Testosterone boosters are sports nutrition and supplements that are used to stimulate muscle growth, increase strength and libido, as well as prevent male menopause and correct sex hormone levels. The effect of testosterone boosters is due to their ability to increase natural testosterone production. Most often, testosterone boosters come in the form of sports nutrition or dietary supplements, which can be freely purchased without a prescription at sports nutrition stores and pharmacies.
The composition of boosters usually includes: natural and plant components, vitamins and, rarely, synthetic substances, which, according to manufacturers, have the ability to increase testosterone levels. However, the validity and evidence base of many testosterone boosters remains in doubt; other boosters (for example, the well-known ZMA complexes) have already been recognized as completely ineffective, although they continue to be sold and used in bodybuilding.
Who are testosterone boosters for?
Testosterone boosters are commonly used by men seeking to increase lean muscle mass. These supplements are not recommended for use under the age of 20, and according to some sources 23. This is due to the fact that the young organism has an extremely unstable hormonal system; in particular, this applies to sex hormones. The use of boosters at a young age can disrupt this unstable hormonal system. In addition, young people have naturally increased testosterone levels, and therefore do not need additional stimulation. In addition, taking such supplements is not recommended for girls due to the development of masculinization.
Rational use of boosters is found in people over 30 and even 40 years old, when the natural level of testosterone decreases with age, in this case, their intake not only has a beneficial effect on muscle growth, but also enhances potency and libido.
Plus, testosterone boosters are great for PCT. After a cycle of steroid hormones or prohormones, it is advisable to drink 4 weeks of a booster based on Tribulus Terrestris. The booster allows you to neutralize the side effects associated with the withdrawal of steroid hormones and maintain testosterone levels, thereby preventing muscle breakdown or the so-called “rollback” phenomenon.
Remember that boosters are valid only for the duration of their intake, and after canceling all effects disappear. A decrease in muscle mass is possible, although not as pronounced as with steroid use.
Famous testosterone boosters
Many anabolic complexes and boosters contain more than a dozen components, but most of the components do not affect testosterone levels. Their presence can only be explained as a publicity stunt. Below is a brief description of the most common remedies:
Aromatase inhibitors (Letrozol)
It’s a highly effective and safe class of drugs. According to research, one tablet of Letrozol (2.5 mg) can increase testosterone levels by about 50% within a month when taken in portions (0.02 mg). Higher dosages lead to a significant increase in the effect. In addition, the level of estrogen decreases.
Post Course Therapy (Tamoxifen)
Tamoxifen (Nolvadex), when used for 10 days at 20 mg per day, has been shown to increase serum testosterone concentration by 142% from baseline.
Vitamin D (as Cholecalciferol)
Studies have found a correlation between vitamin D levels and testosterone.
A new synthetic substance that is able to prevent the conversion of testosterone into estrogens, thereby increasing the concentration of the former.
The d-isomer of aspartic amino acid, which naturally interacts with certain areas of the pituitary gland, increases the secretion of testosterone. The effectiveness is questionable.
The substance obtained from the plant Coleus Forskohlii – is very often included in boosters. It has poorly proven effectiveness.
It should be noted the lack of evidence base (apart from a few small studies, the results of which contradict each other), as well as the lack of positive feedback from athletes who took the supplement. An obvious exaggeration of the properties of Forskolin in the descriptions of the product: burning fat, increasing muscle mass, changing the concentration of several hormones at once, and all this against the background of the absence of side effects. The supplement may have a modest positive effect on body composition. It may enhance the effects of other remedies if you take them in combination. However, there is no reliable clinical evidence for the effectiveness of Forskolin.
A relatively new booster of nitric oxide, which, among other things, is able to stimulate the secretion of own gonadotropin. Agmatine sulfate is an agonist of imidazoline receptors. It has a nootropic effect.
The most popular component of testosterone boosters has the most solid evidence base. Despite the fact that Tribulus has been classified as a drug and cannot be sold freely in sports nutrition stores (only pharmacies can sell drugs), most stores continue to sell it. Sports supplements are much cheaper. You need to look not only at the weight of the tablets, but also at the percentage of saponins, i.e. active substance (occurs from 35% to 95%).
Quite a popular complex, it is recognized as completely ineffective. It has practically no side effects.
Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum)
Plant extract with active ingredient trigonelline. It has anti-aromatase activity, but in human studies it did not affect the level of androgens and sports performance.
The extract is used as an aphrodisiac. It has no effect on the level of sex hormones and anabolism.
The reception mode depends on the specific manufacturer. However, most often boosters are taken 1 to 3 times a day immediately after meals. The average cycle time is 4 weeks. Taking testosterone boosters is highly recommended to be combined with physical activity.
Abuse of any means that affects testosterone levels is fraught with dangerous complications. Long-term use of testosterone boosters leads to a decrease in the body’s ability to produce enough testosterone on its own, as it gets used to the constant intake of the supplement. Thus, after the end of the intake, the body does not produce enough sex hormones, which leads to significant loss of muscle mass, depression, impotence and other problems.
During admission, the following side effects very rarely occur: aggressiveness and irritability, acne, fluctuations in blood pressure. Extremely rare: hair loss, gynecomastia, feminization, decreased testosterone secretion, testicular atrophy.
If you take the supplement in the prescribed doses and within the allowable period of time, then there are practically no side effects, however, there is no significant effect in terms of increasing muscle mass.
Do not take testosterone boosters for heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney failure. Stop taking the supplement if you experience any side effects. Almost all side effects are completely reversible after withdrawal.
For a good effect, testosterone boosters should be combined with a proper high-calorie diet, systematic strength training and complementary sports nutrition. Sports nutrition has a good potentiating effect and optimal compatibility with testosterone boosters:
- Protein – To enhance muscle growth, you need 2-3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight;
- Creatine – 3-5 g taken orally once a day. Also a great option is creatine with a transport system;
- Vitamin-mineral complex – for active muscle growth, a sufficient supply of vitamins and other essential substances is required.
These are BCAA, protein complexes, reducing agents, Adaptogens and other additives.
It is not recommended to use testosterone boosters with prohormones, steroid hormones, you cannot combine 2 boosters.