Do Testosterone Boosters Really Work?
In amongst all of the sports and nutrition supplements there is a special category of supps that are targeted towards men. Testosterone boosters, or Test boosters, claim to help boost testosterone, allowing men to experience the effects of testosterone in a greater scale.
Testosterone is a powerful hormone. It is an anabolic steroid in the body meaning it promotes the building of tissues in the body. More specifically, testosterone helps men put on lean muscle mass and burn fat more effectively. Testosterone also keeps bones healthy by helping to maintain healthy bone density.
Why Take a test Booster?
Because this hormone is so powerful and useful towards performance in and out of the gym, it is pretty obvious why men would want a boost.
There is a deeper issue with this though. Unfortunately there are men out there who look to hormone therapy and test boosters because of persistent low testosterone. In fact, 19-39% of men have low testosterone levels. This can be problematic if it begins at a young age, as testosterone levels really begin to drop off after the age of 30.
There are a few biological reasons why a man will have low testosterone, but there are also environmental factors that can be managed to ensure men are not lowering their test levels more.
Obesity plays a large part in low testosterone levels as it can affect the production of the hormone. Managing weight through diet and exercise is a great way to avoid low testosterone levels.
Opioid and steroid medications can also lower test levels because they interact with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which is where the signal to produce testosterone comes from.
In the same way that prolonged, high stress can cause a woman’s reproductive system to temporarily shut down, when a man is under high stress for a long period of time, he too can experience a reproductive shut down.
Have no fear – test boosters are here!
But do we really need them/do they even work?
Simple answer – not really. Unless you are undergoing supervised hormone therapy, most – if not all – test boosters on the market will not have a significant effect.
Many of the test boosters include zinc, magnesium aspartate, and monomethionine aspartate, or ZMA. These nutrients are depleted during exercise, and if not consumed or supplemented afterward can lead to low test levels. In a placebo-controlled study, 27 athletes were given ZMA during a 7-week training program. Although their levels of testosterone were 30% higher than those who were on the placebo, the higher testosterone levels were not sustained.
Natural Testosterone Boosters
Okay so you aren’t a candidate for hormone therapy, and you don’t want to spend money on a test booster (that likely won’t work), what can you do to boost your test naturally?
As mentioned before, obesity can be a factor in why testosterone levels are low. Get yourself exercising and eating a healthy diet and as the pounds go down, your test will go up!
Speaking of diet – ensuring you have enough zinc in your diet can also help keep test levels high. While you’re at it, make sure to watch your sugar intake. Sugar can decrease testosterone levels by as much a 25%! So best to keep that as low as possible if you want to keep your testosterone levels high. Consuming animals products is also very important in maintaining healthy levels of testosterone. Animals products contain high levels of vitamin D and zinc, both of which are important in maintaining healthy levels of testosterone.
Last but not least, make sure you are getting enough good quality sleep. Prolonged lack of sleep can lead to not only decreased testosterone levels, but also a general low sense of wellbeing. So make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep most nights.