Testosterone boosters are helpful for most men over 30 who want more strength, energy and libido.
Testosterone is the granddaddy of all “hormones” and the dictator that runs all other hormones. In men, more testosterone can help with adding lean muscle and increasing sex life.
In the last 20 years alone, a man’s average testosterone levels have plummeted by 25% across all ages (1). That means that a 30 year old man in 1986 had significantly higher testosterone levels than a 30 year old man in 1996…
With each decade we’re producing less testosterone. It’s as if men are becoming less manly. And as we see this fall of man, this emasculation, we’re seeing increased obesity, heart disease, depression, and a host of other ailments rise in relation to it.
Enter testosterone boosting supplements. With promises of effortless testosterone boosting, it seems like a great solution to this continuously escalating problem.
TestoFuel has been a commercial success because its arguably the most potent, taking over the T-boosting market the last few years.
Many users (including legendary bodybuilder Robby Robinson – who takes TestoFuel every day in his 70’s) have found that TestoFuel is able to raise their strength, libido, testosterone levels, as well as being able to lose more belly fat.
How it works
Each dosage is stuffed with oyster extract, D-aspartic acid, ginseng, fenugreek, zinc, magnesium and vitamin D, B6 and K2.
Oyster extract not only contain high levels of zinc but also lots of amino acids, taurine, omega 3 & 6 fish oils, along with zinc’s co-factors copper and manganese.
They don’t hide anything, either. No additives.
Translation: more strength, more libido. Designed to give the 30-and-beyond male more energy.
The verdict? The purest, most effective testosterone booster.
2. Prime Male
Endorsed by the likes of Rocky III star, Dolph Lundgren and American football hall-of-famer Andre Reed, Prime Male is another elite option with no proprietary blends or hidden ingredients.
The major difference is they opt for a formula that controls estrogen and prolactin levels in guys.
D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate (D-AA-CC) and vitamin D is a main emphasis, as well as Boron, BioPerene and luteolin, which also blocks the “girly hormones”.
Finally, mucuna pruriens, nettle root extract, magnesium, zinc and vitamins round out the “prime male” formula.
Solid #2 option.
EVLTest attacks all the possible nutritional causes of low testosterone: it provides vitamin D, vitamin B, and zinc–deficiencies in all of these are associated with low testosterone in men.
The doses of these vitamins are very solid; unlike other supplements that put in a token amount of vitamins, EVLTest provides 40-550% of your recommended daily intake. On top of this, it supplies the full array supplements that have a promising record of increasing testosterone: fenugreek seed extract, tribulus terrestris, and D-aspartic acid.
Diindolylmethane is included, too, though its record is a little less definite. EVLTest delivers all of these at a high dosage, so whatever is biologically active is going to be present in a high enough concentration to do its job.
There are a few token vitamins included, but it’s clear that the focus of the supplement is in the Nugenix proprietary approach.
Nugenix includes L-citrulline malate, which is not common in other testosterone boosting supplements. It’s an amino acid that plays an important role in blood flow, which is probably why Nugenix includes it. You might be wondering why bloodflow matters when it comes to a male supplement, but once you realize that erectile dysfunction is, fundamentally, a blood flow problem, the logic becomes a lot more clear.
Nugenix also includes the mainstays: a patented fenugreek extract and tribulus terrestris, so it’s not just a narrow, libido-focused product.
5. Vintage Boost
Vintage Boost is styled like an old-school ‘70s product, but don’t let that fool you–it’s got the latest in herbal and vitamin supplements to keep your testosterone levels high.
One thing Vintage Boost recognizes that many other supplement makers don’t is that many men are extremely deficient in vitamin D, especially those who live in northern climates or have darker skin. To this end, Vintage Boost delivers a whopping 2000 IU of vitamin D, plus the other essentials for testosterone (magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6). It’s not just a vitamin pill, though: it’s got tribulus fruit, maca root, D-aspartic acid, and PrimaVie, a proprietary herbal extract.
If you know you’ve got some dietary and lifestyle shortcomings that are lowering your testosterone levels, Vintage Boost is a good choice for you.
6. MuscleTech AlphaTest
AlphaTest is a chiefly herbal blend that focuses on some of the most-proven testosterone boosters. The supplement includes zinc, a solid 300 mg of fenugreek extract, and tribulus terrestris.
As far as mainstays of herbal and mineral supplements that are thought to boost testosterone levels, these are pretty much the top three. If it was the perfect formula, it might have magnesium, some B vitamins, or vitamin D, but making a multivitamin isn’t MuscleTech’s intent.
It’s a great product if you’ve already got a solid diet or supplementation routine that addresses those other more basic shortcomings that can cause low testosterone.
TestoBoost has been around for several years now, and it’s picked up some big fans who happen to be professional athletes. How does it stack up?
It delivers a dual strategy approach: fight any possible mineral shortages with zinc and magnesium, plus add in several mainstay herbal supplements associated with testosterone, muscle building, libido, and energy. These include saw palmetto, horny goat weed, longjack, and tribulus terrestris, among others.
Does it work? Reviewers seem to think so. Users praise their increased libido, workout performance, and energy levels.
8. Superior Labs TestWorx
TestWorx is a market-dominator, and it focuses on a few specific ingredients to boost testosterone. Nutritionally, it provides heavy doses of vitamins B3, B6, and B12. All of these can be culprits if you have low testosterone. TestWorx addresses zinc levels, too, though it doesn’t address another potential cause of low testosterone and the associated symptoms: vitamin D deficiency.
If you live somewhere sunny or if you supplement your own vitamin D, no worries here. The TestWorx proprietary blend includes tribulus terrestris, maca root, nettle root, and other herbal extracts intended to boost testosterone, but one notable absence is fenugreek seed. Fans of that herbal extract will want to look elsewhere.
9. Zhou Boost Elite
As the name indicate, Zhou Boost Elite takes a decidedly Eastern tack when it comes to addressing low testosterone. Some standard supplements are present, like fenugreek and tribulus terrestris, but several Asian herbs play a role in the Zhou formulation too: panax ginseng, tongkat ali, and yohimbe bark are the big ones.
Now…do they work? That’s unclear. Western science hasn’t really put them to the test (pardon the pun), so you’ll have to trust the herbal wisdom of Zhou Nutrition. Plenty of people do; the product is very well-reviewed.
10. Athletic Edge APE Darknight
In every supplement category, there’s a couple products that take a “kitchen sink” approach: pack everything that could possibly help boost testosterone into one product and see what sticks. That’s the approach with Athletic Edge APE Darknight.
It’s got everything you’d expect, and then some: Yes, fenugreek and diindolylmethane, but also green tea extract, green coffee bean extract, long jack, and melatonin. That last one is important: do not take this one any time other than right before bed! Otherwise you’ll get very sleepy very quick.
Androsurge, along with its sibling supplement Primasurge, are perennially popular testosterone boosters. On the surface, they seem pretty similar, but Androsurge is the better one.
It provides vitamin D and zinc, while Primasurge does not. While these are pretty basic, if you have deficiencies in either, you’re almost surely going to have lower testosterone (and deficiency is more common than you think!). In addition, Primasurge caters to fans of more obscure herbal remedies, while Androsurge has some better-established ones, like diindolylmethane. It’s still missing some of the big hitters, like tribulus terrestris and fenugreek, though.
12. Prime Labs Prime Test
This one’s the epitome of “trust us, we know what we’re doing.” The entire supplement is couched under the umbrella of “proprietary blend.” What this means for you is that you can see what the ingredients are, but you don’t get to know in what amounts they are present.
It also doesn’t have some of the usual herbs you’d see in a testosterone booster, like tribulus terrestris and fenugreek extract. Again, you’ll have to trust the nutritionists at Prime Labs instead. Do you? That’s the question you’ve got to answer before you go for this testosterone booster.
Who should buy testosterone boosters?
Men who want to feel stronger, have better athletic and sexual performance, and who want to improve their libido are the classic market for testosterone boosters, but there’s increasing recognition that “low T” is a cause of more vague and nonspecific problems that middle-aged and older men experience, too.
Foggy memory, fatigue, listlessness, and low energy levels are all potentially linked to decreased testosterone in men, so you don’t need to be trying for a personal best in the bench press to opt for a testosterone booster.
Given the vast range of biological pathways that testosterone affects, there’s nearly equal utility for the physical, sexual, and mental benefits of increased testosterone levels.
If you fit into any of the demographic categories of men with low testosterone, you might be particularly suited for a testosterone booster.
This includes men who are over 40, men who are sedentary (i.e. you don’t get enough exercise, especially strength training), men who don’t sleep enough, and men who are overweight.
While a testosterone booster won’t solve all of these problems all by itself, it could help you get over the additional challenges of the negative effects of low testosterone.
How we ranked
We started with a broad range of testosterone boosters, from single-ingredient herbs to cocktails of dozens of different vitamins, minerals, and herbs.
With a category as diverse as testosterone boosters, there are a wide range of potentially effective ingredients. That’s why you’ll see a pretty strong diversity in active ingredients among our most highly-ranked supplements. Still, there are a few commonalities that you’ll notice.
First off, we didn’t include anything that relies on high caffeine content to create a buzz to trick you into thinking your testosterone has gone up.
That’s why you won’t find Modern Man on our rankings―its high caffeine content will cause more trouble than it’s worth, especially when some of the more effective testosterone boosters work by increasing testosterone levels while you sleep.
We also excluded testosterone boosters that included too many of their ingredients in a proprietary blend that obscures the actual doses of all of the active ingredients.
This is why Prime Labs Prime Test wound up so low in our rankings despite its popularity, and the same reason is also why you won’t find some of the major brick and mortar store brands, like GNC Testosterone, on our list of the best testosterone boosters on the market.
Without transparency in how the product was formulated, you can’t evaluate its performance against the best scientific evidence.
In addition to excluding lower-quality blends and caffeine-heavy testosterone boosters, we also made sure the top-ranked products included the ingredients that have the most clinical evidence behind their efficacy. Firstly, this means minerals like zinc and magnesium.
We had to eliminate some fairly popular products, like Dr. Martin’s Testosterone Booster, because it didn’t have any of these basic and easy to include minerals.
On the other hand, you’ll find generous doses of zinc and magnesium in TestoFuel and Prime Male, which did rank highly.
These are particularly important because they are a simple and effective solution to depleted levels of testosterone in men with deficiencies in these minerals. These sorts of deficiencies are especially common in older men, so we wanted to be sure the best testosterone boosters are likely to be effective in this population.
Some of the best testosterone boosters also contain an additional hormone whose simplicity might surprise you—vitamin D.
Yes, the name is a bit of a misnomer; vitamin D is in fact a hormone, and it turns out to be linked to the function of other hormones, including testosterone. Since including vitamin D is another simple fix, we prioritized testosterone boosters that also made sure to include this basic but critical ingredient.
Beyond the basics, some of the mainstays of testosterone-boosting herbs we looked for included fenugreek seed, horny goat weed, and citrulline malate.
Each of these ingredients has some scientific research that supports its use as a testosterone booster. While not every top-rated testosterone booster needed to include all of these, including at least one or two indicated that the supplement designers knew what they were doing.
Arazo Nutrition Tribulus Maximum Strength, for example, didn’t make the cut because it was too focused on a single ingredient, tribulus terrestris. It and a few others just couldn’t compete with the more well-balanced blends of herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals found in the other testosterone boosters in our sample.
Lastly, we eliminated products that were bloated with fillers, coloring agents, and binders.
Six Star Testosterone Booster, with stearic acid, croscarmellose sodium, titanium dioxide, and silicon dioxide, was one of those that was cut due to an excess of these types of unhelpful ingredients.
A calcium-containing testosterone booster helps increase free testosterone post-workout. Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the human body.
The primary reason all men should maintain optimal calcium levels has to do with how our cells work. Adequate calcium intake helps keep cell walls strong defining what goes into and stays out of the cell (which is very important because you don’t want unfiltered chemicals floating around in your cells)
Cells aside, calcium also appears to have fantastic testosterone boosting properties. In a 2008 study, a group of researchers saw that when exercising men take 35mg/kg of calcium after training, their free and total testosterone levels increased (1).
Low Magnesium levels are correlated with low testosterone levels. Magnesium is a key mineral participating in over 300 bodily functions. We need adequate magnesium for proper sleep, cell energy (via ATP) and to maintain natural fluid balance.
It’s no surprise then that it plays an important role in determining testosterone levels in men.
2 studies showed that low levels of magnesium were strongly correlated with low testosterone levels and production (2)(3). Thus it’s imperative you are taking a testosterone booster that has magnesium.
The herbal extract Mucuna Pruriens can improve sperm quality and boost testosterone levels by up to 38%. Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean) is a vine herb that produces these beans commonly ground up and used for medicinal purposes in the Indian herbal medicine, Ayurveda.
In human studies however the results are even better. In one study it was shown to dramatically improve sperm quality and boost testosterone levels by 38% (6). It also has been shown to aid in reducing cortisol, which is another enemy to testosterone production.
A dosage of 200-600mg/day of water extract M.P. is recommended. I’ll usually just dissolve the extract powder into liquids because it doesn’t clump and tastes fine.
Ashwagandha reduces stress, anxiety and balances stress hormones. “Ashwagandha” loosely translates to “the smell of horse”. Ashwagandha is often grouped into the class of supplements known as adaptogens.
These supplements have adaptogenic effects, meaning that they help the body regain homeostasis.
In one study, 300mg of ashwagandha consumed by humans over a 60 day period led to a decrease in cortisol levels by 27% (7).
In another study it was shown to improve cardiovascular health and boost immunity based on its effects on T cells and killer cell count increases (8). Furthermore, it has even been shown to increase muscular strength and recovery in 57 subjects (9).
Prior to 2015 there were no studies proving healthy men would receive an increase in testosterone from the supplement.
A study with 57 young healthy male subjects proved its efficacy when KSM-66 demonstrated the herb raised testosterone levels from 630 ng/dl to 726 ng/dl (about a 15% boost).
So ya, you should be taking this stuff; just make sure you get the KSM 66 extract. This extract is claimed to have the highest standardized amount of with anolides ( >5%) which are active compounds believed to provide the magical effects of the herb.
Forskolin is effective for increasing testosterone levels. Forskolin is extracted from Coleus Forskohlii and became very popular after space cadet Dr. Oz claimed it as a magic pill for melting fat.
The market was then flooded with Forskolin supplements and thus it’s important to choose a seller that has 3rd party testing to prove that their product actually contains a standardized amount of the actual forskolin extract.
While it can increase fat burning slightly, it is by no means a miracle fat loss pill. That being said, there is some very interesting research behind the testosterone boosting properties it displays.
When isolated testicular cells were exposed to forskolin, up to 200% increases in testosterone were shown (10). While that’s pretty profound, my jewels and (hopefully) yours aren’t just laying around, exposed to the world, which makes this study somewhat irrelevant.
Thankfully there was a human study (with all the appendages attached) proving its efficacy. In this human study, 250/mg a day of forskolin was consumed for 12 weeks. The result? A 33% increase in testosterone levels (11).
Ginger can potentially increase testosterone levels. One study was done on infertile men and showed that ginger supplementation (dosage wasn’t specified in the study) increased testosterone levels by 17% (12). Unfortunately no additional studies in men who are fertile have been done yet.
Vitamin E is a potent estrogen blocker. Vitamin E is a weird one. It has been shown to increase testosterone levels but not directly influencing testosterone production. Instead it works by supporting and optimizing other systems which in turn help elevate T levels.
Vitamin E has amazing antioxidant effects in the body. By helping to reduce and deal all the crap thrown at you on a daily basis, it helps balance anabolic hormones and systems allowing for some testosterone-boosting power.
Consuming 1000-2000 IU of vitamin E daily is plenty. However being a fat soluble vitamin, its important you consume your capsules with a meal containing some fat.
If you take your vitamins fasted, you can actually just rub the contents on your skin for topical absorption.
Zinc is probably the best mineral-based testosterone booster. Zinc is the main mineral behind healthy testosterone production and endocrine system function. The correlation between high testosterone and high zinc levels is apparent in many studies (15) (16) (17). This means that if you are low in zinc, you are low in testosterone.
The unfortunate part is that we live in a zinc deficient society. One reason is because eat a lot more processed foods which contain less minerals in general. Our bodies don’t have a natural zinc storage system so we need it on the daily.
You should consume at least 10-20 mg’s of zinc per day to maintain adequate amounts of the mineral in your system. And luckily that’s not an expensive thing to do, as you can get high-quality zinc for under 10 bucks.
Creatine Monohydrate is a simple and easy way to boost testosterone and athletic performance. With hundreds of human studies proving its efficacy, it’s no surprise that creatine is the most used and respected bodybuilding supplement along with protein powders.
Grape seed extract is a potent estrogen blocker. This is due to the fact that two compounds in GSE; proanthocyanidin and procyanidin, can both inhibit the aromatase enzyme.
Furthermore grape seed extract is a potent antioxidant protecting testosterone molecules from oxidative damage (23).
The best way to take grape seed extract is on an empty stomach, as it has been found that the amount of proanthocyanidin/procyanidin in the bloodstream was roughly 5 times greater in a fasted state than in a fed state (24)
Rhodiola Rosea lowers stress and balances hormones. Rhodiola Rosea is the most beneficial adaptogenic herb the human race has discovered to date which grows in the harsh conditions of Northern Asia and Siberia.
There’s no direct proof that it boosts testosterone, however at the very least it could improve the C:T ratio in exercising humans, and significantly lowers all the parameters of stress.
When evaluating side effects of testosterone boosters, there are fundamentally two potential categories of adverse effects.
The first are the immediate adverse effects of the ingredients, like fenugreek seed or horny goat weed. Some common ingredients in testosterone boosters, like vitamin D, are not known to have adverse effects even in very high doses.
Others, though, like horny goat weed, yohimbe, and ginkgo biloba, do have some evidence connecting them to adverse effects. Horny goat weed, for example, has been reported to be associated with tachycardia (a rapid, racing heart rate) in rare cases (27).
Yohimbe and ginkgo biloba have been reported to be associated with mood changes, anxiety, and addictive behavior, particularly among people who are predisposed to emotional and mental health disturbances (28).
Use of testosterone boosters is discouraged in people under age 18, as reported in an article in the journal Pediatric Clinics of North America (29).
While use of testosterone boosting supplements in teenagers is widespread, virtually no research has been conducted into their safety or efficacy in people under 18, so the risk-benefit profile is far less well-understood.
The second category is the adverse effects of increased testosterone itself. Scientific research has definitively established that increased testosterone levels lead to increased lean body mass, but it can also cause increases in aggression and irritability, at least in individuals who are predisposed to this type of behavior (30).
These adverse effects are not seen with controlled doses of (pure) testosterone over short periods of time, however—generally they occur with very high doses taken for long periods of time, and the connection between high doses of pharmacological grade testosterone with supplemental testosterone boosters is far from clear.
The precise dose of a testosterone booster for maximum efficacy is obviously going to depend on the specific formulation.
With the most common ingredients, like vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc, the effective dose can be roughly compared to the recommended daily intake for that vitamin or mineral.
When it comes to herbal compounds, the picture is less clear. Still, the top-rated testosterone boosters closely match the effective doses of ingredients like fenugreek seed and citrulline malate from scientific studies.
For these compounds, following the supplement guidelines is the best policy, but you might need to take less if you have other supplements in your diet, like a male enhancement pill or a weight loss pill, that use the same ingredients.
Some compounds, like fenugreek seed, can do double-duty as a weight loss aid and testosterone booster, so be on the lookout for accidentally taking too great of a dosage due to other supplements you are taking, even if they are for a completely different purpose.
Q: What is the best testosterone booster for muscle growth?
A: Testosterone has broad, systemic effects, but if you are specifically looking to increase muscle growth, there are a few less-common ingredients you should be on the lookout for.
These include glutamine and leucine, two amino acids that have a surprisingly good scientific background when it comes to boosting muscle mass directly.
However, beyond these less common amino acids, most muscle growth is going to be mediated by the effects of testosterone and its related androgens, so the most effective testosterone agents overall are also going to be the most effective boosters for muscle growth.
As usual, it goes back to basics: you want to make sure your testosterone booster has zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D, as these are some of the most simple and effective ways to fix low testosterone levels. Zinc and magnesium are also found in the common multi-ingredient supplement ZMA, which is often used to boost athletic performance.
The third ingredient in ZMA, which is vitamin B6, might also play a role in muscular growth specifically, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find it in many testosterone boosters (though interestingly, not always packaged alongside zinc and magnesium).
B6 and the other B vitamins might be worth a shot for muscular growth as well, though the evidence for their efficacy is not as strong as the evidence for other testosterone boosting agents.
Q: What are the effects of testosterone on older men?
A: Many of the apparent ravages of getting older, among men, can be attributed at least in part to decreases in testosterone.
For many years, decreased libido, a lack of mental sharpness and acuity, and loss of physical energy and strength were assumed to be a natural part of men getting older.
Now, though, it’s known that many of these losses of physical, sexual, and mental function can be linked directly to decreases in testosterone. Moreover, it’s been demonstrated that boosting testosterone levels can reverse decreases in spatial cognition and verbal memory among older men with low testosterone (31), which accounts for the increased sharpness, awareness, and alertness that many men report after taking a testosterone booster.
Even psychological conditions such as depression seem linked to low testosterone levels in older men: once serum testosterone dips below a certain level, the prevalence of depression among older men increases markedly (32).
Overall, older men who boost their testosterone levels may expect to see increased physical strength, better sexual function, decreased feelings of depression and sadness, and better mental acuity, particularly in spatial and verbal functioning.
Q: What is the best natural testosterone booster?
A: If you are looking for all-natural ingredients with strong testosterone-boosting potential, check out stinging nettle, fenugreek seed, and tribulus terrestris.
Stinging nettle is known to slow down the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, which would slow down the rate at which you lose testosterone your body has already synthesized (33).
Fenugreek seed was recently found to increase both anaerobic strength and androgen levels in a recent randomized study without any side effects, so it is another strong candidate for an all-natural testosterone booster (34).
Finally, tribulus terrestris has been found to increase levels of sex hormones across several different animal models, and seems to be particularly helpful if you are trying to increase libido or fight erectile dysfunction (35).
Q: What age should you start using a testosterone booster?
A: While low testosterone, or “low T,” is a problem most commonly associated with men over age 50, a boost in testosterone levels can be helpful to men of almost any age.
That being said, men in their early to mid-20s who already eat healthy and aren’t carrying around extra body fat tend to have vibrant and healthy testosterone levels.
Once you hit your 30s, though, or if you aren’t as healthy as you should be, you might want to consider some nutritional strategies to start boosting your testosterone.
Q: When do men’s testosterone levels start to drop?
A: Testosterone levels skyrocket during puberty, and remain high through your 20s as long as you are physically active, aren’t overweight or obese, and maintain a healthy diet.
In your 30s, though, your testosterone levels will start to drop. This dropoff accelerates substantially as you get older; while few men in their 30s have low testosterone, among those age 45 and older, the prevalence of clinically low testosterone is nearly 40%.
Q: How can you get a free boost in testosterone?
A: You can do a lot of good for your testosterone levels without spending a dime. Working out more often, particularly at a high-intensity, has been shown to boost testosterone levels.
Getting more sleep is another no-cost solution for better testosterone levels, and cleaning up your diet to cut out sugars and processed carbohydrates will help as well.
Q: How can you boost your testosterone after 40?
A: In older men, factors like nutrition and physical fitness start to play an increasingly important role in keeping testosterone levels high.
Deficiencies in basic minerals like zinc and magnesium have been connected to low testosterone levels in older men, and loss of skeletal muscle contributes to these problems as well.
Hitting the weights and taking a high-quality supplement that includes these essential trace elements is a great way for men over 40 to boost their testosterone levels.
Most men over 30 (especially those with office jobs and sedimentary lifestyles) can benefit from taking a natural testosterone booster.
Although your testosterone levels can be increased through optimal nutrition, exercise, sleep, sex and posture, adding a testosterone booster to your daily regime is a great way to hedge your lifestyle to make sure you’re covering your vitamin and mineral bases that help testosterone levels.
There’s nothing magic out there, but some will give you a proper boost.