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The Best Testosterone-Boosting Vitamins and Minerals

Boosting your testosterone levels takes a holistic approach – strength training, lifestyle and eliminating stress are all important, but they’re useless without a good hormone-optimizing diet.

In this article we take a look at the very best testosterone-boosting vitamins and minerals. These are the must-haves if you want to hammer down some gains, ramp up your progress and tune in on single digit body fat.

Which nutrients are best for you?

Let’s take a look…


Testosterone Through Nutrition

For optimal hormone levels you need to have a healthy base to work with. And the foundation for that base is nutrition. If your nutrition isn’t right it doesn’t matter how hard you work in the gym, you’ll just not achieve what you set out to.

To truly build muscle, keep fat at bay and maximize endurance, you need to feed your body with everything it needs.

Optimize health with testosterone

As a naturally-occurring steroid hormone, testosterone (T) is responsible for regulating everything from your libido to your cardiovascular health.

When your levels are ticking over just right you’ll be at low risk from metabolic illness and weight gain, find it easier to build good quality muscle and you’ll feel invincible in the gym. Not only that, but your memory and concentration will improve and your libido will skyrocket.

But if you let those T levels start to drop you’ll find that muscle mass slides away from your frame and is replaced by man boobs and belly fat. Your endurance will seriously lack and your cognitive abilities will decrease dramatically.

And your sex life? The less said about that the better, because without the stimulating effects of your natural hormones, you libido and sex drive will be non-existent.

Men over 30 find their T levels begin to naturally decrease

Once you hit the age of thirty your total and free T concentrations begin to decrease and the messages sent from your brain to your testes to produce more of the hormone begin to slow down.

All in all you’ll find a steady decrease of around 2% per year.

That means that by the age of 45, as many as 40% of men will be diagnosed with clinically low testosterone levels.

But all is not lost…

With the right exercise, physical activity plan and nutrition, you can reverse that low T and reinstate those health and performance-related benefits once again.

Low T isn’t the result of getting older. It’s purely down to the accumulated effects of lifestlye – and that gives you a great opportunity to make big changes. You can’t change your age, but you can change the way you live your life.

Age-related hormone decline may be decelerated through the management of health and lifestyle factors [1]

Here are the very best nutrients to support your testosterone goals and get your body back to the place it deserves…


Oysters on a plate with a tomato and herb garnish


#1. Zinc

If you track back through the hundreds of studies of men with hypogonadism, you’ll find that a remarkable amount have zinc deficiencies.

The reason why is that the essential mineral zinc might be needed to maintain the integrity of your androgen receptors(ARs) – the little baseball glove-like structures in your cells that catch testosterone from the blood and push it into the cell DNA.

Without these, your T just floats on by and never makes its way to your muscle or brain or whatever its destination was.

Foods that contain zinc include oysters, shrimp and other shellfish – in fact oysters are the best sources you’ll find as they’re almost 80% zinc.

You’ll also find it in beef, pork and chicken too. And if animal products aren’t your thing then you can get a hit of zinc from oats, seeds and nuts too.

Research – zinc and testosterone

  • [2] – A study of wrestlers that found 3 mg per kilogram of body weight for 4 weeks significantly elevated free testosterone as well as thyroid function and athletic performance.
  • [3] – 250 mg of zinc per day for 6 weeks significantly elevated T as well as T-stimulating luteinizing hormone.

Squares of dark chocolate placed on a wooden table


#2. Magnesium

Like zinc, magnesium is an essential mineral found naturally in foods. And again, you’ll find a strong link in the research between optimal magnesium levels and total T concentrations.

Found in foods such as oily fish, dark green vegetables, whole grains, almonds and dark chocolate, magnesium regulates a number of roles in the human body – from muscle and brain tissue, to bone and heart. It helps control:

  • Nervous system function
  • Protein synthesis and muscle cell building
  • Energy metabolism
  • Muscle strength
  • Insulin sensitivity

Research – magnesium and testosterone

  • [4] – 4-weeks of magnesium supplementation (10 mg per day) found to boost free testosterone levels by 24% at exercise-induced exhaustion in tae kwon-do fighters.
  • [5] – Magnesium found to lower concentrations of the testosterone-lowering hormone sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), therefore increasing T bioavailability.
  • [6, 7, 8, 9] Various studies showing magnesium helps improve athletic ability – recovery and sleep quality, reduced body fat and cardio endurance.

Fish on chopping board


#3. Vitamin D

Classed as the sixth steroid hormone due to its effects on androgens, vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient linked to a protective effect on both metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

You’ll find vitamin D3 (the most potent of the family) in foods such as cod liver oil and oily fish, some fortified milk and of course the sun – vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin.

Research – vitamin D and testosterone

  • [10] – 4,000 IU of vitamin D found to speed up muscle recovery by 50% in a group of athletes over a 28-day period.
  • [11] -D3 found to improve the binding efficiency of testosterone to its androgen receptor sites and could be a reliable supplement to reduce symptoms of overtraining
  • [12] – A systematic review and meta-analysis reporting that 4,000 IU per day increased strength and muscle mass.
  • [13] – 3,332 IU of vitamin D3 per day found to increase both free and total testosterone in a group of 54 men.

Goose liver pate spread on crusty bread

#4. Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble nutrient found in green and cruciferous leafy vegetables, goose liver and egg yolks. There are a number of different forms of vitamin K but the one that seems to have the most potent effect on male hormone levels is menaquinone which is better known as K2.

K2 is closely related to vitamin D. This ‘tandem relationship’ helps to regulate metabolic health and ensure vitamin D gets taken up by the right tissues.

Research – vitamin K2 and testosterone

  • [14] – Those that have low K2 levels tend to have lower testosterone levels too.
  • [15] – 5-weeks of vitamin K2 seen to elevate T levels by 56-70%.
  • [16] – Eliminated vitamin K from the diet leads to a drop in T concentrations. K2 found to increase testosterone by boosting testicular steroidogenesis.

A platter of foods high in vitamin B6

#5. Vitamin B6

This water soluble vitamin not only ramps up your T levels but can help you use energy more efficiently and boost your mood too. You’ll find it in foods such as meats, eggs, vegetables and non-citrus fruits.

Low vitamin B6 levels are linked to:

  • Anemia and other skin disorders
  • Low mood and depression
  • Poor immune system functioning
  • Prone to infections

Research – vitamin B6 and testosterone

  • [17] – Vitamin B6 deficiency linked to low T.
  • [18] – B6 found to activate steroid hormone receptors and reduce estrogen-induced gene expression by 30%.

TestoFuel

Containing essential nutrients such as zinc, magnesium and vitamin D, TestoFuel is an all-natural testosterone booster and male hormone support complex.

Designed specifically to turbocharge your gains and take you from fat builder to bodybuilder, TestoFuel has the power to give you:

  • Greater strength and muscle mass
  • Improved stamina and endurance
  • Higher libido and more energy
  • Enhanced mood and motivation

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References

  1. Travison, TG et al. The relative contributions of aging, health, and lifestyle factors to serum testosterone decline in men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007; 92(2): 549-55
  2. Kilic M, Baltaci AK, Gunay M et al (2006) The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone levels of elite athletes receiving oral zinc. Neuroendocrinol Lett 27(1–2):247–252
  3. Jalali GR et al. Impact of oral zinc therapy on the level of sex hormones in male patients on hemodialysis. Ren Fail. 2010 May;32(4):417-9
  4. Cinar, V. Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustionBiol Trace Elem Res. 2011; 140: 18–23
  5. Excoffon, L et al. Magnesium effect on testosterone–SHBG association studied by a novel molecular chromatography approach. J Pharma Biomed analysis. 2009; 49(2): 175-180
  6. ECSS Position Statement ‘Task Force’. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the Overtraining Syndrome. Eur J Sports Sci. 2006; 6(1)
  7. Leproult, R et al. Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone 
  8. Onakpoya, IJ et al. Efficacy of calcium supplementation for management of overweight and obesity: systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Nutr Reviews. 2011; 69(6): 335-343
  9. Brilla, LR et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on exercise time to exhaustion. Med Exerc Nutr Health; 4: 230-233
  10. Barker, T et al. Supplemental vitamin D enhances the recovery in peak isometric force shortly after intense exercise. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2013; 10: 69
  11. Halson, SL et al. Does overtraining exist? An analysis of overreaching and overtraining research. Sports Med. 2004; 34(14): 967-81
  12. Tomlinson, PB et al. Effects of vitamin D supplementation on upper and lower body muscle strength levels in healthy individuals. A systematic review with meta-analysis. J Sci Med Sport. 2015; 18(5): 575-80
  13. Pilz, S et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in menHorm Metab Res. 2011; 43(3): 223–225
  14. Shirakawa, H et al. Vitamin K deficiency reduces testosterone production in the testis through down-regulation of the Cyp11a a cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme in rats. Bioch Bio Acta. 2006; 1760(10): 1482-1488
  15. Asagi, I et al. Menaquinone-4 enhances testosterone production in rats and testis-derived tumor cells. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2011; 10: 158
  16. Takumi, N et al. Dietary vitamin K alleviates the reduction in testosterone production induced by lipopolysaccharide administration in rat testis. Food Funct. 2011; 2(7): 406-11
  17. Symes, EK et al. Increased target tissue uptake of, and sensitivity to, testosterone in the vitamin B6 deficient ratJ Steroid Biochem 1984; 20: 1089–93
  18. Allgood, V et al. Vitamin B6 modulates transcriptional activation by multiple members of the steroid hormone receptor superfamilyJ. Biol. Chem. 1992; 267: 3819–3824

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