If you have been working out for a number of years, and are probably in your late twenties, thirties or beyond, you’ve probably noticed that you don’t get quite the bang for your buck that you used to.
Is this a result of your subpar workout routine and diet? It could be. But if you’re sure that you’ve checked all the boxes and doing what you should, then there’s a good chance that your testosterone levels have taken a hit.
Is this something that you should lose sleep over? Well yes, and no. Yes in the sense that you should not let your precious muscle building hormone free-fall until things become so bad that you lose the essence of what makes you a man, but no as well, since it is inevitable for every man after the age of 30, and because you can take steps to arrest a sharp decline.
One of the best ways to support your testosterone levels? Using all natural test boosters, such as those we will be discussing now.
A supplement you may have heard making waves in recent months but may not have been aware of, Laxogenin is actually a compound known as a brassinosteroids, a plant based steroid found naturally in foods such as mustard, broccoli and even cabbage.
Now hold on a second. Just because there’s the word “steroid” in something, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. This is especially true in the case of Laxogenin. While it is a steroid, it does not exhibit typical steroid-like effects in humans.
This means that it actually does not alter androgen levels, but rather modifies the rate of protein synthesis and breakdown, known as an anabolic effect[i]. Thus, if muscle gain/preservation is your primary goal for seeking out a “testosterone booster” (which ironically, this is not), Laxogenin is an excellent choice.
It also assists with cortisol modulation, which can contribute to improved testosterone levels. Cortisol and testosterone have a negatively inverse relationship, which means as one goes down, the other goes up.
Adaptogens have been around for centuries, having a history of use in Ayurveda and the Orient, even though their utility has been underrated for years by conventional medicine. Turns out, using adaptogens could be one of the best steps you take to improve natural testosterone levels, and without risking hormonal dysfunction.
Adaptogens, by name and nature, help your body to “adapt” to the stresses placed on it, by reducing cortisol production. Cortisol, while critical to our survival, is often chronically elevated and as a result lead to a slew of pro-inflammatory states.
Good adaptogens include Ashwagandha (KSM-66), which has been studies extensively and has shown to enhance parameters such as spermatogenesis, usually impaired under high-stress conditions. It positively influenced fertility and hormone levels in men deemed as infertile[ii].
Others, such as ginseng, ginkgo, Rhodiola and even turmeric are very helpful in supporting healthy testosterone levels.
One of the most exciting developments over the past decade and a half has undoubtedly been D-Aspartic acid, which is a mainstay of testosterone boosting supplements everywhere thanks to its measurable benefits on serum levels of this hormone.
But it isn’t just hype, as there have been studies done which confirm its potential in improving levels of this precious androgen. One such study published in the Journal of Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology reported average increases of 42% in the majority of men (20 out of 23) that were given D-Aspartic acid, and over the course of just 12 days[iii].
This effect persisted even after the supplement had been discontinued. Yet another study even indicated its great promise in enhancing male fertility, as during the study 27% of participants’ partners got pregnant![iv]
It is, however, important to note that men who reap the greatest benefit from D-Aspartic Acid supplementation have lower testosterone levels, so it may not be the best choice for younger mean with peak natural hormone production.
Not some fancy exotic supplement, but rather one that is essential to your health and overall progress when it comes to athletic success. ZMA- zinc monomethionine/asparate with magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6, is a specially bonded compound known as a chelate, which can help with optimizing your natural testosterone levels.
Besides supplying two of the most common minerals endless men are deficient in (you lose zinc from sweating and every time you ejaculate, for example), there is ample evidence that ZMA possesses anabolic properties that are favourable to accrual of lean mass.
A study published by the Journal of Exercise Physiology revealed that athletes who supplemented with ZMA experienced an average 30% increase in testosterone levels, as well as 5% in IGF-1 levels, while a placebo group experienced decreases in both[v].
Couple that with the fact that ZMA can contribute to improved sleep, (and likely increase in HGH as well), and you can see just how useful it can be to any training regimen.
One of the earliest, and most well-known testosterone boosting supplements on the planet, tribulus is called many things, including devil’s weed and puncture vine. It actually grows wild in many parts of the world, and even though you could probably get some in your backyard, it is important to realize that not all tribulus is the same.
Rather, you should be looking for high quality tribulus grown in Bulgaria or adjacent locations, containing at a minimum 6% protodioscin content and supplying more than 45% saponins. Why? Because tribulus appears to have a dose specific action.
If you under dose (as many people do), you will probably fail to see any change and simply shrug it off as useless. However, its ability to increase testosterone levels and also display pro-erectile properties is undisputed, thanks to its ability to influence luteinizing hormone levels.
Better known as LH, this hormone in turn dictates testosterone synthesis, which frequently show acute increases in the days following administration[vi].
Tribulus’ action does not appear to be universal, again, but rather most beneficial in men who are older or have lower androgen levels to begin with. Younger men with the highest natural levels are unlikely to experience the same magnitude of effect.
Testosterone decline in an inevitable part of growing older, but one that does not necessarily need to take the vitality out of you. Start at your bases; ensure you supplement with ZMA, and then add Laxogenin, tribulus and adaptogens to the mix as jet fuel.
D-Aspartic Acid is also extremely promising for helping you bust out of a rut, and proves that age isn’t nothing but a number.
[i] Esposito D, Komarnytsky S, Shapses S, Raskin I. Anabolic effect of plant brassinosteroid. FASEB J. 2011;25(10):3708–3719. doi:10.1096/fj.11-181271
[ii] Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males.Ahmad, Mohammad Kaleem et al.Fertility and Sterility, Volume 94, Issue 3, 989 - 996
[iii] Topo E, Soricelli A, D'Aniello A, Ronsini S, D'Aniello G. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009;7:120. Published 2009 Oct 27. doi:10.1186/1477-7827-7-120
[iv] G. D’Aniello, S. Ronsini, T. Notari, N. Grieco, V. Infante, N. D’Angel, F. Mascia, M. Fiore, G. Fisher and A. D’Aniello, "D-Aspartate, a Key Element for the Improvement of Sperm Quality," Advances in Sexual Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 45-53. doi: 10.4236/asm.2012.24008.
[v] L.R. BRILLA AND VICTOR CONTE. Effects of a Novel Zinc-Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength. JEPonline, 3(4): 26-36, 2000
[vi] Mohamed Farid Roaiah, Yasser Ibrahim El Khayat, Sameh Fayek GamalEl Din & Mohamed Ahmed Abd El Salam (2016) Pilot Study on the Effect of Botanical Medicine (Tribulus terrestris) on Serum Testosterone Level and Erectile Function in Aging Males With Partial Androgen Deficiency (PADAM), Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 42:4, 297-301, DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2015.1033579