Testosterone is a hormone naturally made in the human body and has several functions in both men and women. However, its role is more significant in men. It is an essential hormone that aids in the proper functioning of men’s sexual and physical health.
As men reach their 30s and beyond, testosterone production naturally decreases, and that can lead to several health issues.
If you are looking to boost your testosterone levels, and wondering if boosters really work, then this article is for you.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a sex hormone and affects a man’s sexual and physical health. It is also an anabolic steroid that helps in the growth of muscle tissues. It aids in muscle gain, maintains muscle mass, and promotes fat loss.
Testosterone is also the sex hormone that is responsible for the growth of sexual reproductive tissues such as the prostate and the genitals. It also has a secondary function that gives men their characteristic “masculine external features” such as facial and body hair, higher bone mass and muscle mass, deep voice, etc. This hormone is also primarily responsible for the functioning of healthy libido in men.
This sex hormone is naturally produced in the testes.
However, as men reach their 30s, the natural ability of the human body to produce testosterone diminishes. Testosterone levels can be affected by several other medical conditions as well.
This is where some men are turning to testosterone boosters to boost the production of this vital hormone.
But is it right for you? Let’s discuss the benefits and side effects of taking testosterone supplements.
What are Testosterone Boosters?
Testosterone boosters are supplements and medications that contain either naturally or synthetically manufactured testosterone or chemical compounds that are meant to boost testosterone production.
Testosterone boosters come in different forms. They are:
- Oral supplements: Testosterone pill, capsule, or tablets for oral consumption.
- Injectable testosterones: These are testosterone esters that are in oil suspension solutions and are meant to be injected into the buttocks every few weeks. The two main types of testosterones are testosterone cypionate and testosterone undecanoate.
- Transdermal testosterones: These are testosterone patches and gels that are applied to the skin directly.
A Word on Supplements
In today’s world of fitness and health, it is very common for men to rely on some supplements to get the appropriate levels of nutrients, vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, and minerals to optimize their health and achieve their fitness goals.
For example, bodybuilders often require more additional protein supplements, such as casein protein, than what they can consume in a day through diet alone.
So, we should be looking at testosterone supplements in a similar category. However, considering this is a steroid and a hormone, there are some key considerations to keep in mind before starting this supplement. As always, we recommend that you speak to your doctor before starting any supplements.
Now, let’s take a look at what are healthy testosterone levels and how to detect you may be running low on this essential hormone.
According to the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, normal levels of testosterone in men between the ages of 19 and 39 should be around 264 to 916 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Meanwhile, the American Urological Association suggests that a low level of testosterone can be defined as under 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
However, testosterone levels can vary depending on several factors like age, underlying health conditions, diet, etc.
Hypogonadism is a condition that can lead to low testosterone levels. Some symptoms of low testosterone levels include:
- Low energy
- Loss of muscle strength
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- A feeling of malaise
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating
However, it is important to note that these symptoms can also occur due to a deficiency of other critical hormones in the body. So, before drawing any conclusions, it is recommended that your doctor conducts thorough blood tests to confirm any testosterone deficiencies.
Benefits of Testosterone Supplements
For people who are suffering from hypogonadism, testosterone supplements can be extremely helpful in turning around the symptoms they face due to testosterone deficiency.
Some benefits of testosterone supplements reported are as follows:
- Increased sex drive
- Improved sexual performance
- Reversal of erectile dysfunction
- Increased ability to build more muscle mass
- Improved motivation
- Improved mental clarity
- Improvement in managing depression and anxiety
- Better energy levels
- Better physical performance
Many testosterone supplements are made of natural ingredients that include several herbs, minerals, vitamins, and those ingredients can also naturally boost the body’s ability to produce more testosterone.
Some of these natural herbs, minerals, and vitamins include:
- Vitamin D
As mentioned before, always consult your doctor before starting any supplement. For more on natural remedies, check out this post.
Are There Any Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone without Boosters?
If you don’t have any significant testosterone deficiencies and would still like the positive benefits of higher levels of testosterone, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to naturally boost your testosterone levels.
Here are some things you can do to boost your body’s natural testosterone production abilities:
- Daily exercise – if you live a sedentary lifestyle, increasing your daily activity level might help. For those who don’t walk, just 12 weeks of daily walking for an hour can boost your testosterone levels.
- Resistance training – resistance training like weight lifting and muscle-building exercises are known to also boost testosterone levels in men.
- Balanced Diet – studies have shown that a whole-food diet that is minimally processed and rich with foods that contain antioxidants can also boost your testosterone level.
A few noteworthy foods like pomegranate, eggs, milk, honey, garlic, lean animal proteins, and grapes have some innate abilities to stimulate anabolic hormone production and blood flow and build lean mass.
- Zinc, Potassium, Ginger, DHEA, Ashwagandha, and Vitamin D – a daily supplement of these minerals, vitamins, and natural herbs can also aid in boosting testosterone production naturally.
- Improve sleep – if libido and energy levels are a concern, you will need to look at your sleep quality. Improving your sleep will allow the body to naturally regenerate and replenish the hormones that have been depleted throughout the day.
- Reduce stress – daily stresses of life can wreak havoc on your sex hormones. Eliminating stressors from your life (whether it is that annoying boss who will never get off your case or the traffic) and focusing on your inner peace and wellbeing can greatly reduce stress. Try meditation and yoga to help your mind relax.
Many of the positive effects of higher testosterone levels can be achieved by making relatively easy lifestyle changes. The more natural ways you can find to boost your energy levels and optimize your health, the better off you will be.
Who Should Avoid Testosterone Supplements?
If you have a history of heart disease (or are at risk of developing heart disease) or at risk of prostate cancer, you should definitely avoid testosterone supplements.
You should also avoid taking testosterone supplements if your testosterone levels are in the normal to an adequate range.
Testosterone is a very potent sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. Misuse or overuse of this hormone can have serious implications on your body.
Taking these supplements just to boost your sex drive or build better muscles is not a good idea.
Treat it like medication, and always be mindful of what you put in your body.
Testosterone is a vital sex hormone that the body needs to produce at adequate levels to keep the body in optimal health. As a man ages, his natural ability to produce testosterone might diminish. There are testosterone supplements in the market that are likely safe for consumption, but they can also have adverse side effects. Therefore, you should always consult your doctor before you try any supplements to boost your testosterone levels.