I am pushing 40 and recently I began to feel sluggish in the afternoons at work. I was downing coffee late in the day, only to get weird glares by the others in the office. They’d say: “Coffee? Right now?” I’d lie and say I’ve got a tough workout to go to after work, when I knew I would be hitting the couch like a ton of bricks when I got home. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, until I heard someone mention Low T or, low testosterone. I thought, that’s it! I probably didn’t have normal male testosterone levels.
I am no stranger to the over-the-counter stuff, which has some products that have boosted my testosterone levels back when I probably didn’t need it so much. At the time, it was great. But now it was looking like I might actually need something, so I went to my doc and had the test done. I did, in fact, have Low T. While the healthy range is wide, like 300 to 1100, I fell just below 300. It was clear my fatigue was related.
So, I was put on a regimen of 100mg shots twice a month and continue to follow that pace. Within a couple of weeks, I felt amazing. Things have tapered off now but I still feel 10 years younger. For those who are looking to get TRT injections, like I do, I recommend going to your family practitioner, who knows your health history and you, rather than some anti aging place where they may be less inclined to really dive into your health history.
The thing is, what may be low for some men could be just right for another, which is why you should never solely base you decision on getting TRT on your blood test levels. The focus should be on your symptoms, like low libido, low energy levels, trouble sleeping or staying asleep, lack of emotional well-being and reduced sexual function. If you feel you have any of these symptoms it might be worth checking out.
But, what about guys like me who are in their late 30s early 40s and just want a pick-me up? Or, increased libido? If this is the case, I have a few recommendations that helped me during my lowest times.
Natural is Always Best
While there are thousands of products that claim to be natural, most are not natural for your body to intake at such high levels. That’s why I always recommend seeking out natural vitamins and minerals through healthy food choices and vitamin supplements. If you’d like something more dramatic, stick around because I will get to those questionable products later.
Producing testosterone requires several nutrients that work together to boost levels, including vitamin D3 and zinc. Since zinc is naturally present in many foods, you won’t need to make drastic changes to your diet to ensure you’re getting enough of the nutrient. Foods high in zinc include shellfish, many fruits and vegetables, and meats like pork, beef, lamb, chicken and turkey.
I found out recently that my vitamin D levels were low, so I was put on a prescription of vitamin D, which included 50,000 units taken once per week. Within the first two weeks, my energy levels skyrocketed. Keep in mind, this was around the same time I started testosterone therapy so my results could have been skewed. Once my levels of D were leveled off, I switched to an over-the-counter vitamin D3 supplement, which seems to be keeping my energy levels stable.
But, not everyone needs to take pills to maintain healthy levels, because vitamin D comes naturally when we are exposed to sunlight. While you shouldn’t be out in the sun all day unprotected, you should spend some time each day getting natural sunlight in addition to adding vitamin D-rich foods to your diet. This includes fatty fish and fortified food products, including some dairy foods, orange juice, soy milk and cereals.
However, none of this matters if your stress levels are high. Stress releases a hormone called cortisol that reduces the effects of testosterone in your body. It’s a testosterone killer. Thankfully, there are many ways to reduce stress, including adding a regular exercise routine into your schedule, practicing meditation, engaging in a hobby or activity, and spending time outdoors.
Sometimes, however, all of this may not be enough. You may have great stress levels, you’re eating healthy and taking a regular vitamin regimen, but you still need a lift. Perhaps you’re in your 40s or 50s and you’re simply experiencing the natural effects of aging. There are some products that can raise your testosterone levels. I know this, because I’ve taken many of them. However, because many of the ingredients in these testosterone boosters have not been evaluated by the FDA, there could be some unwanted side-effects when combined with other ingredients. Personally, I’ve never experienced any but that doesn’t mean you won’t. Everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to the same products.
With that in miind, here are a few products that can give you that edge you’re looking for:
One of the key ingredients in testosterone boosters is tribulus, which on its own has been shown clinically to boost libido and sperm production, among other things. Cellucor’s P6 features this ingredient, plus a variety of other ingredients that not only heighten the tribulus’ effect but have been shown to help with cognition, lower stress levels, increase exercise performance and dopamine levels, and provide antioxidants. These ingredients include ovine placenta powder, stinging nettle root, saw palmetto fruit, clary sage, myrica rubra bark, wild yam, ashwagandha, and agaricus bisporus.
Of course, there are some side effect, all of which I did not experience myself, but I wouldn’t be doing our readers a service if I didn’t mention them. They include aggression, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, jitters and upset stomach. With all that aside, I do recommend this product and would put it on the top of my list of over-the-counter testosterone boosters.
If you like P6, you might also want to try P6 Extreme, P6 Black and many other Cellucor products.
I’ve never taken DAA Max by Vital Labs myself but I have a friend who swears up and down that it’s the best the thing to happen to him, his sex life and his workouts.
Curious, I did some research and found very favorable reviews. As with any supplement, some people are going to respond well and others not so much. But what you can’t deny is the ingredients that are used to create this product. Like P6, DAA Max has been an industry favorite among bodybuilders for years, with results as early as 12 days after taking the first pill.
If you’re looking for a product that covers all the bases, including potency, libido, positive feedback and value, then you can’t go wrong with DAA Max.
For those who are on the fence, just know that Men’s Journal listed this product as its number 1 testosterone booster in the market for 2017.
If you’re looking for pure potency, then Sergeant Steel by Assault Labs is the best option for you. It’s the strongest testosterone booster on the market and it features 16 ingredients that support testosterone increases and estrogen reduction. It’s actually pretty rare to find a product with so much packed into it, but Assault Labs held nothing back with the release of this great product. In addition to increased libido, customers have experienced improvements in strength, a sense of well being, faster recovery and hardened muscles.
While this is the ultimate testosterone booster, I must warn you to proceed with caution. High potency can tax your system, so it’s wise to take a break in-between each cycle.
If you’re a little cautious when it comes to what you put in your body, and want to stay away from these products that have a laundry list of ingredients, I completely understand, which is why I am also going to breakdown the key ingredients in some of these products and show you where you can get them individually. This will not only allow you to take it slow and see what works for your body, but also discover which ingredients you respond well to.
Tribulus is a flowering plant that has been long known to improve testosterone levels, which is why it is the staple ingredient in just about every testosterone booster. When shopping for this herb, make sure you double check the nutrition label to ensure there are no other active ingredients. I personally recommend Nutri Cost’s non-GMO, gluten-free tribulus powder. For one, you are better purchasing this herb in its natural powder form because it will have better absorption. And, Nutri Cost is a known commodity, so you know you are getting what you pay for.
Fenugreek is another great supplement for increasing testosterone. Research suggests it works by reducing the enzymes that turn testosterone into estrogen. A study of 30 participants, who weight trained for a specific period, found that those whom were given 500 mg of fenugreek per day, saw substantial increase in free and total testosterone levels. They also saw a greater increase in fat loss and strength.
An additional study also found that fenugreek improves overall quality of life and sexual function. Not bad for a little seed.
This supplement is a natural amino acid that also boosts low T-levels by increasing follicle-stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormone, which makes the testicles actually produce more testosterone.
Lots of research has been done on D-Aspartic Acid, including one study that found it to increase testosterone production in animals in just 12 days. It has also been known to aid in sperm count quality and production. A recent 90-day study of men with impaired sperm production, showed that the average man doubled his sperm count.
There are plenty of other studies that corroborate the ones I mentioned, so I encourage everyone to read up and get the whole story. In the meantime, please leave any comments in the field below. I’d love to hear your favorite testosterone boosting product.