Testosterone is at the heart of men’s health, and unfortunately it’s on the decline, aggressively so. Generation after generation, a substantial drop in serum testosterone follows.
Back in 2007, there was an infamous study by the Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, concluding that testosterone was plummeting across all age groups, and “A 60 year old man in 2004 had 17% less testosterone than a 60 year old man in 1987.”
Meaning a 1% drop in total testosterone per year, which really starts to add up over multiple decades.
So why is this so significant?
Well, testosterone serves many essential functions in men. Namely:
- Basic sexual functions, sex drive, lack of erectile dysfunction etc.
- Being responsible for a deeper voice, facial hair, and other masculine traits
- Sparking competitive behaviours, ambition, aggression, and dominance
- It boosts mood and self-esteem in men
- It plays an important role in motivation for all work that’s productive
- Boosting muscle growth significantly
- Improving sleep quality/depth
And frankly, testosterone just makes you bigger, stronger, faster, and better all-round in every area of male performance. Even things like work and making money, testosterone is correlated with rising up the hierarchies and making bank.
Whatever your most ambitious goals are as a man, testosterone will help you get there. Certainly being low testosterone will decimate your ability to get there.
No muscle is built if there’s inadequate testosterone, and it’s very difficult to make real money if you’re always feeling depressed.
Here’s four powerful supplements that will get your hormonal health back on track in no time, especially when you combine them with a half-decent diet, training and sleep routine.
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that’s been used for thousands of years in Indian principles of healing, that is becoming more and more popular by the day in the west, and with good reason.
It’s classified as an adaptogen, which means that it’s effective in limiting stress, depression, anxiety, and tends to lead to an improvement in day to day mood.
The data seems to back this up, and is very conclusive as far it’s ability to reduce stress, and control cortisol levels, which have a direct impact on total testosterone levels. Using Ashwagandha in combination with something like CBD oil may be a really good idea if you’ve been suffering from anxiety lately.
A study on 40-70 year old men lead to a 14.7% increase in total testosterone levels compared to the placebo group. Pretty significant results, and that’s without changing the three baselines – diet, training and sleep.
Another study recorded up to a 30% reduction in cortisol levels. The reason this is so significant is that cortisol places an ‘upper ceiling’ on testosterone levels, and if you’ve got excessive cortisol circulating in your bloodstream, it’s going to be impossible to be a high T male.
So definitely look into Ashwagandha further, especially if you know you’re more stressed out than you’d like to be.
Vitamin D3 has been all the rage since COVID shook the world in 2023, with many health experts (correctly) stating that you MUST ensure that you’re getting enough of this stuff to protect your immune system.
This is especially true in the winter, where most parts of the western world are at risk of being deficient. (Especially the UK – so depressing in the winter).
But how much vitamin D do you need for optimal testosterone levels?
Originally, the research was pointing towards ~600 IU’s per day, and this was actually the RDA for a while. Which probably turned out to be a costly mistake for a lot people, as it was revealed that this was a major statistical error, according to this study.
This study was a little closer to the mark, concluding that 3332 IU’s per day lead to an impressive 20% increase in testosterone levels. Please note that this was an additional 3332 IU’s in addition to their diet and current level of sunlight exposure.
So their total vitamin D levels were likely significantly higher than this.
You Need ~9,000 IU’s Of Total Vitamin D, From All Sources
In reality, you’re going to want to take note of the following:
“It also estimated that 8895 IU of vitamin D per day may be needed to accomplish that 97.5% of individuals achieve serum 25(OH)D values of 50 nmol/L or more.”
So when you go for a blood test (highly recommended), you’re shooting for blood levels of > 50nmol/L, or >20 ng/ml for optimal testosterone levels, but the amount of vitamin D you need to take in order to get there, will depend on:
- The amount of sunlight you’re getting
- The amount of vitamin D you get in your diet
This study concluded that the new RDA should be 3,000 IU’s for children > 1 year of age, and ~9,000 IU’s for adults.
But this needs to be tailored to your lifestyle, so you MUST have blood work done.
9,000 IU’s may well be optimal for most adults living in the British, Canadian or Scandinavian winter. But if you’re spending three months on the beach in San Diego, Australia, or the Canary Islands, that could get pretty toxic, pretty fast.
Also worthy of note:
- A whole egg has ~50 IU’s in it. So if you’re an egg monster, with 6 eggs per day, that’s an extra 300 IU’s of vitamin D.
- A salmon fillet will have 1,000-1,600 IU’s in it.
- A can of sardines will have almost 200 IU’s.
So you can see how a healthy diet across a 24 hour period could easily add up to well over 3,000 IU’s per day. Keep this in mind.
Mega Dosing Vitamin D?
Should you mega dose?
While I’ve seen people randomly suggesting 50,000 IU mega doses without a blood test, I personally would stay well away from that without a clinical diagnosis of being vitamin D deficient.
Even in the studies on the clinically-deficient, they admit that daily dosing only fails because of ‘lack of compliance’.
I personally don’t understand what’s so difficult about spraying a bottle two or three times into your mouth, every morning. It’s not rocket science. Just stick to the daily recommendation of ~9,000 IU’s, assuming you’re not getting much sunlight right now.
Magnesium is another supplement that clearly has some very powerful anti-stress benefits. Not only does it tend to dislocate adrenaline from the adrenergic receptors, but it also seems to enhance sleep quality.
It’s a double whammy of testosterone boosting.
So why magnesium glycinate?
Well magnesium citrate is also a very solid form of magnesium and it’s certainly 10 times better than nothing. But it does appear that glycinate has slightly superior levels of absorption, so it’s the version that I tend to recommend.
Study reports that deficiency in magnesium absolutely impairs testosterone levels, and accelerates the aging process. Another research measured testosterone levels in tae kwon do athletes at exhaustion and also resting levels. Magnesium was responsible for boosting testosterone in both instances.
Definitely look at stocking up on magnesium, especially if you’re training hard. My recommendation would be to take 200mg post workout, and another 200mg before bed to assist in sleep quality, as it’s one of the most potent recovery benefits for the athlete, and sleep is REQUIRED for high testosterone.
Great supplement. Read this article for more detail on magnesium products.
ZMA (zinc and magnesium combined) has long been used by athletes and bodybuilders for enhancing sleep quality and overall recovery. It’s also been reported to give you vivid dreams (I can personally vouch for this).
One study reported a whopping 30% increase in testosterone from 30mg of zinc (with additional magnesium), so it’s definitely worth looking into. This alone could take you from 500ng/dl to 650ng/dl.
Zinc is a powerful part of this change, and a huge % of the population is at risk of deficiency due to:
- Excessive sugar consumption
- A high stress lifestyle
- Leaky gut syndrome
If any of the above apply to you, then zinc may well be a useful testosterone booster.
So why zinc picolinate?
While zinc sulphate is the cheapest form of zinc, picolinate appears to have higher absorption rates (similarly to the magnesium glycinate), so it’s worth spending the tiny bit extra in order to optimise your hormonal health.
The best dose is likely ~15mg per day for most men, and I would advise you to get a blood test to confirm the ideal dose for you personally.
Whilst there is a certain amount of individualisation with regards to the doses of each supplement, we can confidently say that all four are testosterone boosters for the majority of the male population in the modern world.
Most men’s lives are more stressful than ever, more light-deprived than ever, and sleep-deprived than ever. That’s where these supplements play a powerful role in men’s health. They fill the gaps, and in doing so can lead to 30%+ increases in testosterone.
It’s important to remember that you should always combine these four supplements with good general sleep hygiene, intense training, and a good fat loss diet so that body fat is not hindering your ability to be a high T male.
If you would like more information on how to optimize your diet, make sure you read this monster article below: https://www.foreveralphablog.co.uk/testosterone/2020/05/testosterone-killing-foods/