Testosterone boosters have been getting a lot of press over the last few years, and for mixed reasons. Whether it’s Dr Andrew Huberman and Joe Rogan discussing supplements for testosterone optimisation, the FDA issuing warnings [1], or meta analysis showing that 30% actually work [2], with some even lowering testosterone levels it can be hard to know who to trust. Although, you may have noticed that the 30% figure is at least offering some hope that the supplements industry isn’t a complete sham. 

The problem is that there’s relatively little oversight in the market, and that many supposed testosterone boosters make wild claims that are simply not possible and are backed by science which is limited at best. And to make matters more confusing the few high quality ones that are on the market are also typically not the ones with the largest marketing budgets and as a rule of thumb, if it’s available in Walgreens it’s probably not much good. 

It’s also worth noting that best testosterone booster supplements tend to come into one of a few different classifications. Some would be better off classified as testosterone support multivitamins, these are relatively cheap and basically they’re just a vitamin pill that covers common deficiencies that result in low testosterone levels. Then there’s the ones that contain extracts, herbal compounds, amino acids and enzymes which there’s no realistic way for a man to get in his diet without supplementation. These are typically the more expensive and “better” testosterone boosting supplements. 

What Does Testosterone Do For Men

Everyone knows that testosterone is important for men, not everyone knows why or quite how important testosterone is beyond just building lean muscle. Healthy testosterone levels are essential for men’s mental health, sleep, mood, weight management, organ function, libido, brain function and as we mentioned maintaining muscle mass. 

That’s quite a long list – and the worst part about it is that a lot of people living with low testosterone levels attribute it to aging. 

The main reason for this is that testosterone levels decline naturally at a rate of about 1% per year after the age of 30 [3], and with testosterone levels lower across the nation than they were 50 years ago [4] it’s more important that men do what they can to keep them healthy than ever before. 

And perhaps the worst thing about this, is that weight gain [5], poor sleep [6], increased stress [7] and less muscle mass [8] all contribute to lowering testosterone levels further amplifying the downward spiral for a lot of men. 

Why Is Testosterone So Low In America

And now for the scary part, it’s estimated that low testosterone levels could be as high as 40% in the USA [9]. Lower sample sizes suggest it’s more likely to be around 25% although this is still staggeringly high. 

A part of this can be put down to two key lifestyle factors, vitamin D deficiency (which amounts to around 40% of the US adult population) and the obesity rates, but even in entirely healthy populations without issue a lot of the sample sizes showed the prevalence to be around 29% in healthy men and 40% in overweight men [10]. 

That means that a large part of that 30% has to come from other lifestyle factors, such as the aforementioned Vitamin D. Zinc deficiency has also been proven to cause low testosterone, and magnesium similarly. In terms of the Vitamin D and Magnesium several studies would actually suggest that going beyond the RDI can boost testosterone levels further [11], suggesting that current RDI may actually be too low for men. Vitamin D was shown it could raise testosterone levels by around 40% in otherwise healthy males and raise free testosterone levels in males who were not deficient by 10% [12] and boost athletic performance continuously in supplements of up to 5000mg which is far beyond the recommended minimum [13]. It’s also really not surprising that most men are low on vitamin D, with the majority of the US population working indoors. Current studies estimate that around 80% of work environments lack sufficient natural lighting for people to generate the vitamin d3 themselves. [14] So, we’re starting to see a pattern of vitamin deficiency caused by diet being a leading cause. This is of course why a lot of testosterone boosters work, in covering off the vitamins and minerals they’re able to significantly improve testosterone levels in men with low testosterone in a lot of cases. 

There are other factors as well, exercise habits contributing not to mention modern work life stresses. As we can see dietary supplements can be a good place to start in tackling the issue of testosterone production. Although moving beyond the baseline of fixing vitamin supplementation and exercise there is still a bit more that can be done with testosterone supplements. 

What Is A Testosterone Booster?

As we briefly mentioned before a testosterone booster supplement is a supplement that’s designed to boost testosterone levels naturally. Relatively straightforward in theory, and as we’ve mentioned, resolving deficiencies can help with production of the male sex hormone. However, that’s the lower end of the market, although if you buy from a Walgreens or local store, they’re often priced in the higher end of testosterone booster supplements. The best testosterone booster supplements work by including vitamins, then adding additional herbal compounds and amino acids. 

Testosterone Support Supplements Vs Testosterone Boosters

If your budget is tight, finding a men’s multivitamin or a testosterone support supplement is probably a good place to start, but they’re not the best testosterone booster supplements. If you’re looking to boost testosterone naturally in the most effective way you’ll want to make sure that you’ve bought something that contains the ingredients that you can’t get from your normal diet. And more importantly testosterone boosting ingredients that actually work to aid testosterone production. The best testosterone booster pills tend to cost upwards of $60/month, but there are some budget testosterone boosters that actually work, just not many, and they aren’t as good as the premium options.

The Best Ingredients For A Testosterone Booster

Which brings us nicely to our next section, which could easily be called what should you look for in a testosterone booster. We’ve compiled a list of the ingredients that actually work, and have a good amount of scientific backing from double blind studies. Some of these ingredients affect testosterone production more than others, but all are good inclusions. The very best testosterone booster supplements include most of these ingredients.

Ashwaganda is probably the most studied herbal extract when it comes to effective testosterone boosters, usually dosed in around 600mg to be most effective [15] it’s been proven in double blind trials. Beyond this it actually has numerous other health benefits such as improving mood and helping the body lower cortisol levels. 

DAA (D Aspartic Acid) is an amino acid that plays a role in testosterone production in the testes and can increase hormone release in the brain that encourages the body to produce testosterone. [16]

Zinc only works as a testosterone booster for men who have a deficiency, treatment of men with zinc deficiency did cure the men with a lowered testosterone level. This was the case even in men with a marginal zinc deficiency [17].

Boron has numerous benefits in terms of creating more free testosterone, it helps the body break down estrogen and produce testosterone. The studies show that supplementation with as little as 3mg can be effective, making it a good ingredient in the best testosterone boosters as it doesn’t take up much space. [18]

Panax Ginseng was originally used to enhance libido and cure erectile dysfunction. Recently Panax Ginseng (and only panax ginseng, not to be confused with American ginseng) has been shown to directly influence testosterone levels. Short term usage also increases the release of luteinizing hormone which explains why the effects do slightly taper off over time. More studies are being done into the way that the ginsenoside compounds work, with certain compounds in the plants seeming to affect testosterone and libido differently. [19]

Luteolin was screened against 1,431 natural compounds and shown to be the most powerful aromatase inhibitor, by inhibiting aromatase it stops the body’s natural production of estrogen, raising free testosterone levels naturally. [20]

Fenugreek is arguably the most well known testosterone booster having been popular in testosterone supplements for more than a decade with research backing its use to boost testosterone going back to the 80s. Multiple studies have shown fenugreek to boost testosterone levels in men of all age ranges and with both healthy testosterone levels and low testosterone. [21]

Vitamin D3 helps boost free testosterone levels and improves athletic performance as previously mentioned, it also improves mood having a further compounding effect. 

Maca regularly appears in testosterone boosters, especially those focused on libido, it’s effects go far beyond simply boosting testosterone production and have a larger effect on assisting with erectile dysfunction and improving drive. Maca stimulates blood flow, and has even been shown to improve semen quality. Interestingly maca seems to improve sexual function in both genders. [22]

Magnesium helps break down sex hormone binding globulin, in layman’s terms it allows for more free testosterone. SHBG binds to testosterone and stops your body using it, so as you’d expect breaking it down, means more testosterone available. Researchers gave athletes (who weren’t deficient) 10mg of magnesium a day, and others a placebo. Some worked out and some did not. All of the participants taking magnesium saw increased testosterone levels demonstrating magnesium’s testosterone booster effects. [23]

Indole 3 carbinol works in a similar way to magnesium, binding to SHBG, it’s arguably more effective, [24] but the two can be used in conjunction for improved effects.

Vitamin K2 is the more bioavailable form of vitamin k. It has a couple of functions, it improves the body’s ability to process vitamin d3 and can boost testosterone in its own right. With one study showing 70% increases in free test, although it’s perhaps a little optimistic with it’s methodology. [25] Vitamin K is fine if you can’t get K2, but it isn’t quite as good, and vitamin K it is a lot cheaper, meaning K2 doesn’t make it into every natural testosterone booster.

There are a few other effective testosterone booster supplement options available, but these are the most common that you’ll come across that actually work. 

The Limitations of A Testosterone Booster

Testosterone boosters aren’t ever going to match up to TRT, they’re not going to cure any illness and they’re not going to fix anything seriously wrong with the body. A lot of claims are also made around erectile dysfunction, and whilst most erectile dysfunction is psychological, to which a placebo effect could resolve the issue, or even improvements to mood, they are not designed to resolve any physiological issues. They could have tangential effects by helping with weight loss, but by themselves they are not really suited to resolving this. That’s not to say they can’t help improve sexual performance or overall sexual health due to improved mood and libido, but they aren’t to be confused with male enhancement supplements, even if a couple of ingredients do overlap. 

They’re also not anabolic steroids, sure they can help with muscle gain, but again they really shouldn’t be compared with one another. The idea behind taking testosterone boosters is to improve natural testosterone production. 

If you’re suffering from low testosterone, then testosterone boosters could well help, but either way we’d advise seeing your physician. 

Are Testosterone Boosters Safe?

For the most part yes, we’d recommend that you stick to better known brands, we don’t mean the mini market ones, or amazon testosterone boosters or even walgreens, but at least the ones that have been around for a while. Some testosterone boosters have been pulled from the market by the FDA and some are just snake oil, however, if you look for the ingredients that we’ve mentioned already you’ll be well on your way to finding a good testosterone booster to add to your supplement routine. Most testosterone booster supplements are safe mind, and those that have transparent ingredients lists can usually be trusted, especially if they are manufactured in FDA approved facilities, which most natural testosterone boosters are.

The Best Testosterone Booster Supplements

It’s not just us who selected the below as the best testosterone boosters, experts from both Barbend (fitness industry) and Center TRT (medical) agreed on the below examples being the best of the best. With these leading industry specialists from both sides of the coin agreeing with us, we think that we’re probably on to something with our choices. 

Prime Male – Best Testosterone Booster Overall

Prime male contains good dosages of the standard vitamins that we’d expect in the best testosterone boosters, it also has a high dosage of D Aspartic Acid, ginseng, magnesium and the rest of the usual suspects. That’s not where Prime Male gets interesting or why we gave it our best overall. Prime male gets the title of the best testosterone booster because it ticks pretty much every box. And a lot of other reviewers tend to say it’s either the best testosterone booster for over 50s or the best testosterone booster for libido, both of which are pretty hefty crowns. So why does it constantly do so well? 

That’s because it includes Luteolin which blocks estrogen and mucuna pruriens which gives your body a massive dose of levodopa, an amino acid which not only creates dopamine, improves sexual function, but on top of all this it also triggers testosterone production. There isn’t really any of the boxes that prime male doesn’t tick when it comes to being an effective testosterone booster, whether you’re looking to increase muscle mass, boost libido or simply help slow the march of time. It’s got you covered. 

Pros

  • Coveralls all the testosterone booster bases
  • Good deals available for multi buy
  • Great customer reviews
  • Money back guarantee
  • best testosterone supplements for male sexual health

Cons

  • We’re not massive fans of nettle root extract, we’d rather see fenugreek 

Get the best deals from primemale.com

TestoFuel – Best Testosterone Boosters For Muscle Mass

Testofuel is one of the longest standing testosterone boosters in the market. The formula has been changed several times over the years to keep up to date with the latest studies. Testofuel was designed for body builders and has ringing endorsements from some of the sports best competitors including the likes of former Mr Olympia Robby Robinson. Testofuel has remained focused on men who are looking to improve their testosterone for improved gym performance and muscle protein synthesis. As such it leans towards having a high volume of ingredients with a dual function like D Aspartic Acid and Vitamin D. Beyond that they hit all the core bases from our ingredients list. It’s priced reasonably for a high end testosterone booster, although it’s best value offers are in buying a few bottles at a time. 

The main downsides to Testofuel won’t bother a huge amount of the customer base, but it isn’t vegan and like most of the best testosterone boosters you have to take quite a lot of pills in a single day. Although, this is a common theme amongst the test boosters that actually made our best list. The verified customer reviews of Testofuel are also pretty good, checking trustpilot and other sources it has almost 5* and with a money back guarantee so all in all Testofuel is a great option, especially for gym rats. 

Pro’s 

  • Huge Dosage Of Muscle Building Ingredients
  • Endorsed By Athletes
  • Modern Formula
  • Best for muscle growth
  • Strongest testosterone booster on our list
  • Exceptional Reviews

Con’s 

  • Not Vegan
  • Best Value Through Multibuy

You can get Testofuel from Testofuel.com

Hunter Test – Highest Dosed Test Booster

Hunter Test has the highest dosing of D Aspartic Acid and Luteolin on our list, it’s also heavily dosed in Indole 3 carbinol and magnesium making it by far the most effective estrogen inhibitor on the market right now. That doesn’t mean they skip out on ingredients that raise test levels like the other testosterone boosting supplements on our list, it just means that it hands down is the best supplement for estrogen suppression making it very useful for PCT and the best testosterone booster for people with suppressed natural testosterone production. 

The inclusion of ashwaganda helps deal with stress and anxiety making it great for athletes suffering with the stress and anxiety caused by low testosterone levels. As natural testosterone boosters go, ashwagandha arguably has the most tangential benefits so is always a good inclusion. Like most of the best testosterone supplements it does require you taking 6 capsules a day. This can be a lot for some people, but unfortunately the dosage of DAA does require that. Hunter test is also the most expensive of our top testosterone boosting supplements, not by a huge margin, but this is worth mentioning. It’s not without cause the ingredients in it are slightly more expensive than any other testosterone supplement on our list so it still represents good value.

Pros

  • Best testosterone booster for men with raised estrogen levels
  • High dosage of premium ingredients
  • Highest dose of D Aspartic Acid

Cons

  • Most expensive
  • Only available from their website
  • Dosage of Ashwagandha could be higher for maximum effect

Get the best deals at Hunerevolve.com

What Else Can I Do To Raise Testosterone?

Beyond just supplementing your diet, there are few other things you can do to improve your body’s testosterone synthesis. The most obvious ones are, lose body fat (if you’re over 20% and most of the US population is), increase lean muscle mass and get more sleep. There is even more than that, but that’s when things start getting a little bit more esoteric, for example, testosterone levels have been shown to increase when men win. But, it seems unlikely that the same would apply if you knew you’d win. 

Which Foods Boost Testosterone Levels?

The obvious foods that come to the forefront are often leafy greens, because they’re rich in magnesium, and ginger seems to have a mild testosterone boosting effect [26]. 

Oysters have been shown to boost testosterone production, and also contain zinc, helping avoid the testosterone issues that come with even a mild deficiency. 

Other than that pomegranates have been shown in small studies to increase testosterone [27] production as have fatty fish and basically anything that contains vitamin d, such mushrooms and plant milks (although not too much soy).

Sleep Is The Best Testosterone Booster? 

Men with disturbed sleep have lower testosterone levels. [28] Unfortunately this doesn’t make the solution as easy as sleeping more. However, there are things that you can do to improve sleep quality. A lot of testosterone supplements contain ingredients that will actually assist sleep, like ashwagandha which improves the quality of sleep. [29] However, there are of course other things you can do to help improve sleep, don’t drink too much one hour before going to bed, reduce caffeine intake, reduce blue light sources in the evening and more importantly stick to a regular sleep schedule.

What Foods Are Bad For Testosterone?

When we started researching this article we expected to be debunking the soy lowers testosterone levels myth, although turns out it isn’t a myth. But, you do have to drink a lot of soy protein for it to be a problem. If you drank say 2 soy based protein shakes a day, this would have an effect. And potentially even daily could be too much. But the tests show that 30g of soy protein a day does in fact lower testosterone. Beyond that, anything that’s overly high in calories and makes you gain weight. [30]

Stress And Testosterone

Stress completely depletes testosterone production [31] but that’s not just psychological stress, but physical stress as well, testosterone levels have been shown to be severely reduced after surgery for example. And like many of the issues that are causes of low testosterone, having lowered test levels goes on to compound the effect further depleting testosterone production. 

Exercise and Testosterone

Just working out in and of itself can boost testosterone levels naturally even when normalised against weight loss [32]. Losing weight can also help raise testosterone levels, however, if you’re already below 15% body fat, then losing more weight will have the opposite effect, so it’s not a catch all solution to low testosterone issues. Working out in and of itself however only seems to have a testosterone boosting effect in men. 

Increased lean muscle mass has also been demonstrated to raise testosterone levels [33], so it stands to reason that it’s one of the best things to do if you’re looking to increase testosterone production. The catch? You can’t skip leg day, no really. The reason for this is that the legs and glutes are the largest muscle groups on the body, ergo training them leads to the largest overall increase in muscle mass. Meaning that the ultimate natural testosterone booster is, to not skip out on your training regimen.

In terms of which exercises boost testosterone, that’s quite simple. Weight training (which stands to reason as it builds the most muscle) and interestingly HIIT [34] showed increased raises based on 90 second intervals against 45 minutes of other training types. However, it should be mentioned that overtraining will reduce testosterone levels, as being overly tired stunts your body’s ability to produce testosterone. This is most likely when overdoing cardio. And unfortunately cardio seems to have negligible benefits to testosterone, if at all. 

How Can I Check My Testosterone?

Before you rush out and start buying testosterone boosting supplements, you may want to know whether or not you actually need them. Fortunately getting a testosterone level check is a lot easier than it used to be, it can be done through the post for a relatively low cost. They’re not invasive, can normally be done with a saliva swab and are usually around $50 including postage, making them a great way to see if you have healthy testosterone levels.

References

1 – https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-drug-safety-communication-fda-cautions-about-using-testosterone-products-low-testosterone-due

2 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6407704/

3 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707424/

4 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7063751/

5 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955331/

6 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/

7 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5128352/

8 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2917954/

9 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5422691/

10 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7824172/

11 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20352370

12 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21154195/

13 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071499/

14 – https://easna.org/EASNA-Research-Archive.html

15 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438434/

16 – https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0078-7

17 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8875519/

18 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712861/

19 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9063034/

20 – https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf3022817

21 – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03528538

22 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27621241/

23 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20352370

24 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9168187/

25 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21914161/

26 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/

27 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7060517/

28 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18413429/

29 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827862/

30 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15735098/

31 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5128352/

32 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4706091/

33 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15204068

34 – https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/25373470