Boost Workout

Jacked Testosterone, Made Easy

Check for these five key ingredients the next time you reach for a T-booster.

bodybuilder pose

Testosterone is a vital hormone your body desperately needs. More muscle, less fat, greater strength – there’s a lot to like about T if you’re a hard-training gym rat. It is what defines you, not only as a lifter, but as a man. And while your soaring levels of this miracle hormone may be at peak levels in your teens and early 20s, it’s important to wrap your brain around one lamentable truth: nothing lasts forever. Though your testosterone levels are what define your virility, they start to decline 1.6 percent per year after 30. And with that decline comes a decline in other areas (that may or may not include the bedroom). Decreased strength, lower libido, unshakeable fatigue…the list goes on.

While these symptoms may be cause for a doctor’s visit, there are ways that you can start making up that 1.6 percent via supplementation. Training hard with heavy weight is one way to keep your test tanks topped off. But before you let your brain start wandering to supplemental solutions like tribulus terrestris – so long the go-to T-booster for the M&F crowd – read on to find out exactly what testosterone is, what it does for you, what you need to avoid and what you can take to keep those levels set to “beast.”

Testosterone Basics

The truth about testosterone is that it’s the blue print to male vitality and it’s an essential androgen in your body for normal reproductive and sexual function. At the base of the brain is the pituitary gland and hypothalamus; both control the production of male hormones and sperm. To spark testosterone production, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are sent from the pituitary glands to the testes. All that to say that it then gets put to work during your next session with the iron.

What are the different types of testosterone?

Two types of testosterone become established: free and bonded. Bonded testosterone attaches to protein globulins and albumins but free testosterone effortlessly binds to androgen receptors to increase sex drive, build and maintain muscle mass, reduce fat, and enhance your performance in the gym. Testosterone is also made in the body by cholesterol and in a study in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, men consumed more than 100 grams of “good fat” a day for two weeks. The results were that the men had higher levels of free testosterone. So don’t be a hater when it comes to downing your healthy fats – load up on the nuts, seeds and avocado to support T production.

What Causes Low Testosterone?

T levels are at their peak during the awkward puberty years, hence why you’ve developed a deeper voice, facial hair and larger muscles. The most common cause of low testosterone results from problems in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. That area of the brain may be unable to release an adequate amount of LH and FSH. As mentioned earlier, your T starts to dip 1.6% each year after you hit 30, so you may experience some of the less desirable effects: noticeable weight gain, lower sex drive, decreased muscle mass and even depression.

How to Raise Testosterone?

So should you just hang up your lifting belt after 30? Or are there things you can do to forestall your decline into fitness purgatory? According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, five percent of all men experience clinically low testosterone. Hormone replacement therapy for men should only be considered if blood levels confirm low testosterone. Replacement therapy must be prescribed by a doctor, and it will come in the form of gels, pills, injections, or patches. We know…this sounds complicated and, to some, maybe even embarrassing. But as you may have gathered by now, you’re not alone and you’re not without simpler solutions.

barbell curl

The Fab Five of Natural T-Boosters

Before dropping money on a commercially available T-booster, you want evidence that the ingredients are living up to their standards. Tribulus terrestris has been a highly noted ingredient in this category for quite some time, but does it actually work? Well, in a 2007 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research indicated that tribulus terrestris doesn’t produce any huge gains in strength or lean muscle like manufacturers claim and that testosterone levels don’t increase. Anecdotally, tribulus supplementation seems to be hit-or-miss.

Why not get more bang for your buck with these five ingredients, all of whom have a much deeper resume in the area of natural testosterone production?

1 Vitamin D3

Regulating more than 1,000 bodily functions, the sunshine vitamin has also been shown to significantly improve testosterone levels. Vitamin D3 is considered to be a bioidentical hormone for T because it’s a cholesterol-derived steroid hormone. Results from a study published by Hormone & Metabolic Research showed that total testosterone increased over 400 percent after taking daily vitamin D3 over 12 months. The same movement took place for free testosterone. It is believed that the testicles have receptors for vitamin D and the added receptors can assist in raising t-levels. Bonus: You can increase bone density via a natural testosterone booster. 

2 D-Aspartic Acid

The best testosterone boosters out there all contain D-aspartic acid (D-AA). It is a combination of two amino acids: aspartic acid and L-aspartate. In the hypothalamus, D-AA helps to release LH, FSH and growth hormone (GH). Growth hormone levels also decline 12-15 percent per decade after 30. Reproductive Biology & Endocrinology published a study in which 23 men took D-AA over 12 days. Results indicated that 20 of the 23 men had a 42 percent increase in testosterone. This key ingredient in T boosters can significantly upsurge your natural testosterone.

3 Fenugreek

Fenu-what? Used for medicinal purposes for over a hundred years, fenugreek is abundant in vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, thiamin, vitamin B6 and vitamins A and C. Due to the copious amounts of vitamins and minerals, fenugreek can help lower bad cholesterol and the rate of glucose absorption in the intestines, increase libido, and heighten exercise performance.

The best way to get stronger is by taking a test booster with fenugreek. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study in which 49 resistance-trained men ingested 500 milligrams of fenugreek over eight weeks. The results: increased upper-and lower-body strength, decreased body fat and elevated free testosterone levels.

4 L-Arginine

When you are trying to manage low testosterone, trying to find the best way to build muscle can be difficult.  Another key ingredient is L-arginine. In the body, arginine becomes nitric oxide (NO), which widens the blood vessels. For muscle-building purposes, NO affects the release of hormones and adrenaline. Due to the increased blood flow, the muscles receive more nutrients, making them grow faster and in less time. Your answer on how to build muscle lies within an herbal testosterone booster containing arginine.

5 Ginseng

Widely used as a stimulant, ginseng is no one-trick pony. It has other health benefits that can make up for droopy testosterone levels. The Asian herb has been seen to increase endurance especially when the body is under physical stress. A study was published in the Journal of Urology in which 53 men took 900 milligrams of Korean red ginseng, three times a day for eight weeks. The results: the men experienced better sexual function. The perks don’t stop there. Besides creating a better sex life, ginseng can improve skin texture by stimulating cellular renewal. Ginseng can also improve skin elasticity.

If you are under 30 and have an ample amount of testosterone, then a legal testosterone booster is not recommended for you. Ingesting a T-booster when levels are adequate can comprise your natural testosterone production. A balanced diet with resistance training can aid in maintaining t-levels for those are fit to take an all-natural testosterone booster.