seen over and over and over. Smelling salts, creatine, and, you guessed it, testosterone supplements are the big three in my experience.
The fact is, testosterone boosters of all sorts have been around for 100′s if not 1000′s of years in one form or another. You may well have heard of ancient egyptian aphrodisiacs formulated for the obvious. Essentially all they are is a natural testosterone booster created by combining certain herbs and vitamins to improve the body’s own testosterone production.
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Here’s a quick look at some of the top testosterone boosting ingredients found in natural supplements today:
- Horney Goat Weed
- Tongkat Ali Root
- Zinc & Magnesium
- Stinging Nettle
- Bulbine Natalensis
- Sarsaparilla Root
- Yohimbe Bark
- Maca Root
Every testosterone boosting supplement you look at will contain some combination of those different herbs and minerals and/or similar ones. They all work in very similar ways, but its very important to research and test things yourself as every person’s body reacts differently to any different composition. I’m a huge proponent of trying things for yourself if you couldn’t tell.
What Are the Benefits of a Test-Booster?
Let’s take a look at some of the different benefits that will come with your testosterone increases:
- Increase in sex drive. One of the reasons people lose sex drive and libido is a lack of testosterone. A natural test boost will improve not only your drive but also your sexual performance as a whole.
- Helps build muscle quicker and stronger. You want to look bigger, feel stronger, and be leaner. Aside from steroids (not a good idea in my opinion), testosterone supplements are the absolute best option available. There’s a reason that everyone from powerlifters to football players put these things down daily.
- Increases in overall energy. Your body consumes ATP during everything from organ function to bench pressing. Testosterone plays an indirect, yet important role in making sure you replenish your stores of ATP and have the maximum amount of energy to go about your daily acivities whether they be in the weight room or the bedroom.
- Fuels your body specifically for peak workout performance. Most of the supplements I have looked into are formulated specifically to increase male performance (not necssarily sexual performance in this case). I’m talking squats, presses, sprints, and kicking your opponents trash.
See more benefits and information here.
So How Does A Testosterone Booster Work?
You may or may not have experience with anabolic steroids (not the same as the natural test boosters we are talking about). Anabolic steroids are essentially synthetic formulations of human testosterone that are used to directly boost testosterone levels.
Natural testosterone boosters are different in one, very important regard: instead of directly adding testosterone to your body’s fragile system, they boost the body’s ability to produce its own testosterone. That means, among other things, that they are far, far safer than their anabolic cousins.
A common side effect of steroid use is your body’s own testosterone production shutting down relatively quickly. Although you should obviously be careful when taking any supplement, natural boosters are much safer and have much fewer side effects. For example, instead of shutting down your body’s testosterone creation, they will actually improve it over time.
So, how does this lead to me building more muscle and all these other claims?
Testosterone plays a key part in the body’s muscle production as well as sexual functions. It’s been shown in study after study that testosterone increases stimulate muscle growth (at times up to 20% more than in control subjects. See here.)
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Why Do I Need A T-Booster?
According to Jason Hedges, MD, PhD, a urologist at the University in Portland, testosterone levels in the average male start decreasing in their 20′s and continue to do so through the 30′s, 40′s and so on. (see http://www.webmd.com/men/features/low-testosterone-explained-how-do-you-know-when-levels-are-too-low)
If you have every felt a lack of sex drive, energy, or libido, natural testosterone supplements could be an answer. In fact, your testosterone doesn’t have to decline at all if you stay on top of your diet and can successfully supplement your own body’s hormone production.
Why You Shouldn’t Take Testosterone Boosters
The most obvious reason here is if you are completely happy with where you are at now, then there is no need. Behind the bottle you’ll read the standard “not while pregnant or nursing” warning which really makes sense in this case, but what other things should you watch out for when looking into a testosterone booster?
It’s not necessarily that you shouldn’t take one; It’s more that you shouldn’t take the wrong ones. Just like creatine, there are crappy testosterone supplements available on the market that don’t do jack squat. At the same time there are plenty that do an amazing job and will help you get your body to where you want it to be.
My main recommendation (as I’ve already stated) is to stay away from any anabolic steroid use. Pure testosterone is dangerous especially if used incorrectly, so just don’t do it. Plus, for the most part they’re not even legal. Beyond that warning, I would advise against anything without ample reviews. As I’m sure you know it’s fairly easy for a company to fake a set of reviews and post them or pay for them to be posted. My suggestion is to read through a number of reviews and compare what they are saying. If a review seems too good to be true it probably is. If the reviewer seems to know to much its probably because they do :). Watch for these things while comparing products and you should be able to easily find the right product for you.