In the world of bodybuilding, testosterone is king.
It’s the primary male sex hormone and plays a central role in the development of male reproductive tissues, as well as secondary characteristics such as increases in muscle size, strength and bone mass.
To put it simply, the higher your levels of testosterone are, the faster and more efficiently you can pack on muscle, burn fat and transform your physique.
When bodybuilders “supplement” with anabolic steroids, they’re consuming synthetic variants of testosterone.
Because of the critical role that testosterone plays in any bodybuilding program, an entire breed of “testosterone supplements” have become available, promising huge increases in the body’s natural production of this hormone.
Tribulus, avena sativa, d-aspartic acid, long jack and anti-estrogens are a few of the most popular examples.
What Is The Best Testosterone Booster Available?
Let me take a moment to provide a shred of truth in what is almost entirely a sea of endless B.S on this topic…
Aside from the use of actual anabolic steroids, no pill or powder out there is going to naturally raise your testosterone levels high enough to have any measurable impact on your muscle growth, strength gains or fat loss.
There, I said it.
Sure, if you run a google search for “best testosterone booster” you’ll find that 95% of the information out there promotes these formulas in a hugely positive light.
Not surprisingly, it’s almost always an article from a supplement company or an affiliate who has a financial incentive in the products discussed.
Have a look around and you’ll see that there’s definitely no shortage of “super-ultra-alpha-testo-freak-5000” blends that will “skyrocket your natural testosterone production by 300%”.
The key thing to keep in mind when it comes to ANY product that claims to naturally boost testosterone levels is that boosting testosterone levels in and of itself means virtually nothing.
That’s because in order for it to have to any significant impact on your ability to build muscle or burn fat, those levels have to be increased by several hundred to 1000+ percent!
There are plenty of compounds out there that may increase the body’s production of testosterone, but if we’re talking about a couple percent here and there, they won’t have any value at all as a bodybuilding aid.
As of right now, none of the popular testosterone supplements on the market have ever been demonstrated in research to produce increases large enough enhance muscle growth or fat loss in any measureable way, period.
The closest we’ve come is with d-aspartic acid, which has been consistently shown in research to produce increases in testosterone of about 30%.
However, even 30% is likely not going to be high enough to positively influence muscle growth or fat loss in the majority of people. On top of this, the long term safety of DAA has not yet been confirmed.
Do Natural Testosterone Boosters Have Any Use At All?
As potential libido enhancers for guys in the 40+ age range, perhaps.
As a mild energy or mood enhancer, maybe.
But in terms of producing raw increases in muscle size, strength or fat loss, leave the test boosters on the shelf and focus your time, money and effort on the things that really matter: proper training, nutrition and supplements that are backed by solid research.
Is There ANY Way To Naturally Boost Testosterone?
To a certain degree, yes, but I much prefer to use the word “optimize”.
In other words, if there are certain things you’re doing on a regular basis that are causing your natural test levels to drop, you can correct these behaviours to bring those levels back up to normal.
However, if your testosterone production is already functioning at its maximum natural capacity, there isn’t much you can do to produce “super increases” in testosterone above your natural baseline.
Here are a few basic things you can do to ensure that your natural testosterone levels are optimized…
Fat Intake: Low levels of dietary fat have a direct negative impact on testosterone production. This is partially why overall sex drive decreases during a cutting phase. To keep testosterone levels optimized, aim to get at least 20% of your total calories from fat, and preferably around 25-30%.
Sleep: Chronic sleep deprivation has a negative impact on growth hormone, insulin sensitivity, energy, appetite and testosterone production. Make sure you’re getting an amount of sleep each night that leaves you feeling rested and focused throughout the day.
Exercise: For anyone reading this article, this shouldn’t even be an issue. Regular physical activity, particularly intense resistance training, will help to keep your test levels peaked over the long term.
Vitamins/Minerals: If you have a deficiency anywhere in your diet, particularly for things like zinc, vitamin D, vitamin b6 and magnesium, it can have a negative impact on overall testosterone production. Following a micronutrient dense diet and supplementing with a high quality multivitamin will ensure that any potential deficiencies are corrected.
The Bottom Line On Natural Test Boosters
Until or unless more research surfaces demonstrating any of these compounds to have direct effects on muscular strength or performance, you’re more than likely wasting your money on these products.
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