There are two main reasons why most natural testosterone boosters don’t work:
- They do not contain enough (or any, in some cases) effective ingredients
- The ingredients are underdosed
We’ve all been there. You see an ad for the latest natural test booster that promises to raise your testosterone by 40% and give you massive lean muscle gains in just 2 weeks.
So you give it a try, spend your hard-earned money, and start taking it that same day.
The first week…nothing. So you figure it takes time for it to kick in. Before you know it, you’ve been taking this natural test booster for an entire month, and still…nothing.
Does this sound familiar?
In this post, you’re going to learn about:
- What are the effective ingredients in testosterone boosters
- Ingredients that are considered ‘fillers’ (and why supplement companies used these ineffective ingredients)
- Appropriate and effective dosing of test boosting ingredients
- Quality of the ingredients and supplement manufacturing
- What makes a good natural test booster
Effective Ingredients in Testosterone Boosters
Let’s get right down to it. What are the most effective ingredients in testosterone boosters?
I’m going to make a list for you, and each ingredient below will also contain a supporting link that includes research on how each one boosts testosterone.
Ingredients that May Increase Testosterone
Combination of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6
If you could only take 1 supplement for boosting testosterone naturally, this is the combination I would recommend (actually it’s a 3-in-1 formula).
Before we get too heavy into this, realize that these ingredients alone DO NOT boost testosterone. It’s what they help you do that will increase your testosterone, and that’s sleep!
Zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 make up a formula called ZMA. There’s a specific formula and appropriate dosing, which:
- Vitamin B6: 10.5 mg
- Magnesium: 450 mg
- Zinc: 30 mg
Taking this formula before bed will help get you into the deep, restful sleep you need. This is what will increase your testosterone naturally, and also your growth hormone levels. You can read more about this in my post: 9 Ways to Build Muscle While You Sleep.
You can often buy ZMA supplements, which contain all 3. But make sure the dosing reflects the above. Remember, many supplement companies underdose their effective ingredients.
Or you could buy each one separately and take the appropriate dose of each. I would say just go with the option that makes the most sense and is most cost-effective.
There’s a study on myfitfuel.com that dives deeper into how this formula and boosts testosterone when taken before bed.
Does Vitamin D Really Boost Testosterone?
Second, to the above, vitamin D is one of the best ways to naturally boost your testosterone. And it’s probably the cheapest!
In fact, there was a study performed on overweight (with no health issues) collectively by the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology Metabolism, and the University of Graz (Australia).
Their testosterone levels were captured prior to supplementing with either vitamin D or a placebo. Where there was no significant change in testosterone for the placebo group, the levels were indeed higher for the group that took vitamin D. Details of this study are found on PubMed, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
It’s common knowledge that vitamin D is also healthy for our bones. Having strong bones will help support muscle growth, which lifting weights is another great way to naturally boost testosterone.
Fenugreek Works When Combined with Other Ingredients
Another ingredient that can boost your testosterone is fenugreek. But here’s the thing…
Fenugreek alone may not impact your testosterone levels (or at least there’s lacking evidence to support this). However, per verywellhealth.com when fenugreek is combined with other ingredients, it can help maintain healthy levels of testosterone.
You will often see this ingredient is some of the modern test boosters. Fenugreek does have many health benefits, some of which are closely related to having higher testosterone levels.
Here’s what fenugreek can do:
- Increase libido (often a sign of increased testosterone)
- Can help maintain organ health
- Often used in fat burners as an appetite suppressant and for weight loss
- Can help balance cholesterol
**If you want a more in depth review of what I consider the top testosterone boosting ingredients, check out my post: 7 Ingredients to Look for in Natural Test Boosters
Filler Ingredients in Supplements
What are filler ingredients? These are ingredients that are ineffective to the stated purpose of the supplement.
I’ll also explain why supplement companies put these fillers into their products. But first, let’s examine some of these fillers so that you know what to look for.
Below you’ll find some common fillers in supplements, per enzymedica.com:
- Silicon Dioxide
- Stearic Acid
- Magnesium Stearate
- Potassium Sorbate
- Titanium Dioxide
Why Supplement Companies Use Filler Ingredients
Here are some common reasons why some testosterone booster labels contain fillers:
- To bind together the active ingredients
- Coatings, color, flavor
- To give the perception of more value
This isn’t limited to testosterone boosters. Fillers are common in all types of supplements that contain multiple ingredients.
The first reason makes sense, especially with pills and capsules. The second reason applies here as well for pills (think of how a vitamin is bound together all in one tiny pill).
The one that is sketchy is #3. And may supplement companies use this as a tactic. They fill the label with a long list of ingredients to make you think that you’re getting more value.
A good rule I personally follow is this: if I cannot pronounce it, then I will more than likely stay away from it. Or even better, take some time to do your own research of each individual ingredient, especially on the one’s you’ve never heard of (or can’t pronounce!).
Appropriate Dosing of Test Boosting Ingredients
One of the biggest problems I see in testosterone boosters is the dosage in certain ingredients. The label may have a full array of effective ingredients, but oftentimes they’re largely underdosed.
In fact, they may megadose the cheaper ingredients (to trick you into thinking you’re getting value) and underdose the others. I’m not going to call out the supplements or test boosters by name because we’d be here for a while, and I also realize companies will change their formulas from time to time.
Instead, I’m going to give you a list of several effective ingredients and the recommended dose for each (the first 3 are ones we covered earlier):
- Zinc: 30 mg
- Magnesium: 450 mg
- Vitamin B6: 10.5 mg
- Vitamin D: 50 mcg (per webmd.com)
- DAA – D-aspartic acid: 3-6 grams (per jissn.biomedcentral.com)
- Fenugreek: 500-600 mg (per examine.com)
- Tribulus Terrestris: 500-1,500 mg (per draxe.com)
When you’re in the market for a testosterone booster, or any supplement, make sure you pay close attention to the label and document the amounts of each ingredient. Then go do your own research! It’s tedious, but worth it.
Otherwise you may just be blowing your cash on crap supplements and wondering why they don’t work!
Quality of Ingredients
Another cost-saving tactic supplement companies will use is using cheap ingredients. Of course, they’re less likely to pass those savings on to you…
Unfortunately is tough to tell if the ingredients are of high or low quality. This is where 2 things come in:
- Brand reputation
- Trial and error
The brands that have stood the ‘test’ (yes, pun intended!) of time are generally going to use medium to high-quality ingredients. If they didn’t, they would no longer be in business.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t try a new product from new brands though. In that case, it’s important to read about the company and do your due diligence. Don’t just blindly go buy their product without digging deeper.
And with test boosters, you’ll have to do just that. Because there’s so much research that goes into ways to naturally boost testosterone, new products, and new brands are popping up frequently.
Learning by trial and error is part of the process as well. You could take a test booster that worked extremely well for your buddy but you may not respond as well to it. Or vice versa.
One thing to remember: if you’re not training hard or eating right, don’t blame the supplement! There’s no magic pill that’s going to make up for hard work in the gym, and at the dinner table.
The Ideal Natural Test Booster Formula
Now let’s have some fun! Let’s breakdown what the label on an ideal natural test booster looks like.
If you’re like me, you like to keep things simple. You don’t care to take a testosterone booster with a bunch of ingredients you can’t pronounce (remember what you read earlier about this!).
Rather, you simply want to take a supplement that’s going to compliment your training and diet and give you results.
So, let’s look at some ingredients by importance:
Must-Have Test Boosting Ingredients
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin D
Great Additions to Have in Your Test Booster
- Oyster Extract
- DAA (D-aspartic acid)
- Tribulus Terrestris
If you have a test booster with all of the ‘must-haves’ any 2-3 of the ‘great additions’ then you can expect some solid results.
But be careful. You don’t want a test booster that is loaded with every possible ingredient, whether they’re effective or not. Why? Because some ingredients may counter the effects of others.
Just find something with no more 7-8 ingredients, and that is catered to your goal (ex: mass gains, lean muscle, strength gains, weight loss, etc).
And I cannot stress this enough. Make sure you’re on a solid workout plan and diet. In fact, here’s what to read next: