Testosterone is a hormone that has a role in regulating the sex drive, bone strength, muscle formation and production of red blood cells. Among men, it is the main sex hormone.
The level of testosterone in the body generally peak in early adulthood. As one starts to age, the levels naturally decline.
The usual signs of low testosterone level in the body might include:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Poor muscle mass
- Emotional changes
Various products in the market promise to improve the sex drive, vigor and muscle building by boosting the testosterone levels. Before you decide to use any of these supplements, it is vital to know the facts on testosterone powders whether it can benefit your health.
Should I see a doctor if low testosterone is likely?
Low testosterone in the body will not always show any signs. One will discover the condition after undergoing a routine physical examination involving blood tests. However, if one or more symptoms are present, consult a doctor. You do not want to experience any hindrance in achieving your “peak” momentum once the sexual urge arises.
When diagnosed with low testosterone, the doctor performs a physical exam and reviews the symptoms. Additional testing is also necessary to check for other signs such as a bone density test. This shows the presence of deteriorating bone mass which is one result of low testosterone in the body.
Are testosterone powders the solution?
Prescription hormone supplements
The receding levels of testosterone can result in unpleasant and disruptive symptoms. This can be a drawback for those who want a satisfying nightly routine in the bedroom. On the other hand, there are conflicting opinions on whether a drop of the level in the body requires treatment and how it is managed.
Remember that there are potential risks when using testosterone supplements such as:
- Prostate enlargement
- Sleep apnea
- High red blood cell count which increases the risk for clotting
- Ankle swelling
- Breast enlargement or tenderness
Due to the potential risks, supplements that include the actual testosterone are controlled substances and only given by prescription.
Over-the-counter testosterone boosters
As an alternative to the prescription variants, some resort to over-the-counter options. These products often promise to improve the naturally declining testosterone in the body. The products are often called testosterone boosters, usually in powder form.
The supplements do not contain the actual testosterone or other hormones. Instead, they include herbs and other substances that are supposed to improve the natural production of the hormone. Nevertheless, there is limited proof that these products are effective.
Consult a doctor first before using any testosterone boosting products or other dietary supplements. Always check the ingredients and assess their safety before trying one out.
One widely used ingredient present in testosterone boosters is the Tribulus terrestris herb or puncture vine. It has been long used in treating impotence and female infertility.
Using the herb can increase the production of several hormones in the body including testosterone. Some athletes use the herb to enhance performance. Further studies are necessary to provide more proof to its effectiveness.
DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone that the body naturally produces. It is available as a supplement and a common component in testosterone boosters including the powder variants.
In one study, it reveals that supplementation with this hormone can increase the levels of free testosterone among middle-aged men. Nevertheless, further research is necessary regarding its impact on the body.
DHEA also has its safety concerns that you should be aware of. The potential side effects include stomach upset, hair loss and high blood pressure. It can also interact with certain supplements and medications. Consult a doctor first before trying out testosterone powders containing DHEA.
Creatine is naturally made in the liver and kidneys. It has a long history as a supplement for building muscle. There is strong evidence that it increases the muscle mass and strength. Nevertheless, it does not cause any significant improvement in aerobic endurance.
It is often an addition in testosterone boosters since poor muscle mass is a side effect of the naturally declining testosterone levels among men. Nevertheless, there is no concrete proof to prove this.
HMB (hydroxymethyl butyrate) is another substance that the body naturally produces. It is often a component in various testosterone boosters in the market.
At present, there is no proof that HMB can increase the level of testosterone in the body. Some studies suggest that it improves muscle mass and strength if part of a weight training regimen.
It appears to be safe as a supplement if carefully following the dosage instructions. There are no reports of any adverse effects from short-term use. However, there is lack of testing for any possible health risks.
L-arginine is an amino acid that the body naturally produces. It functions as a vasodilator if using one as a supplement. It simply helps widen the blood vessels and helps in the treatment of high blood pressure, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction.
Some of the testosterone boosting products in the market contain L-arginine. Some believe that it improves erectile dysfunction as well as athletic performance, but the clinical proof is not available.
It might be toxic in doses higher than 30 grams and might also interact with certain medications. Other safety concerns with L-arginine include:
- High risk for bleeding
- Low blood pressure
- Alterations with the blood sugar levels
- Unusually high level of blood potassium
Is there a different solution?
The over-the-counter variants of testosterone boosting products showcase appealing promises to improve sexual function, muscle mass, and vitality. You should be careful if you are planning to use one. Majority of the ingredients do not actually increase the level of testosterone and some carry detrimental health risks.
The better approach is to consult a doctor if there is a need for a testosterone level test. The doctor can help identify suitable treatment options.