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 this last year because its arguably the most potent. No other way to put it.
They don’t hide anything, either. No additives.
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.
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
Prime Male is produced from the same makers of TestoFuel, and they’re 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) is a main emphasis, as well as Boron and 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.
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.
17 truths about increasing natural testosterone
1. Calcium 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 (2).
2. Low Magnesium levels are correlated with low T 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 (3)(4). Thus it’s imperative you are taking a testosterone booster that has magnesium.
3. Mucuna Pruriens can improve sperm quality and boost T 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% (7). 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.
4. Tribulus Terrestris is popular and fails to increase testosterone levels
Tribulus Terrestris is arguably the most popular testosterone herb on the market. It’s claimed that tribulus increases luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, and thus naturally enhances T production. However no science in humans actually proves this. Not saying it doesn’t, but the science doesn’t support the claim.
The poster boy study that everyone cites is also misleading. While in the study it did show an increase in LH and T, it is often left out that 1) the study was done with baboons 2) testosterone was injected intravenously 3) the effects wore off shortly after.
Maca is, after Tribulus Terrestris, is probably the second most-popular testosterone booster.
6. KSM-99 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% (12).
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 (13). Furthermore, it has even been shown to increase muscular strength and recovery in 57 subjects (14).
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 630ng/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 withanolides ( >5%) which are active compounds believed to provide the magical effects of the herb.
7. Forskolin is effective for increasing testosterone levels
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 (15) . 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 (16).
Boron is a trace mineral that originates from cosmic ray spallation. While not being popular, it does show some awesome benefits.
One study showed that just 6mg of boron a day for 60 days boosted testosterone levels by 29% (17). Another study, using 10mg a day, showed a 28% increase in T levels and a 39% drop in estrogen levels (18).
The best part? It’s cheap due its unfamiliarity.
9. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are jam-packed with natural testosterone boosting compounds but it really shines in its ability to provide your daily dose of the trace mineral selenium.
Selenium has been shown to significantly increase testosterone levels and sperm quality (19). Brazil nuts are extremely cheap and you only need to eat 1-2 a day to reap the rewards.
Ginger can potentially increase testosterone levels; which is nice because I can now (somewhat) justify my ginger ale binges whenever I was sick.
One study was done on infertile men and showed that ginger supplementation (dosage wasn’t specified in the study) increased testosterone levels by 17% (20).
Unfortunately no fertile men studies have been done yet.
11. 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.
12. Zinc is probably the best 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 (23) (24) (25). 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.
13. Creatine Monohydrate is an excellent booster, too
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.
Thankfully it’s also very cheap with no side effects. Creatine monohydrate is your best bet and you can get a year’s supply for under $60.
14. Velvet antler
Velvet antler is a supplement made by crushing the antler of elk or deer into a powder form.
Everywhere on the internet you can find claims that it’s full of all natural growth factors and testosterone boosting compounds, but the evidence speaks differently…
Studies consistently show that Deer antler powder does not increase LH, FSH, total testosterone, or free testosterone levels in humans (31) (32). Furthermore it does not increase human growth hormone or IGF-1 (3).
The bottom line: antler velvet hasn’t been proven to increase testosterone levels.
15. Grape seed extract is a potent estrogen blocker
Grape seed extract is an extract made from the seeds of grapes.
It’s a potent natural estrogen blocker, and 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 (2).
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 (33)
Fenugreek is considered by some to be the best natural compound to increase testosterone levels. The problem is that only one study proves it effectiveness and that study was sponsored by a fenugreek manufacturer. (34)
Probably won’t hurt, but definitive results have not come through.
17. 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.
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.