If you’re looking for testosterone boosters, you won’t have to look very hard. Testosterone boosters are second only to weight loss supplements in popularity, and for good reason. Testosterone is the most important hormone in a man’s body because it regulates every aspect of male health, appearance, and sexual performance.
It’s best to increase testosterone levels naturally if possible. Testosterone replacement therapy is very effective, but most doctors would prefer to use it only as a last resort. That’s because the synthetic hormones used in replacement therapy can have side effects that naturally produced testosterone don’t, and also because once you begin replacement therapy, your natural production of testosterone can plunge. That will make it impossible to stop treatments without losing almost all the testosterone in your system. By encouraging your body to produce more testosterone, supplements can improve your health, fitness levels, and sexual performance naturally.
There are thousands of testosterone boosting supplements on the market, but many of them contain a lot of the same ingredients. We took a look at some of the products and what ingredients they contained. Here’s a list of the most common testosterone boosting supplement ingredients we found:
It’s hard to make a precise measurement, but tribulus terrestris is likely the most popular testosterone booster on the market. It’s a traditional treatment in Southeast Asia for lack of sex drive. Tribulus goes by many names, and you might see it advertised as devil thorn, goat weed, cat’s head, horny goat weed, or many other similar names. It’s a vine with sharp thorns and small, yellow flowers. Tribulus grows in many places around the world, and some supplements claim that different strains of the plant have different effects, although it appears from research that it mostly affects the relative strength of the active ingredients per pound of plant material.
Tribulus has been shown to improve sexual drive, but the exact way it works isn’t clear. It thins the blood and decreases inflammation, and it helps with cardiovascular health overall. For the most part, it seems to improve the effect of the testosterone you already have as much as it increases testosterone production.
Long jack is another one of those supplement ingredients that you might find listed under dozens of different names. The Latin name of the plant itself is eurycoma longfolia, but you will commonly see it on labels as Tongkat ali, Malaysian ginseng, or any one of a number of similar names. The compound comes from a common plant from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Laos. It has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia to fight malaria, and it’s famous as an aphrodisiac as well.
Long Jack has been shown in studies to increase testosterone naturally in the body. It also has been shown to help increase muscle mass, improve the size and frequency of erections, and to improve the amount and quality of sperm. Studies disagree on exactly how much long jack it takes to produce these effects, and how long they last. The best evidence is that long jack supplements work best when cycled on and off, otherwise the body becomes accustomed to it and it loses its effectiveness.
Nettle root is one of the few ingredients you’ll find in testosterone boosting supplements that aren’t listed under dozens of names. Stinging nettle is found all over the world in one form or another, and some cultures use the part of the plant that is above ground for treatments for things like internal bleeding, bad circulation, wound healing, and as a general health tonic. Testosterone boosting supplements use the root of the plant. It is historically known to improve urination problems and other problems due to an enlarged prostate.
The real reason nettle root is included in so many supplements is less that it helps you produce more testosterone, and more that it increases the amount of “free” testosterone in your bloodstream. Testosterone has a tendency to bind itself to a molecule called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and that renders it useless. By breaking the bond between SHBG and your own testosterone, nettle can increase the amount of free testosterone in your body without increasing your testosterone production.
You may have already heard of using D-Aspartic Acid as an aphrodisiac, but by another name. Aspartic acid is the amino acid in oyster meat that has given it a reputation for increasing sex drive. D-Aspartic acid stimulates the brain to send signals to the gonads to release additional hormones, including testosterone. Like long jack, its demonstrated effects can be lost over time if you take it continuously, so most supplements that contain it direct the user to cycle its use on and off for the best effect.