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Should Teens Take Testosterone Boosters? (4 Side Effects)

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 22, 2023
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During my eight-year career as a personal trainer, I’ve seen many teens taking testosterone supplements.

They’re mesmerized with the possibility of building their muscles and improving athletic performance with little to no effort.

It’s true that boosters can decrease body fat and increase muscle mass. But they can also have many adverse effects on teenagers.

Here are the most important side effects of using testosterone supplements during puberty.

Quick Summary

  • Teens taking testosterone boosters might result in stunted growth, acne, enlarged male breast tissues, and increased sexual desire.
  • Teenagers who take testosterone boosters might suffer similar effects as those of steroids.
  • Workouts and a healthy diet are the only recommended ways teens should consider boosting their testosterone levels.

The Side Effects Of Testosterone Boosters In Teenagers

chest view of a shirtless man and a close up image of a man's acne

During our teen years, we tend to care a lot about what others think. So, it’s not surprising that we’re constantly trying to improve our looks at this age.

Today, some teenagers resort to taking test boosters in an effort to improve their body composure—mainly, to lose weight and grow muscle mass. Boosters can indeed help with this because testosterone promotes tissue growth [1].

And a skeletal muscle is, essentially, a tissue.

Since boosters also increase energy levels, they can help teenagers reach peak performance in the gym.

And showing off in front of their gym buddies may be the number one benefit they’re looking for.

But testosterone boosters can cause many side effects in teenagers who don’t have lower testosterone levels. That’s because testosterone production increases during puberty.

So, taking a testosterone booster during the teenage years could result in overproduction of the male hormone and lead to dangerous side effects - the most important ones will be listed below.

Keep in mind that testosterone supplements also have some other side effects that we won’t mention here, as they aren’t restricted to teenagers.

In general, test boosters increase the risk of liver damage, prostate cancer, dehydration, and several other health issues [2].

Post you may like: Is Pre-Workout Bad for Teens?

1. Stunted Growth

man using tape measure for his height

Natural testosterone is involved in growth. So, it makes sense to assume that the testosterone booster would only make a person taller.

But the opposite is often true. If a teen doesn’t suffer from lower testosterone levels, boosters will only halt his bone growth.

They’ll overload healthy males with hormones and accelerate puberty. Since there won’t be enough time for the skeleton to develop, it will end up being shorter than it would naturally be.

2. Acne Outbreaks

Excessive testosterone production can further lead to an overproduction of an oily substance called sebum. Sebum often triggers acne, which many teenagers already struggle with.

What’s more, acne outbreaks caused by unnecessary usage of testosterone pills may continue to occur even in adulthood. So, teens taking testosterone boosters are risking permanently damaging their skin.

3. Increased Sexual Desire

opened banana and cream on top

Sexual desire depends on testosterone production and testosterone levels. Low testosterone causes low libido, while high testosterone increases it, which is true for both males and females.

We know that teenagers naturally experience an increase in sexual desire because their body produces more sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone).

So, taking testosterone boosters may result in an excessive sex drive due to higher testosterone levels.

On top of that, testosterone boosters that work by blocking estrogen may simultaneously increase sexual desire and decrease sexual performance.

4. Enlarged Male Breast Tissue

Excessive testosterone can even convert to estrogen. This can cause female attributes, like breast tissue, to occur in males:

"The reason you see symptoms like shrunken testicles and breast enlargement is because a lot of excess testosterone is converted to the female hormone estrogen."

- Andjela Drincic, MD, Endocrinologist & Associate Professor

So, while the main benefit teenagers are hoping for is improved body composition, boosters may have the opposite effect. They may increase breast size, and mammary glands and even cause lactation.

For many teenage boys, these consequences stemming from the sex hormones would be a nightmare.

shirtless man holding up a supplement

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) doesn’t recommend T boosters in either young or late teens. That’s because boosters involve health risks that teenagers can’t fully understand.

However, many still take them, hoping that the testosterone boosters will result in an increased muscle mass and reduced weight.

What’s more, the research found that many supplement stores are more than happy to sell boosters to teenagers [3]. As many as 41.4% of sales representatives said that 15-year-olds could buy boosters.

Since they’re so widely available to teenagers, it’s crucial that parents keep an eye on their children. They should teach them what a supplement can do to their body and how they can improve their muscle mass with proper nutrition and exercise.

Also read: 8 Best Testosterone Boosters On The Market


Does Testosterone Make You Taller?

Natural testosterone does make you taller. But T boosters may have the opposite effect if you’re taking them during your teen years without having low testosterone levels.

Our Final Thoughts

The boosters have something in common with steroids: some similar benefits, like increased muscle mass and decreased body fat. And they can also cause some similar side effects.

While most people know that steroids aren’t healthy, they’re usually not aware that testosterone supplementation can do almost identical damage to a young person’s body.

Instead of trying to lose weight and build muscles with boosters, teenagers should take a healthier route.

Proper nutrition and regular workouts are good starting points. Make your teen an exercise schedule and a meal plan. Stick to them for a month, and we guarantee you’ll be surprised by the results.


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