What Do Testosterone Boosters Do? (Benefits & Side Effects)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 23, 2024
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Someone might have told you to take testosterone boosters if you suffer from low testosterone.

But it might not be clear how they can help you. Also, you might be unsure whether they’ll eliminate the side effects of low T.

I spent hours researching studies and science-backed sources to help you find the answer, and it turns out that boosters can do much more than just increase testosterone levels.

Discover the most important findings below.

Quick Summary

  • Testosterone boosters naturally increase testosterone levels by boosting the body with the required minerals and vitamins for testosterone production.
  • Some benefits attributed to testosterone boosters are improved libido, sperm quality, increased facial hair, and increased muscle mass.
  • Studies published on the National Institutes of Health website found that ginseng can help preserve sperm, increase libido, boost sperm production and quality, and treat erectile dysfunction.
  • Drawing from my experience, I've found that testosterone boosters, when used correctly, can significantly contribute to achieving fitness and health goals.

What Do Testosterone Boosters Do?

syringe and capsules

Testosterone boosters increase testosterone levels naturally, i.e., by equipping your body with the essential vitamins and minerals for testosterone production.

As opposed to testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), boosters don’t contain testosterone.

What’s more, TRT can only be prescribed to you by a doctor, while boosters can be bought without a prescription.

In this article, we’ll focus only on testosterone boosters.

Besides boosting your testosterone, research by the International Journal of Health Sciences shows that boosters will also increase a lot of other health indicators [1].

Namely the following:

  • Libido (sex drive)
  • Sperm production
  • Sperm quality
  • Muscle mass
  • Facial hair growth

Boosters are recommended for those who suffer from low testosterone, as low testosterone may decrease the quality of sex life and cause hair loss. They can even lead to male infertility and erectile dysfunction, as reported by WebMD [2].

As I always advise my clients, you should combine boosters with other testosterone-boosting habits and foods for the best results.

For example, you could combine them with strength training and magnesium-rich foods. But I’ll give you even more ideas on what to do and eat to boost your T below.

Common Ingredients In Testosterone Boosting Supplements

asian ginseng and a bowl of fenugreek

Here are some of the most common ingredients found in testosterone supplements:

D-Aspartic Acid: Studies by the National Library of Medicine have shown that this amino acid can enhance testosterone levels in male animals [3].

However, human studies produced inconsistent results. More clinical trials are needed to conclude whether or not D-aspartic acid can boost low T. Still, you might want to give it a go.

Fenugreek: Fenugreek is an herb that might stimulate testosterone production. For example, one study published by the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that taking 500 mg of fenugreek supplement over 12 weeks boosted testosterone levels by 44% [4]. That’s an incredible finding.

However, I should note that some studies by the International Journal of Exercise Science found fenugreek ineffective in raising low testosterone [5]. So, set your expectations accordingly.

Asian Ginseng: Ginseng has been traditionally used in China and the Far East to improve sexual function in males, and science seems to confirm its positive effects on low testosterone. For example, one study found that ginseng intake skyrocketed testosterone levels in young women [6].

Other studies published by the National Institutes of Health found that ginseng can help preserve sperm, increase libido, boost sperm production and quality, and treat erectile dysfunction [7]. However, these were conducted on animals and may not apply to humans.

The most effective boosters will contain these ingredients, along with zinc and vitamin D.

It's noteworthy that beyond these common ingredients, emerging research suggests the potential of lesser-known substances like Eurycoma Longifolia and Ashwagandha, which have shown promising results in preliminary studies for boosting testosterone levels and improving overall hormonal balance.

Potential Health Risks And Side Effects

Some common side effects of testosterone boosters that some of my clients have reported include:

  • Skin problems (e.g., acne)
  • Hair loss
  • Prostate issues
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased kidney and liver function

Testosterone boosters are generally safe when taken as directed.

As a health and performance coach, I advise considering their regulatory and quality control aspects.

Opt for FDA-approved supplements to ensure safety and effectiveness. Be wary of products with undisclosed ingredients or doses; a lack of transparency is often a red flag.

Always check labels for ingredient clarity, and avoid those with harmful additives.

Other Ways to Boost Testosterone

man working out and stack of eggs

If you have only slightly lowered T, you may try to boost it without using supplements. For a more severe deficiency, I suggest combining these habits and foods with boosters.

Here’s what you should try to increase your T in the most natural way possible

  • Regular exercise: Studies show that men who exercise have higher T levels. Specific forms of training, such as resistance training and HIIT, seem to be especially effective in boosting low T.
  • Testosterone-boosting foods: Egg yolks, fish, red meat, beans, and legumes are just some of the foods that have been linked with increased testosterone production.
  • Testosterone-boosting music: Some studies have linked testosterone levels with musical preferences. For example, men with higher T prefer rock and heavy metal music. But it seems that the right music can also boost our T levels. It increases dopamine and decreases cortisol, a stress hormone that kills testosterone.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency may cause low T. So, try to get out in the sun more, eat more foods rich in it, or consider taking a vitamin D multivitamin supplement.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5870326/ 
  2. https://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/erectile-dysfunction 
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28280794/ 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5278660/ 
  5. https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss1/13/ 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352699/ 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3861174/ 
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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