As a personal trainer and fitness coach, I always ask my male clients to pay close attention to their testosterone levels. In many cases, it's this sex hormone that could be creating a barrier to achieving fitness and weight loss goals.
And while there are several natural ways that men can boost testosterone production, one question I often get from clients is whether they should focus on taking D-aspartic acid supplements.
To help answer this question, I teamed up with a dietitian to find out what the effects of D-aspartic acid are.
Here's what I found.
Summary Of Key Findings
- D-aspartic acid is a common ingredient in natural testosterone boosters, and there are scientific studies that link it to releasing hormones.
- It may have a limited impact on male testosterone, but studies have shown mixed results pointing to the need for blends with other ingredients.
- D-aspartic acid supplements also don't directly influence strength, giving them a more limited role as a performance booster.
Does D-Aspartic Acid Increase Or Decrease Testosterone?
D-aspartic acid is an amino acid that your body uses in several different areas. Pretty much all amino acids play a role in muscle function and developing muscle mass, but on its own, D-aspartic acid won't make a huge difference on muscles .
Before I get to the interesting benefits, let me show you the two types of this amino acid.
Two Forms Of Aspartic Acid
Dietitians refer to L- and D-aspartic acid. And while they have the same chemical formula, they have a different molecular structure or shape. As a result, the body uses them in different ways.
The body uses L-aspartic acid to create more complex proteins for muscle , while D-aspartic acid may play a role in hormonal balances.
When it comes to producing testosterone, some studies have shown a link between the body's ability to send signals to the pituitary gland and testicles to produce more testosterone .
However, other studies have found limited results from using it as a standalone product .
The advice my dietitian gave me is that middle-aged men shouldn't rely on it alone and rather aim to take a more comprehensive supplement with other minerals, vitamins, and herbs.
“Low testosterone can indicate androgen deficiency if it is accompanied by low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis or fracture, and two or more of the following: sleep disturbance, depressed mood, lethargy, or diminished physical performance.”
- Madeline Vann, Writer at ABCNews.com
Related: Does Pre-Workout Boost Testosterone?
Does D-Aspartic Acid Improve Exercise Performance?
One of the effects of D-aspartic acid supplements that some companies highlight is that they may provide added muscle strength for a workout session. I've seen this on a few pre-workout supplements, but you always have to be careful with such claims.
There have been several studies on D-aspartic acid, but the most in-depth one using randomized test groups (including a placebo group) found that there was no measurable increase in performance .
My own experience has also been that those pre-workouts with D-aspartic acid don't necessarily work better than those without D-aspartic acid.
So, I wouldn't take it as a way to directly improve muscle mass.
How Long Should You Take D-Aspartic Acid?
Even healthy men over 30 should consider taking testosterone boosting supplements on an ongoing basis.
Because middle-aged men will see a gradual reduction, this approach could help to avoid low testosterone and ultimately result in better weight management and muscle building .
But if you don't want to keep boosting testosterone with the same high dose on a constant basis for safety concerns, then I would suggest that you take a slightly different approach.
Let's say you plan on taking it to increase testosterone production.
Go for in-depth blood testing before you start with the dietary supplements, and then take the same dose for three months.
Then measure if you've managed to increase testosterone and adjust your dosage. By monitoring the T-levels over time, you can take lower or higher doses or even stop for a while altogether.
How Much D-Aspartic Acid Should You Take?
My dietitian said that there is no generally recommended dose to maximize the effects of D-aspartic acid.
So, what we did was look at the most popular T-boosters, pre-workouts, and other products that focus on muscle mass and strength to check how many grams of D-aspartic acid they recommend.
What we found is that a dose of between 2 and 3 grams per day is generally deemed safe for both old and young men.
However, I should mention again that we have seen mixed results, and we wouldn't recommend relying on this alone.
Is D-Aspartic Acid Bad For You?
No, D-aspartic acid isn't bad for you, and your body actually needs to produce it for all sorts of body functions, including to boost testosterone levels.
Because D-aspartic acid is an amino acid that your body needs to build proteins and as building blocks for hormones, there are generally no safety concerns.
The main potential side effects are limited to stomach upset from taking higher doses than recommended.
There is limited research on how much D or L-aspartic acid is bad for you, so generally, stick with what is on the supplement label.
Is D-Aspartic Acid Banned for Athletes?
No D-aspartic acid is not banned for athletes as it naturally boosts T-levels. Drug tests in sport check for medical testosterone substances rather than the type your body produces naturally.
Can You Take Creatine with D-Aspartic Acid?
Yes, you can take creatine with D-aspartic acid. This may be a better option for the benefits of improved muscle function and exercise performance.
Should You Rely On D-Aspartic Acid For A Testosterone Boost?
Overall, the effects of D-aspartic acid from the studies mentioned above have shown mixed results.
It seems like it works better when combined with other ingredients, and I wouldn't rely on it for better athletic performance.
We do recommend a few testosterone boosters that include this ingredient, along with ginseng, Fenugreek, and zinc.
It’s a much more effective combination for achieving higher T-levels, and you should take a look at those before making a final decision.
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