Testosterone Boosters/Natural Anabolics - A Natural Way to Boost Testosterone (Part 2)
Testosterone Boosters Part 1
Chrysin – Chrysin is a naturally occurring flavone, which came to prominence in a blaze of hype marketed under the tagline of Flavone X, back in the 1990s in the magazine Musclemedia 2000. It was widely used as an anti-aromatase (estrogen lowering) product but research has failed to supports its claims to reduce estrogen or raise testosterone.26 27 28 This absence of research supporting its use as a testosterone booster is disappointing for sure, and led to it falling in popularity as a supplement to enhance muscle mass. However, it has recently been promoted more in libido enhancing products and for this purpose there is some research supporting its role29. It has also been shown to demonstrate anxiety reducing effects30, and this possible role in reducing stress could also act as a libido enhancer, since stress is widely recognised as having a disastrous effect on libido.
Maca Extract – Maca, also known as Lepidium meyenii, is a plant widely used as a herbal tonic in South America which was said to be fed to Inca warriors before battle to make them ferocious and made them very virile, to such an extent that women had to be protected from them!31 Doubtless that story is overblown, and given the fact that these tribes also frequently indulged in the use of cocoa leaf (used to make cocaine), perhaps other factors were more important in this story. Trials conducted in the modern day have shown that maca can increase libido as well as improve seminal volume in men.32 33 Widely eaten to this day in modern day Peru, maca has not been shown to increase testosterone levels in any research to date. Indeed, one small trial showed that while it increased libido in most men, it actually decreased testosterone levels in more men than it increased testosterone.34
Instead, it is often regarded as a 'superfood', containing a high level of a number of nutrients which makes it useful as a general food staple. Although maca cannot hurt and it is cheap enough, its ability to do more than increase libido is in doubt, hence it is mainly found nowadays in products that promote themselves as sexual enhancers rather than testosterone boosters.
Fadogia Stem Extract – Fadogia is a very new product to the testosterone boosting scene, and there are not that many reports from users on this compound although it has attracted a significant degree of interest. It has proven difficult to source for some time but products containing fadogia are starting to appear on the bodybuilding supplement market now. There is some research supporting its ability to increase testosterone levels,35 however this research was with fadogia stem extract and not fadogia plant extract or the fadogia plant material itself. This is very important, since in the same way tribulus plant material will do nothing for users, fadogia stem extract is what is needed to enhance testosterone activity. Users should look for a Fadogia stem extract with at least 10% active steroidal sapogenins.
Fenugreek – Fenugreek is cultivated worldwide and frequently found as an ingredient in curries. It has been shown to stimulate appetite, which is not surprising to anyone who has eaten too many curries but there is no research, beyond some supplement company sponsored trials showing it does anything useful for athletes. With so many effective testosterone boosters out there we would leave fenugreek on the shelf for now, until further research supports its usage.
6-Bromoandrostenedione – Commonly known as 6-bromodione in the supplement industry, this is found as either 6-alpha-bromodione, or 6-beta-bromodione. 6 alpha-bromodione is a competitive inhibitor of aromatase enzymes,36 which basically means it works by way of binding to the active binding site of the aromatase enzyme resulting in prevention of interaction with androgens. This is good for rapid binding and short term aromatase control, but unfortunately a competitive inhibitor will eventually let go of the enzyme and allow it to do feminizing things to male hormones. 6 beta-bromodione is a suicide inhibitor of the aromatase enzyme.
Together the two will provide for a powerful one-two punch to reduce estrogen and increase test as well but there is some concern over 6-bromodione owing to the fact that in the words of supplement guru Patrick Arnold (who probably has more experience with these types of products than anyone else) "other 6-alpha halogenated androstenes (6-alpha fluoro, 6-alpha chloro) have anabolic androgenic activity. I strongly suspect the 6-alpha bromo would too, since in the 4-halo series of testosterones all 3 halogen substitutions are effective... so you would want to stay away from 6-alpha-bromoandrostenedione if your goal is HPTA recovery." This basically suggests the possibility that rather than being a natural testosterone booster working with your body to elevate testosterone, 6-bromodione has the potential to lower your body's natural testosterone levels after the product is discontinued.
This covers most of the popular ingredients found in testosterone boosters today, although supplement companies are always looking to add anything that sounds new to help their latest products sell, often stacking testosterone boosting compounds with others designed to reduce estrogen, or offer some synergistic activity to enhance overall product effectiveness. We therefore now examine some of the best of current crop of testosterone boosting products on the market and offer readers practical advice on how to best take them.
Popular Products Available Today
Activate Xtreme – Driven Sports' Activate Xtreme is a popular testosterone boosting product with a significant following in the US. Containing divanil, basella alba, and icariin, it is dosed at 4 capsules a day for a month's supply. Users frequently report improved muscle gain, enhanced recovery, heightened libido, as well as reduced bodyfat so this makes it a very popular product. Typically, users take this for 4-6 weeks followed by 2-4 weeks off.
Vitrix – Vitrix is the best selling testosterone booster from Nutrex Research and has proven to be a best seller for many years. Containing high grade tribulus terrestris, avena sativa, vitex and longjack, it is most frequently used as a libido enhancer. The dosage is 6 capsules a day, making a 180 capsule bottle last 30 days.
ZMA – Basically this product is a combination of zinc, discussed above, and magnesium. The combination of both together should meet an athlete's nutritional needs for these essential nutrients, ensuring testosterone levels are optimised, as well as promoting restful sleeping patterns. At 3 capsules daily, a bottle of 90 capsules will last 30 days.
Animal Stak – Developed by Universal Nutrition's Animal division, it complements the rest of the Animal range, being a product designed for the hardcore lifter. Containing longjack, avena sativa and tribulus, this is more of a complete health product rather than a pure testosterone booster. Dosage is one pack a day, making a 44 pack bottle last 44 days.
Tribuloid – Tribuloid by Goliath Labs contains a slew of ingredients including tribulus, longjack, zinc and avena sativa, making it a good choice for someone wanting to try multiple testosterone boosting ingredients at once. Dosage is 2 capsules a day, making a 30 day supply.
Anabol-5 – Another product by Nutrex, this has dicyclopentanone at its core, which is difficult to find so makes for a good choice for athletes wanting to try it out. In addition, it has a number of other ingredients which should enhance its functions as a lean mass gaining product. The recommended dose is 4 capsules daily, meaning a bottle lasts 30 days.
Bioforge – The manufacturers, Biotivia, are a relative newcomer to the field of testosterone enhancement, being better known for their resveratrol products, but Bioforge is a research driven formula combining forskolin, icariin, zinc and indole-3-carbinol to produce a product designed to enhance testosterone and amplify fat burning. One bottle last 30 days, taking 3 capsules daily.
Reversitol – Reversitol is a 6-bromo based product made by iForce Nutrition, also containing other ingredients to boost the formula. One bottle will last 30 days, taking 2 capsules a day.
Halodrol Liquigels – Gaspari Nutrition's Halodrol Liquigels contains at its core, arachidonic acid and is one of the few products out there containing this ingredient, stacked here with a variety of others to try to enhance testosterone activity. At 3 capsules a day, one box will last 20 days. This product should not be confused with the prohormone H-Drol which has now been discontinued by Gaspari.
It is hoped that readers now have an idea about the uses and applications of testosterone boosters as well as an understanding about how they work and which product is best suited for them. With so many on the market, it is wise to try them one at a time and the user can then assess for themselves how well they respond to them. Compared to the products available even ten years ago, this field has advanced significantly and today a number of products offer valid alternatives to the natural bodybuilder wishing to avoid the use of illegal drugs but still wanting something to enhance muscle size, strength, and libido in a natural manner.
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