When it comes to your physique and performance in the gym, no hormone has a bigger effect than good old testosterone.
While your body can produce ample amounts of testosterone naturally, there are times when you need an added “boost” to your workouts…
That’s where testosterone boosters – or “test boosters” – come in.
For the quick links, here they are:
But what are test boosters? How do they work and what are the benefits? What’s the risk?
In this comprehensive guide, we answer these questions and more. At the end, we’ll give you a list of top testosterone booster supplements and break down what each of them bring to the lifting table.
Now, let’s get into the truth about testosterone boosters!
- 1 What is a Testosterone Booster?
- 2 Are Testosterone Boosters Steroids?
- 3 Do Testosterone Boosters Actually Work?
- 4 How Do Testosterone Boosters Work?
- 5 What are the Benefits of Testosterone Boosters?
- 6 Top Ingredients in Test Boosters
- 7 How to Dose Testosterone Boosters
- 8 When Should You Take It?
- 9 How Long Does it Take for Test Boosters to Work?
- 10 How to Cycle Testosterone Boosters
- 11 Testosterone Boosters Side Effects
- 12 Best Test Booster For Muscle Growth
- 13 Best Test Booster For Men Over 50
- 14 Top Testosterone Boosters Reviewed
- 15 Conclusion
What is a Testosterone Booster?
Quite simply, a test booster is a natural stimulant that you take. Theoretically, it should cause you body to create more testosterone.
This is not to be confused with a testosterone supplement, which basically injects your body with synthetically-produced testosterone.
A booster, in comparison, upregulates your body’s normal testosterone production rate.
It usually comes in the form of either a tablet or capsule, for easy supplementation.
Are Testosterone Boosters Steroids?
As mentioned in the previous section, test boosters increase your body’s natural production of testosterone.
And, like we said, testosterone supplements are those that pump you full of synthetic, pre-made testosterone. This type of supplement goes by another name – steroid.
Steroids are normally dangerous to your body’s health and actually shuts down your natural testosterone production.
Testosterone boosters do exactly the opposite. Their main purpose is to stimulate your testosterone creation levels that occur naturally in the body.
Rather than shutting your system down and messing with your HPTA (hypothalamus-pituitary-testes axis), it ramps it up to a more optimal level.
Do Testosterone Boosters Actually Work?
This question really depends on what you’re doing outside of supplementation.
If you’re only using a test booster and doing nothing else, then it won’t work like gangbusters at all.
You must have a solid resistance training program in place to receive the maximum benefits from test boosters.
Your goal is to increase muscle and size. So you’re no doubt working out. The real question is, are you doing the right kinds of workouts?
Test boosters actually work, but only if you’re doing resistance training regularly.
Training combined with test boosters can really give you a pump that never leaves. But you have to do both correctly.
How Do Testosterone Boosters Work?
What test boosters do is they utilize herbal supplements to naturally stimulate the production of testosterone in your body.
They do this either by jacking up testosterone creation to the top end of a normal range or by providing hormone support.
Once you ingest your test booster supplement, it effectively triggers your HPTA to up production levels. That is the long and short of it, plain and simple.
What are the Benefits of Testosterone Boosters?
Here is what a testosterone booster can do for you:
- A healthy heart: Testosterone aids in red blood cell production. More testosterone being produced naturally means good red blood creation in the bone marrow. It could also have an effect on widening arteries and helping circulation. Low T equals cardio risk.
- Strong bones: Testosterone also helps with bone mineral density. As men age, their bone density decreases. This leads to osteoporosis. In contrast, strong bones – assisted by high testosterone – support your internal organs and muscles. With extra T, you have increased athletic performance.
- Brain gains: If you want to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, improve cognitive ability, and have quicker processing speeds and better verbal memory, up your testosterone. With testosterone boosters, spatial memory and brain health are enhanced, no matter how much you’ve aged up there.
- Happy times: Higher levels of testosterone helps with mood too. Test boosters reduce irritability, fatigue, and depression. You will gain an overall sense of well-being with the addition of a test booster.
- Upgraded libido: Of course, you can’t mention testosterone boosters without going into how it upregulates sexual arousal and activity. Men with higher T tend to have healthy sex lives. Including a testosterone booster will help you deter unwanted libido issues, such as weak sex drive or erectile dysfunction.
- Decreased estrogen: Some testosterone boosters have ingredients that inhibit the enzyme aromatase, the enzyme responsible for estrogen production. It can even slow down the process entirely.
- LEAN BODY MASS: This is the benefit you’re most likely here for. Testosterone is the hormone that affects muscle mass. More testosterone – as in a test booster – more muscle. This added muscle controls your weight, lowers fat mass, and increases you energy. That means your workouts will vastly improve as well. Thus starts a wonderful cycle of grabbing gains, eliminating fat, and having the energy to do it all again next workout.
These are the main benefits of including a test booster supplement to your regimen. While they are amazing, in order to get these benefits, you need to boost safely, correctly, and avoid potent side effects.
Top Ingredients in Test Boosters
Testosterone boosters have a wide array of ingredients they could have in their formula.
Here is a short list of the main nutrients and compounds found in most testosterone boosters, as well as what they can do for your muscle building goals:
D-Aspartic Acid: Also known as aspartate, this is an amino acid used in protein biosynthesis. Technically, it’s an amino acid regulator of testosterone, plus shows promise in aiding male fertility.
Tribulus Terrestris: The scientific name of the plant Bindii, this is a popular ingredient in many dietary supplements. It supposedly increases testosterone, but multiple controlled studies have challenged the validity of this claim.
Fenugreek: Another plant, it can actually be used in traditional cooking. The benefits of fenugreek include digestion promotion, blood sugar reduction in diabetics, and potentially increase libido in men. This is also an herbal ingredient that has it’s backers and dissenters.
Ginger: Surprisingly, this everyday meal enhancer can actually improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and increase overall testosterone levels. This is one ingredient everybody can get behind; ginger is safe and supported by science.
Ashwagandha: Known as rennet or Indian ginseng, ashwagandha aids the thyroid, combats stress and anxiety, improves memory and immune system, and – you guessed it – increases stamina, endurance, muscle strength, and sexual function. A slew of benefits, all from one potent plant.
Zinc: This natural element is necessary for our bodies to function properly. Zinc affects our immune systems, balances hormones, maintains heart health, and aids in nutrient absorption. Oh yeah, and it helps with the release of natural testosterone.
DHEA: Naturally made in the human body, Dehydroepiandrosterone is an abundant natural steroid secreted from the adrenal glands. It boosts testosterone while suppressing estrogen. This particular ingredient has the most testing behind it, so you can be sure it’s a good thing to have.
Vitamin D: A nutrient you get when exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D in its active form functions as a steroid in your body. With low sunlight exposure in today’s culture, low testosterone is one of the results. Supplementing Vitamin D in a testosterone booster fixes this dilemma.
Boron: This is a trace mineral that helps with the overall growth of the body. Reducing your chances of arthritis, osteoporosis, and many other aging ailments, boron is a necessary element to include in your normal supplementation routine. So why not in testosterone boosters, where it can be used for healthy muscle growth, fat depletion, and pain recovery from workouts?
For a solid combination of ingredients, try to find test boosters that have DHEA, Vitamin D, boron, zinc, ginger, and ashwagandha. These elements have been heavily tested and recorded, while the plant supplements are more iffy.
How to Dose Testosterone Boosters
Dosing your testosterone boosters won’t be like other supplementation doses, where you take it once daily and forget about it until the next day.
Instead, test boosters remain in your body for only 4-8 hours. Then you have to take it again to keep your testosterone levels up.
Taking about three doses per day will be your best bet to get the most benefits.
Different boosters have different dose requirements, so it’s ideal to follow the serving size recommendation on the bottle. Each one will need to be examined closely so you know exactly how to dose.
When Should You Take It?
Of course, if you decide to not supplement throughout the whole day, it’s optimal to take your test booster before a workout. This acts as a natural pre-workout, plus will help with protein synthesis after your workout.
How Long Does it Take for Test Boosters to Work?
By far one of the quickest supplements to kick in, testosterone boosters enhance testosterone production immediately.
Your hormones are upregulated right after ingesting the test booster, and it only stays in your body for a percentage of your day.
The benefits will show up fast, and if you combine a tremendous workout routine, you can optimize the booster’s muscle building potential.
How to Cycle Testosterone Boosters
You should definitely cycle your booster. Prolonged ingestion of a testosterone booster can result in adverse side effects you want zero part of.
Seeing as testosterone boosters have such a dramatic effect quick and hard, your cycle should emulate this as well. This means five days on the booster, with a two-day rest period.
Most people cycle by being on the test booster during the week (Monday-Friday) and taking the weekends off.
But you should cycle your booster based on your training schedule. Take your two days off whenever you have a rest period that also spans two days.
It also depends on your age and ability. The older you get, the longer you can go before taking a longer break.
As a general rule, after one month of your five-on/two-off cycling regimen, take a full week off to reset your body’s testosterone production.
To transition easily, perhaps lower the dosage right before taking your full week.
When you aren’t on a cycle, you should consider taking post-cycle supplements to help with the transition off the booster.
Testosterone Boosters Side Effects
With such a potent supplement that boosts your natural testosterone, if you overdo it or take too much in a cycle, you’re prone to side effects.
Here are some of the more common effects you might experience if you over-boost:
- Kidney failure: If used for a long time, testosterone boosters can do major damage to your kidneys. The increase of red blood cells and erythropoietin hormones can get too abundant, creating a harmful environment for your kidneys.
- Increased risk of injury: While test boosters help increase muscle, they do not help grow strong ligaments and tendons that support those muscles. As a result, you are more at-risk to experiencing a debilitating injury.
- Sleep apnea: Testosterone boosts energy and libido, so you could lose out on some sleep.
- Acne: Over-stimulation of glands causes your skin to break out, and testosterone boosters are essentially stimulants.
- Prostate cancer: This is only when you take boosters for prolonged periods of time. The testosterone enlarges your prostate, which leads to difficulty or painful urination. If you already have cancer, it could trigger the spread of it, so make sure you’re clear before supplementing.
- Polycythemia: This is due to the increase in red blood cell production. It can potentially lead to thickening blood and blood clots that can lead to stroke.
- Depression and behavior changes: While there’s no research to back up why some individuals who take boosters suffer depression, there are multiple cases. As for mood, it’s the main male hormone that regulates aggression. If you find you have a hard time controlling your anger, your testosterone booster could be the issue.
Again, these side effects are common when you overdose or take boosters for too long. It is imperative that you cycle it with periods where you’re off the booster.
Best Test Booster For Muscle Growth
If your main goal is muscle growth, look no further than the testosterone booster from the folks at Evlution Nutrition.
This 120-count bottle contains some of the best growth-stimulating testosterone boosters on the market, including Vitamin D, zinc, D-aspartic acid, Tribulus Terrestris extract, Fenugreek seed extract, and diindolylmethane.
That last ingredient can be found in cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, and increases “good” estrogen metabolites and reduces “bad” ones. Basically, it helps with producing estrogen in the right quantity and quality.
With so many support systems within this complex, you can be sure Evlution Nutrition’s test booster is the best money can buy.
Best Test Booster For Men Over 50
When you’re older and looking to enhance your muscle and testosterone, your ideal booster is going to be the Alpha Male Natural Testosterone Booster for Men.
Powered by the guys at HighMark Nutrition, this supplement has everything you could ever ask for in your golden years.
This booster has a bunch of the ingredients we talked about earlier, and then some.
Other than magnesium, zinc, and Tribulus Terrestris, it also has chrysin, horny goat weed, longjack, saw palmetto berries, hawthorn berries, and cissus quadrangularis.
With this powerful combination, you’ll see a massive increase in sex drive, mental clarity, and muscle mass.
Get more energy in the gym and the bedroom with this safe, guaranteed testosterone booster.
Top Testosterone Boosters Reviewed
While we mentioned this one as the top booster to use for muscle gains, it’s also one of the optimal overall testosterone boosters for any purpose.
Evlution Nutrition really comes swinging with their top-notch formula. With a solid 4-tablet dose, you’ll experience the benefits of this booster in no time.
Improved recovery, stamina, strength, libido, and more are coming your way if you go with this U.S.A.-facility-made supplement.
Go with a brand that’s been tested and approved time and time again over the years.
With Evlution Nutrition and their testosterone booster pills, you can’t go wrong.
Next up on our list, we have the testosterone booster from the bros over at PRIMASURGE. Loud name aside, this brand provides nothing but the best for their customers, and this test booster is no exception.
In just a single capsule per serving, you get ample amounts of ashwagandha root extract, boron citrate, and two new ingredients: Eurycoma longifolia root extract and safed musli extract.
The first is a plant also known as longjack (like in the Alpha Male booster) and increases fertility, reduces erectile dysfunction, improves athletic performance, and reduces body fat.
The second is a potentially effective aphrodisiac (though limited human studies cannot prove its validity). It also includes a fulvic acid blend, which helps with the absorption of these nutrients.
PRIMASURGE dishes out cutting-edge formulas in their testosterone booster, and is definitely worth a try for impressive strength and muscle gains.
Iron Brothers Supplements bring the grits, guts, and glory to your new favorite T-booster.
This incredible 90-capsule bottle almost has everything you could think of in a testosterone booster: It has Vitamin D, zinc, Tribulus Terrestris extract, horny goat weed, Fenugreek extract, boron citrate, ashwagandha root extract, diindolylmethane, maca root powder, and tongkat ali extract. Those last two are a hormone-balancing superfood and a sexual health enhancer, respectively.
Seriously, Iron Brothers gives you the whole lineup of ingredients with this testosterone booster. If you’re new to the game and looking to get big, act big, and be big, there’s no other option.
In what could be considered the “wild child” of this list, Prime Labs’ testosterone booster comes with a few unique ingredients and a bold mission: To get you stronger, leaner muscles.
A bottle from this brand nets you 60 pills; in each, you get a blend of horny goat weed, tongkat ali extract, saw palmetto extract, orchic substance, wild yam extract, sarsaparilla, nettle extract, and boron.
All of these in a single supplement will help you achieve enhanced moods, optimized physical performance, and insane strength and muscle gains.
If you’re adventurous or believe in all of the ingredients listed above – do your research – then Prime Labs is your go-to source for testosterone boosters.
Last but not least, we have the booster we mentioned for those who are over 50. But, truth be told, it isn’t just for older men; Alpha Male brings a product that has a specific ingredient that could be a game-changer.
As we said before, Alpha Male’s test booster has a compound called cissus quadrangularis.
This intensely-studied supplement, derived from an African plant, has a slew of benefits, including reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, “bone fractures, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, loss of appetite (anorexia), weak bones (osteoporosis), scurvy, cancer, upset stomach, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer disease (PUD), painful menstrual periods, asthma, seizures, malaria, wound healing, and pain.”
Basically, CQ is a catch-all for any of the major health concerns you may have.
If your health is #1 in your book, then you have to try Alpha Male Natural Testosterone Booster by HighMark Nutrition.
We realize this is a lot of information to process, but if you get one thing out of this whole guide, it’s this: Testosterone boosters are worth the investment.
They aren’t a steroid, they do work (if you use them correctly), and the benefits go on and on.
There are many boosters you can get, with a huge variety of ingredients within them. Make sure to do your research in determining which combination of ingredients is right for you. Also, be sure to dose and cycle your booster properly, to avoid those nasty side effects that could occur.
Check out our list of awesome testosterone boosters, pick out one that sounds up your alley, and watch your muscle growth go into the stratosphere!