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The 6 Best Supplements to Boost Testosterone Levels

Written by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on April 7, 2021

Looking to boost your testosterone and curious if supplements can help? We took a look at all of the dietary supplements out there and found a few that seem to be quite promising for improving testosterone levels.

The 6 Best Supplements to Boost Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is one of the many essential hormones in the body. It contributes to sexual health and fertility in both men and women.

Obviously, testosterone plays a more significant role in men’s health, as it is present in larger quantities.

For men, testosterone is required for muscle growth, fat loss, fertility, and sexual function.

But levels tend to naturally decline with age. An unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight may also contribute to lower testosterone.

Men may be interested in naturally increasing testosterone to help improve physical and sexual performance.

Dietary supplements can help when used in combination with other lifestyle changes and medical interventions if needed.

Here are 6 of the best testosterone boosting supplements you may want to try.

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has many important roles in the body, including regulating testosterone production in the testes. It is also essential for male reproductive function.

Many people are deficient in vitamin D. This vitamin primarily comes from sun exposure, and as we spend more time indoors, it is difficult for our bodies to make enough.

Low levels of vitamin D can lead to low testosterone and poor sperm quality.

A 2009 study found that when men spent more time outdoors in the summer, testosterone levels also increased.

Another study gave men 3300 IU of vitamin D daily and found that testosterone increased by 20% with supplementation.

The best way to get vitamin D is to increase your sun exposure, particularly during the summer months. Try to spend 15–20 minutes outdoors daily.

If you live in a cold climate or spend a lot of time indoors, you may want to take a vitamin D supplement.

The recommended dosage is between 1000–3000 IU daily. Ideally, speak to your doctor about the best dose for you.

2. D-Aspartic Acid

D-Aspartic acid is an amino acid found in the nervous and hormonal systems in the body.

It plays an important role in the synthesis of hormones, particularly testosterone.

It works by increasing other hormones, which stimulates the testes to produce more testosterone.

A 2009 study found that taking a D-aspartic acid supplement for 12 days helped boost testosterone levels in humans and increased its transportation around the body when compared to a placebo.

A 2013 study of athletes found that D-aspartic acid increased muscle strength but did not increase testosterone levels.

The most recent review, from 2017, found that D-aspartic acid supplementation enhanced testosterone in animal models but had inconsistent effects for humans.

Since D-aspartic acid is just an amino acid, there are no significant negative side effects to be considered when taking it as a supplement.

A typical dose is 3 grams per day for improvements in physical strength and possibly to increase testosterone levels, although more research is needed.

3. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays many roles in the body, including helping maintain sexual health.

Low zinc levels have been associated with poor sexual function, fertility problems, and low testosterone.

A 2006 study found that zinc supplementation increased testosterone levels that had been suppressed from intense exercise.

Use caution with zinc supplementation as it can inhibit the absorption of other minerals.

Therefore, only take a zinc supplement to increase testosterone if you know you have low levels and after you speak to your doctor. Your doctor can determine the best dose for you.

4. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is an herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.

A 2020 meta-analysis of multiple studies found that it can help increase total testosterone levels.

A 2011 study evaluated the use of fenugreek on the sexual function of men. Healthy volunteers were given 600 mg of fenugreek or a placebo for 6 weeks.

Those who took the supplement reported increased strength, improved libido, and better energy.

Although testosterone remained within normal ranges in this study, researchers concluded that fenugreek might help maintain normal testosterone levels and improve other related aspects of men’s health.

The recommended dose of fenugreek is 500–600 mg per day to help improve sexual function and help maintain normal testosterone levels.

5. Magnesium

Magnesium plays over 100 roles in the body, including helping maintain normal testosterone levels.

It may be particularly beneficial for stopping the decrease in testosterone levels in older adults, who are more predisposed to low magnesium intake.

A 2010 study found that supplementation with magnesium for four weeks helped increase testosterone levels in both athletes and sedentary men.

The observed increase in testosterone was higher in men who exercised.

There is no specific dosage for magnesium to increase testosterone. The RDA for men is 420 mg per day.

Higher doses may cause diarrhea, so start slowly if you want to supplement.

6. DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone made in the adrenal glands. It helps regulate testosterone and estrogen.

DHEA tends to decrease with age, which may impact testosterone levels.

A 2013 study evaluated the use of DHEA supplements on testosterone levels. Researchers gave participants 50 mg of DHEA or a placebo before a high-intensity exercise session.

Supplementation significantly increased free testosterone levels above baseline.

If you are interested in taking DHEA supplements, it is important to note that it is banned in professional sports.

Since DHEA is a hormone, it is important to speak to your doctor before taking it as a supplement as it may alter the levels of other hormones.

The Bottom Line

There are many testosterone-boosting supplements on the market, all of which should be viewed with caution.

A 2019 review found that many of the companies selling testosterone-boosting products utilized fake reviews, unfounded claims, and included potentially dangerous ingredients.

It is recommended these products only be used after you have a good understanding of the safety of their ingredients by starting with a conversation with your doctor. 

Unbalanced hormones can significantly impact how you feel. If you believe you have low testosterone, consult your physician.

Only they can evaluate your health concerns and help you understand which supplements are safe for you.

A Word from Our RD

If you are interested in improving testosterone levels, a dietary supplement is not the best way to do so.

You must first identify the underlying cause of the low testosterone with the help of your doctor. Improving your levels may require medication or other lifestyle changes.

Maintaining a normal weight, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and managing stress are all ways to naturally improve testosterone without using dietary supplements.

A well-balanced diet with adequate protein, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables is the best way to have healthy hormone levels, including testosterone.

Trying to treat hormone imbalances yourself without guidance can make them worse. Your doctor is the best place to start improving your health.

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