Day by day we are getting older. It is unpleasant to understand that testosterone level isn't always the same throughout the whole life. After the age of 25, its stores are being reduced what leads to harder muscle gains and other body goals.
There are a lot of kinds of hacks that will give you a new splash of men's hormone-like steroids, testosterone therapy or other pills. Unlike Hormone replacement therapy supplements promising to boost your T-levels are of doubtful reputation. That is, it's hard to find people embarked using these pills. But do these supplements actually work?
What is it?
Testosterone boosters is a kind of sports nutrition and supplements that are used to stimulate muscle growth, increase strength and libido, as well as prevent male menopause and correct the level of sex hormones. The effect of testosterone boosters is due to their ability to increase the production of natural testosterone. Most often, T-boosters are available in the form of sports nutrition or dietary supplements, which can be freely purchased without a prescription in sports nutrition stores and pharmacies.
The boosters usually include: natural and herbal ingredients, 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) are already recognized as completely ineffective, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reports. Although they continue to be sold and used in bodybuilding.
Who are testosterone boosters for?
Testosterone boosters are usually used by men who seek to increase lean muscle mass. These supplements are not recommended for use under the age of 20 years, and according to some sources even 23. This is due to the fact that the young body 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 system of hormonal metabolism. In addition, young people have naturally elevated 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 due to their age. In this case, their use not only favorably affects muscle growth but also enhances potency and libido.
In addition, testosterone boosters are great for PCT. After a cycle of steroid hormones or prohormones, it is advisable to drink four weeks of Tribulus terrestis based booster. Booster allows you to level the side effects associated with the abolition of steroid hormones and maintain testosterone levels, thereby preventing muscle breakdown or the so-called "rollback" phenomenon.
Remember that boosters act only at the time of their reception, and after the cancellation, all effects disappear. A decrease in muscle mass is possible, although not as pronounced as with the use of anabolic steroids.
Testosterone boosters components
Many anabolic complexes and boosters contain more than a dozen components, but most of the ingredients do not affect testosterone levels. Their presence can only be explained as an advertising move. Below is a brief description of the most common ones:
- Aromatase Inhibitors. Highly effective and safe class of drugs. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, one tablet of Letrozole (2.5 mg) can increase testosterone levels by about 50% over the course of a month if taken in portions (0.02 mg). Higher dosages lead to a significant increase in efficiency. Besides, estrogen levels are reduced.
- Tamoxifen. It has been proven that Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) when used for 10 days, 20 mg per day increases the concentration of testosterone in serum by 142% of the initial level. (Hormonal effects of an antiestrogen, Tamoxifen, in normal and oligospermic men. Vermeulen, Comhaire.)
- Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol). A study "Association between plasma 25-OH vitamin D and testosterone levels in men" has found a positive correlation between the level of vitamin D and testosterone. However, as usual, further scientific investigation is required.
- 6-OXO. A new synthetic substance that can prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, thereby increasing the concentration of the first. There are no studies confirming the effect of 4-androstene-3,6,17-trione on muscle growth.
- D-aspartic acid. Aspartic amino acid D-isomer, which naturally interacts with certain parts of the pituitary gland, increasing testosterone secretion. Efficiency is questionable.
- Forskolin. The substance obtained from the plant Coleus forskohlii, very often included in the composition of boosters. It has poorly proven efficacy. Lack of evidence (not counting several small studies, the results of which contradict each other). The lack of positive feedback from athletes who took the supplement. The obvious exaggeration of the properties of forskolin in the descriptions of the remedy: 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. Perhaps the additive has a moderate positive impact on body composition. Maybe it will increase the effect of other means if you take them in combination. However, there is no reliable clinical evidence for the effectiveness of forskolin.
- Agmatine. A relatively new booster of nitric oxide, which among other things is capable of stimulating the secretion of its own gonadotropin and gonadoliberin. Agmatine sulfate is an imidazoline receptor agonist. It has a nootropic effect.
- Tribulus terrestris. The most popular component of testosterone boosters has the most solid evidence base. Despite the fact that Tribulus was classified as a drug and is not eligible for free sale in sports nutrition stores (only pharmacies can sell drugs), there are stores continuing to sell it.
- ZMA. Quite a popular complex, recognized as completely ineffective. There are practically no side effects.
- Fenugreek of hay (Trigonella). Herbal extract with the active substance trigonelline. It has anti-aromatase activity, but in human studies, it did not affect the level of androgens and sports results.
- Maca Peruvian. The extract is used as an aphrodisiac. Doesn't have effects on the level of sex hormones and anabolism.
- Boron. Simply ineffective (Environ Health Perspect 1994).
Abuse of any means that affect the level of testosterone is fraught with dangerous complications. Prolonged use of testosterone boosters leads to a decrease in the body's ability to produce a sufficient amount of testosterone on its own, as it becomes accustomed to the constant intake of the supplement. Thus, giving up taking them can lead to reducing of the sex hormones produced, which will cause a significant loss of muscle mass, depression, impotence, and other problems.
During the reception, the following side effects are infrequent: aggression and irritability, acne, fluctuations in blood pressure. Extremely rare: hair loss, gynecomastia, feminization, reduced testosterone secretion, testicular atrophy.
If you take the supplement in prescribed doses (1 to 3 times a day immediately after meals) and for an acceptable period of time (the average cycle time is 4 weeks. It is recommended to combine with physical activity), then the side effects are almost never encountered, however, there is no significant effect on the increase in muscle mass.
Do not take testosterone boosters for heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney failure. If any side effects occur, stop taking the supplement. Almost all side effects are entirely reversible after cancellation.
Pros of combination
For a good effect, testosterone boosters should be combined with the correct high-calorie diet, systematic strength training and additional sports nutrition. Talking about the combination with other supplements, good potentiating action and optimal compatibility with testosterone boosters have:
- Protein - to strengthen muscle growth, you need 2-3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
- Creatine - 3-5 g taken orally 1 time per day.
- Vitamin and mineral complex - effective muscle growth requires a sufficient supply of vitamins and other essential substances.
This is the minimum list of sports supplements, which are shown to be combined with boosters, in addition, you can simultaneously use BCAA, amino acid complexes, reducing agents, adaptogens and other additives.
It is not recommended to use testosterone boosters with prohormones, steroid hormones. You should not combine 2 boosters at the same time.