Boost Testosterone and Get Lean with 3 Supplements and 3 Techniques
Boost testosterone and get lean with these three proven supplements and techniques. You no longer have to accept declining T levels, and with it, moodiness, low libido, muscle atrophy and that bulging girth.
If you skip around this site, you’ll inevitably bump into various articles about boosting testosterone for two good reasons:
- My readers are interested in the topic, because they know that – for men – testosterone levels begin to decline in their early thirties; and
- A blood test alerted me to my low testosterone and so I have spent a considerable amount of time researching and applying tactics to naturally bump it up, about which I’ve written and shared here.
Given all that, I thought you’d be interested in my current protocol for ginning up my testosterone level (and shedding some fat), simply because it’s something you might try yourself.
That is, if you’re a man.
If you’re a woman, much of the testosterone part of this article is not relevant to you; however, consider sharing it with the men you care about… just post the link on their Facebook page, lean back and wait for them to thank you.
They’ll thank you because of this graph:
A man needs testosterone, but it begins to fade way before our “twilight years”. As it fades, our zest for life, libido, equanimity, and muscle tone decline as our girth expands.
This is so unnecessary!
Men (and the women who love them), know that if you…
- Want to keep/regain your energetic vigor,
- Want to keep/regain your libido, and
- Want to keep/regain your lean body mass
… then you either need to add some supplements to your diet or go visit an Endocrinologist and get some bio-identical salve to rub on yourself or have get a shot of the stuff.
Boosting your testosterone will help your get leaner, but it will probably be insufficient unless the only reason you’re overweight is because your testosterone has fallen through the floor.
In addition to a testosterone boost, most of us will also need to take some measures to get satiated with fewer calories and be choosy about when those calories are consumed.
Here’s what you can do:
Yeah, that last one seems like a stretch for all but the most committed, but those 16 hours do include sleep time. Easy.
Let’s dig in.
Three Supplements To Boost Testosterone
The three supplements under consideration are:
- Ashwagandha; and
- Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster
Let’s check them out…
DHEA is an acronym for “didehydroepiandrosterone”. It’s the most abundant circulating steroid hormone in humans, one that is a very important metabolite in the making of androgen and estrogen sex steroids.
The test I got to reveal my testosterone level also tested many other biomarkers, because it was Life Extension Foundations comprehensive Male Hormone Panel. (Click on the image below.) Thus, it also tested for DHEA, and mine was low. The doctor who reviewed the blood tests results with me advised that I might augment both testosterone and DHEA by taking DHEA.
Why was that?
Because, as Examine.com asserts:
“DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone and either exerts benefits on its own, or can convert into both testosterone or estrogen depending on the body’s need.”
Examine.com is an excellent resource for revealing the science behind supplements, and offers the Supplement Goals Reference Guide that’s intended to eliminate confusion over what you can expect supplements to do and not do.
Here’s a screen shot of part of Examine.com’s DHEA matrix that shows their A rated “Level of Evidence” for DHEA effects:
According to Examine.com, supplementation of DHEA appears to be effective in persons over 40 years of age in the dosage range of 25-50mg, although prolonged usage up to 100 mg appears to be safe for this demographic, and up to 200 mg for younger people if the aim is testosterone enhancement. (1)
The doctor who advised me suggested that I take 50 mgs. I did this for awhile, but as I often opine on this site, it’s a good idea to cycle in and out of supplements, and I was “off” DHEA for about six months until three weeks ago when I eased back onto it, taking 25 mgs per day.
Why 25 mgs, half of the prior dose?
The reason is that DHEA is a hormone and hormone supplementation can mess you up if you’re not careful.
Our hormones do a finely tuned, intricate dance with one another. For us to optimize our health, they must be in balance. It’s very hard to ascertain this without on-going tests and evaluation by a doctor trained in hormone therapy.
One reason I stopped taking DHEA some months ago is because I thought it might be converting to estrogen as well as testosterone, given that I was beginning to experience some unexplained weight gain, and it wasn’t muscle.
The literature says that DHEA can convert to either estrogen or testosterone — hopefully, whichever your body requires, but it’s not foolproof. In fact, there are several reasons to be wary of DHEA supplementation.
Dr. Joseph Mercola admonishes that testing your DHEA levels is very important before you supplement with it, because if your levels are normal, supplementation will cause excess, and potentially cause side effects, such as:
- Tumor formation
- Hair loss
- Heart rhythm problems
Given all that, 7 Keto may be the way to go.
7-Keto DHEA (7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone, or “7-Keto”) is a metabolite of DHEA that is non-hormonal, and may be a fat loss agent, although the research on this point is inconclusive.
In fact, a lot of things about 7-Keto is inconclusive. Researchers really aren’t sure how it, just one of three oxygenated metabolites of DHEA, can interact with one another, but not convert back into parent DHEA, or how it (7-Keto)– a non-hormonal supplement – can interact with steroid (DHEA) metabolism.
Typically, 7-Keto is marketed as a fat-loss enabler. The only brand I’ve used is Life Extension Foundation’s 7-Keto DHEA Metabolite, which is described thus on Amazon.com:
“Life Extension 7-Keto DHEA is a natural metabolite of DHEA that has been shown to safely increase thermogenesis, improve fat loss and help maintain healthy body weight when combined with a diet and exercise program. A clinical study indicated that 7-Keto DHEA increases the resting metabolic rate of overweight adults.” (2)
Note that the focus is on weight loss, not boosting testosterone or DHEA.
7ketoDHEA.com says that 7-Keto offers all the same benefits of DHEA, but unlike DHEA, is not converted into estrogen or testosterone. When taken orally it does not increase the levels of steroid hormones in the bloodstream, which dispels the concern of hormonal disequilibrium.
My recommendation is that if you don’t know your testosterone level, get it checked. If you already know it’s low, consult with your doctor about what to do about it, and don’t accept that it must be low because you’re old. If you wish to go it alone, tread carefully. Perhaps try 25 mgs of DHEA plus 100 mgs of 7-Keto and keep track of your weight and mood. After a few months, stop. Then if you wish to, cycle back in.
As I wrote in More Muscle, Testosterone and Calm With Ashwagandha, this is pretty much a no-brainer herb to take for several reasons touched on in the title:
- Ashwagandha can help increase muscle and decrease fat;
- It can boost testosterone, particularly in infertile men or those with low sperm count; and
- Given that it’s an adaptogen (a substance that promotes decreased cellular sensitivity to stress), Ashwaghanda makes you feel better.
(Refer to the research behind these claims here.)
Specific to testosterone enhancement, one study demonstrated that taking a daily dose of five grams of Ashwagandha each day for 90 days could increase their testosterone by as much as 40%. (3)
I wouldn’t count on it being that efficacious. The study’s participants had low sperm count, and thereby might have been more prone respond favorably to the testosterone stimulating effects of Ashwagandha. But recommend you try it given all benefits that might accrue to you.
You can get Ashwagandha in capsule or powder. I prefer the powder, given that I spoon it into my morning smoothies; and in this form, I can also make it into a tea. See the brands I use here.
Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster
This is a supplement brand formulated by hormone and kettle bell expert, Mike Mahler, who made it the center piece of four ingredients of his own testosterone-enhancer that he calls “Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster”.
The ingredients are:
- Bulbine Natalensis a South African herb that can increase testosterone by 347% and reduce estrogen by 35%. But this only happens by ingesting the exact right amount — too little and you won’t improve testosterone, and too much of it will actually reduce your testosterone. (3) Note: If you use this herb, alone or in any formulation, you must cycle in and out of it, and it should not be your primary, indefinite testosterone-boosting method, because prolonged use may negatively effect the liver and kidneys for some people.
- Stinging Nettle Root supports “free” levels of testosterone and the much stronger sex steroid hormone, DHT (dihydrotestosterone), by unbinding both from SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin).
- Mucuna Pruriens supports growth hormone production (by increasing dopamine) and reduces prolactin, an undesirable hormone that lowers testosterone in men. Mucuna also helps testosterone production by increasing levels of messenger hormones: Luteinizing Hormone (“LH”) and Folicle Stimulating Hormone (“FSH”). These messenger hormones signal the natural production of testosterone in men.
- Ashwagandha has been recently added to the Aggressive Strength formulation for the reasons cited above. Mike Mahler uses a specific brand – Ashwagandha Sensoril – that has a standardization level of a minimum of 10% glycowithanolide bioactives. The claim is that no other form of Ashwagandha possesses such high levels of bioactives, given that these levels of potency are protected under United States patents.
Remember to cycle in and out of using this supplement. Mike Mahler recommends using it for no longer than eight weeks at a time, followed by four weeks off. Learn more about it and read the many favorable testimonials here.
Now that you know about what natural supplements can be used to bump up testosterone, let’s get to the “get lean” part.
3 Techniques To Get Lean
For a few of us, being lean is natural, but for the vast majority getting lean is a game.
The reason I say this is that the status quo is to eat fast food made of the three demons – (unhealthy) fat, sugar and salt. We not only eat this stuff, but overeat it. We also often eat too late at night, snack non-stop and drink alcohol liberally.
Diets don’t work because they require will power to fight against the well-ingrained status quo, and like a muscle, will power wears out, even if it’s strong.
So, I think we need to play games, and you can think of the following three techniques to get lean as games.
As such, have fun and play with them.
The three techniques to get lean are:
- Drink water and protein before major meals;
- Brush your teeth immediately after eating; and
- Suspend eating for 16 hours every other day or so.
I numbered them in order of doability. (Yes, it’s a real word in the urban dictionary.)
Surely, if you decide to, you can easily drink a big glass of pure water, perhaps with some protein powder mixed in, before each big meal. Very doable.
Wandering all the way into some bathroom to lather your teeth with some strong-flavored toothpaste after eating is also imminently doable, but perhaps a degree more difficult than drinking water.
Not eating for 16 hours! Well, that’s the toughest of the three, but there are ways to make it happen without feeling like torture.
Drink Water, Preferably With Protein
I wrote about this and the following toothbrush technique in How To Lose More Body Fat With Water, Protein and Squats, which features a video clip of me guzzling some water to underscore the point.
I began that article by writing that about a new study published in the journal Obesity that demonstrated how drinking 500 ml (17 ounces) of water before each of three meals per day reduced the body weight of participants by 4.3 kg (9.5 lbs.) over 12 weeks.
Then, the protein part was introduced. I told readers that according to the European Food Information Counsel, the highest satiating foodstuff was high levels of protein, dietary fiber and water, and then listed the five protein powders I use and think are great:
- Growing Naturals Protein Powder,
- Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Hi Fiber,
- Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein,
- ImmunPlex, and
- Naked Whey.
Just before you begin to prepare you meal, or hop in the car to drive to some restaurant, drink an eight-ounce glass of water. Take a few breaths, and do it again, but this time mix one of the above-mentioned protein powders in it.
Once you sit down to eat, remember that what you used to think is a sufficient quantity of food is now too much – don’t force yourself to eat the same amount because that’s what you’re used to eating. After the water and protein, you won’t be as hungry and should not eat as much as usual.
Go Brush Your Teeth
Let’s say that you took my advice. Yes, you’re eyeing that third pork chop you’d usually wolf down, but maybe you’re not so hungry this time. Before habit strikes and your spear #3 with your fork, push away from the table and go brush your teeth.
Use some very strongly flavored, natural toothpaste like Tom’s or Dr. Bronner brands.
Once your teeth are sparkling and clean and that strong toothpaste taste dominates your taste buds, you’ll no longer be interested in eating for awhile.
See, it’s a game.
16 Hours of Intermittent Fasting
Yes, this is hard at first, but remember it’s a game, so play with it.
Intermittent Fasting (“IF”) has soared in popularity because it helps make you lean and is thought to mimic the benefits that caloric restriction has on longevity.
You can tweak IF to your lifestyle:
- Fast completely on alternative days,
- Fast three consecutive days of each week, or
- Fast for 16 hours every 24.
I’ve done them all, and more, and think the most sustainable is to fast for 16 hours (more or less) every 24, eight of them being when you’re sleeping.
See there… we already made it easier by letting you be unconscious for half the time!
I do the 16/24 IF on work out days, which means four times per week, at minimum. The day after a workout I want to get some nourishment into my body – typically my jam-packed smoothie – soon after awakening. On a work out day, I get in the needed macronutrients from noon on, but mostly post-workout, which is dinnertime. This way, the calories consumed are used up to repair and nourish a body depleted from exercise.
A typical week would look like this:
|H2O + protein||no||8:00 am||no||8:00 am||no||8:00 am||8:00 am|
|Supplement Smoothie||Noon||8:00 am||Noon||8:00 am||Noon||8:00 am||8:00 am|
|After 8:00 pm||Tea +/or protein + water||Tea +/or protein + water||Tea +/or protein + water||Tea +/or protein + water||Tea +/or protein + water||Tea +/or protein + water||Tea +/or protein + water|
You can see from the above table that I go the longest without eating (except for a morning coffee or green tea, plus water with protein powder mixed in it) on workout days when the IF period (no eating) is from 8:00 PM till 12:00 PM the next day. That means I do all my eating from noon thru 8:00 PM, and time most of my carbohydrate consumption at dinner after my workout.
Eating most of your carbs post-exercise helps ensure that the body will metabolize them, rather than getting stored as fat.
Get some medical counseling before you try any type of fasting if you are diabetic, hypoglycemic or have a metabolic disorder.
In summary, here’s how you play the “Boost Testosterone and Get Lean” game:
- Add Ashwagandha, 7-Keto, DHEA and Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster supplements to your diet, making sure that you don’t overdue it with the DHEA; and that you cycle in and out of the Aggressive Strength.
- Drink water and water + protein before meals, and remember to readjust your expectation about how much food you need to eat given that you’ll now be partially satiated.
- Brush your teeth as soon as you’re done eating; the powerful toothpaste taste will make eating anytime soon unsavory.
- Experiment with whichever form of Intermittent Fasting you can sustain. Fill yourself with tea, a cup or two of coffee (minus the cream and sugar), lemon water, and stay busy so your mind isn’t focused on hunger.
If you have questions, well, we have a Comments section below where you can ask them, and that’s where they’ll be answered.
Recruit a friend to join you, make it a game and have some fun as you grow into the lean mean anabolic machine you can be.