In recent years, “testosterone boosting” supplements/formulas have become highly popular in the supplement sector. Everyone, boy or man, seemed to desire to “increase” their amounts of the hormone that turns males into men. Don’t get me wrong: I love this hormone, as seen by my other essays on the subject, which can be found across this website. Maintaining adequate levels of this important hormone can be beneficial to both men and women. For more info go to link.
However, the purpose of this article is to explore the different over-the-counter (OTC) products/formulas that claim to enhance the hormone. Because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of products/formulas on the market today all claiming to “increase” this crucial hormone, I’ll be speaking in broad terms about these products rather than focusing on a single ingredient or formula.
A few substances in these formulations have been demonstrated to have a little effect on T levels, based on dubious “research” at best, with the majority of them having no study or studies that indicated they had no effect on T levels. To summarise this supplement category,
T booster supplements typically contain ingredients that: • have no data behind them – or – • have very poor quality data and/or are taken out of context/not applicable – or – the doses used in the formula are far below what a study used to get the effect – or –
Obviously, the foregoing can (and does!) apply to a wide range of products/formulas in the sports nutrition sector, but I believe “T boosters” are worse in this regard than other categories. So, let’s give a T booster product the benefit of the doubt and assume it has some T-boosting properties. This raises a few significant points to think about.
Concepts of Physiological Thresholds
Here’s a mental experiment to try: Will your testosterone levels go up significantly for a short time if you take a modest dose of testosterone, like 25mg per week of T- propionate•? Yes. Will your muscle mass and/or strength increase as a result of your workout? Nope. Anyone who has ever used T – or even knows the first thing about the subject – is aware that there is a threshold dose at which changes in body composition and/or strength occur.
The point is that it’s one thing to show that formula/ingredient X has had a small impact on serum testosterone (which most haven’t…), but it’s quite another to show that change has had any effect on body composition or other end points that people who use such products care about, such as strength and muscle mass gains.
As with every hormone, a physiological threshold must be reached before it has any effect on muscle mass, strength, or other factors. Anyone who has used T in the form of cypionate or enanthate (two long-acting esters of T) knows that body composition changes begin at around 200mg per week, with more being the norm. The above compares HRT/TRT therapy for people who are medically low in testosterone vs. HRT/TRT therapy for those who are medically low in T.