There are so many testosterone boosters on the market that it’s really hard to keep track. However, just like fat burners and various strength enchancers you’ll find in a regular supplement store, not all test boosters work. The supplement industry is pretty unregulated, and unless a supplement is seriously harmful for ones health, chances are it will remain on the shelf and someone will pick it up.
The placebo effect plays a huge role with various supplements including testosterone boosters, which is why the products we’re about to examine are still popular and widely used. There are still people who believe whey protein is somehow magical and will get you huge, and the same logic applies to testosterone boosters. Our thoughts play a powerful role in how we feel, so it’s no wonder that a product can work just because you want it to.
But it’s better not to rely on subjective feelings and not to get sucked into bro-science. For this reason, here are the 3 popular testosterone boosters that are not worth investing in.
This herbal supplement is probably the most well known testosterone booster out there. Users swear that it works, and it’s even used by some bodybuilders when they go off a steroid cycle and need to get a kick of natural testosterone production as part of a post cycle therapy.
Tribulus also has some mood enchancing and libido benefits which are widely acclaimed, making it the ultimate go-to booster with a good reputation. But guess what? It doesn’t actually work!
Multiple studies have been performed showing that tribulus doesn’t effect testosterone production whatsoever. Even more, it was shown that a group of athletes that used tribulus and the one that was given a placebo didn’t get any different results in muscle size, strength or recovery from workouts.
So why did tribulus become so popular in the first place? The reason is simple. Although tribulus doesn’t increase testosterone, it does increase libido and can have a stimulating effect on the nervous system, providing a sense of well being and assertiveness. But it doesn’t do that through increasing testosterone.
So if you’re interested solely in libido improvement and not in other testosterone boosting benefits, tribulus can be helpful, so don’t cross it off the list completely. But it won’t make any significant changes to your gym gains for example, unless you believe really hard that it will (Tribuls Supplement Link).
2. Saw Palmetto
This is another test booster that was very popular within the bodybuilding community for a number of years. Saw palmetto is a tropical herb which does in fact increase testosterone, but it does so by messing with one crucial mechanism. Usually, the testosterone our body produces largely gets converted into a more powerful dihydrotestosteron, more commonly known as DHT.
DHT serves many functions in the body, as it supports beard and hair growth, muscular development and libido. Saw Palmetto inhibits the conversion of free testosterone into DHT because it interferes with the 5-a reductase enzyme that usually does the job. This is why Saw Palmetto is used by many medical practitioners to treat enlarged prostate, because this condition is linked to large amounts of DHT.
Basically, if you take Saw Palmetto, you’ll end up having more testosterone, but at the expense of DHT, which is for some functions even more important and powerful. That is especially true when it comes to libido. This study has shown that it can cause sexual dysfunction by blocking the main androgen receptor, as we’ve mentioned previously. In my mind, it’s best to avoid Saw Palmetto altogether.
3. D-Aspartic Acid, or DAA
The third most popular testosterone booster is one that probably sounds familiar to everyone. It was shout from the rooftops how awesome it is, and many bought into the (truly impressive) marketing done by the supplement industry. There were also a few sponsored studies that supposedly proved how DAA can increase testosterone production by up to 142%, which upon further examination doesn’t hold ground at all. Not only does DAA not boost testosterone production, newer evidence suggests it can actually decrease it.
Those first studies were sponsored by DADAVIT®, a DAA manufacturer. Afterwards, more independent research was done on the D-Aspartic Acid to see whether it’s truly the next great thing. The first study, by Willoughby et al., showed that 28 days of supplementation with DAA did not change testosterone levels a least bit. The subjects body would actually fight against an increase of DAA by producing more oxydase enzyme, rendering it ineffective.
Another study performed in 2015 showed that weight-lifters who used DAA in larger amounts (up to 6 grams) actually started to experience lower levels of total and free testosterone. All ofthese factors prove that DAA is not by any means a powerful testosterone booster, and even the effects that some users directly feel, such as a feeling of having “blue balls” has got more to do with the negative side effects of oxydase enzyme combating DAA, than it has to do with an increase in sperm count or anything of the sorts.
There are many ways you can tune up your testosterone production, as we’ve already discussed on the site. The important thing is not to fall into the major marketing scams that are still tricking many people into buying useless products. You might get a placebo kick, but it’s better to invest in supplements that work whether you believe in them or not.