Produced naturally within cells in the male testes (and also in the female ovaries, in lesser amounts), in response to hormonal signals from the endocrine glands within the brain, testosterone is a steroid hormone best known for producing characteristic traits in men. It has a number of roles, including these androgenic effects, which include production of body hair and fertility, psychological effects, such as increased libido and aggressiveness, and anabolic effects, like growth and repair of cells and tissues within the body.
Most bodybuilders and athletes are well aware of the importance of testosterone, and that increasing its level in the body is one of the best ways to make strength and muscle gains. In a normal man, testosterone levels peak in the 20s and start declining by, on average, 1% per year after the age of thirty, however there is a large amount of variation in the population (1). While low testosterone is a medically treatable condition, healthy men can safely and legally optimise their body's production of testosterone using any one of an array of testosterone boosting supplements on the market.
Testosterone Booster Supplements
Testosterone boosters are ingredients that safely increase the body's own production of testosterone. These can be individual ingredients, or products comprised of a number of ingredients that work together in different ways to stimulate production of this hormone. In general, these are amino acid based, like D-Aspartic Acid, thought to increase levels of testosterone-boosting hormones like LH and SHBG along with testosterone itself, mineral based, like ZMA, a stack containing magnesium, zinc and vitamin B6, beneficial for muscle growth and testosterone production, or derived from a plant.
Natural Testosterone Boosters
Natural, plant-derived substances are by far the most common and numerous ingredients found in testosterone booster supplements. Many of these ingredients have a long history of use and effectiveness in natural medicine traditions, such as Tribulus, Fenugreek, Indian Ginseng, and Forskolin, which have been used in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition, and Horny Goat Weed which has been used to promote male virility in China for many years. Other common natural testosterone boosters include Saw Palmetto, a small palm native to theSouth Western United States, and Longjack, which is known in parts of South East Asia as "Herbal Viagra"
Do Testosterone Boosters Work?
Many ingredients used in testosterone boosting supplements have been studied by western scientists, looking to find the mechanism of action and learn more about substances which often have hundreds of years of traditional use behind them. Some very promising results have come out of a lot of these investigations, for example, Tribulus terrestris has been shown to raise testosterone levels in primates (2), and in one study, a 42% increase in testosterone was observed in men who were taking D-Aspartic Acid (3). Long Jack has had some very promising results in a number of animal studies, where it has significantly increased testosterone levels in rats (4), and supplements like ZMA are known to be of benefit to some men, because low zinc levels, as can be caused by excessive exercise, may reduce testosterone (5).
Science is slow to progress, and these encouraging results will hopefully encourage further study into the properties of many of the ingredients in testosterone boosters. This research frequently backs up a large amount of anecdotal evidence from users of these ingredients, who have been reporting increases in virility and strength for many years.
Best Testosterone Boosters
What is considered to be the best testosterone booster differs from person to person, as individuals are likely to respond to ingredients in various ways. There are, however, some things to look out for. It is important that good quality ingredients are included. These include ingredients with a bit of scientific or anecdotal backing. Some of these are mentioned in this article, and others are mentioned here and here. It is also important that these are included in the correct doses. For this reason, it can be worth going for a well known brand and checking that ingredients are included in reasonable quantities. For the best results, it is also wise to try different supplements. If one formulation doesn't have an effect, it does not necessarily mean that others will be the same.
Strong Testosterone Boosters
Here are some of our most potent and high quality supplements:
Elemental Nutrition Massive Muscle Fuel - With a whopping dose of protodioscin, which is the active ingredient in Tribulus, backed up by a number of other test boosters, Massive Muscle Fuel has maintained a huge following over many years because it really, really works.
BSc Triandrobol - BSc has produced a test booster that takes some of the best known and most effective ingredients like Tribulus, ZMA and Horny goat weed, and combines these with potent anti-oestrogenenics, to boost testosterone and keep it high.
Beast SuperTest - From the first sip you can tell that this is a potent formula. While it might not taste the best, you will soon be so huge that you won't even care. Featuring some of the best test boosters around, SuperTest is excellent paired with companion oestrogen blocker E-Liminate, for optimal results.
(1) Michael K Brawer, Testosterone Replacement in Men with Andropause: An Overview. Rev Urol. 2004; 6(Suppl 6): S9–S15.
(2) Gauthaman K, Ganesan AP. 'The hormonal effects of Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction--an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat.' Phytomedicine. 2008 Jan;15(1-2):44-54.
(3) Topo E, Soricelli A, D'Aniello A, Ronsini S, D'Aniello G. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009 Oct 27;7:120.
(4) Zanoli P, Zavatti M, Montanari C, Baraldi M. 'Influence of Eurycoma longifolia on the copulatory activity of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats.' J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):308-13.
(5) Prasad AS. Clinical, immunological, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant roles of zinc. Exp Gerontol. 2008 May;43(5):370-7.