Trying to boost Testosterone naturally is not easy. To be honest you unlikely to see or feel the results of synthetic anabolic steroids no matter what product you use. However, you also won’t get the harmful and often permanent side effects and hormone dysregulation that can come from the use of anabolic steroids.
In this article we are going to look at the PROVEN effective natural ways to optimize your inner ALPHA and favourably support your natural anabolic (muscle building) hormones.
Don’t underestimate the power of natural ingredients. Since minimizing catabolic (muscle destroying) hormones and maximizing your endogenous (internally produced) anabolic hormones can lead to some very impressive benefits…
- Enhanced Muscle Recovery
- Elevated Mood
- Improved Performance
- Increased Strength
- Boosted Libido
- Increased Nitric Oxide
There are 3 classes of compounds in the natural hormone optimisation space.
- Ones that are clinically proven to work.
- Ones that show promise.
- Ones that do nothing.
In this article we want to provide you the low hanging fruit. So we are going to focus on the proven ingredients you need to be capable of producing sex hormones and the ones that will help move the needle in that favourable direction.
Let’s start with the not so sexy Vitamins and Minerals that are absolutely essential to produce sex hormones…
In addition to supporting testosterone production directly through Leydig cell health, magnesium also helps improve sleep quality which may dramatically enhance testosterone and GH secretion and lower cortisol.
One study published in 1996 found that young men who avoided zinc in their diet for 5 months saw an average drop of testosterone by 50%. Conversely, researchers gave older men who had low testosterone extra zinc and saw 100% increase in testosterone. Let that sink in for just a moment!
Studies have also shown that low zinc leads to an increase in estrogen receptors (more responsive to estrogen) and a decrease in testosterone receptors (less responsive to testosterone).
Low zinc may increase the enzyme aromatase that increases the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. With more circulating estrogen this might explain why the body upregulates estrogen receptors.
Zinc supplementation has also been linked to an increase in GH which may result in greater lean muscle although this still needs be measured.
In a cross-sectional study assessing correlations between androgens (testosterone) and Vitamin D, it was noted that Vitamin D was positively associated with androgen status (higher testosterone and lower Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)) even after BMI, smoking, alcohol, medication and diabetes were controlled for.
SHBG binds up testosterone and prevents it being beneficial. Therefore, lowering SHBG means not only more testosterone but more Free-Testosterone. This is the form we want to help build muscle, burn fat, increase strength and boost libido.
Supplementation of Vitamin D daily for a year that was able to normalize serum Vitamin D (increase above 50nmol/L) noted improvements in testosterone (+25.2%), bioactive testosterone (+19%), and free testosterone (+20.2%) in men that were at the low-end of normal.
In another study participants received 6mg of boron for 60 days and the researchers saw many improvements in hormonal markers. 1) Vitamin D levels increased 19.6% which may also contribute to hormonal health. 2) DHEA increased an incredible 56% and 3) Free testosterone went up a whopping 29.5%.
Boron supplementation has also been found to reduce SHBG and reduce aromatase resulting in lower estrogen levels. In the first study mentioned above (7 days) the participants estrogen levels dropped a staggering 39%.
These results are sure to provide a favourable hormonal position for muscle building, libido and performance.
B5 is known to help calm the central nervous system therefore regulating hormones which control appetite, energy, mood and more.
The Truth isn’t sexy!
For most people reading this article there is nothing sexy or exciting about these ingredients but the truth is they just work. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are becoming more common as our food fails to provide the nourishment it once did, and our lifestyle increases in stress and toxicity which depletes vitamins and minerals further.
Finding a supplement that combines some of or all the above ingredients will go a long way towards supporting optimal hormone balance, boosting energy, reducing fatigue and improving performance in and out of the gym.
Now let’s talk about 5 cool herbs that show a lot of promise and even have some pretty compelling research supporting their hormonal optimizing benefits.
It has mainly been used as an adaptogen helping to reduce stress and cortisol. It’s widely known that cortisol is antagonistic (the nemesis or opposite) to testosterone. So, when cortisol is high, testosterone is low. Ashwagandha has the ability to regulate cortisol which may help natural testosterone rise.
In one study using a 10:1 extract ratio the supplemental group saw a reduction of cortisol by 32% and a 15.3% increase in testosterone.
In another study 57 healthy men between the ages of 18 – 64 were given Ashwagandha or a placebo. The ashwagandha group saw an average 18.7% increase in Testosterone and researchers also noticed greater increases in muscle recovery and fat loss than the placebo group.
Ashwagandha has also been shown to improve strength (force output) by as much as 21.5% in untrained individuals over placebo. This is exciting for those looking to improve muscle mass and power.
In men with low fertility and low libido due to stress. Ashwagandha has been shown to increase spermatogenesis (sperm production) and sperm motility (swimming ability) as well as increase messenger hormones Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). This means Ashwagandha may be working as an antioxidant in the sex organs and improving pituitary function for healthier long-term hormone optimisation.
In a well-designed 2010 study using 200mg of shilajit 35 male subjects saw an average increase of serum testosterone by 29.0%. This study also showed an increase in sperm production and motility (health of the sperm) as well as a statistically significant increase in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which is a precursor to testosterone production.
In another more recent study researchers gave shilajit to healthy men aged 45 – 55 and saw an increase in Free Testosterone of 19.1% and DHEA 31.3%. These are remarkable results and shows that supporting nutrient needs is critically important for supporting hormonal function.
Traditionally, Tongkat Ali roots have been used for centuries in Malaysia and Southeast Asia as an aphrodisiac for loss of sexual desire and impotence. It is also used to treat a range of ailments including post-partum depression, malaria, high blood pressure, and fatigue. Tongkat ali has been referred to as “Malaysian Viagra”.
Research has shown Tongkat Ali can reduce aromatase which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Through this pathway Tongkat Ali may have estrogen lowering effects especially in men or women that are prone to high levels of estrogen.
A 12-week study in 50 men consuming 500mg of fenugreek experienced significant improvements in testosterone levels.
The study found that testosterone increased by up to 46% in an impressive 90% of the participants. What’s more, the fenugreek supplement group experienced improvements in mood, energy, libido, and sperm count.
Another thing to consider with the enhanced sexual performance characteristics is that Spilanthes does exert a very potent nitric oxide (blood flow enhancing) benefit. In fact, in one study it was half as effective as Viagra. This means Spilanthes may be great for the athletes prior to exercise or performance physically or sexually.
Product Recommendation: Alpha Switch
It’s safe to say there are some very well documented benefits to be had from supporting your hormone health with the correct Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Fatty Acids and Amino Acids. These ingredients listed show the most robust clinical data and future promise.
However, here are 10 other things you can do if you want to optimize your hormone levels.
- Reduce Stress
- Reduce Alcohol Consumption
- Stop Smoking
- Reduce Sugar Intake
- Reduce Processed Foods
- Get Better Sleep
- Exercise Regularly
- Eat Healthy Fats
- Eat Quality Protein
- Limit Artificial Sweeteners, Colours and Flavours
Now you have all the knowledge needed to get the results you are looking for. Be sure to check your labels carefully and make sure you are buying ingredients in formulas from a trusted brand that are of high quality and not proprietary blended. Proprietary (Prop) blending prevents you knowing the doses you are consuming and making educated decisions about the formula.