Testosterone Boosters FAQ
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What is a Testosterone Booster?
A test booster or testosterone booster is designed to do exactly what the name suggests; enhance your endogenous levels of free testosterone.
The idea behind this is that testosterone plays an instrumental role in especially men – but also women – in the context of training performance, recovery, and of course muscle hypertrophy.
Bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids typically do so in order to increase their testosterone levels, which in turn dramatically increases the rate of protein synthesis within the body. This then enables “enhanced” athletes to build muscle at a far more rapid rate than their “natural” counterparts.
This is why you see divisions and competitions within bodybuilding labeled as ‘natural bodybuilding’; these are aimed at athletes who are specifically not using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, and the drug-testing protocols tend to be far more stringent.
Test Boosters are not illegal
Test booster supplements provide a natural, albeit less effective method of increasing your body’s testosterone in a manner that is theoretically safer and without any potential legal repercussions.
How Are Test Boosters Made?
Test boosters are manufactured by the same supplement companies that also produce your regular protein powders, creatines, multivitamins, and so on; the ingredients are almost always herbal in nature which falls perfectly in line with the existing practices of supplement manufacturers.
Examples of these include:
- NOW Tribulus 1000;
- BPI Sports A-HD Elite;
- Jym Alpha Jym;
- Novex Biotech Testrovax; and
- PrimaForce DAA
As we’re about to see below; the ingredients in these products can vary quite significantly.
What Types of Test Boosters are There?
There is some variance between the different products that claim to be test boosters, but the majority of them include some combination of the following ingredients:
- ZMA, which contains:
- Magnesium; and
- Vitamin B6
- D-Aspartic Acid
- Fenugreek Seed extract
- Nettle Leaf extract
- Rhodiola Rosea extract
There will be other less common ingredients found in the formulations of certain brands but the above ingredients tend to be mainstays in many popular products.
Do Test Booster Supplements Contain Steroids or Other Drugs?
Providing you are purchasing your reputable retailer and it is a product made by a reputable manufacturer, you should have nothing to worry about.
There have been many cases of commercially produced supplements being found to contain traces of steroids and other performance-enhancing substances, but in the broader context of the supplement industry this is actually quite rare.
What’s more, opting for well-known brands will give you the peace of mind that you are receiving a high-quality, unadulterated product – keep reading for more on this.
How do Test Boosters Work and What are the Benefits?
The ingredients found in a test booster may affect your testosterone either directly or indirectly.
That is to say, something like ZMA contains Zinc, which plays an instrumental role in testosterone production, but it also contains Magnesium, making it an ideal supplement to take in the evening to ensure a solid night of sleep.
This means that we could look at the Magnesium content of ZMA as providing an indirect benefit to test production because improved quality of sleep tends to translate to enhanced testosterone production, not to mention increased HGH or growth hormone.
On the other hand, ingredients such as Tribulus or Nettle Leaf extract can be beneficial in the overall context of men’s health; however, they are arguably more effective at helping guys to recover from unnaturally low levels of testosterone.
Herbal extracts such as these typically do little to raise one’s testosterone levels beyond their natural set point, but if you are suffering from excessive fatigue, poor recovery, and diminished sex drive then you might find them to be useful.
Who Can Benefit from Using a Testosterone Booster and How?
As mentioned above, there is a chance that your testosterone levels may be dwindling if your training performance and libido have dropped. This is of course assuming that your diet and workout programming are where they should be in order to facilitate recovery and progress.
Men naturally see a decline in testosterone production as they enter into their 30s, 40s, 50s, and so on, so if this is a concern of yours then a test booster might be a good option to support optimal hormonal function into your later life.
Drug-enhanced bodybuilders and athletes may also stand to benefit from using test boosters in between cycles of anabolic steroids because their endogenous levels of test will be in great decline during this period and a herbal supplement may provide some much-needed additional support.
Both for budgetary and health-related reasons it is highly advisable that you speak to your doctor or physician in order to arrange a blood test before resorting to the use of any test boosters.
How Can I Tell if I Have Low Testosterone Levels?
The only way to truly tell if you have testosterone levels low enough to warrant pharmaceutical or supplemental intervention is to visit your doctor and request a full blood panel.
Depending on the country you live in and your level of health insurance coverage you may need to pay for this; however, the cost is generally minimal compared to the potential health benefits in the long run.
Rather than low testosterone, you may find out that you are deficient in some other health marker or essential nutrient, so it is important to seek professional advice and objective, empirical data to ensure you are making the right decisions for your body.
Do Any Foods Contain Test Boosting properties? Which Ones are the best?
Although no foods contain pre-formed test boosters in the formulations that you’ll find in commercially manufactured supplements, you can certainly give your body a little help when it comes to naturally enhancing its test production.
One of, if not the best food that you can add to your diet for enhanced test production is eggs; that is, whole eggs with the yolk included.
Rich in Vitamins A, D, and E, and providing a veritable dose of high-quality cholesterol, egg yolks are truly a nutritional powerhouse.
If you suffer from any existing cholesterol-related medical conditions then you will obviously want to exercise caution when it comes to eating large amounts of any foods containing cholesterol or saturated fats, but eggs make a very worthwhile addition to the diet of an otherwise healthy male.
Do Test Boosters Have any Side Effects?
Providing you are using them responsibly and following label instructions, you are not likely to experience any adverse side effects when using test booster supplements.
The only thing to consider in this context is that ZMA can cause a great deal of drowsiness so it is highly advisable to use it approximately one hour before bed rather than taking it throughout the day.
Note: We highly recommend speaking to a doctor before taking any supplements, especially testosterone boosters.
How and When Should I Use a Test Booster?
You should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to using your test booster, or any supplement for that matter.
How Much Should I Use?
Again, always follow the instructions on the bottle and you are sure not to go too far astray.
Choosing the Right Testosterone Supplement
What we have discussed so far should provide you with a lot of what you need to determine which test booster, if any, is right for you.
To summarize on what we’ve covered, remember that if you are suffering from low or dwindling levels of free testosterone then a herbal supplement such as Tribulus or Nettle Leaf extract may be most relevant to your needs.
On the other hand, if you are training hard and just want something for daily use that will help to support healthy hormonal regulation then a supplement such as ZMA or even a standalone Zinc supplement would be highly suitable.
As we’ve seen, ZMA is also a fantastic supplement for improving one’s quality of sleep, and you don’t need to be suffering from insomnia to benefit from this.
Author’s Opinion: ZMA is actually one of the most beneficial supplements to the serious bodybuilder or athlete, and the benefits are quite noticeable within a week or two in terms of better quality of sleep, and overall energy levels and training recovery.
That is not to say that pre-blended test booster formulations aren’t beneficial or of any relevance, because they certainly are; it all comes down to context.
Related: Best Supplements for Men
Please note: This FAQ has not been written or reviewed by a doctor or medical professional and is therefore not to be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease or illness. Nor should it be used as medical reference.