Updated: Aug 15
Testosterone is an anabolic hormone found in high levels in men. It helps to build muscle, improve strength, and increase endurance.
Some supplements that claim to be testosterone boosters do actually work, such as how cordyceps increases testosterone, or how vitamin D can boost your levels.
But does this increase in testosterone actually help build muscle? In this article, I will explore the different possibilities and answer this question.
There is no research to show if testosterone boosters increase muscle growth, but increased testosterone has been proven to build muscle. Therefore, theory would suggest that testosterone boosters would increase muscle growth too.
How They Work
Testosterone boosters are natural substances that help your body produce more testosterone and related hormones, like DHT. They work in multiple ways, as listed below.
Directly stimulate testosterone production
Mimic the actions of LH and FSH
Reduce the conversion of testosterone to oestrogen, DHT, and other derivatives
Reduce the effects of SHBG
Prevents deficiencies resulting in low testosterone
Some examples of supplements that can boost testosterone or DHT include cordyceps, creatine, ashwagandha, vitamin D, and zinc.
Do They Actually Help Build Muscle?
However, there are no studies that prove the effect of testosterone boosters on muscle growth, therefore nothing can be concluded for definite.
It's crucial to remember that if you have naturally low testosterone levels, boosters may not be as effective or may be more effective, depending on many factors.
Below are definitions and short explanations of what some of the terms in this article mean.
LH (luteinising hormone): LH is a gonadotrophin hormone secreted by anterior pituitary cells. It regulates the function of the testes in men and ovaries in women. It's important for hormone regulation.
FSH (follicle stimulating hormone): FSH is a gonadotropin secreted by the anterior pituitary, it affects bodily development, growth, pubertal maturation, and reproduction.
DHT (Dihydrotestosterone): DHT is a male sex hormone produced when particular enzymes in the testes and prostate of men and the ovaries of women convert testosterone.
SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin): SHBG is a protein produced by the liver that binds to and inactivates sex hormones like testosterone in both men and women.
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This evidence based analysis of testosterone boosting supplements effect on muscle growth features 3 references, listed below.
1. Almaiman AA. Effect of testosterone boosters on body functions: Case report. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). (2018, Mar-Apr) ✔
2. Griggs RC, Kingston W, Jozefowicz RF, Herr BE, Forbes G, Halliday D. Effect of testosterone on muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol (1985). (1989, Jan) ✔
3. Upendram Srinivas-Shankar, Stephen A. Roberts, Martin J. Connolly, Matthew D. L. O'Connell, Judith E. Adams, Jackie A. Oldham, Frederick C. W. Wu, Effects of Testosterone on Muscle Strength, Physical Function, Body Composition, and Quality of Life in Intermediate-Frail and Frail Elderly Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. J of Clin Endo & Met. (2010, Feb)
✔ Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.
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