Testosterone is the single most important male hormone; men with high testosterone have more confidence, motivation, determination, muscle mass and a leaner physique. Unfortunately for us guys, testosterone levels have been declining for decades. Today, men have the lowest testosterone levels in recent history (1). The good news is that if you’re suffering from low Testosterone, taking the right testosterone booster can dramatically increase your testosterone levels with ease.
On this page, you’ll find the most in-depth research on the best testosterone boosters. We’ve turned every stone and looked behind every curtain to see what works and what doesn’t, down to the smallest detail.
But before we begin, it is important to understand that increasing testosterone is complicated. There’s no single supplement alone that will substantially increase your testosterone levels.
So, if you want to double or triple your testosterone levels, you’ll need to apply a broad approach and come at this from every angle.
That is why this guide features 3 types of testosterone boosters:
- Supplements to overcome certain deficiencies that cause low testosterone levels in men:
- Vitamin D
- Direct testosterone boosters:
- Natural aromatase inhibitors that prevent the conversion of testosterone into estrogen (the dominant female hormone) in men:
- Tongkat Ali
After that, we’ll warn you about the hyped up “testosterone boosters” that either don’t work or actually reduce testosterone levels.
Finally, we’ll advise you on the necessary lifestyle changes you need to make to get optimal results.
Warning: This guide is exclusively for men. Some of the supplements mentioned here may be dangerous to pregnant women.
1) Overcome These Deficiencies To Boost Testosterone
Vitamin D As A Testosterone Booster
Vitamin D has many essential functions. It’s involved in the immune system, bone development and even mental wellbeing.
Interestingly enough, Vitamin D deficiency has been found to be directly correlated with low testosterone in clinical studies.
|Study 1) In one year-long study, men were divided into 2 groups. The first group was given 3,332 IU of supplemental vitamin D everyday. The other group was given a placebo. |
At the end of the year, the supplemental group had their vitamin D levels doubled and consequently, their testosterone levels increased by almost 20%. In the placebo
group, vitamin D and testosterone levels remained the same. (2)
Study 2) Another study found that in Summers, when sun exposure is higher, testosterone levels are also higher. As winter comes and sun exposure is lessened, testosterone levels tend to decrease in the same individuals.
The same study also found that in Vitamin D sufficient men, testosterone levels were significantly higher than Vitamin D insufficient or deficient men. (3)
Do You Have A Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies around the world. Our bodies produce Vitamin D when we’re out in the sun. Sadly, in the hustle and bustle of today’s life, we are spending less time in the sun and more time in our offices and homes.
Clinical studies show that about 41% of the total American population is vitamin D deficient. This percentage goes up to 69.2% in hispanics and 82.1% in African-Americans. (4)
But it wasn’t always this way. Throughout the course of human history, we spent a large majority of our time hunting and gathering under the sun, without layers of clothes and sunscreen covering our bodies.
Now that our lifestyles have drastically changed from our hunter-gatherer ancestors, it is important to make up for the lower exposure to the sun through supplements.
How To Get Vitamin D From The Sun
If you do not want to take a Vitamin D supplement, you can increase your Vitamin D levels by spending between 10-30 minutes everyday in direct sunlight.
Darker skinned people will need to spend between 15-40 minutes.
Remember that the more skin you expose to the sun, the more Vitamin D you’ll produce. It is better to get your Vitamin D before mid-day as the sun’s rays in the afternoon can damage the skin.
The Optimal Range For Vitamin D
You can easily get your Vitamin D levels checked by a simple blood test.
The healthy range for Vitamin D is somewhat debated. The much respected Endocrine Society recommends blood Vitamin D levels to be above 30 ng/ml.
On the other hand, the Vitamin D Council recommends blood levels above 40 ng/ml and less than 150 ng/ml. You are considered deficient once you fall below 30 ng/ml.
To be on the safe side, optimal Vitamin D levels should be more than 40 ng/ml.
Best Vitamin D Supplement:
Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 – 5000 IU.
High Quality Ingredients & Label Accuracy:
There are major quality control issues in the industry because supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
One of the most common problems is label accuracy, which is when the actual amount of an ingredient present in a supplement is either higher or lower than what’s labelled on the bottle.
And we don’t mean inaccurate by a few percentage points. It’s quite common to find that a supplement is inaccurate by 100% or more in lab tests.
The other important thing that you must be careful about is the heavy metal profile of a supplement. Supplements are often contaminated with mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium. These metals have been known to cause cancer and other diseases in the body.
Pure Encapsulations stand out from other brands because of exactly these factors. They are one of the few supplement manufacturing companies that focus on ingredient quality, label accuracy and product purity.
|Product Purity: Third-party tested for heavy metals including lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Third-party tested for common allergens, solvent residues and 70 different pesticide compounds.|
Quality Control: GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) certified with NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) in the US, as well as Canada.
Safety: Free from heavy metals and contaminants.
Allergic Reactions: Free from GMOs, Gluten, Nuts, Dairy, Corn, Yeast, Soy, Egg, Wheat, Barley, Rye, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners.
Side Effects: Rare side effects such as nausea and dizziness occur when too much Vitamin D is ingested for a prolonged period of time (above 20,000 IU several days in a row)
Vegan: It is non-vegan as the Vitamin D comes from animal product (sheep wool).
Absorption: Easily absorbed. Remember to take this with a meal as your body needs fat to absorb Vitamin D. Other Vitamin D brands contain fat. Pure Encapsulationsdoes not add fat into its Vitamin D to avoid contaminants.
Interactions: Vitamin D interacts with calcium supplements, antacids, diuretics (water pills), Calcipotriene (synthetic Vitamin D), Digoxin (heart medicine), diltiazem and verapamil (both are blood pressure medicines). Consult your doctor.
Dosage: One capsule a day. Check your Vitamin D levels once every 3 months when taking 5,000 IU daily. Once your Vitamin D levels go above 50 ng/ml, you should switch to a lower maintenance dose of anywhere between 1,000 to 3,000 IU per day.
Magnesium As A Testosterone Booster
While you may have already heard of Vitamin D deficiency, Magnesium deficiency probably never crossed your radar. So it should come as a surprise that Magnesium deficiency is very common, especially in the American diet.
By taking in more Magnesium from your diet or supplements, you can significantly increase your testosterone levels.
Magnesium does this in three ways:
Activates Vitamin D:
Firstly, the body needs Magnesium to metabolize or activate Vitamin D. (5)
Yeah, that’s right. You can take all the Vitamin D you want, but if you’re not ingesting enough Magnesium, your body won’t be able to make use of it.
Boosts Free Testosterone:
Total testosterone is not the same as free testosterone. Without Magnesium, testosterone tends to bind with a protein called SHBG, making it unavailable for the body to use.
When Magnesium concentrations are high, less testosterone binds with SHBG. (6) This increases the free testosterone in your body, which is the only form of testosterone your body can use.
Boosts Sleep Quality:
Thirdly, decreased levels of Magnesium in the body are closely linked to decreased production of Melatonin. (7)
Melatonin is an essential compound that signals to your body that it is time for sleep. Low levels of Melatonin is one of the biggest reasons for insomnia and an over-active mind at night.
It just so happens that sleep is extremely important to adequate testosterone production. Our bodies produce most of the testosterone we need in our sleep. In fact, sleep deprivation can decrease testosterone levels by 15%. (8)
Magnesium induces melatonin production, which in turn promotes better and deeper sleep.
|Study 1) One study gave Magnesium supplements to athletes, as well as inactive people. After only 4 weeks, total and free testosterone levels increased in both the athletes and the inactive group. (9)|
Study 2) Another study observed 399 men, all of whom were over 65 years old. Even after adjusting for other health factors like Body Mass Index and heart health, magnesium was significantly and independently associated with higher testosterone levels and IGF-1 (helps build and maintain muscle). (10)
Do You Have A Magnesium Deficiency?
Now that you know how important Magnesium is to adequate testosterone production, the next step is to determine if you’re Magnesium deficient.
Well, a survey conducted by the US Department Of Agriculture observed that more than half of the American population does not consume enough magnesium. (11)
The reason? It’s simple. We can only get magnesium from the types of foods we’ve almost stopped eating entirely: vegetables, nuts and fruits. Some of the most Magnesium rich foods are Spinach, Almonds and Cashews.
To top this off, the average American carb-rich diet contains a lot of grain (bread/wheat/flour/rice). All these foods contain Phytate or Phytic acid. Phytic acid is known to decrease Magnesium absorption by a whopping 60%. (12)
This means our bodies pass along the little Magnesium we get from our diet without absorbing it.
The minimum recommended daily amount of Magnesium is 400mg – 420mg for men. That’s equivalent to 3 whole cups of cooked Spinach (the most Magnesium dense vegetable). The requirement is higher for men who exercise by up to 20% because Magnesium is lost through sweating. (13).
It is highly recommended that you start supplementing with Magnesium if you can’t consume 420mg of Magnesium every day from food.
What Is The Best Form Of Magnesium?
Magnesium supplements come in many different forms. We’ve taken the liberty of separating the better of these forms from the others, of which some are just utter garbage.
The different forms of Magnesium supplements are:
- L Threonate
Each form has different absorption rates, side effects and effectiveness. It’s very important that you choose the right one.
Even through there are many Magnesium Oxide supplements in the market, they are practically useless because Magnesium Oxide cannot be absorbed by the body. (16)
Best Magnesium Supplement:
Thorne Research Magnesium CitraMate
Contains The Best Form Of Magnesium Supplement:
Thorne’s Magnesium CitraMate is a blend of 60% Magnesium Malate and 40% Magnesium Citrate.
Magnesium Malate trumps every other form of Magnesium because of its high absorption and minimal side effects. Magnesium Citrate comes in at a close second.
The reason why we do not recommend 100% Magnesium Malate is because the size of a Magnesium Malate capsule is ridiculously large. Eating a horse pill 3 or 4 times a day, everyday, is extremely inconvenient.
Thorne’s Magnesium CitraMate offers a great balance between top-notch ingredients and convenience.
Free From Magnesium Stearate:
It is also one of the few Magnesium supplements that does not contain Magnesium Stearate, a commonly used additive that has recently entered the limelight as a potential toxin. It may also interfere with the absorption of nutrients by the intestines.
This is a highly debated matter with research pointing both ways. Until we get definitive proof, it is best to remain proactive and cautious by avoiding Magnesium Stearate.
Exact Percentage Of Citrate & Malate Disclosed:
We chose Thorne’s Magnesium CitraMate over Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Citrate and Malate combination because Pure Encapsulations does not disclose the exact percentage of Citrate vs Malate in their blend.
|Product Purity: Thorne products are tested for purity, heavy metals and label accuracy at 4 different stages of the manufacturing process, from the raw materials to the finished product. |
Quality Control: They are regularly inspected and comply with the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Safety: Free from heavy metals and contaminants.
Allergic Reactions: Free from GMOs, Gluten, Nuts, Dairy, Soy, Egg, Wheat, Barely, Rye, preservatives, artificial colors, flavour and sweeteners. Microcrystaline cellulose is sourced from corn products so stay clear if you are allergic to corn.
Side Effects: Magnesium Citrate has natural laxative properties so you may experience soft stools, especially at the beginning of supplementation. With time, your body gets used to it and your stools will go back to normal. However, by taking 1 capsule at a time, most people can avoid any stomach issues.
Absorption: Easily absorbed.
Interactions: Magnesium interacts with antibiotics, blood pressure pills, Diuretics (water pills) and muscle relaxants. Consult your doctor.
Dosage: Take 2 capsules daily to get 270mg of Magnesium at 2 different times during the day. Avoid taking more than 1 capsule at a time. Take in synergy with Vitamin D. The best time to take Magnesium is in between meals or with protein rich foods like chicken or red meat. Avoid eating your Magnesium capsules with phytate rich foods like grain (bread/wheat/flour), rice, cereal, and legumes.
Zinc As A Testosterone Booster
Testosterone production is a complex process requiring numerous macro and micronutrients to work together.
One such nutrient is Zinc.
Low levels of Zinc have been proven to cause low levels of testosterone.
|Study 1) One study took 100 men with kidney disease and gave them Zinc. We know that when kidneys are’t functioning properly, the body can’t absorb enough minerals like Zinc from food. |
After only 6 weeks, Zinc increased testosterone levels across the board. (17)
Study 2) Another study looked at 37 men who had been infertile for 5 years or more. Zinc increased testosterone as well as sperm count in the men.
Miraculously, 9 of these men reversedtheir infertility and impregnated their wives within 5 months. (18)
Study 3) Yet another study took 27 healthy football players. 12 of these guys were given ZMA (Zinc with Magnesium), while 15 of them were given a placebo over 8 weeks.
After 8 weeks, the ZMA group had increased levels of testosterone and muscular power. On the other hand, the testosterone levels in the placebo group decreased significantly. (19)
Do You Have A Zinc Deficiency?
Our bodies need at least 11mg of Zinc everyday to produce adequate testosterone.
The most Zinc rich foods are oysters, meat, beans and nuts. It is estimated that about 25% of the world population may not be getting enough Zinc in their diet. (20)
Now you may be thinking that you already get 11mg of Zinc through your daily intake of meat; in fact, one 3-ounce steak provides you with about 50% of the required 11mg of Zinc.
While this may be completely true, you’re not out of the woods yet. Like Magnesium, Zinc absorption is blocked by phytate (phytic acid), which is found in cereal, rice and grain (bread/wheat/flour). (21) (22)
If you’re a vegetarian, then you have an even higher chance of being Zinc deficient. A vegetarian diet is low in zinc-rich foods like meat and high in whole grains, nuts and legumes, all of which contain phytate.
With this in mind, Zinc supplementation is highly recommended to increase your testosterone levels.
But remember, don’t go overboard with Zinc. Zinc supplements come in a variety of strengths, from 15mg to 25mg to as high as 50mg. In most cases, 15mg is enough.
Like Magnesium, there are many different forms of Zinc supplements available in the market, some better than others.
What Is The Best Form Of Zinc?
Like Magnesium, Zinc comes in many different forms. These are:
Best Zinc Supplement:
Pure Encapsulation Zinc Picolinate (15mg)
Contains The Best Form Of Zinc Supplement
Pure Encapsulations Zinc is made with Picolinic acid. Studies have shown that all the other forms of Zinc supplements available, like Oxide, Sulphate, Citrate and Gluconate, have poor absorption rates compared to Picolinate. (26) (27) (28) (29)
Made From Quality Ingredients
Once again, Pure Encapsulations comes out on top, beating out Thorne’s Zinc Picolinate because of fewer extra ingredients and a corn-free status (only for the 15mg variant).
Most Zinc supplements offer either a 30mg or a ridiculous 50mg variant. This is a big no-no, for when it comes to Zinc, more is not better.
Our bodies only need around 11g of Zinc. Even accounting for poor absorption rates because of Phytate, 30mg and 50mg of Zinc is overkill. This is extremely important because ingesting large quantities of Zinc can interfere with Copper absorption. (30) (31)
Copper deficiency can cause a whole host of new problems you don’t want to have, such as Anemia and a weakened immune system.
Free From Magnesium Stearate & Other Additives
Pure Encapsulations Zinc Picolinate is free from Magnesium Stearate, a compound we’ve previously identified as a potential toxin that may interfere with mineral absorption in the body.
It also does not contain extra ingredients like Stearic acid, Phosphate, Sodium, Glycol, Carbonate, artificial flavors or colors commonly found in Zinc supplements.
| Product Purity: Third-party tested for heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Third-party tested for common allergens, solvent residues and 70 different pesticide compounds.|
Quality Control: GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) certified with NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) in the US, as well as Canada.
Safety: Very safe. Free from heavy metals and contaminants.
Allergic Reactions: Free from GMOs, Gluten, Nuts, Dairy, Soy, Egg, Wheat, Barley, Rye, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. The 15mg variant from Pure Encapsulations is corn-free. However, the 30mg variant contains Ascorbyl Palmitate, a compound sourced from corn-products. If you’re allergic to corn, do not take the 30mg variant.
Side Effects: None at 15mg. High doses of 30mg and above can cause Copper deficiencies. Extremely high doses above 150mg can cause nausea and vomiting.
Absorption: Easily absorbed.
Interactions: Zinc interacts with antibiotics, cancer medication, arthritis medication or medication for Wilson’s disease. Consult your doctor.
Dosage: Take 1 capsule daily to get 15mg of Zinc. Stick to the 15mg variant unless directed by your doctor. Too much Zinc can deplete copper reserves in your body (usually happens at 50mg and above). Avoid eating your Zinc capsules with bread/grains/wheat/flour, rice or cereal. The best time to take Zinc is in between meals or with protein rich foods like chicken or red meat.
2) Direct Testosterone Boosters
Ashwagandha As A Testosterone Booster
Ashwagandha is an incredible herb with many benefits to the human body. It’s been used in traditional Indian medicine for more than 3,000 years. (32)
Ashwagandha means “the smell of the horse” in Sanskrit, referring to its ability to increase muscular strength and make a person “as strong as a horse”. This claim was recently been put to the test in clinical studies and it’s proven to be true. (33) (34)
|Study 1) 57 untrained men were divided into two groups. One group was given Ashwagandha and the other group a placebo. Both groups then underwent strength training for 8 weeks. |
After 8 weeks, testosterone levels were significantly higher in the Ashwagandha group. Incredibly, the Ashwagandha group outperformed the placebo group at the bench press (1RM) by a whopping 20kgs. The Ashwagandha group also had greater increases in muscle size at the arms and chest. Body fat percentage and exercise induced muscle damage was also significantly reduced in the Ashwagandha group. (35)
It is extremely rare to see such a wide variety of positive effects with any supplement in only 8 weeks.
Study 2) In another study involving 75 infertile men, Ashwagandha increased testosterone and Luteinizing hormone (LH) across the board over the course of the study. LH is responsible for signalling the testes to produce testosterone. The study also noted increased sperm quality in all 75 men. (36)
Ashwagandha’s ability to improve sperm quality and concentration has been noted in another study that involved 60 infertile men. Testosterone levels increased for all 60 men by 11-22%. LH levels were also increased. Incredibly, 14% of these previously infertile men successfully impregnated their partners after Ashwagandha supplementation. (37) (38)
Study 3) One study involving 46 men showed a 167% increase in total sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume and significant increases in total blood testosterone levels. (39)
Ashwagandha Boosts Testosterone And Reduces Stress
Ashwagandha is one of the few testosterone boosters that increases testosterone in multiple ways. One way that it does this is because of its effects on stress.
When you’re stressed out, your body produces the cortisol hormone. We don’t like cortisol; not only does it directly reduce testosterone levels in your body, but it also overrides the effects of testosterone. (40) (41)
Why this happens actually makes a lot of sense. In threatening situations, cortisol levels shoot up and testosterone’s effects are blocked. This is the body’s way of telling you to get yourself out of danger immediately.
In these situations, your body does not want you to engage in behaviors that are encouraged by testosterone, such as confrontation and competition. This is actually a very important survival mechanism.
But the problem starts when cortisol levels become chronically elevated, which leads to chronically low testosterone levels. This is where Ashwagandha comes in. Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful natural inhibitors of stress, anxiety and cortisol known to man. (42) (43) (44)
Best Ashwagandha Supplement:
True Veda Organic Ashwagandha
True Veda uses the KSM-66 Ashwagandha Extract
KSM-66 is the name of a standardized method of making Ashwagandha powder from the herb. The extract features the full spectrum of all the compounds found in the Ashwagandha plant, making it the most potent and effective form of Ashwagandha.
KSM-66 exclusively uses the root of the Ashwagandha plant instead of the leaves. This is because the leaves contain high amounts of a toxic compound known as Withaferin A. There are plenty of other brands that do, in fact, use the leaves to make their testosterone booster.
Most importantly, KSM-66 is the most widely studied extract in clinical trials with proven effects on testosterone, stress, cortisol and muscular strength.
Great Quality Control
The other reason we recommend True Veda is because of their quality control processes. Unlike all other Ashwagandha brands, True Veda tests their supplements for purity and heavy metals at 3 different stages of the manufacturing process, from the raw material to the finished product.
Lastly, we recommend True Veda because they offer only 300mg in a single dose. With Ashwagandha, more is not better. It has been known to cause adverse reactions in people with sensitive stomachs. Most of the clinical studies used 600mg of Ashwagandha every day. Taking 2 capsules of 300mg each, at two different times over a day is the best way to avoid stomach issues.
You’ll find that most other brands offer doses ranging from 600mg and all the way up to 1000mg in one capsule. At these dosages, Ashwagandha can cause stomach issues.
|Product Purity: Third party tested for heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Third-party tested for label accuracy, purity and authenticity at 3 different stages of the manufacturing process.|
Quality Control: GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) certified. USDA Organic certified which means that the product does not contain any chemical, fillers, preservatives or additives of any kind.
Safety: Free from heavy metals and contaminants.
Allergic Reactions: Free from GMOs, Gluten, Nuts, Dairy, Corn, Yeast, Soy, Egg, Wheat, Barley, Rye, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. Ashwagandha itself has been known to cause allergic reactions in rare cases. These reactions can include rashes, inflammation, chest pain, and difficulty in breathing.
Side Effects: Around 5% of the population report having stomach issues with Ashwagandha, such as diarrhea, bloating, cramping and vomiting. This mostly happens at higher doses. Please read the note on dosage & side-effects under this box.
Vegan: Yes. The KSM-66 extract is made in two ways: one with milk pre-treatment and the other without. True Veda’s Ashwagandha comes without milk pre-treatment.
Absorption: Easily absorbed.
Interactions: Avoid Ashwagandha if you are on take diabetes medicine, sedatives or benzodiazepines. Avoid Ashwagandha if you have an auto immune disease and/or are on auto-immune medication.
Dosage: Take 2 capsules of 300mg each twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. You may also take only 1 capsule in a day.
Ashwagandha Note On Dosage & Side-effects
Ashwagandha can cause an allergic reaction in very rare cases. It may also cause stomach issues such as cramping, diarrhea, bloating and vomiting in about 5% of the population.
To ensure that you don’t fall into this minority, open your 300mg capsule and take only a very small portion as your first dose and wait a day. This way, you’ll know if you’re sensitive or allergic to Ashwagandha with only very minor symptoms.
Ashwagandha Should Be Cycled
Ashwagandha is most effective when it is cycled on and off. We recommend that you take Ashwagandha for 3 months and then take a month long break. You can continue this cycle indefinitely. Cycling is important for herbs because it allows the body to become sensitive to the supplements again.
Shilajit As A Testosterone Booster
Shilajit is a plant-based mixture of more than 85 different minerals found at extremely high altitudes. It is a tar-like substance formed by the compression of organic materials. It is mostly sourced from the Himalayas.
This rich mineral complex also contains Fulvic acid, which is known to increase the absorption, retention and utilization of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. (45)
This means that Shilajit not only increases the absorption of the minerals found inside it, but it also increases the absorption of any minerals and vitamins you consume through food and supplements.
Fulvic acid attracts minerals and vitamins to itself, and it is light enough to freely flow through cell membranes in your body. This way, Fulvic acid can transport essential nutrients to every part of your body.
However, Fulvic acid is only one small part of Shilajit. The real stars are the 85+ minerals that have a whole host of amazing effects on the body.
One of these effects is Shilajit’s ability to boost testosterone.
|Study 1) 35 infertile men were given Shilajit over 3 months. After 90 days, researchers measured the hormonal profiles of all the men. (46) There was a 61% increase in total sperm count and a 23.5% increase in testosterone. |
Study 2) 38 healthy, fertile men between the ages of 45 to 55 were given Shilajit, once again for 90 days. By the end of the study, hormonal parameters confirmed an increase in total testosterone by 20% and free testosterone by 19%. (47)
Shilajit is one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet that packs a powerful punch; however, there are a few things you must be careful about before taking a Shilajit supplement:
Unprocessed Shilajit Is High In Heavy Metals:
Shilajit, in its raw form, is loaded with heavy metals. To be made fit for human consumption, it needs to be purified. You must make sure that your Shilajit supplement manufacturer has very high quality control standards and that they test each and every batch of Shilajit they make.
To verify this, make sure the Shilajit is tested in a third-party independent lab in the US.
High Quality Shilajit Only Comes In Resin Form
Always opt for the resin form instead of the powdered form. All the powdered Shilajit available in the market is cheap and lacks sufficient quality control. You’ll also find that the powdered form has Fulvic acid levels of nearly 40%, or even more, in some cases.
This is bad because this extra Fulvic acid is actually added later on and it is often the same cheap Fulvic acid used in fertilizers.
In nature, the fulvic acid content is only around 4-6%, which is all you need.
Best Shilajit Supplement:
Lotus Blooming Herbs Authentic Shilajit
Lotus Blooming Herbs source their Shilajit from the Himalayas. Their Shilajit stands out from the rest because of their commitment to purity and transparency.
Extensive & Transparent Quality Control Processes:
Lotus Blooming Herbs get their Shilajit checked at an independent, USDA registered, cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) approved laboratory in California, USA. They post their latest heavy metal testing reports on their website, available for everyone to see.
Incredibly, their Shilajit passes California’s Prop 65 limits. Prop 65 is the strictest standard for heavy metals in the world. They are so strict, in fact, that even your various everyday vegetables have anywhere from 10 to more than 50 times the amount of lead allowed by Prop 65.
The FDA’s daily allowable limit for lead is 75 micrograms for adults while the Prop 65 limit is just 0.5 micrograms. Lead in the lotus Blooming Herbs’ Shilajit is less than 0.1 micrograms. Likewise, levels of arsenic, cadmium and mercury are also below Prop 65 limits.
High Quality Resin Form Of Shilajit:
This Shilajit comes in resin from, which is how it’s naturally found. Lotus Blooming Herbs exclusively extract this resin from the veins of rocks, carefully excluding rocky sediments and dirt.
Whatever traces of dirt and rock that do get into the extract are filtered out. This can be verified through their micro-biological testing report, which is also available on their website.
Authentic, pure and high quality Shilajit is expensive, mainly because of how difficult it is to source large quantities of it. You’ll find plenty of cheap, powdered alternatives to authentic resin Shilajit, but it is highly recommended that you avoid them.
|Product Purity: Third party tested for heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Third part tested for micro-biological contaminants that are often found in natural Shilajit. Both of these reports are available on their website and are updated for every batch.|
Quality Control: The Shilajit is tested in a cGMP certified, USDA registered laboratory in California, USA.
Safety: Free from heavy metals and contaminants.
Allergic Reactions: Free from GMOs, Gluten, Nuts, Dairy, Corn, Yeast, Soy, Egg, Wheat, Barley, Rye, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. Allergic reactions are extremely rare, but possible because of the abundant amount of micronutrients in Shilajit.
Side Effects: A very small portion of the population may develop stomach issues from Shilajit. The supplement also has a bitter taste and a strong smell.
Absorption: Easily absorbed.
Interactions: Shilajit interacts with medicines for blood pressure, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, too much iron in your blood(Hemochromatosis), Phenylketonuria (metabolism disease) or Thalassemia (haemoglobin disease). Shilajit must also be avoided with chlorinated water because chlorine reacts with Shilajit to produce harmful compounds called THMs (Trihalomethanes).
Dosage: The normal dosage for potent Shilajit supplements such as this ranges from 100mg in 1 dose or 300mg in 2 or 3 doses per day. 100mg is around the size of a rice grain. Dissolve the resin in warm water, tea or milk. High quality Shilajit resin turns hard in cold temperatures and softens up in warm temperatures.
Ginger As A Testosterone Booster
You’ve probably heard of Ginger before. It’s a commonly used spice in the kitchen. It’s also been used as a medicine for centuries.
It just so happens that Ginger can also increase your testosterone.
Here’s how it works:
Our bodies do not produce testosterone directly. First, our bodies produce a hormone called the Luteinizing hormone (LH) in the brain. This hormone then signals the testes to produce testosterone.
Without the Luteinizing hormone, our bodies cannot produce testosterone. Ginger increases testosterone by increasing Luteinizing Hormone production.
|Study 1) Ginger increases testosterone levels by enhancing Luteinizing hormone production. (48) (49) It also recycles testosterone receptors and increases blood flow to the testes. (50)|
Study 2) In animal studies, Ginger managed to almost double testosterone levels in healthy male rats. (51)
Study 3) In one study involving 75 infertile men, supplemental ginger increased testosterone levels by 17% across the board. (52)
Studies show that the more Ginger you eat, the greater the effect on testosterone. (53) But of course, too much of anything is bad. Doctors recommend that the upper limit for Ginger is 3-4 grams per day for men.
While eating up to 3-4 grams of Ginger cooked in your food everyday is a viable option, you may want to consider taking a supplement for the sake of convenience.
Best Ginger Supplement:
Nature’s Way Ginger Root
Contains Quality Ingredients Free From Magnesium Stearate:
We recommend Nature’s Way Ginger Root because it delivers high quantity Ginger (550 mg/capsule) without extra or potentially harmful ingredients like Magnesium Stearate.
Stay clear of supplements that offer a blend of Ginger and Turmeric because they contain too little Ginger.
DNA tested with TRU-ID
Nature’s Way Ginger Root is third-party tested by TRU-ID for label accuracy and authenticity. TRU-ID is an independent company that carries out DNA testing on every ingredient in a supplement.
|Product Purity: In-house tested for heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. In-house tested for solvent residues. Third-party DNA tested (TRU-ID) for label accuracy and authenticity at the raw material and finished product stage. |
Quality Control: GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) certified with NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation).
Safety: Very safe. Free from heavy metals and contaminants.
Allergic Reactions: Non GMO. Gluten free. Nut free. Dairy free. Corn free. Yeast free. Soy free. Egg free. Wheat free. Barley free. Rye free. No preservatives. No Artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Contains only 4 ingredients: Ginger, Silica, Cellulose and Hypromellose. None of these can cause an allergic reaction.
Side Effects: Can cause acid-reflux and/or heartburn if you don’t take it with a glass of water.
Absorption: Easily absorbed.
Interactions: Ginger interacts with heart medicine that stops blood from clotting (such as anticoagulants or antiplatelets), blood pressure medicine, diabetes medicine or antibiotics.
Dosage: Take 2 capsules every day, one in the morning and once in the evening, with a glass of water. One capsule gives you 550mg of Ginger. Do not consume on an empty stomach.
3) Testosterone Boosting Natural Aromatase Inhibitors
The major male sex hormone is testosterone; however, men also need small amounts of the major female sex hormone, estrogen, for numerous bodily functions including erectile function and libido.
Men can only produce estrogen by converting testosterone into estrogen. This conversion happens because of an enzyme called Aromatase.
The problem starts when the body converts too much testosterone into estrogen. This results in an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen.
If you have any of the following symptoms, then you may have high estrogen:
- Decreased sex drive
- Problems getting or maintaining an erection
- Development of breast tissue/man boobs (Gynecomastia)
- Increased body fat, especially on the hips, flanks (love handles) and chest
- Loss of muscle mass
- Feeling tired and unmotivated
- Anxiety and depression
- Lack of assertiveness and confidence
- Getting emotional, moody and overly sensitive
Fortunately, research shows that there are many plant based compounds that can block the aromatase enzyme. These compounds are called aromatase inhibitors.
How They Work
Aromatase inhibitors increase testosterone in two ways.
Firstly, they block the aromatase enzyme from converting too much testosterone into estrogen, which increases testosterone levels and decreases estrogen levels.
Secondly, when the body notices decreasing estrogen levels, it starts producing more testosterone so that more T is available for conversion into estrogen. But remember, we’ve blocked the aromatase enzyme. This creates a cycle in which our body keeps amping up testosterone production that never gets converted into estrogen.
It is extremely important to take aromatase inhibitors and estrogen blockers along with your testosterone increasing supplements. You don’t want to increase your testosterone levels only for it to be converted into estrogen.
This is also why people taking anabolic steroids develop gynecomastia (man boobs). Extremely high levels of testosterone lead to increased estrogen which in turn causes man boobs.
Also, note that plant based aromatase inhibitors will not lower your estrogen to dangerously low levels, unless you already have low estrogen, so you can use natural aromatase inhibitors without any worries.
Let’s take a look at the best plant based aromatase inhibitors and estrogen blockers one by one.
Tongkat Ali As A Testosterone Booster
Tongkat Ali, also called Longjack and Malaysian Ginseng, has been researched extensively in both rat and human studies. It is one of the most potent natural aromatase inhibitors in the world. (54) (55)
This miracle plant increases testosterone levels in two very different ways. Not only does it increase testosterone and decrease estrogen by being a potent aromatase inhibitor, but it also stimulates direct testosterone production in the testes.
|Study 1) In one study, male rats were given Longjack extract. Over the course of the study, testosterone levels increased significantly. Additionally, levels of the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) also rose. The LH is directly responsible for testosterone production in the testes. To top it all of, estrogen levels were found to be significantly decreased. (56)|
Study 2) In a human study involving 63 stressed people, both male and female, testosterone levels increased by 37% across the board over a period of 4 weeks. (57)
Study 3) Another human study with 13 male and 12 female senior citizens showed significant increases in testosterone, as well as muscular strength and power output after 5 weeks of Longjack supplementation. (58) (59)
Study 4) One study took 76 male patients with dysfunctional testes and fed them Longjack for 1 month. Before treatment, only 35% of the men had testosterone levels within the normal range. At the end of 1 month, this figure went up to an incredible 90.8%. (60)
Longjack is also a powerful aphrodisiac, partly because of its testosterone increasing properties. Your sex drive will increase once you start with Longjack supplementation. (61) (62) (63) Longjack also helps with erectile dysfunction. (64) (65)
Longjack truly is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to increase your testosterone levels.
Our recommendation for the best LongJack supplement comes after Bladderwrack.
Bladderwrack As A Testosterone Booster
Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed that’s been used medicinally for many years. Its use in traditional medicine has led researchers to study it in clinical trials. Studies found bladderwrack to have powerful aromatase inhibitory effects. (66) (67)
|Study 1) In one study in rats, the rodents were given bladderwrack over a period of 4 weeks. After only 2 weeks, estrogen levels fell by 18%. After another two weeks, estrogen levels fell by another 9%. The total estrogen decrease was measured at about 25% over 4 weeks. |
It was also noticed that Bladderwrack blocked estrogen from binding with its receptors. This means that not only does bladderwrack decrease total estrogen levels, but it also blocks it from binding with its receptors, thereby reducing its effects on the body even more. (68)
Study 2) Similar results were observed in another study with bladderwrack blocking estrogen receptor activation by 50%. (69)
Study 3) One study on 3 females noticed a remarkable decrease in blood estrogen from about 626 pg/ml to 164 pg/ml in one of the women. That’s a decrease of 380%. It was observed that this woman was the only one of the 3 with excess estrogen before treatment began. (70)
Best Tongkat Ali and Bladderwrack Supplement:
ATP Science Alpha Prime
After scouring online stores for the best US made Longjack testosterone booster, we came to a disappointing conclusion: none of the available brands are up to our standards. The top brands we trust for product purity and effectiveness do not produce the Longjack supplement. You’ll find that the brands that do are unknown and with unverified quality control standards in place, questionable sourcing and shady marketing.
The ATP Science Advantage
ATP Science is an Australian based company with offices in the USA. They manufacture their supplements in their own in-house facility.
ATP Science is the only reputable Longjack supplement producer that has in-house manufacturing. By manufacturing in-house, ATP science has complete control over the entire production process, from sourcing raw materials, supplement formulation, manufacturing and even all the way up to packaging and delivery.
The other reason we recommend ATP Science is because not only does Alpha Prime contain both Longjack and Bladderwrack, but it also contains Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Studies show that Rosemary is also a potent estrogen inhibitor. (71) (72) (73)
Let’s take a look at the other “best” Longjack supplements available in the market:
Questionable Longjack Supplement Brand No.1 : BulkSupplements
Take BulkSupplements, the no.1 rated Longjack supplement on Amazon. They have more than 1,350 reviews with an overall rating of 4.3 stars. Pretty amazing right? Yeah, not so much.
BulkSupplements offer free supplements in exchange for reviews. Now, we understand that this in itself does not guarantee that the products they produce are bad, but it’s reasonable to assume that any company using such shady marketing tactics is also likely involved in other questionable practices.
Then there’s the fact that the company imports most of its products from China and repackages them with their own branding. The absence of in-house manufacturing is certainly a red flag in our eyes.
They also have more than 400 different types of supplements and sell them in bulk for really cheap prices. It’s hard to imagine high standards of quality control and consistency with all these things considered.
For your safety, it’s best to stay away from anything sold by BulkSupplements.
Questionable Longjack Supplement No. 2: VH Nutrition
Coming in at no. 2 on Amazon is VH Nutrition Longjack, another highly rated supplement that gives free bottles in exchange for reviews. While they do have in-house manufacturing, any company that engages in the shady “free bottle for review” practice is a big no-no for us, and it is in your best interest to feel the same.
Questionable Longjack Supplement No.3: Herbolab
Next, we looked at Herbolab, a promising brand that seems to be doing a lot of things right. Unfortunately, once we dug deeper, we realized that their Longjack supplement is made in Indonesia by another company called Javaplant.
While it is true that Indonesia has some of the most potent Longjack cultivations, we simply can’t trust a brand without in-house manufacturing. To make things worse, when we contacted the company through email, we got no response, which is far from assuring.
|Product Purity: Third party tested for heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Purity and potency is first tested in the raw materials and then in the finished product. |
Quality Control: GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) and HACCP certified. HACCP are international standards for food safety. They are also ISO 9001 certified which means that their product quality, consistency and customer satisfaction rates meet or exceed regulatory requirements.
Safety: Very safe. Free from heavy metals and contaminants.
Allergic Reactions: Free from GMOs, Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Yeast, Egg, Barley, Rye, preservatives, flavors, sweeteners and artificial colours. Contains tract amounts of nuts, soy and wheat. Do not take this supplement if you are allergic to these or are allergic to iodine and aspirin.
Side Effects: Side effects are extremely rare and limited to mild stomach issues and slight difficulty in sleeping. If you have trouble sleeping on this supplement then take both your capsules in the morning.
Absorption: Easily absorbed.
Interactions: ATP Science interacts with Maitake mushrooms extract, Echinacea herbal extract, Astragalus herbal extract, diabetes medication, thyroid medication, anti-clotting medicine, blood-thinners and epilepsy medication. Take a 2-week break from this supplement before a surgery because it can thin the blood.
Dosage: Take two capsules daily, with food. If you find it difficult to sleep at night, switch to taking both capsules in the morning.
ATP Science Alpha Prime Should Be Cycled
Alpha Prime is most effective when it is cycled on and off. We recommend that you take Alpha Prime for 3 months and then take a month long break, exactly like Ashwagandha. You can continue this cycle indefinitely. Remember, cycling is important for herbs because it allows the body to become sensitive to the testosterone booster again.
“Testosterone Booster” Supplements To Avoid
There are dozens of compounds out there that are marketed as testosterone boosters. Unfortunately, most of them don’t work. In this section we’ll tell you about the most common “testosterone boosting” compounds you’ll come across that you should avoid at all costs.
Whether it’s a single-ingredient supplement or a blend, make sure you stay away from any product that contains any of these compounds:
All cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli and Cabbage contain a compound called Indole-3-Carbinol or I3C for short. This compound blocks the aromatase enzyme from converting testosterone into estrogen. (74) (75)
Unfortunately, I3C is highly unstable in a supplemental form. (76) (77) It needs to be protected from light and cannot tolerate room temperature conditions. The effectiveness of I3C supplements can’t be guaranteed.
Some brands like Pure Encapsulations actually ship their I3C supplements with ice-packs and have instructions on the label to keep the bottle refrigerated. Other brands don’t even bother with this. With all things considered, I3C supplements are very hard to recommend.
When I3C enters the stomach, it breaks down into many different byproducts. One of these products is DIM. It just so happens that DIM is a lot more stable that I3C, making it more suitable for use in supplements.
Companies are taking the research done on I3C and deceptively applying it onto DIM, marketing it as a testosterone booster. This has led to the rapid rise in popularity of DIM supplements.
Unfortunately, the research shows that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
High concentrations of DIM (such as that available in supplemental form) has extremely potent testosterone blocking effects in the body. Almost all the available DIM supplements give you 200mg of DIM in one dose, which is practically impossible to get from real foods.
At these concentrations DIM bypasses the liver, enters the bloodstream and is absorbed throughout the body. Everywhere DIM goes, it disrupts testosterone receptors and blocks the effects of testosterone. (78) (79)
The important thing to understand is that you could have 3 times the testosterone of The Hulk pumping in your body, but if your testosterone receptors are blocked, your body will be unable to make use of any of this testosterone.
To make matters worse, high concentrations of DIM decreases sperm quality and damages testicular tissue in rats. (80)
Eat Real Vegetables To Increase Testosterone
When it comes to I3C and DIM, more is not better, so opt for real foods instead of supplements.
Cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale and Brussel Sprouts not only contain healthy amounts of I3C, but they also contain the necessary supporting compounds that play a crucial role in preventing excess testosterone from converting into estrogen. Eat these vegetables every day, as much as you can.
Then there are supplements containing broccoli extracts. Don’t make the mistake of believing that a broccoli extract supplement will have I3C in it.
In fact, broccoli extract supplements either contain Glucosinolate or Sulforaphane (SGS) or both. While these compounds are very useful in their own right, they are not aromatase inhibitors.
DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone present inside our body. It has the ability to convert into both testosterone and estrogen, depending upon a variety of different factors that are still not well understood.
DHEA has been researched in clinical trials extensively, but its track record has been all over the place. In some studies, it failed to increase testosterone entirely. (81) (82) (83) In the studies that it did, it also increased estrogen, (84) (85) (86) (87) (88) (89) which is not what we’re interested in. There’s also the fact that the vast majority of DHEA clinical trials involved women instead of men.
It appears DHEA has a contextual effect on people that cannot be relied upon; hence, we do not recommend DHEA supplementation.
Maca, Tribulus Terrestris
Testosterone boosters often contain Maca and Tribulus Terrestris. This is because of their ability to boost libido, improve erections and increase ejaculate volume. When people see all of these improvements, they wrongfully assume that this is because of a boost in testosterone.
While testosterone boosters like Longjack and Shilajit do have a libido improving effect, partly because of their ability to enhance testosterone production, clinical studies show that Maca and Tribulus work in a very different manner.
Do not buy a Maca or Tribulus Terrestris if you’re only looking to improve your testosterone levels.
Finally, we have D-Aspartic Acid. It is an amino-acid naturally found in protein rich foods like poultry, beef, pork and dairy products. Clinical studies show that supplemental doses of this amino-acid can indeed have significant effects on testosterone and estrogen.
However, like DHEA, the effects of D-Aspartic acid are unreliable and vary from one individual to another.
One study, that only lasted 12 days, found that D-Aspartic Acid significantly increased testosterone by the end of the 12th day. (99) However, another study found that testosterone levels were significantly reduced by the 28th day with high dosages (6g). (100)
These findings seem to suggest that D-Aspartic Acid initially causes a spike in testosterone levels followed by a sharp decline, which can result in even lower testosterone levels than the start of supplementation.
These studies show that the mechanism of action of D-Aspartic Acid is not reliable and hence; hence, we do not recommend it as a part of your testosterone boosting stack.
So, does this mean that you should stop eating protein because it has D-Aspartic Acid? Of course not. The naturally occurring amount of D-Aspartic Acid in any food is not enough to impact testosterone or estrogen in any significant way; eat your proteins heartily.
Testosterone Boosting Multivitamins & Blends
You may have come across testosterone boosting blends that contain many of the compounds mentioned in this guide in the form of an all in one capsule. We advise against taking these blends.
Let’s take a look at why this is so:
One of the biggest problems with supplements is that it is quite common for the dosage on the label to be different from the actual dosage in the pill. This problem gets much more likely when it comes to multivitamins and blends.
Inaccurate dosage can have a variety of adverse effects, such as unwanted side effects from overdosage or ineffectiveness from under dosage.
It is important to stay within the limits of daily recommended allowances. Notably, some ingredients mentioned on the label are only in quantities so tiny that they do not have any practical effect on the body.
Blends Contain Harmful Contaminants and Additives:
Supplement blends are much more likely to contain harmful contaminations and heavy metals compared to single-ingredient supplements. The more ingredients stuffed in a capsule, the more chances there are of things going wrong.
Easy To Reduce Side-effects With Single Ingredient Supplements:
Single-ingredient vitamins let you assess which ingredients work best for you and adjust your dose accordingly. It can be easy to detect side effects as well.
To identify potential side effects, it is recommended that you add additional single vitamin supplements one by one to your daily routine. Take one, observe it for a few days, and then start adding more, one by one.
If you are experiencing unwanted side effects from your testosterone boosting stack, it is recommended that you remove supplements one by one from your daily routine. Remove one and observe whether your symptoms decrease or not.
This is why we normally recommend single ingredient supplements over multivitamins and testosterone boosting blends. The only blend we’ve recommended in this guide is ATP Science Alpha Prime, whose quality control processes we trust and have verified.
Essential Life Style Factors To Increase Testosterone
As promised, the final part of our testosterone boosting guide covers the necessary lifestyle choices you must make to double or even triple your testosterone levels.
Sleep As A Testosterone Booster
Sleep is the single most important lifestyle factor that will determine your long-term testosterone levels. Our bodies produce testosterone when we’re in deep (REM) sleep.
This means that not only is the duration of sleep important, but so is the quality of sleep. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), one in three American adults are sleep deprived. (101)
Research shows that in young, healthy men, testosterone levels drop by 15% only after one week of restricted sleep. (102) It is likely that these levels will take an even bigger hit with prolonged periods of sleep deprivation.
Optimal sleep should last between 7-9 hours, and you should not be waking up more than three times in one night. If you are, you might be suffering from a form of temporary insomnia. While there may be many causes for this, stress is most often the culprit.
Resistance Training & HIIT As Testosterone Boosters
And while all forms of exercise are good, Resistance training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) stand-out as the elite when it comes to boosting testosterone levels.
Resistance training is different from aerobic exercises like running and swimming etc. as it involves lifting weights in order to increase muscle mass and power output. Clinical trials show a significant androgenic (testosterone boosting) effect to resistance training. (108) (109)
High Intensity Interval Training involves aerobic exercises like sprinting but at very high intensities and in bursts of short durations. Instead of steady-state aerobic exercises like running or jogging where you maintain the same intensity for a prolonged period of time, HIIT requires you to alternate between very high intensity exercises and then less intense recovery periods until exhaustion.
We recommend a mixture of both HIIT cardio and Resistance training as part of your testosterone boosting program. But remember, there’s also such a thing as over-training, so an hour a day, 3-4 times a week is more than enough to experience testosterone gains.
Diet As A Testosterone Booster
Research shows that total and free testosterone increases with a lower body fat percentage. (113) The higher the body fat, the lower the testosterone. Obese people have up to 30% less testosterone compared to their normal-weighing peers. (114) In fact, abnormally low levels of testosterone occur in 70% of morbidly obese people. Fortunately, this can be reversed with fat loss. (115)
One of the reasons why a high body fat reduces testosterone is because body fat contains the aromatase enzyme. The conversion of testosterone into estrogen increases whenever body fat percentage rises. (116) This is why men with high body fat always have high estrogen levels.
Consistent exercise along with a balanced diet consisting of vegetables, fruits and lean protein is the way to go about losing extra body fat.
Never opt for a crash-diet. Optimal testosterone levels need adequate fat, carbs and protein so stay away from extreme diets.
Now that we’ve equipped you with the knowledge you need to boost your testosterone levels, the rest is up to you. Remember, hormones that have been out of whack for years do not balance out in a single day; this process takes time.
But if you remain consistent and patient, you will see impressive results. By the end of the first month of supplementation, you’ll begin to notice slight changes, both physically and mentally; you’ll feel like it’s beginning to work.
By the end of month 3, your body will have had enough time to adjust to your new hormonal balance. That is when you’ll actually start feeling and looking noticeably better.