What Are Testosterone Boosters and Do They Really Work?
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Are you experiencing a receding hairline, a set of love handles, and a sex drive that feels as lackluster as an overripe avocado?
It's possible that these issues are not just a result of natural aging, but could also be caused by diminishing levels of testosterone in your body.
Testosterone is essential for various physical aspects, including muscle growth, bone strength, heart health, memory, and even penis size.
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When your testosterone levels decline, it can have undesirable effects on your overall health.
However, there are ways to address the issue.
Testosterone boosters are available in safe and legal places, such as hormone therapy clinics or your local chemist.
While these boosters are not miracle cures and cannot stop the aging process altogether, they can help keep your testosterone levels elevated and potentially improve your sex drive.
If you're over 30 and experiencing a decline in strength, focus, and energy, don't worry - our expert advice can help you turn things around.
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What Causes Men's Testosterone to Fall?
While testosterone is undoubtedly essential for men, it's important to note that a decline in testosterone levels is a natural process and not necessarily a cause for alarm.
As men age, their T-levels tend to drop by around 1 to 2% annually, according to the NHS. However, these small declines are typically not concerning in and of themselves.
Suppose you're experiencing a more significant decline in testosterone levels that can't be attributed to natural aging.
In that case, it may be worth considering other factors such as lifestyle or mental health issues.
Conditions like stress, depression, and anxiety can all have an impact on testosterone production, leading to symptoms such as erectile dysfunction or a diminished sex drive.
Hypogonadism is another potential cause of low testosterone levels.
This condition can result from injury, or infection, or may be present from birth.
Left unchecked, low testosterone levels can also lead to serious health problems such as weakened bones or osteoporosis.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has even linked low testosterone levels to an increased mortality risk.
If you're experiencing low testosterone symptoms, speaking with a healthcare professional and seeking treatment is essential.
Don't suffer in silence when there are potential solutions available.
How Do I Know If My Testosterone Is Low?
The symptoms of low testosterone levels can differ depending on a person's age.
According to the NHS, common symptoms may include fatigue, lethargy, depression, anxiety, irritability, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, decreased exercise tolerance and strength, excessive sweating and night sweats, poor memory or concentration, and less frequent need to shave.
However, it's important to note that these symptoms may be indicative of other underlying issues, so testosterone supplements or replacement therapy may not necessarily resolve them.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms and are unsure about the cause, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional and get a blood test to check your testosterone levels.
What Is Normal Testosterone by Age?
In the UK, testosterone levels are typically measured in nanomoles per liter (nmol/l) through blood tests.
For men, a normal reading is generally considered to be at least 0.30 nmol/l, with the optimal range being above 0.45 nmol/l.
As men age, their testosterone levels typically decline by around 1% per year starting from the age of 30.
However, many men are still able to maintain normal testosterone levels throughout their lives and may not experience any related symptoms, as Dr. Luke Pratsides, lead GP at Numan, explains.
In some cases, however, a man's testosterone levels may fall below the lower end of the normal range or hover around that threshold.
This can result in symptoms such as reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, subfertility, decreased stamina, muscle atrophy, reduced energy, and a lower mood.
What Are Testosterone Boosters?
Testosterone boosters refer to a variety of supplements that aim to increase testosterone levels.
The options available depend on the severity of the drop.
For mild cases, herbal blends and products like Testosil can be purchased from health stores like Natural Health Source or online.
However, if symptoms are severe, other legal options can be considered, such as DHEA, a precursor steroid hormone that requires a prescription in the UK and should be taken under supervision.
High doses of DHEA can cause mood changes, aggression (or "roid rage"), and other unwanted symptoms associated with excessive testosterone.
Clomifene and HCG are other medications available from specialists.
Do Any Testosterone Boosters Work?
If your testosterone levels are genuinely low and the supplements are legitimate, they can be effective.
According to Dr. Sohere Roked, a GP and hormonal therapy expert at Omniya London, "I have seen them work for people.
I think sometimes people feel that it's not a good thing to do or they're just wasting their time taking them.
Still, I have seen people who combine that with a good diet and exercise and have noticed a change in their physique, their energy, their mood, and the sort of things that testosterone would naturally help."
There is scientific evidence to support the use of testosterone boosters as well.
In a study by researchers from the Shanghai University of Sport, 15 male boxers were monitored during three weeks of high-intensity training and three weeks of high-volume training sessions, separated by four weeks of rest.
Half the group was given 1250mg of TT. Those taking the extracts significantly alleviated muscle damage and boosted their anaerobic performance.
However, it's important to note that not all supplements are created equal, and some may contain harmful ingredients or not be effective.
It's best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.
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What Does Testosterone Booster Do Sexually?
Testosterone boosters have been known to enhance sexual performance by increasing sex drive and energy levels while also aiding in the maintenance of erections.
However, these benefits are only possible if your testosterone levels are genuinely low.
Overboosting testosterone can lead to unwanted and even harmful side effects such as shrinking testicles, breast development, and decreased sperm count, potentially resulting in infertility and even erectile dysfunction.
Therefore, if you're experiencing difficulties with sexual arousal or maintaining an erection, don't automatically assume it's due to low testosterone levels.
Everyday factors like stress, depression, alcohol consumption, exhaustion, and illness can also contribute to low libido.
It's critical to seek advice from an impartial medical professional to determine the cause of your low sex drive.
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What Are the Side Effects of Taking Testosterone Boosters?
It is crucial to determine if low testosterone is the underlying cause of your symptoms before taking any supplements.
Taking supplements unnecessarily can potentially cause irreversible harm. For this reason, hormone steroids like DHEA should never be prescribed without blood tests.
Dr. Sohere Roked, a hormonal therapy expert, also recommends regular blood monitoring to ensure that you're taking the appropriate dosage.
The most significant issue with artificially increasing your T-levels is that testosterone boosters can switch off your natural production and permanently reduce your sperm count.
They may also expose you to undesirable side effects such as acne, male pattern baldness, mood swings, and aggressive behavior.
To minimize the risk of these side effects, always consult an expert before purchasing testosterone boosters.
Dr. Roked states, "I've seen individuals who've been working out and have never been informed that it can shut off their production and irreversibly reduce their sperm count.
These are all pretty serious concerns that, even though they may be rare, could have a significant impact on your life.
It's always best to seek advice from a specialist, but it's also not a good idea for anyone to take things that aren't required."
While steroids such as DHEA can increase testosterone levels, they can raise T levels far beyond the normal (and safe) range if used in the wrong dosages or by people who don't need them.
According to Dr. Emil Hodzovic, a competitive bodybuilder and doctor with Medichecks, steroids come with "a set of risks, including liver damage, hormone imbalance, high blood pressure, and a higher risk of a stroke or heart attack."
Should Men Take Testosterone?
Boosting your T-levels with testosterone boosters is not enough to improve your health and well-being. It's like trying to run before you learn to walk.
Without establishing a solid foundation of healthy habits, taking these supplements can be pointless or even harmful.
According to Dr. Emil Hodzovic, a competitive bodybuilder and doctor with Medichecks, poor lifestyle choices such as inadequate sleep, excessive stress, too little or too much exercise, and too little or too much body fat can mimic low testosterone symptoms or even cause low testosterone levels.
Therefore, the most crucial steps to take are to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle and eat a balanced nutritious diet while ensuring enough sleep.
Taking testosterone boosters without addressing these fundamentals is unlikely to have a significant impact, even if testosterone levels are low.
How Can a Man Increase Testosterone?
According to Roked, incorporating zinc and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet can naturally increase your T levels.
If you want to boost your testosterone through your diet, consider adding these 10 testosterone-boosting foods to your grocery list.
Alternatively, if you're deficient in these nutrients, consider taking supplements.
However, if you've already changed your diet and lifestyle but haven't seen any improvements, it's time to seek expert advice.
It's important to keep in mind that simply taking supplements won't be effective if you're neglecting the fundamentals, as Roked notes. So, be honest with yourself and prioritize your overall health and wellness.
What Food Kills Testosterone?
If you're considering testosterone boosters, it's important to take a closer look at your diet first.
Certain foods can promote estrogen hormones in the body, leading to a decrease in testosterone production, according to Dr. Pratsides.
Refined carbohydrates and sugars, commonly found in junk food, are particularly problematic for testosterone levels, as excess belly fat secretes an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen.
Additionally, soy-based products contain phytoestrogens, which can mimic the effects of estrogen, potentially reducing testosterone levels.
It may be worth limiting tofu, tempeh, and soya milk intake if following a plant-based diet.
Consuming an excess amount of processed, high-fat, and high-sugar foods can result in the accumulation of fat in the abdominal region. This fatty tissue releases an enzyme known as aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen.
Alcohol consumption can also negatively affect testosterone levels.
Ethanol reduces NAD+, a coenzyme responsible for testosterone production, and heavy alcohol consumption can promote estrogen and cortisol hormone production, which both lower testosterone.
While occasional alcohol consumption is unlikely to cause significant harm, long-term intake can result in decreased testosterone levels.
Finally, diet can exacerbate testosterone issues in other ways.
Consuming lots of dairy and not enough dark green vegetables can also contribute to testosterone level reduction.
Before turning to testosterone boosters, it may be worth cleaning up your diet and considering lifestyle changes to support natural testosterone production.
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The Best Foods for Boosting Testosterone
As we age, testosterone levels in men tend to decline, but incorporating certain nutrient-rich foods into your diet can help stimulate its production.
Here are seven foods you can try to boost your T levels:
Oily fish, like salmon, tuna, and sardines are good sources of zinc, vitamin D, and protein, which are all nutrients that are important for maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
Ginger – A 2012 study found that taking a daily ginger supplement for 3 months increased testosterone levels by 17.7% in a group of 75 adult men with fertility issues.
Eggs – “The yolk’s cholesterol is the precursor for testosterone,” says clinical nutritionist Kim Pearson.
Dark, leafy greens, like kale, are an excellent source of micronutrients, including magnesium, which is a critical mineral for maintaining optimal testosterone levels.
Extra virgin olive oil – A 2013 study found that men were able to boost their testosterone levels by consuming extra virgin olive oil over three weeks.
Berries, cherries, and pomegranates – The International Journal of Impotence Research reports that 47% of impotent men found their condition improved after a daily glass of antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice.
Red meat – Beef liver is a brilliant source of vitamin D while zinc, an essential nutrient during puberty, is found in abundance in ground beef and chuck roast.
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Does Masturbating Reduce Testosterone?
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There is no scientific evidence to suggest that masturbation reduces testosterone levels in men.
In fact, some studies have shown that testosterone levels may increase slightly after masturbation or sexual activity.
However, it's important to note that excessive or compulsive masturbation can lead to physical and mental health problems, which may, in turn, affect testosterone levels.
It's always best to maintain a healthy and balanced approach to sexual activity.
Contrary to popular belief, masturbating does not lower testosterone levels. According to Khan, "the claim that masturbation reduces testosterone is a myth."
While some studies suggest that it may have a temporary effect of reducing testosterone levels, others suggest the opposite, and no conclusive evidence has been found to directly link testosterone and masturbation.
low testosterone levels are a common issue faced by men as they age.
While a small decline in testosterone levels is natural, significant declines can cause problems such as erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and even an increased risk of mortality.
Testosterone boosters are available to help maintain and potentially improve testosterone levels, as are natural methods such as changes to diet and exercise.
However, it's important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplements or medication.
If you're experiencing any symptoms related to low testosterone, seeking medical advice and getting a blood test to check testosterone levels is advisable.
James J Moore- Always to your health