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Can Over-The-Counter Testosterone Boosters Actually Boost Free Testosterone?
Recent years have seen trends towards both OTC and prescription test boosters, not to mention a never-ending plethora of supplements containing ingredients both natural and non-natural that claim to bring similar results.
The thing is, the prescription route is a proven booster—although many still question the ethics and overall long-term effect on the body in relation to it. The fact is that many men who get into prescription TRT will most likely be on it for the rest of their naturals—which they are probably okay with—but this route is certainly not for everyone and should be approached with extreme caution...
Hence there is also a huge market for a more natural type of testosterone-booster, of which there is now a wide range on the market. This includes cheap and cheerful online options claiming cures for everything from poor sleep to baldness, to other more expensive blends that often contain at least one or two main ingredients that most fitness and lifestyle enthusiasts will likely have heard of at some point.
There are many claims based on bloodwork as support that these more natural, often herb-based supplements ramp up free testosterone—and there is certainly a growing body of evidence thanks to male hormone experts like Andrew Huberman. But let’s have a closer look at the evidence on how OTC testosterone boosters can actually boost free testosterone.
What is Testosterone and What Does it Do?
Testosterone is best-described as the primary sex hormone. But don’t get distracted here—it also has many important roles in the development, maintenance and functions of male physical attributes such as the development of the genitalia and reproductive organs. It will become increasingly dominant during puberty when the voice needs to deepen and the appearance of facial and other hair begins.
Testosterone also plays a major supporting role in strength gains through muscle and bone growth. The male libido and the production of sperm also rely heavily on the influence of this major male hormone, which can also be a huge influencer of mood—especially in terms of esteem, motivation, and purpose..
What is the Difference between OTC Testosterone Supplements and Prescription Testosterone Treatment?
The main difference is that one of them actually contains testosterone, and the other doesn’t. Can you guess which is which?
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the only treatment for identified low T levels with evidence enough to prove its ability to boost testosterone. As testosterone is a controlled substance, this means a doctor’s prescription is necessary to access it.
OTC testosterone boosters don’t actually contain any testosterone. Instead they often contain a range or combination of ingredients considered to naturally bring about the effects of higher levels of testosterone. These products aren’t generally regulated by any Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so it isn’t always that easy to precisely evaluate all the ingredients.
Does Any Research Support the Effectiveness of OTC Testosterone Supplements?
As previously mentioned neuroscientist Andrew Huberman knows a thing or two about testosterone optimization. He believes the research on two supplements in particular—Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis—have enough supporting evidence to conclude that they do indeed boost free testosterone.
Not too long back these two herbal-based supplements received some serious props from Huberman on the Joe Rogan when they were described as the 2 best natural test boosters.
Tongkat Ali is a flowering plant native to SE Asian regions where local cultures have long held that consuming the plant provides an array of health benefits. Certainly there are now studies that prove the testosterone promoting effects of taking Tongkat Ali, which is apparently boosted by the Fadogia when used in conjunction.
You can also check out this other useful Huberman Labs podcast regarding testosterone and how trying to replace or boost it in various ways pans out.
Mike Mahler also knows his stuff when it comes to hormone optimization. The renowned kettlebell and strength coach has developed his own formula for boosting testosterone by way of his Aggressive Strength product. You can check out the results and reports from his customers who claim this also is one of if not the best product on the market for helping males to optimize hormones.
There is still a large proportion of males who connect with the idea of naturally boosting testosterone. Adapting a diet rich in testosterone-boosting nutrition in conjunction with an exercise program and other lifestyle modifications related to sleep, recovery, and stress levels is now taken as a given by many males seeking strength, health, and wellness on a variety of levels.
My own personal approach and experience would never see me considering prescription TRT. I have never or would never consider steroids either though and have always preferred to supplement my regime and lifestyle with various herbs and other natural tonics like ginseng and royal jelly.
There are a few others like natural items like cordyceps that I’ve found useful, and there are also many claims that these natural ingredients aid the boosting of testosterone in men. And while I’ve never had any blood work done in relation to these supplements my feeling is that they support my lifestyle, energy, hormones, and general lust for life quite well, naturally.
My final point is that no supplement in the world, natural or otherwise will do it ‘for you’, and that the primary factor related to getting anything right as a male will always be a mind -set fuelled by purposeful planning and positive aggression. Start from there and the rest will follow.