Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and is pretty important in the body. The importance of testosterone is even more pronounced for bodybuilders since more testosterone correlates with better muscle gains. The potency of various herbs in regulating various physiological processes is well studied. From blood circulation to immune functions, various herbs have demonstrated various immense benefits and have helped to boost performance in athletes.
Since higher testosterone levels are linked to improved athletic and bodybuilding performance, it is only natural that athletes and heavy lifters alike seek exogenous means to increase their testosterone levels. Luckily, the herbal community did not forget the male sex hormone. Here, we will look at 8 of the best herbs you should look to if you want to boost your testosterone levels. But first, what exactly is testosterone?
Testosterone is a sex hormone present in humans, as well as in other animals. Hormones are chemicals that are produced in organs known as glands and transported through the blood to other tissues where they exert a specific function. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, produced in the testis and transported to several tissues in the body where it exerts several different functions. Testosterone influences masculine characteristics, male sexual maturation, and bodily functions. In addition to controlling men’s sex drive, it stimulates sperm production.
Beyond its roles in sexual functioning, testosterone is involved in several other tissue functions including; bone and muscular growth, fat storage, and the production of red blood cells. Testosterone is also involved in regulating mood in men.
Masculine testosterone levels change significantly over the course of a lifetime. The levels start rising from birth and reach their peak throughout puberty. Peak testosterone levels in puberty allow teenage boys to develop distinctively male features, such as increased muscle mass and strength, facial hair, a deeper voice, etc. As the male gets older, testosterone levels start to drop, reaching trough levels by old age.
Unfortunately, some men have lower than normal testosterone levels for their age and this condition leads to severe consequences such as decreased sex drive, less energy, weight gain, feelings of depression, moodiness, low self-esteem, less body hair, and thinner bones. The American Urological Association estimates that roughly 2 out of 10 men over 60 have low testosterone.
It should be noted that it is not only men that produce testosterone. Women also produce testosterone via the varies, albeit in smaller amounts. Testosterone in women helps with the growth, maintenance, and repair of a woman’s reproductive tissues, bone mass, and human behaviors. Similarly, lower than normal testosterone levels in females can have damaging effects.
Testosterone’s primary function is in affecting the development of male secondary sexual characteristics, such as the growth of body and facial hair and the development of male libido. Besides its sexual functions, testosterone affects several other organs
Testosterone has a vital influence on daily energy levels because of its function in the production of red blood cells. These essential cells help the body produce energy from fat and carbs and deliver oxygen to the body. Men with low testosterone thus frequently feel quite physically and mentally worn out. Although you may feel exhausted from engaging in strenuous activities or lack of sleep, there is a chance that low testosterone levels may be the cause of your persistent fatigue.
If you have been experiencing a lower than usual sex drive, it may be accrued to low testosterone. Reduced libido and erectile dysfunction can result from low testosterone levels, which can be disastrous for a man’s sexual health. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism discovered a significant correlation between testosterone levels and libido. According to the research, those who reported having less sexual desire were more likely to have low testosterone levels. Their sexual drive and function increased when the low level of testosterone was improved.
Low testosterone is a significant element in muscle protein production, which repairs muscle damage caused by weightlifting and other exercises that build muscle mass. Research that studies the impact of testosterone on strength discovered that when testosterone doses were administered to the nine test subjects, their average muscle mass rose by 20%. There is a chance of building higher lean muscle growth after boosting your testosterone levels when used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.
The function of the brain is significantly influenced by testosterone. The ability to reason mathematically, recall verbal information and focus are all said to have improved with testosterone supplementation. Additionally, testosterone therapy has been demonstrated to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in older men. Therefore, it’s essential to control your testosterone levels to safeguard the health of your brain. It also helps to reduce heart attack, stroke, and death.
Testosterone makes men feel happier and less irritable and aggressive. Scientific studies showed that testosterone increased feelings of positivity and friendliness while lowering irritation, tension, wrath, and nervousness. Testosterone replacement therapy is also used as an antidepressant treatment for men.
Low testosterone levels have damning consequences, not limited to the loss of libido and a dampened mood. Thus, persons with lower than normal testosterone levels need to find means to increase their testosterone levels. Besides, for bodybuilders and athletes, increased testosterone levels improve athletic performance. Thus, even when testosterone levels are not down, they have a need to increase their levels in order to keep with or stay ahead of the competition.
There are a few different ways to increase testosterone levels. One way is by the use of testosterone-boosting drugs. But these drugs have side effects and may also have regulatory complexities. On the other hand, herbs are safe, effective, and have fewer or no regulations regarding their use. Besides, these herbs may also have several other benefits. Some of the most potent testosterone-boosting herbs include;
Ashwagandha (Withania somniferous) is a medicinal herb used in traditional medicine for a long time. The majority of the pharmacological benefits of ashwagandha are concentrated in its root, the most frequently used component.
Ashwagandha helps in boosting testosterone levels, increasing energy and physical strength, reducing stress, improving metabolism, and increasing sexual desire. Some research shows that ashwagandha may improve sperm health and male fertility. Ashwagandha may boost levels of reproductive hormones, sperm count, and motility. Due to its antioxidant properties, it can also shield sperm cells from oxidative stress-related harm.
A cruciferous vegetable called maca root (Lepidium meyenil) is used in traditional medicine to increase testosterone levels, sex drive, and fertility. Maca is a popular dietary supplement used in various dishes, including smoothies and baked products. Nutrients found in maca roots are iron, iodine, calcium, and others. Research shows that using maca root extract may increase sperm motility and semen quality, promoting male fertility.
The herb fenugreek, or Trigonella foenum-graecum, has a flavor akin to maple syrup and is used in cooking and herbal therapy. A research review revealed that fenugreek extract might be useful for raising blood levels of total testosterone in the body. Fenugreek extract can also help to increase free testosterone levels by 46%. In terms of health, fenugreek helps to promote weight loss, lower the risk of developing diabetes, reduce inflammation, and enhance reproductive health.
Shilajit is a natural substance resulting from decomposing organic matter and plants. It is a tar-like, blackish-brown substance mainly found in the Himalayas. Traditional Ayurvedic medicine uses shilajit to improve overall wellness and good health. Shilajit has been researched as a potential treatment for infertility and a technique to increase testosterone levels. Shilajit helps boost low sperm counts, sperm motility, testosterone, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine have employed the fruit-producing vine plant Tribulus Terrestris as an aphrodisiac. This is traditionally known as goat’s head and pierce vine. This herb enhances male fertility, increases appetite, reduces pain, and functions as a diuretic. According to research, Tribulus Terrestris extract is effective in enhancing sperm motility. Tribulus Terrestris is also helpful in boosting testosterone levels and sperm health metrics like count, motility, and shape.
Eurycoma longifolia, often known as Tongkat Ali, is a South Asian tree that yields the medicinal plant (Tongkat Ali). The herb Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is derived from a South Asian tree. It treats dyspepsia, some medical disorders, and sexual dysfunction. Tongkat Ali helps increase testosterone, which is good for male sexual health. An animal study revealed that Tongkat Ali extracts increased testosterone levels and the concentration, motility, and viability of sperm.
For thousands of years, Chinese physicians have utilized ginseng as a popular herbal medication. According to one study, consuming Korean red ginseng increased sperm quantity, motility, morphology, and viability. Ginseng may help persons with or without fertility issues maintain healthy reproductive systems. Ginseng has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can boost testosterone levels and the immune system, improve cognitive function, and lessen erectile dysfunction symptoms (ED).
A tree species known as saw palmetto produces fruit used in herbal medicine. Saw palmetto helps with testosterone production, prostate health, and urinary system functions while reducing inflammation. According to an animal study, saw palmetto enhances the production of testosterone and improves the production of healthy sperm.
Besides using these potent herbs, you may also give your testosterone levels a pump through any of the following means
- Exercise and weightlifting
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements
- Eating food rich in fat, protein, and carbs
- Follow a healthy lifestyle and estrogen-live compounds
- Minimizing stress and cortisol levels
- Get plenty of high-quality sleep
- Get some sun or take Vitamin D supplements
As a bodybuilder, getting yourself a testosterone boost can help you stay competitive and stay ahead of the curve. Herbal testosterone boosters provide a safe and effective means for boosting testosterone without suffering significant side effects. These herbs are typically available as supplements that can be gotten in most pharmacies and are often times mixed with other minerals and vitamins to provide added benefits.