ASK A TRAINER: 'Low-T and Testosterone Boosters'
"Have you heard of Testoboost? People are talking about it on Fire Island and was curious if you heard of it. Sounds like the latest gimmick to me."-Rick C., New York, NY
Thanks for the question, Rick. I love your cynicism. Seriously. When considering taking any sort of supplement, no matter how "natural" the box claims it's ingredients may be, a healthy dose of skepticism is crucial.
Testoboost is an oral testosterone booster which claims to boost T-levels and, as a result, lead to killer gains in strength and muscle mass. It is a bodybuilding supplement containing all natural ingredients, most of which (like beta ecdysone boron) are either difficult to pronounce or are scientifically unproven (like deer antler extract.) It's also fairly expensive. The crazy thing about Testoboost is that it isn't just being marketed to "men of a certain age," it is being marketed to gym-goers in their 20s and up. If you are an active 25 year-old man that eats reasonably well you shouldn't need an additional testosterone booster.
Here are a few facts about Testosterone. Testosterone is the steroid hormone that enables your body to produce and maintain muscle mass, it drives libido, and is essential for general health and wellness. Although testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and men produce more than 36 times as much testosterone as women, women produce it as well and need it to function.
In recent years, the term "Low-T" has come into vogue. As men age, their testosterone levels drop, and as such, marketing and advertising has been directed at men to get them to buy products to boost testosterone.
If you are having legitimate problems with low testosterone, see a doctor. Before taking a pill or an injection or any other sort of drastic measure, take a look at your lifestyle. Are you eating well? Are you over-stressed (check out my article on cortisol, the stress hormone, and the toll it can take on your body here)? Are you active? Are you pushing yourself in the gym? The thing is that diminishing T-levels may be a part of the aging process but its decline can be offset by making life choices that will keep T-levels up.
Stress, activity level and diet are all contributing factors in production of testosterone but recent studies have indicated that activity level may just be largest factor to stave off the effects of low-T is through vigorous and consistent exercise and with a diet including enough good fat, iron and protein. Obviously, there are variations in this formula. Steroid treatment for chronic illness or injury can cause the body to produce less testosterone on its own, and in these cases a doctor may prescribed to bring T-levels back up, but these cases are not as common as one would believe based on the number of commercials you see on ESPN advertising drugs for low-T.
The thing about testosterone is that your body takes a "use it or lose it" approach to its production. If you are active and really challenging yourself with your workouts, your body is going to need to maintain a certain level of testosterone.
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