Testosterone is an androgen produced mainly by the testicles and adrenal glands. However, this hormone is also present in women’s ovaries, though in small amounts. Testosterone plays an essential role in men’s health and regulates several vital functions such as mood, erectile function, and libido.
Testosterone boosters are the best options to increase your testosterone levels naturally. They are safe and readily available online. However, you must buy from only reputable brands.
Most men tend to suffer from low or testosterone deficiency as they grow older. Approximately 40% of men suffer from testosterone deficiency once they turn 45. Testosterone boosters claim to increase men’s testosterone levels significantly. Additionally, most of these products contain several ingredients or formulas that claim to increase testosterone levels.
However, according to the FDA, the testosterone-boosting benefits of these products are due to the amount of zinc. According to a 2015 study by the FDA, most testosterone boosters don’t produce any actual quantifiable benefits.
Most testosterone boosters contain zinc and vitamin B, both known to boost men’s health naturally and, to some extent, testosterone levels.
Do OTC Testosterone Boosters Work?
First, it is important to note that testosterone boosters and testosterone replacement therapy are different. Testosterone replacement therapy involves using synthetic or plant-based testosterone to bring your testosterone levels back to normal.
Testosterone boosters are natural herbal supplements that can help men boost testosterone levels. These supplements contain ingredients and formulas that have been directly and indirectly linked to boosting testosterone levels.
For example, most of these supplements contain zinc and magnesium, which increase men’s health and testosterone levels.
However, most of these supplements do not raise your testosterone levels above the normal 400 ng/dL baseline.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Testosterone is an essential hormone in men as it controls several vital functions. A testosterone deficiency can cause several health complications. To be safe, it’s best to perform a testosterone test regularly.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it’s time to have your testosterone levels checked. You can test your testosterone level using a home kit tester or go to your doctor to perform a physical examination. The symptoms of low testosterone levels include:
Reduced Sex Drive
Low sex drive is one of the most telling signs of testosterone deficiency. Our sex drive naturally decreases as we become older. However, if a testosterone deficiency is the cause of the problem, you’ll notice a significant decline in your sexual appetite.
Several studies have found that men with low testosterone are more likely to experience mood swings and irritability. According to a 2017 study, testosterone replacement therapy helped men with low testosterone enhance their mood and overall quality of life.
Reduced Muscle Mass and Bone Mass
Because this hormone plays a vital role in muscle development, a deficiency will significantly lose muscle mass. Note, however, that a loss of muscle mass does not affect your muscles’ strength or normal function.
Testosterone also promotes the formation of bone tissue and the maintenance of bone volume. A testosterone deficiency can cause a significant decrease in bone mass, making the bones more susceptible to fractures.
A Decrease in Energy Levels
According to studies, most men with low testosterone experience fatigue and low energy levels. Even after enough rest, a person may become fatigued or lose interest in exercise and other activities.
An Increase in Body Fat
An increase in body fat is common in men suffering from low testosterone. In some cases, a testosterone deficiency can cause breast enlargement in men (gynecomastia).
Testosterone also plays a vital role in hair production. Although most hair loss is age-related, a testosterone deficiency can also cause baldness. According to a 2012 study, a testosterone implant helped some women with sex hormone deficiency regrow their hair.
Disrupted Sleeping Pattern
The majority of people with low testosterone have trouble falling asleep. Testosterone deficiency is common among sleep apnea patients. This potentially life-threatening disorder causes a person to stop breathing temporarily, disrupting sleep.
Difficulty with Erection
While this hormone helps stimulates sex drive, it also plays an important role in maintaining erectile function. In addition, testosterone stimulates the parts of the brain that produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide also plays a key function in initiating a sequence of chemical reactions that helps promote erection.
If you suffer from testosterone deficiency, you may struggle to get an erection spontaneously before sex. However, note that testosterone is just one of many factors that cause erectile dysfunction. Plus, several other factors or complications such as diabetes, alcohol use, and even stress can contribute to erectile difficulties.
Low Semen Volume
Testosterone plays a vital role in semen production, the milky fluid that helps with sperm motility. Men’s semen volume decreases significantly during ejaculation when testosterone levels are low.
Smaller Penis and Testicle Size
Testosterone deficiency can cause the shrinking of the testicles. Since the body requires testosterone for penile and testicular development, low testosterone levels might result in abnormally smaller-sized testicles or penis.
How is a Testosterone Test Performed?
You can measure your actual testosterone level by scheduling a testosterone test. Plus, your doctor may order this test if you are to receive testosterone replacement therapy.
However, you’ll have to submit a blood or saliva sample to your doctor or laboratory. Normal blood testosterone levels in men should read between 270 to 1,070 ng/dL. If your testosterone value falls below 300 ng/dL, you are experiencing a testosterone deficiency.
Your doctor may test your testosterone levels using blood samples for a more accurate result. Moreover, the tests are usually done in the morning, when T levels are highest. Plus, your doctor may ask you to retake the test to get accurate measurements.
However, note that certain factors or medications may affect the exact values of this test. For example, a testosterone test taken using an at-home kit may give a different value than a test performed in a lab. Also, certain medications, such as barbiturates, anticonvulsants, and opiates, can decrease your testosterone levels.
On a different note, if you are not comfortable checking your testosterone levels in a lab, you can order an at-home test kit. You can get one online or from your local pharmacist. The kit contains all the material you need to perform the test. Hence, your doctor may ask you to stop taking any prescriptions before to get accurate results.
If your test at home gives an abnormal testosterone value, your doctor may request a second test. However, at-home testosterone testing isn’t a substitute for seeing a doctor, especially if you’ve noticed significant changes in your health.
What Are the Benefits of Boosting Your Testosterone Levels?
As you already know, testosterone plays a vital role in developing and maintaining several body functions. Furthermore, it is normal for the body to reduce the production of this hormone as we age.
Also, it’s normal to consider boosting your testosterone levels if they fall in the low range. However, boosting your testosterone levels within normal limits may not provide any additional benefits. The increased benefits have only been observed in patients with low testosterone levels.
According to studies, testosterone deficiency has been linked to several cardiovascular problems. A healthy heart circulates blood throughout the body, supplying oxygen to muscles and organs for optimal performance. Also, this hormone promotes the production of red blood cells through the bone marrow.
Studies also show that men with testosterone deficiency experienced a slight improvement in their cardiovascular health after receiving testosterone replacement therapy.
Plus, the therapy helped improve the walking distance of some men by 33 percent. A recent study found that males with higher testosterone levels were 24 percent less likely to suffer from a heart attack.
More Muscle and Less Fat
Testosterone plays a big role in muscle development. Plus, weight loss and increased energy are two benefits of having a leaner body mass. Studies show that an increase in testosterone levels can help men with low testosterone lose weight and gain strength and muscular size.
Furthermore, some men reported improvement in lean muscle mass but not in strength. However, you’ll most likely experience the best results if you combine testosterone therapy with exercise.
Strong bones support your internal organs and muscles, allowing you to perform better in sports. Men’s bone density declines as their testosterone levels fall. This hormone is also essential in the development of stronger bones.
This decrease in bone density increases the risk of osteoporosis and weak bones. According to studies, a significant boost in testosterone levels can help increase bone density.
According to studies, men with a good testosterone ratio have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Also, studies show that men with a higher testosterone level have a better processing speed and verbal memory than men with low testosterone levels.
Plus, men aged 34-70 who received testosterone treatment experienced a slight improvement in spatial memory.
Testosterone levels usually rise as a result of sexual excitement and activity. Men with higher testosterone levels are more sexually active than men with low testosterone levels. Older men require a testosterone boost to maintain libido and erectile function.
It’s worth noting, though, that other conditions like diabetes are more likely to cause erectile dysfunction than low testosterone levels. Studies show that a boost in men’s testosterone levels can significantly increase sexual health.
However, studies also show that boosting your testosterone above a specific level does not result in a greater response. Additionally, men who do not have hypogonadism will not benefit sexually from increased testosterone levels.
Lower testosterone levels are linked to a lower standard of living. According to research, men with hypogonadism are more likely to suffer from depression, irritability, and mood swings.
The effects of testosterone replacement therapy on mood can vary. Research shows that a significant boost in men’s testosterone level can improve mood and overall quality of life.
Potential Side Effects of Testosterone Boosters
Genuine testosterone boosters can raise your testosterone levels significantly, but only for a short period. However, these boosters may have potential side effects that every male interested in using them should be aware of.
There are different natural ways to boost your testosterone levels without using these supplements. Furthermore, most doctors will only recommend these supplements as a last resort because of their potential side effects. The potential side effects of using these supplements include:
Testosterone boosters can put a strain on the heart, and this increases the risk of hypertensive heart disease, stroke, and other vascular diseases. Also, studies show that testosterone boosters can cause chronic kidney diseases.
According to recent studies, men’s hypogonadism may be caused by the regular usage of over-the-counter anabolic steroids. Additionally, medical experts believe these supplements may contain substances that cause several health complications, including hypogonadism. While the effects are reversible, long-term use can cause permanent damage.
While using these boosters, your prostate may enlarge, making urinating more difficult and painful. If you already have prostate cancer, taking these boosters may worsen your condition. Plus, this is why most doctors request a prostate exam before recommending these supplements.
Higher Red Blood Cell (RBC) Count
Your hematocrit and hemoglobin levels will increase alongside your testosterone levels. According to studies, RBC and platelet counts in men who underwent TRT were higher than those of other men with testosterone deficiency. Additionally, an increase in RBC levels increases thromboembolic and cardiovascular disease risks.
Higher PSA Levels
The PSA test is a blood test that measures the blood’s prostate-specific antigen level. Plus, this test serves as a screening tool for prostate cancer. A healthy male’s PSA level should not exceed four nanograms per milliliter of blood. Testosterone boosters can increase the blood’s PSA level higher than 4, increasing the risk of prostate cancer.
Acne mostly affects teenagers during their adolescent years, but some adults also suffer from it. Researchers believe that testosterone fluctuation may be the primary cause of acne in adults. According to studies, people with a higher testosterone level are more likely to suffer from acne than those with low levels.
Furthermore, testosterone enhances the production of sebum, a lubricating oil produced by the sebaceous gland. Boosting your testosterone levels also causes an increase in sebum production, which triggers acne outbreaks all over the skin.
Although boosting your testosterone level may enhance your sexual health, it also causes an imbalance in hormonal equilibrium. As a result of the unnaturally high testosterone levels these boosters provide, some men may have infertility after using them.
Testosterone boosters, especially when taken orally, can cause severe liver damage.
Natural Remedies for Increasing Testosterone
Testosterone boosters and even TRT may not be suitable for everybody. As a result, your doctor may recommend going for other natural alternatives. There are several ways you can boost your testosterone levels naturally. They include:
One of the best ways to boost your testosterone levels is through exercise. Studies show that building strong muscles triggers the production of testosterone. Weightlifting is one of the best exercises for increasing testosterone levels.
Additionally, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been proven to raise men’s testosterone levels. Other exercises such as running and cycling can also help boost testosterone levels.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep allows your body to perform at its best. Constantly depriving your body of adequate sleep can interfere with its ability to produce testosterone. Additionally, depriving your body of good-quality sleep can cause you to add weight, which also reduces your testosterone production.
Use Zinc Supplements
A 2011 study shows that zinc plays an essential role in regulating men’s serum testosterone levels. You can boost your testosterone levels by adding zinc to your diet. Shellfish and whole grains are some zinc-rich foods you can include in your diet. Additionally, you can get enough zinc through supplementation.
Studies show that stress causes an increase in the body’s cortisol level, and this hormone is known to interfere with testosterone production. Your testosterone levels will fall as your body’s cortisol level increases.
Additionally, a high cortisol level can cause increased appetite, causing you to gain weight and lose more testosterone hormones. As a result, getting enough sleep and finding healthy stress management techniques can help boost testosterone levels.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Studies show that the majority of obese men suffer from testosterone deficiency. According to studies, obese men are four times more likely to benefit from TRT than non-obese men. Furthermore, studies show that obese men are 75% more likely to suffer from low testosterone levels.
When Is the Right Time to See a Doctor?
Sometimes, low testosterone levels may not present any symptoms. As a result, you can only learn about your condition after a physical examination. If you experience any of the symptoms listed in this article, it’s best to visit your doctor for a testosterone test.
To accurately diagnose a testosterone deficiency, the doctor will perform a physical examination and review the patient’s symptoms. Furthermore, the doctor may request additional tests to look for other signs. For example, the doctor may perform a bone density test to look for decreased bone mass, which is a symptom of low testosterone.
- It can be difficult to tell how effective testosterone boosters are. Moreover, because most people don’t check their testosterone levels, determining how well these supplements work might be difficult.
- The problem is that various factors can affect testosterone levels, including stress and exercise. While most companies claim to sell testosterone boosters, the bulk of these products is libido boosters.
- These products boost sex drive and stamina during sexual intercourse, but they can also increase irritability. As a result, most users may assume that the effects of the boosters are already kicking in.
- However, studies show that these libido boosters don’t increase testosterone levels. Because a boost in testosterone levels will increase your libido, most users believe libido enhancers will do the same.
- Essentially, natural testosterone boosters should contain herbs, libido enhancers, aphrodisiacs, zinc, aspartic acid, magnesium, and other ingredients. Furthermore, these ingredients have been clinically proven to boost your testosterone levels.
- Plus, most testosterone boosters may help increase your testosterone level by 20 to 50%. Nonetheless, note that these products won’t provide results overnight.
Boosting your testosterone levels helps improve mood, libido, bone density, heart health, and other body functions. Also, these boosters can help you maintain optimal hormone levels when combined with a balanced diet and a healthy diet.
Lastly, men should be aware that using testosterone boosters can cause potential side effects in the long run. These boosters may cause prostate enlargement, hypertension, acne, and other conditions. As a result, it’s best to consult your doctor before using these boosters.