A Gentlemen’s Guide to Natural Testosterone Boosters
I was just coming back from the bathroom when I saw him, slobbering and drunk, leaning over the barstool whispering sweet nothings into my girlfriend’s ear. As I approached, she made eye contact, “Help, get me out of here!” She told me without uttering a word. “Excuse me dude, mind if I jump in here?” I asked politely. “She was just saving this seat for me…” Before I could finish, he interrupted, “Can’t you see I’m having a conversation here,” slurring his words as he spoke. This conversation was over. I grabbed him by the collar and forcefully slammed him up against the wall, knocking the wind out of him and pinning him there before the bouncers swarmed and tossed us both out onto the cold street.
Later that night, my girlfriend, partially humiliated but most defintely turned on asked me, “What the hell has gotten into you? You know, I could have handled that just fine without you going all cave man on that dude.” “Sorry babe,” I responded, “ I have been feeling decidedly different lately. I may have undergone some changes in body chemistry since the last time you have seen me. Lately, I have been feeling a bit more… aggressive.” Her facial expression conveyed equal parts confusion and horniness.
In actuality, I had recently increased my testosterone levels from 230 to over 600 ng/Dl after experimenting with some unconventional dietary and training modifications. I was sleeping better, felt more motivated in the gym, recovering from workouts in record time, and my sex drive was higher than it had been since I was a teenager. I was even showing signs of back acne, generally associated with the use of Anabolic Steroids. The interesting thing was, I had done this all, naturally and legally.
My success in boosting testosterone levels served as inspiration for this article. I have combed through hundreds of blog posts, studies, articles, books, and I have narrowed down my findings to some the more convincing methods I have discovered. In this article I will attempt to share them with you in as simple a manner as humanly possible.
In the world of Bodybuilding, Testosterone is King
Athletic Benefits of Increased Testosterone:
- Increased protein synthesis from amino acids
- Increased appetite
- Increased bone remodeling and growth
- Stimulation of bone marrow, which increases the production of red blood cells.
- Stimulate the formation of muscle cells and hence cause an increase in the size of skeletal muscles, leading to increased strength.
- Increase in competitive drive, motivation, and aggressiveness. 1,2,3
Onion Juice Triples Testosterone Levels
(Photo: Doc Wert)
According to research done at Tabriz University in Iran, fresh onion juice can raise testosterone levels as much as substances like clomid or nolvadex. Intrigued by the strong antioxidants in onions, researchers juiced some plain old onions and gave the tear inducing liquid to some very pissed off rats. The research showed that after 20 days the onion juice had improved the sperm quality and increased the concentration of LH, FSH and testosterone in the rats’ blood. In case you were wondering, the motivation behind this study was the fact that in Iran, men who have fertility problems often can’t afford to buy medicine.
Antioxidants in onion juice neutralize free radicals in your balls. The researchers suspect that the antioxidants in question are probably selenium compounds found in onions, and phenols such as quercetin and isorhamnetin. There are several other animal studies which confirm that high doses of polyphenols have a positive effect on testosterone production in the testes. Strangely enough, the effect was greatest with standard onion juice.
How You Can Use It:
The rats were given a pretty unrealistic amount of onion juice, nevertheless this study is pretty interesting. If you want to try it yourself, we recommend experimenting with the juice of 2-3 onions daily. The best way to juice an onion is to chop it into pieces, throw it in a food processor, and process it until it is mush. Pour the mess into a mesh strainer set over a bowl. Let the juice drain into the bowl, pressing on the mush till you get most of the juice. We are interested in hearing your feedback on this one.
The Most Common Question: Masturbation and Testosterone
Abstaining from jerking off will make your testosterone levels shoot through the roof. As early as the Greeks, sportsmen believed that the body was weakened by ejaculation, so athletes would frequently avoid sex before competitions. In Martin Scorcese’s Raging Bull , boxer Jake La Motta (portrayed by Robert Deniro) famously leaves the bedroom for the bathroom and pours ice water down his boxers to calm his urges when tempted by his wife before a fight.
There was an interesting study done in China to better understand the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men. Researchers found that abstaining from ejaculation for six days had no impact on serum testosterone levels. On the seventh day, serum testosterone levels peaked to 145.7% of baseline, and then declined rapidly on the eighth day. 12 Researchers believe testosterone declined on day eight from the negative feedback suppression of Leutinizing hormone secretion.
Research also demonstrates that testosterone levels do rise as a response to sexual stimuli. Therefore, an athlete could benefit pre-workout by being exposed to sexual stimuli. The athlete could then exercise with increased testosterone levels and aggression.
How You Can Use It:
If you want to experiment with this, here is the simplified protocol:
- Masturbate once every 7 days.
- Try to time your masturbation so that your 7th day falls on your hardest training or competition day (The every 7 heaven, new bodybuilding holiday?)
- Ejaculate one hour post-exercise on your hardest training day to increase immune-system function and enhance recovery abilities.
It has been shown that testosterone levels do temporarily drop after you have waxed your dolphin. This makes a strong case for avoiding sex or masturbating immediately before you have a workout scheduled. If you want to dig a little deeper this article has a more in depth analysis regarding Sex and Bodybuilding Gains.
Megadoses of Zinc Work
Supplement manufacturers have been claiming that Zinc raises testosterone levels for years. Researchers as the Firat University in Turkey have finally confirmed this with some comprehensive animal and human studies. We studied the research and are pretty convinced.
Researchers suspect that the body uses large amounts of zinc during physical exercise. Zinc is used by many enzymes during hormone production and the generation of energy from carbs and fats. By supplementing with high doses, athletes can improve performance.
In the most conclusive experiment, researchers at the Selcuk University in Turkey gave a bunch of athletes a daily dose of 3 mg. of zinc per kg. of bodyweight. The athletes did weight training once a week, cross training once a week, and sport specific training on the other days. After four weeks, athletes who were given Zinc had 40 percent more free testosterone in their blood.
How You Can Use It:
The amount of Zinc used in this study is more than ten times the daily amount of zinc recommended by nutritionists. It may be effective at increasing testosterone, but according to Chinese researchers, such high doses can lead to side effects such as heightened cholesterol levels. 5 Such high doses of Zinc are also suspected of increasing the risk of prostate cancer. Try this one at your own risk. You can buy Zinc Supplments here.
Are You Getting Enough Sun?
Most men in the western hemisphere have low concentrations of vitamin D in their blood. This is because the types of food we eat don’t naturally contain enough vitamin D, therefore we have to rely on the vitamin D that our body makes. The problem is, your body makes Vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight, and we don’t get enough of that either.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone – one that is partially responsible for the production of testosterone in Leydig cells. Low vitamin D levels often correlate with low testosterone levels.
A team of scientists in Austria examined the blood of 2300 western men. Only 11% of them had sufficient vitamin D levels in their blood. It was also shown, that the more vitamin D the men had in their blood, the higher their testosterone levels and their concentration of free testosterone. 6 The assumption for most western men is, if they increase the levels of vitamin D in their blood, they’ll make more testosterone. In another study, German sports scientists discovered that power athletes made better progression in the season when they had high vitamin D levels 7 in their blood. This Austrian study is a pretty good explanation as to why.
How You Can Use It:
If you believe you are at risk for having low vitamin D levels, you can increase your levels with supplementation. It is recommend to get this level tested with a blood test, especially during the winter months. A general recommendation is that below 20 ng/ml is a deficiency, and for optimal levels you should shoot for 30 to 80 ng/ml. Most multivitamins do not contain enough vitamin D to have the desired effect on testosterone.
The most effective dosage for an average sized man is around 7,200 IU of liquid vitamin D3 daily. 3,000-5,000 IU upon waking and before bed, until blood levels are at least 55 ng/mL. Squirting under the tongue with a dropper is the best way to take it. It also helps to make an effort to get some additional exposure to sunlight. You can buy Liquid Vitamin D-3 here, NOW is a good brand and pretty cheap.
Cod Liver Oil + Vitamin Rich Butter Fat
(Photo: Daniel Erkstam)
Cod liver oil and vitamin rich butter fat contain a unique concentration of vitamins D, A, and K(2) which cause a synergistic effect in the body that has a direct positive effect on testosterone production.
Most Americans have a deficiency in Vitamins D and A, because our food sources do not contain enough of them. Cod Liver Oil is extremely high in both vitamins A and D. Butter fat contains vitamin k(2) which helps activate vitamins A and D by helping them bind with calcium. In correcting this deficiency, you can increase natural testosterone production.
A study on turkeys which the aforementioned deficiency showed that the combination of cod liver oil and vitamin rich butter fat was twice as effective at increasing the strength of their legs then vitamins A and D alone.
How You Can Use It:
Cod Liver Oil + Vitamin Rich Butter Fat: 2 Capsules upon waking and before bed. Another source of the activator, vitamin K(2) is found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut. It doesn’t hurt to add a few daily tablespoons to this regimen. 8
Ice Baths May Make Your Balls Shrivel, But Only Temporarily
Daily Ice baths result in higher levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone due to a complex response in the brain related to the regulation of temperature.
Blood tests done by Timothy Ferriss, author of the 4-hour body indicate that intermittent cold exposure resulted in higher levels of LH and testosterone. The reason for this positive impact is related to highly advanced thermogenesis functions of the anterior hypothalamus.
How You Can Use It:
Short ice baths and/or cold showers: 10 minutes each, upon waking and right before bed. Ice baths have also been shown to decrease swelling and speed up recovery times. This one can’t hurt so you might as well give it a try. At the very least this character building exercise will increase your mental toughness.
Clog Your Arteries Before A Workout
Consuming 800 mg of cholesterol, within 2 hours of your bedtime, the night before a workout will temporarily increase testosterone levels.
Testosterone is derived from cholesterol, which is primarily produced during sleep. In another study done by Timothy Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Body, he reported effects such as a significant increase in sex drive in as many as a dozen trials.
How You Can Use It:
The simplest solution is to consume four whole eggs, within 2 hours of your bedtime, the night before a workout. A single egg yolk contains as much as 200 mg of cholesterol. For an added bonus, throw in a little bit of Swiss cheese which has highest CLA levels of all cheeses. Here is a great article which further clears up a lot of the confusing aspects of cholesterol.
An African Vine That Works Just Fine
Tribulus Terrestris, a vine plant that grows in moderate and tropical climates is thought to support healthy hormone profile by boosting testosterone levels via stimulation of the anterior pituitary gland. This stimulation is thought to promote the production and secretion of Leutinizing Hormone, which can lead to increases in free-testosterone levels.
Tribulus Terrestris contains steroidal saponins, alkaloids, and flavanoids, but it is the protodioscins content of Tribulus Terrestris that is believed to be responsible for its ability to boost testosterone levels and support health hormone profile function. Research has shown that Tribulus Terrestris extract was effective at stimulating testosterone increases in study subjects. 5, 6
When researchers from Lithuania recently provided athletes 625 milligrams of a 40%-saponin-containing Tribulus three times per day for 20 days, they reported that circulating testosterone increased significantly during the first 10 days of the experiment.
How You Can Use It:
The sweet spot seems to be consuming enough Tribulus so you get between 2.3 and 4.6 milligrams of protodioscin per pound of bodyweight daily. Look for a Tribulus terrestris extract that’s standardized to no less than 6% protodioscin and between 40% and 45% total saponins. Human research has established that Tribulus Terrestris is safe and free of side-effects in healthy adults.9 Here is one of the better selections of Tribulus supplements we found on the web.
If you’re looking to purchase supplements, use these coupons to save money:
1. Schroeder E, Vallejo A, Zheng L, et al. (2005). “Six-week improvements in muscle mass and strength during androgen therapy in older men”. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci 60 (12): 1586–92. doi:10.1093/gerona/60.12.1586.
2. Grunfeld C, Kotler D, Dobs A, Glesby M, Bhasin S (2006). “Oxandrolone in the treatment of HIV-associated weight loss in men: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study”. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 41 (3): 304–14. doi:10.1097/01.qai.0000197546.56131.40.
3. Giorgi A, Weatherby R, Murphy P (1999). “Muscular strength, body composition and health responses to the use of testosterone enanthate: a double blind study”. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia 2 (4): 341–55. PMID 10710012
4. Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2009 Feb; 68(1): 45-51.
5 [Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2004 Nov;33(6):727-31.]
6. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2009 Dec 29. [Epub ahead of print]
7. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Apr 3. [Epub ahead of print].
8 The Four Hour Body, Timothy Ferriss
9 Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Jun;10(2):208-15. The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. Antonio J, Uelmen J, Rodriguez R, Earnest C.
10. J Pharm Sci. 2001 Nov;90(11):1752-8. Determination of steroidal saponins in Tribulus terrestris by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and evaporative light scattering detection. Ganzera M, Bedir E, Khan IA.
11. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1990 Feb;10(2):85-7, 68. [406 cases of angina pectoris in coronary heart disease treated with saponin of Tribulus terrestris] [Article in Chinese] Wang B, Ma L, Liu T.
12. J Zhejiang Univ Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;4(2):236-40. A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men. Jiang M, Xin J, Zou Q, Shen JW. Department of Life Science, Hangzhou Normal College, Hangzhou 310020, China. firstname.lastname@example.org